Building a new course grand enough to celebrate Pinehurst’s first 100 years might intimidate some architects, but Tom Fazio took on the assignment with gusto. No. 8 – which opened in 1996 – combines classical Donald Ross concepts (like dips and swales around the greens and false fronts) with the whimsical snarls that have become Fazio’s calling card.
Fazio took full advantage of the 420 acres of rolling terrain and natural wetlands to fashion a course that’s visually enthralling, challenging and yet fun to play; it’s a nod to No. 2, but hardly a replication. Some feel that No. 8 synthesizes all the elements of the Pinehurst golf experience into one layout better than any of the other courses, and many mid- and higher-handicappers find it the most enjoyable track to play.
The greens here are larger than on No. 2 – and the roll-offs and collection areas not quite as severe – though with their sloping edges, you shouldn’t get complacent on your approach shots. Close proximity of greens to subsequent tees and beautiful scenery make No. 8 a pleasure to walk, but it’s no stroll in the park. This championship track has twice been home to the PGA Club Pro Championship. Just a short drive away from the main club, the Pinehurst Spirit is quite alive at No. 8, which will serve as the companion course for the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.