Pinehurst Activities & Recreation Archive

Solomon Trophy competition underway at Pinehurst

The croquet equivalent of the Ryder Cup is taking place at Pinehurst this weekend.

The Solomon Trophy, which pits the United States against Great Britain, is being held at the main clubhouse through Monday.

Six of the best players from each country take part in the competition, which includes 12 doubles and nine singles matches. The winner of each match is awarded one point. The first to reach 11 becomes the champion.

Four of the players representing the U.S. live right here in North Carolina.

“You’d never know it, but North Carolina is a hotbed for croquet, which is kind of an oxymoron,” said Tournament Director Mike Taylor, a member of the Pinehurst Croquet Club.

This year marks the 22rd time the match has been played since its inception in 1985 and the first time it’s been hosted at Pinehurst. The United States has won just twice.

“The British team has dominated to say the least,” Taylor said.

It’s not hard to see why the Brits are so good at croquet. The sport was born on the British Isles during the mid-19th century. The United States Croquet Association wasn’t formed until 1977 even though the sport has long been a popular American pastime.

“Here in the United States pretty much every country club is built around golf,” Taylor said. “They have a few of those in Britain, but most of the country clubs there are built around croquet, so people start playing at a young age.”

David Maugham, a member of the British team, picked up the sport when he was a preteen.

“Historically, (the Solomon Trophy) was a way to developing the game in America,” he said. “There wasn’t a huge pool of players at first, so we dominated for the first 20 years because of that disparity.”

But as the game has gained popularity in America, its teams have continued to get better.

“Croquet still isn’t a huge sport in this country, but it’s a lot bigger than people realize,” said Taylor, who has been playing for seven years. “It’s a really great game.”

Maugham, a 30 year veteran of the sport, is drawn to the mental aspect of croquet.

“I quite like the fact that the game is more about playing yourself than it is about playing the opponent,” he said. “It has a healthy tactical element in that you have to think about where you want to balls to go so it’s most advantageous to you and least advantageous to your opponent.”

Pete Trimmer, another British player, enjoys the complexity of the game.

“It’s got a really good balance between physical, tactical and psychological skills,” he said. “There’s arguably no better mix of those three in any other game.”

Croquet is offered to all Pinehurst members. The club plays at 9 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They teach clinics to those interested in joining Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Meet the Solomon Trophy Players.

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1919 Pierce-Arrow named Best in Show during 2015 Pinehurst Concours

Robert Jepson Jr. of Savannah, Georgia took home the top prize at the 3rd annual Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance with his 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer.

The vehicle was customized by Don Lee Coach & Bodyworks in Los Angeles for the famous silent movie actor Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

It has the largest engine made for automobiles at that time, sporting 6 cylinders and 825 cubic inch displacement. Its tires, including side mounts, are all white and measure 6 x 36. The car stands 7 feet tall at its highest point.

The car receives a total “nuts and bolts” restoration in 2007 by Lon Kruger of Scottsdale, Arizona.

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4 reasons we’re looking forward to the Pinehurst Concours

MAY: The 2014 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance.

1. More than 250 cars and motorcycles from 18 different states will be on display, so there’s no doubt something for everyone.

Classes include Pre-War American (until 1942); Post-War American (until 1974); Pre-War European (until 1942); Post-War European (until 1974); Post-War European (until 1974); Post-War Mercedes-Benz (until 1974); Ferrari (until 1975); Porsche Air Cooled (until 1988); Corvette (until 1972); Orphan Cars (Gone But Not Forgotten); Micro Cars; American Performance (until 1974) and Motorcycles (Preservation until 1975).

“The selection committee has scoured the East Coast and secured some of the most amazing vehicles for show attendees to view and enjoy,” said Pinehurst Concours chief judge Nigel Matthews. “They will have the opportunity to see vehicles that they have never seen before — and probably will never see again.”


2. Actor Dennis Haysbert will serve as the event’s grand marshal.

Haysbert starred as politician David Palmer in the hit television series “24” and appeared as baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the popular “Major League” film trilogy.

The actor will drive with a solider in the Iron Mike Rally to Fort Bragg on Friday. While on base, he will meet and greet troops attending the event, then visit with members of the Fort Bragg Special Forces unit.

ThreeDogNight promo

3. Have you ever seen a rock band performing on the fairways of a golf course? Neither have we, but Three Dog Night will do it Saturday starting at 5 p.m.

Click here for more details.


Pinecrest High School graduate Cody Lunday, who participated in the 2014 Pinehurst Concours as a student judge, was awarded the first Pinehurst Concours Scholarship. He will attend Sandhills Community College and major in Automotive Technologies. Photo from

4. The Pinehurst Concours Foundation supports local charities.  

With its strong military ties, the organization will assist the USO of North Carolina with donations from the 2015 Pinehurst Concours.

The USO of North Carolina was founded in 1941, it is the lead organization charged with supporting military servicemen and women in the state of North Carolina. With five centers statewide, USO of North Carolina served almost 575,000 troops in 2014.

The Pinehurst Concours also has a local scholarship program for high school students who participate in the event’s unique digital judging system.

“One of our goals of the Pinehurst Concours from the start was to involve the local community in as many programs as possible,” said Executive Director Jay Howard. “Our Iron Mike Rally salutes the military at Fort Bragg, and the establishment of a scholarship program ties in an educational component we believe is very important.”

If you go

When: Saturday, May 2
Where: Pinehurst Resort, click here to view maps.
Tickets: Advance tickets can be purchased online for $40 each by clicking here. The day’s ticket, which also can be purchased at the gate, includes entry into the Pinehurst Concours and the Three Dog Night concert. Active troops can still purchase a $25 ticket to the event at the gate with a valid military ID.
FYI: View a list of frequently asked questions here.


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Pinehurst hosts Southeast lawn bowls tournament

There’s a heated competition underway at Pinehurst, but it’s not taking place on a golf course.

The Southeast Division of the U.S. Lawn Bowls Association is hosting their playdowns at the main clubhouse through the weekend.

Playdowns is lawn bowl lingo for playoffs. The winners of the competition will go on to compete in the U.S. Championships later this year.

“That’s as good as it gets in this sport,” said George Tucker, a member of the Pinehurst Lawn Bowls Club. “It’s like the World Series in baseball.”

About a dozen teams are facing off in the pairs competitions, which is expected to wrap up Friday. Singles play will get underway Saturday with 22 individuals facing off.

George has been participating in lawn bowls since he first picked up the sport in 1998.

“It’s just a fun game,” he said.

George’s wife, Jackie, started playing in 2003, but it didn’t take long to catch up with her husband. Last year, she took home first place in the pairs competition at the U.S. Championships.

Now, Jackie stays busy coaching the Team USA.

“This is a game you can play for the rest of your life,” she said. “It’s good exercise, you’re outside and it is always challenging.”

The strategy needed to win a game keeps the mind sharp, Jackie said.

“You’re got to be one thought or two thoughts ahead of your opponent, which is why I tell people it’s like playing chess on grass,” she said.

Jackie compares the physical aspect of the sport to curling, but George likens it to shuffleboard.

Pinehurst members interested in lawn bowling can contact Jackie at 910-215-5538 or Dan Delgarn at 910-215-0811 to set up a free lesson and learn more.

Groups interested in lawn bowling during their visit at Pinehurst can call Recreation Manager Mallory Caddell at 910-235-8783to make arrangements for a lesson.



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Inside the Pinehurst greenhouse

By Sarah Campbell
Pinehurst Resort

It looks like spring inside the Pinehurst greenhouse well before the season arrives.

The first batch of bulbs are delivered at the start of February. By the end of March, the 17,000-square-foot facility is filled with flowers as far as the eye can see.

About 250,000 annuals are grown inside the massive structure each year. Half of those are planted during the spring.

“We grow all the annuals for the grounds, including the clubhouses at No. 6, 7, 8 and 9,” Grounds Assistant Superintendent Chris Jones said.

Up to 10 different plants, including dwarf zinnias, begonias, marigolds and black-eyed Susans, are grown for the spring season.

“We rotate plants from year to year and grow different colors of the same plants to mix it up,” Jones said.

Fall is slightly less hectic, although the same number of flowers are planted.

“It’s mostly pansies,” Jones said. “Our spring is a little busier because we do some propagation ourselves.”

The plants spend about 6 to 8 weeks inside the greenhouse before being put out on property.

Jones and a team of three full-time staffers handle the greenhouse operation.

“We do all the watering and all the fertilizing by hand,” he said. “There’s also a lot of spacing that’s done because some plants require extra space to grow to the correct size.”

When it’s time to plant the bulbs, the greenhouse team typically receives a helping hand from the grounds crew.

“About 15,000 bulbs may be delivered in a day, so we come and help put the plugs into pots,” Grounds Superintendent Chris Burrows said.

Greenhouse 12

Betty works on the potted plants to go outside the Tennis Club.

The greenhouse staff also stays busy tending to the plants that go inside the 150 clay pots throughout the property. You’ve probably seen them around the pool and at the entrances to the spa, tennis club and clubhouses.

“We try to get all those out by Mother’s Day,” Jones said.

Betty is in charge of putting together all the potted plants, a duty she takes pride in. It’s tricky business since some of the pots are positioned in shady areas, but it’s a labor of love.

“I really enjoy it,” she said. “It’s gratifying to see how they turn out.”

When Betty is done with the potting, she spends the bulk of her time out on property tending to the interior plants.

“I do all the shining and watering to make sure they look nice for guests,” she said.

One whole section of the greenhouse is used to care for interior plants like the ficus trees used to spruce up event space.

Burrows said it’s convenient to have the greenhouse on site to cater to each group’s specific needs.

“Not every place has something like this in their backyard,” he said.

Greenhouse 6

Pinehurst’s first greenhouse was constructed with plywood back. Today’s greehouse is made of polycarbonate plastic.

Pinehurst has had a greenhouse since Burrows began work here in 1996.

“I think they built the first one around 1993 or 1994,” he said. “It was really primitive with plywood that made up the sides of it.”

Today’s greenhouse is built with polycarbonate plastic that provides good light transmission. It is equipped with a fan system to circulate air throughout the structure.

Burrows said technology has grown “leaps and bounds” throughout the past 20 years.

“All the controls are electronic now,” he said. “We used to have an old school dial.”

Those controls help regulate the temperature within the greenhouse. It hovers around 72 degrees during growing seasons.

Jones has had to get inventive to help plants that require a lot of sunlight grow during the winter. He added a large tube that pumps heat into a small plastic-covered area that houses the plants.

“It inflates and looks like a giant plastic burrito, but it works,” he said.

Sarah Campbell is the Resort’s content & social media specialist. 




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