Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Before honorary tee shots, The Masters honors Arnold Palmer

Before The Masters’ ceremonial opening tee shots by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne placed Arnold Palmer’s green jacket on a chair on the first tee. It was a beautiful way to begin the 2017 Masters. Watch the moment here:

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UNC’s Roy Williams on golf, playing with MJ and Dean, and those pesky timeouts

As Roy Williams guides the North Carolina Tar Heels back to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament, we’re reminded of Williams’ past visits to Pinehurst, and the time we were able to catch up with him and chat about all things golf and basketball – including, if you can believe it, his time out philosophy. (Seriously.)

And if you are hoping for a Gonzaga victory tonight, know that you are not the only one with Pinehurst ties who feels that way.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: You also don’t want to miss Williams’ great, GREAT burn of Michael Jordan’s golf game. Scroll to the 5:20 mark.)

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Gil Hanse visits Pinehurst

This week, Gil Hanse made a quick visit to Pinehurst to make further notes on the upcoming redesign of Pinehurst No. 4 as well as the building of the Pinehurst Short Course. The video above is just a quick behind-the-scenes glimpse of Hanse at work, walking the fairways of No. 4.

“When we first were contacted by Pinehurst, it was one of those moments where I put the phone down for a second and thought, ‘Is this really happening?'” – Gil Hanse

We enjoyed a lengthy sit-down interview with Hanse while he was in Pinehurst, and plan to share moments from that video in the near future. Hanse, though, is excited about the upcoming work, which will begin in early May when we break ground on the short course. Last week, the short course was routed with its first stakes in the ground.

“When we first were contacted by Pinehurst, it was one of those moments where I put the phone down for a second and thought, ‘Is this really happening?'” Hanse told us.

It’s happening, all right. And we’re all seeing more and more signs of it.

Exciting times ahead.

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The Pinehurst Short Course’s First Stake

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.

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Arnold Palmer always loved Pinehurst, and his lone win here is a great story

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.

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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.

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Arnold Palmer and Harvie Ward at the 1948 North & South Amateur. (Photo Copyright Tufts Archives)

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.

Who did?

Duke.

Of course.

Lee Pace contributed to this story.

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