Pinehurst Heritage Archive

Throwback Thursday: Celebrating Annie Oakley’s time in Pinehurst

Annie Oakley brought sharpshooting to Pinehurst in 1916. (Photo courtesy of Tufts Archives)

“On Friday the 19th Annie Oakley, the world-famous shot, will give one of her old-time exhibitions of trick shooting at the Gun Club. If you have the nerve to stand up to it, she might shoot an apple off the top of your head or shoot the ashes off the tip of your cigarette or shoot a nickel out of your fingers; and for her it is child’s play to smash five flying targets before they can touch the ground.”

These words appeared in the March 17, 1920 issue of the Pinehurst Outlook.

Annie Oakley had already made a name for herself as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show when she arrived in Pinehurst in 1916.

Annie Oakley shows how it's done. Photo courtesy of Tufts Archives

Annie Oakley shows how it’s done. (Photo courtesy of Tufts Archives)

After she and husband Frank Butler joined the staff of the Carolina Hotel, she taught shooting lessons and hosted exhibitions. Butler managed the Pinehurst Gun Club.

A trailblazer, Oakley didn’t just teach men how to shoot, she encouraged women to take up the hobby.

“The four thousand or more ladies that have taken lessons in the art of shooting under the guidance of Annie Oakley will be glad to know that she is returning to Pinehurst this season,” wrote the Pinehurst Outlook on Dec. 8, 1917. “As usual, she will give instruction with rifle and pistol at the gun club every afternoon without any charge, and occasional exhibitions of the fancy gun work for which she is famous.”

Oakley is estimated to have helped thousands to nail the bric-a-brac pigeons flying around the gun club every winter through 1922. Her bird dog, Dave, was popular for his act of sniffing out money from exhibition spectators that would later be donated to the Red Cross.

In describing Pinehurst, Butler once wrote, “Haven’t seen any place we like better….”

Local residents will celebrate Oakley’s time in Pinehurst this weekend during the 5th annual Annie Oakley’s Boom Days Festival. The event will be held at the Pinehurst Fair Barn from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

It will include shooting demonstrations, a falconer exhibition and more. For more information, click here. Learn more about Oakley’s time in Pinehurst in this month’s issue of Pinehurst Magazine.


Pinehurst Outlook – Dec. 8, 1917 (Click to enlarge)


Pinehurst Outlook – March 17, 1920 (Click to enlarge)


Leave a comment

Remembering Jesse Jones



We’ll miss you, Jesse.


Jesse Jones was not a caddie with flair, nor did he seek the limelight. He just wanted his players to have the best round they possibly could on a  given day.

By Jeff Crabbe

Pinehurst Resort lost a legend, members and guests lost a great caddie and lots of us lost a friend last week.

Jesse Jones is in the very top level of caddies in Pinehurst history. I bet we walked Pinehurst No. 2 20-30 times over my years at Pinehurst, and he made every single step enjoyable.

Jesse was on my very short list of caddies I would recommend to VIP Resort guests as well as guests of mine who would stay at the hotel. He was not into telling stories or giving swing tips or any of that stuff. Instead, he knew No. 2 like the back of his hand and he wanted to give his player that same knowledge. I used to laugh with him when I would see him with the rangefinder that caddies are required to use. Jesse never needed it. He was a walking range finder. Jesse could read No. 2’s greens from the fairway, and as a player, if you wanted your best score possible that day, you better not question his read. Jesse was right. Always.

He was a walking range finder. Jesse could read No. 2’s greens from the fairway, and as a player, if you wanted your best score possible that day, you better not question his read. Jesse was right. Always.

When I would be setting up in the staging area for tournaments on No. 2, he would always greet me with, “What’s happening, Pro?” I can still hear him saying it. I always made it a point to talk to his players in the staging area to let them know what a special day they were going to have with him. I always tell people asking advice on No. 2 to listen to their caddie, but it was even more significant when Jesse was on the bag.

Jesse was a soft-spoken guy. He did a job and he went home. He wasn’t interested in interviews or pictures or things like that; he wanted to caddie and help his players. He enjoyed Jack Daniels, no ice and no mixer – “room temperature,” he told me one time – chased with a Heineken.

When I asked golf pros to caddie for their caddies during the annual Pinehurst caddie tournament, it was for people like Jesse, to give back to him. When I would go to the CaddieMaster Christmas party it was for guys like Jesse to show my appreciation and respect, but most importantly, my friendship.

I will certainly miss him. It makes me sick I didn’t go see him when I was at Pinehurst a few weeks ago.

But Pinehurst No. 2, I think, will miss him even more.

Jeff Crabbe is a former head golf professional at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.

Leave a comment

Pinehurst, and the next decade of championships


With the official announcement that the USGA will conduct its fourth U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2 in June 2024, Pinehurst is set for a run of USGA events over the coming decade that further solidifies its place in championship golf.

In 2017 there is the U.S. Men’s Four-Ball Championship.

In 2019 there is the U.S. Amateur.

And then the Open five years later—yet another chapter that spans a story stretching more than a century, from Walter Hagen winning at Pinehurst in the 1920s to Ben Hogan crashing the victory barrier in 1940 to Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson collecting titles in the 1970s.

“There’s just so much history to this golf course,” Michelle Wie said in June 2014 after winning the U.S. Women’s Open. “And just the fact that I can be part of that history, it’s just so cool. I feel so honored to be part of that history. I think No. 2 is spectacular, and I think winning on the same golf course that Payne Stewart won means so much to me.” … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

When Jack and Arnie roamed Pinehurst No. 2

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus share a laugh in the Donald Ross Grill at Pinehurst Resort before their 1994 match on Pinehurst No. 2.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus share a laugh in the Donald Ross Grill at Pinehurst Resort before their 1994 match on Pinehurst No. 2.

In April of 1994, Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf brought together a match for the ages on Pinehurst No. 2

By Lee Pace

IT WAS SHOW BUSINESS, for sure. Jack Nicklaus vs. Arnold Palmer in a made-for-TV match at Pinehurst, part of the modern reincarnation of the Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf series. Nicklaus owned the TV production company. Flags on each green had the yellow Shell logo in place of a green Pinehurst logo. No one hit a shot until cameras were properly positioned.

But watching Nicklaus and Palmer stride to the 18th green on a brilliant April afternoon in 1994, Palmer tipping his visor and Nicklaus patting his old rival on the back, was as real as the historical moments come on Pinehurst No. 2.

Arnie … Jack … Pinehurst … what scriptwriter came up with this? Some 4,000 in the gallery appreciated the significance of the moment. They clustered around the final green five and six deep, offering a hearty and rousing ovation to these heroes in the twilight of their careers.

Nicklaus won the match with a 67, rolling in a 70-foot putt from off the 18th green for a final birdie. Palmer shot 74.

“Jack and I haven’t always agreed on everything, but I think we’ve found one common ground here,” Palmer said after a practice round the day before the match. “I agree with him that No. 2 has been one of the greatest golf courses I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. And I go back to when he was wearing three-quarters pants when I first came here. That would have been 1947.” … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst in 2024

Pinehurst No. 2 will be home to the U.S. Open for the fourth time in 25 years when the national championship returns to Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in 2024, the United States Golf Association announced on Wednesday.

“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places for golf in this country,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA president. “Some say it’s our St. Andrews – it’s certainly something special, and that’s why we’re going back there for the 2024 U.S. Open.”

“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places for golf in this country,” – USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr.

The U.S. Open’s return in 2024 will mark the first time in over a century the USGA has awarded four Opens to a single site in a span of 25 years. It will also mark the 25thanniversary of the moment Payne Stewart won the 1999 U.S. Open with a dramatic par putt to win by a stroke over Phil Mickelson.

Prior to the 2024 U.S. Open, Pinehurst will host the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship. Pinehurst hosted the historic back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in June 2014, won by Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie.

Read more. 



Leave a comment