Pinehurst Golf News Archive

We’ll miss Jim Connors

If you live near us in Pinehurst, or even if you’ve visited us at some point and stayed with us at one of our hotels, there’s a good chance you’ve heard or seen Jim Connors of TWC News 14 give you that day’s sports report.

It was with great sadness to learn this week of Jim’s passing at the tender age of just 51. He leaves behind his wife and two teenage children, and our sincerest condolences go out to the Connors family. Jim was always a tremendous pleasure to work with when he visited Pinehurst. A true joy. (Please take 5 minutes to watch Mike Solarte’s wonderful tribute to Jim here.)

We’re reminded of a wonderful little memory of Jim that involves golfer Morgan Pressel. A few weeks ahead of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, Pressel, a former Pinehurst champion herself, was a guest of the USGA to speak with local media to preview the Women’s Open. Pressel did a modified news conference adjacent to the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2 with the assembled media, and then made herself available for one-on-ones.

Jim had one of those scheduled, and moved to a bench nearby under the tall pine trees for a perfect setting. Jim, always gracious, introduced himself, saying, “Jim Connors – you can call me Jimmy, like the tennis player.”

Morgan Pressel shot him a look, and with a straight deadpan tone, fired back, “You don’t want to me to call you that. Jimmy Connors is an a——.”

Pressel let the moment hang there for only about 2 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Jim’s face was frozen for a bit, but then Pressel broke into a large smile and let Jim off the hook. “I’m just kidding,” she said, patting Jim on the arm. “Aaron Krickstein is my uncle. There’s a bit of a history there.”

Oh yes, a lot of history.

Morgan Pressel

Looking back, though, it was a funny, unscripted moment, one Pressel could’ve never prepared for. But as people around golf know, Pressel’s wit is always firing, and it helps to be on your toes.

It also helps to roll with it, which is exactly what Jim did, and did very well. And for it, Jim had as much time with Pressel as he wanted. After taking a good-natured shot like that, Jim never flinched when the camera’s light came on, and he and Pressel had perhaps the most engaging interview of the afternoon.

Simply, Jim Connors was a pro. A true pro.

And we’ll miss him.

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Andrew Smith, after inspirational win at Pinehurst, featured on Golf Channel

Sgt. Andrew Smith was featured on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive over the weekend after winning his Wounded Warrior flight at the inaugural VGA Championship at Pinehurst No. 2.

We’re proud to add Andrew’s name to Pinehurst’s distinguished list of champions. At Pinehurst, we’re accustomed to walking in the footsteps of champions. But with men and women like Andrew, we got the chance to walk in the footsteps of heroes.

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Mitchum rallies to defeat Padgett, winning 15th Palumbo Cup

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Kelly Mitchum tees off the 8th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 during his match against Don Padgett II in the 2015 Palumbo Cup Championship. (Photo by Sarah Campbell)

By Alex Podlogar

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Put Don Padgett II and Kelly Mitchum in the same pairing, and one could only imagine the conversation.

What could they have talked about?

Gosh, where to begin?

Padgett could’ve mentioned his eight PGA Championship appearances, when he made the cut four times and finished as the low club pro three times.

Mitchum could’ve countered with his own experiences in golf’s last major championship of the year, in which he has competed four times since 2005.

Or perhaps Padgett could’ve mentioned his All-American career at Indiana, his life on the PGA Tour from 1972-74, or the championship-low 66 he shot while paired with Lee Trevino in the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills.

Mitchum, then, might’ve mentioned his own All-American career at N.C. State, his North & South Amateur Championship in 1993, his Walker Cup appearance or his run to the semifinals in the 1992 U.S. Amateur.

Of course, none of that happened. Both men are much too modest. … Continue Reading

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Veterans Day Flyover of Pinehurst No. 2

Our tremendous thanks to all veterans this Veterans Day, and especially to the Veterans Golfers Association, which was honored on Pinehurst No. 2 with a flyover of the 18th green at 1100 hours sharp.

Here is more information from VGA founder Josh Peyton, who appeared on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive.

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Pinehurst’s Bob Farren talks water conservation on Morning Drive


It’s Water Week on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and Bob Farren, our director of grounds and golf course maintenance,  appeared Tuesday to talk about water conservation at Pinehurst.

“I think it’s certainly a situation for the entire golf industry …,” he told Matt Ginella. “The restoration that we did with (Pinehurst) No. 2 was really about restoring the strategy and the net result of that was a reduced water footprint. Every increase or improvement  we had made over the past 50 years involved adding water, that was a common denominator. When we started to restore it, we took away the water.”

Bob shares his thoughts starting at 2:07, but we recommend watching the entire clip as Jim Moore, director of the USGA’s Green Section; Craig Kessler, director of governmental affairs for the Southern California Golf Association; and Dana Lonn, managing director of Toro’s Center of Technology, also weigh in.

Pinehurst No. 2, which hosted the back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open last year, received Golf Digest’s 2014 Green Star Award for Outstanding Environmental Practices.

No. 2 was honored with the award because it has “implemented water reduction programs in startling and instructive ways.” In 2014, in fact, Pinehurst No. 2 used about 73 percent less water than in 2009 – the last full year prior to the beginning of a major restoration project that eliminated Bermuda rough and reintroduced sand and native wiregrass.

The restoration project sought to return the course to the playing conditions created by Donald Ross in the 1930s, around the time when the course hosted its first major championship and when it began to be regarded as one of the premier layouts in the country. That included restoring a single-line sprinkler system in the fairways and reducing the total number of irrigation heads to 450 from about 1,100.

Click here to learn more.

Check out Morning Drive on Wednesday morning for an in-depth look at the water conservation on Pinehurst No. 2.

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