Wednesday, March 22, proved to be a momentous day in the evolving history of Pinehurst Resort. While we’ve known since November about the new Gil Hanse-designed Short Course at Pinehurst, the reality of Pinehurst’s newest addition became a little more tangible when stakes were placed showing the routing of the course on the 10 acres that were once home to the first holes of Pinehurst Nos. 3 and 5.
Pinehurst Golf News Archive
Arnold Palmer always had fond memories of his youthful days playing golf amid the pines and sandy loam of Pinehurst.
Palmer’s father, Deacon, visited Pinehurst regularly in the 1930s and 1940s with a group of golf buddies from their home in Latrobe, Pa., and their hotel of choice was the Manor Inn. Arnold came on occasion and then attended Wake Forest College in the late 1940s when it was located in the town of Wake Forest, just north of Raleigh. Palmer and teammates such as Buddy Worsham, Frank Edens, Jennings Agner and Dick Tiddy would pile into a Desoto station wagon for the 90-mile drive to Pinehurst.
Perhaps no player has had a greater impact on golf than Arnold Palmer. But his lone win at Pinehurst is a difficult one to find. It’s not the North & South Amateur, which he laments, and where he lost twice in the semifinals. Palmer turned professional in 1954, so he missed the North & South Open, and he was past his prime for the PGA Tour events at Pinehurst in the 1970s and the U.S. Senior Open in 1994.
But there is a win at Pinehurst in the Palmer ledger, and he recalled it fondly. Perhaps he thought so much of it because it was a crushing near-miss for the Tar Heels and their star, Harvie Ward.
“It was a great shot that scared me to death, let’s just say that.” -Arnold Palmer
In 1948, Palmer was a freshman sensation at Wake Forest, competing in the Southern Conference, a precursor to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Near the close of the second round on Pinehurst No. 2, Palmer found himself ahead of his friend and rival Ward. But Ward still had the famed 18th to play, and was comfortably in the fairway.
Palmer should’ve been confident. Ward would need to hole his approach shot just to tie.
But with the ball in the air, Palmer’s heart sank.
“Harvie needed to hole his second shot to tie me,” Palmer told us in 2014 before the U.S. Open. “He left it about 3 inches from the hole. I didn’t think it had a chance, but he damn near made it.”
Palmer won the conference championship by a stroke. It’s his only documented Pinehurst win.
“It would’ve dismayed me quite a bit,” Palmer said of Ward’s shot. “It was a great shot that scared me to death, let’s just say that.”
Neither Wake Forest nor North Carolina won the Southern Conference team championship, though.
Lee Pace contributed to this story.
It’s that time of year again, and while last year we had a tournament to determine your favorite golf course at Pinehurst, this year we’re pitting some of the biggest moments in Pinehurst history against each other in a tournament bracket.
All of the information is available in the below bracket (apologies for the Google-placed ads throughout – those are out of our hands). Each matchup has some detail to go with it as well as some video background to help you make your picks.
Go ahead and go through the entire bracket and feel free to share both your choice and the bracket itself with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, at the close of the NCAA Championship, we’ll reveal which moment received the most wins and the most votes. Will it be Payne? Will it be Ross? Will it be the No. 2 restoration or Ben Hogan winning for the first time?
— Mastercard (@Mastercard) March 13, 2017
And to think, this is how the week is starting. Imagine the tributes by the end of Sunday at Bay Hill.
Pinehurst Resort and Country Club revealed Friday the routing and design of its new short course, which will break ground in early May and is scheduled to open this fall.
Built by Hanse Golf Design, the short course will have nine holes ranging in distances from 65 to 117 yards and feature many of the elements players face on the restored Pinehurst No. 2, integrating the native sandscape and wiregrass commonly found at Pinehurst during Donald Ross’s era.
“Pinehurst’s short course is designed to be enjoyed by all golfers, including regular players, beginners, friends on a buddy trip and families out to enjoy the game in a relaxed setting,” Hanse says. “The course will be a fun alternative or addition to a round while at the same time honoring the heritage and traditions of golf at Pinehurst.”
The short course will be built on 10 acres of property formerly occupied by the first holes of Pinehurst Nos. 3 and 5, and play will be easily viewed from the historic South Veranda of the Pinehurst Resort Clubhouse. Both of the greens from the original holes will remain in the short course routing.
The course’s other greens will blend into the landscape with tightly mown runoffs in the surrounds. Some of the greens will feature subtle contours while others will have a plateau style. The bunkers will have the rough-hewn nature of the original Ross bunkers and will also blend seamlessly with the exposed sand surrounds.
“Pinehurst’s short course is designed to be enjoyed by all golfers, including regular players, beginners, friends on a buddy trip and families out to enjoy the game in a relaxed setting. The course will be a fun alternative or addition to a round while at the same time honoring the heritage and traditions of golf at Pinehurst.” -Gil Hanse
Plans to move and expand the Thistle Dhu putting course near the clubhouse veranda continue to be developed.
“We believe the beauty of the short course and Thistle Dhu will provide a magnificent front yard for Pinehurst,” Hanse says.
The short course is part of a larger plan that was announced by Pinehurst in November to further restore the original character and spirit to the Pinehurst golf experience. The centerpiece of the plan will be Hanse’s complete redesign of No. 4, which will include exposed sand and native wiregrass, wider fairways and natural topography. The No. 4 redesign is scheduled to begin this fall with the course reopening in fall 2018.
“While Pinehurst is the country’s most historic golf resort, we’re constantly evolving,” says Pinehurst Owner and CEO Bob Dedman. “The opening of the short course, along with the No. 4 redesign and last summer’s opening of the Deuce bring a new level of energy and excitement to the Pinehurst experience.”
Hanse is an ideal choice for the projects. His portfolio of original designs includes The Olympic Golf Course in Brazil, and his restoration projects include The Country Club, LA Country Club, Myopia Hunt Club, Merion Golf Club and Oakland Hills Country Club, among others.