New Experiences at Pursell Farms

Maybe you’ve heard of or even visited Pursell Farms, just down the road in Sylacauga. In case it’s been a while, see what’s new at this hid- den gem named one of the top hotels in Alabama by Travel + Leisure Magazine. New this summer, The Founders Pub traces the beginnings of Pursell Farms through the stories of co-founders, CEO David Pursell and his father, James T. Pursell (1930-2020), who charted the path of the company from the early corporate offices that occupied the restaurant’s space prior to the construction of the Inn.

“We used to say, “if these walls could talk, they’d have great stories to tell,” said David Pursell. “We created a dining experience surrounded by an entertaining memory lane.”

Art, vintage photography, and memorabilia offer glimpses of a remarkable business and devoted family, from the creation of FarmLinks, the world’s first research and demonstration golf course, to the little known fact that James Pursell was introduced to his future wife, Christine Parker, by one of Hollywood’s most popular entertainers. Hint: see the photo with Jim Nabors (a.k.a. Gomer Pyle), best man at their wedding, on the wall near the pool table. Photos of Hollywood stars, entertainers, and even a future POTUS who played pool at Mr. Nabors’ Bel Air home are displayed nearby.

The Pursell family believes that sharing great food at the table is the heart of hospitality. Along with Executive Chef Sean Butler’s dedication to Southern Heritage cooking and ingredients fresh from Southern gardens and farms, The Founders Pub is a must-do for lunch or dinner daily.

“Our dishes are made-from-scratch and accented with cooking techniques such as smoking, pickling, and barbecuing,” said Executive Chef Butler. “Our guests can enjoy traditional entrees prepared patiently, like 14-hour beef brisket, and try twists on familiar favorites, like pimento cheese hushpuppies. We’ve sprinkled a few Pursell family favorites throughout the menu, too, such as sweet tea-brined smoked chicken.”

Golf is integral at Pursell Farms. For 10 years, FarmLinks at Pursell Farms has been ranked the No. 1 all-access course in Alabama by GolfWeek, and has garnered similar recognition over the years.

“We’re passionate about the golf experience for our guests. Even with our top ratings, we were intrigued with the idea of elevating the course,” said David Pursell. “We commissioned golf architect Tripp Davis to infuse fresh visual appeal, new strategic components, and technical improvements.”

During last year’s sweeping renovation of FarmLinks golf course, bunkers were redesigned with new shapes and clean edges, moved, or even eliminated. This year the construction of a new one-tier driving range with a laser-leveled tee surface is completed, and the re-grassing of the chipping green for a cleaner, sharper surface is on track to finish in September.

Many of the resort’s new experiences are created to enhance the enjoyment of the natural environment. A prime example is Sunset at the Secret Place which begins with trans- portation to the top of Chalybeate Mountain for panoramic views of hills, meadows, and lakes. Then guests relax with wine and a delicious snack while watching the sunset from their top-of-the-world perch.

Also new, a guided equestrian tour meanders along meadows and trails with picturesque views of the Appalachian foothills on the way to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Pursell Farms stables its own horses on the property now and offers a children’s petting zoo at the horse barn.

An archery course with targets planted along trails, an axe throwing facility, and stargazing have been added to pickleball, paddleboats, walking and biking trails, yoga, bocce ball, pool, and sundecks. And many guests consider cooling off at the Spring House Spa an activity, too.

A robust calendar encompasses dinner and a show with singer-songwriters, book signings and readings by authors, culinary programs, and the resort’s most popular art event, “Paint Your Pet” where guests take home a portrait of their beloved pet created that evening. Events are posted on Facebook at

For room reservations and information, please visit Please note some activities require reservations.