Pinehurst is more than Pinehurst
Of course, you know Pinehurst, the North
Carolina resort and club that has hosted major
championships and is home to one of the
world’s top courses, Pinehurst No. 2, and
eight other 18-hole layouts. But there’s so
much more golf to be found in the sandy soil
around the Village of Pinehurst than just Pinehurst Resort – and if you haven’t been there in
a few years, there’s even more golf to be found
at the resort itself.
Let’s start with Pinehurst Resort, which
shares a strong common denominator with
some of the top courses in the Philadelphia
area: a connection to Donald Ross. The
legendary Scottish course architect designed
courses in both areas, and considered Pine-
hurst No. 2 his masterpiece. His residence still
stands alongside the course – if you walked
through the backyard, you would end up on
the second green – and is sometimes available
to visiting golfers.
When Ross came to Pinehurst, the sleepy
village was about to embrace the game of golf.
More than 100 years later, it is hard to imagine
the area without the game. The venerable
Pinehurst Resort has not, however, coasted on
tradition. As new national golf destinations
like Bandon Dunes, Streamsong and Sand
Valley have popped up, Pinehurst has adeptly
adopted many of the things that make those
resorts so memorable.
For example, Pinehurst added The Cradle
three years ago. This nine-hole short course,
and the adjacent Thistle Dhu putting course,
enables guests to enjoy uniquely fun golf
experiences. After a day of travel or a couple
rounds on the big courses, you can grab a
couple wedges, a putter and a golf ball and
escape into an interesting series of short par- 3
holes with your friends. Speakers nestled in
the landscaping pipe relaxing tunes into the
air, and the Pinecone – a wooden trailer-
turned-bar with four beers on tap and a
surprising menu of mixed drinks – is set up
with a few comfortable chairs for post-round
chill-outs. The Cradle’s holes range from 56
to 127 yards, and you will card more smiles
and laughs than strokes.
The big draw at Pinehurst is still No. 2,
which was renovated earlier in the decade
by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw before
hosting the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S.
Opens. The course now looks similar to what
Donald Ross saw looking out the window of
his house, with native wiregrass and scraggly
bunkers blending seamlessly into the wide
fairways and crowned greens of the layout.
The course is kept firm and fast, which means
drives can run out for extra distance – or
GAP MAGAZINE THE CAROLINAS
Different golf championships
held at Pinehurst, including the
U.S. Open (2014, 2005, 1999),
PGA Championship (1936),
Ryder Cup (1951) and U.S.
Amateur (2019, 2008, 1962)