Pinehurst Heritage Archive

One Moment – For All Time

And now, at 100 days or less, the race is on to the start of the 2014 U.S. Open – and even more history at Pinehurst.

But as we look ahead, we know that a visit to Pinehurst is never complete until you pause and take a moment to look back. We see you taking your photos or silently reflecting every day, and we think we know why.

The iconic Payne Stewart statue – When a statue is so much more than just a statue.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We had to make one more update to this post. We didn’t get this photo quite in time for it to make the video, but it absolutely needed a home. This is the best Pinehurst-related photo we’ve seen in a long, long time. Great thanks to Lindsay Wilder Riney.


And a special thanks to our followers on Facebook, who jumped at the chance to contribute to this video:

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Pinehurst Stories: Golf as Life, By Donald Ross

Donald Ross believed golf was a beautiful metaphor for life. The great Bill Campbell explains.

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Video: Pinehurst Stories – Fletcher Gaines: Great Caddie, Better Player

Before he became the best golfer in the world and won back-to-back U.S. Opens, Curtis Strange was an NCAA star at Wake Forest. While there, he won back-to-back North and South Amateur Championships at Pinehurst No. 2 – with the legendary Fletcher Gaines on his bag.

Gaines, as you see in the video above, had a storied history at Pinehurst, and is a charter member of the Pinehurst Caddie Hall of Fame. Known for his quick wit and encyclopedic knowledge of the greens at Pinehurst, not only did Gaines dispense advice for such giants as Julius Boros and Tommy Armour, he was also a considerable player in his own right. Having won Pinehurst’s annual caddie tournament more than anyone else, the tournament now bears his name. Once, in the 1960s, Gaines played four straight rounds from the back tees of No. 2 and shot 71-71-72-71-285 – 3 under par.

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VIDEO: USGA awards highest honor to Payne Stewart

On Friday, Feb. 7, in the shadow of the Payne Stewart memorial statue behind the 18th green of famed Pinehurst No. 2, the USGA announced the late Payne Stewart as the recipient of the 2014 Bob Jones Award, the organization’s highest honor.

Stewart memorably won the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst with a dramatic 15-foot par putt to clip a young Phil Mickelson by a single shot. Tragically, Stewart died in a plane crash just four months later.

Immediately as incoming USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. began to make the announcement, the nearby Village Chapel chimes began to ring, eerily similar to the moment they chimed as Stewart sized up his 77-yard pitch to the 18th green to set up the historic finish.

“Payne’s legacy continues to shine as an inspiration to players of all ages.” USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr.

“Payne’s legacy continues to shine as an inspiration to players of all ages,” said O’Toole Jr.. “His spirit and gracious attitude left an indelible mark on everyone who surrounded him. His presence can still be felt by players who were fortunate enough to play with him and by the junior golfers that his Payne Stewart Foundation continues to support.”

“Payne’s larger-than-life personality made him one of the most likable players by peers and fans alike,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “Payne’s strength of character showed through clearly in victory and defeat, which he personally experienced in the U.S. Open. It is only fitting that we will make the presentation of this award to a two-time champion at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June for players and fans to enjoy.”

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The Babe’s “Slam Bang” thunders through Pinehurst

Babe Didrikson Zaharias Pinehurst

Legend Babe Didrikson Zaharias tees off at Pinehurst during the North & South Women’s Amateur.


Golf history is full of memorable win streaks—Bobby Jones and the original “Grand Slam” in 1930, Byron Nelson and his 11 straight PGA Tour wins in 1945, and of course the “Tiger Slam” that Tiger Woods accomplished over the 2000-01 major championship seasons.

Not as well known, however, is the “Slam Bang.”

“She could sense that I was on edge, and she told me to relax. ‘I can beat any two of them without you,’ she said. ‘I’ll let you know if I need you.’” – Peggy Kirk Bell

That streak belongs to Babe Didrikson Zaharias, which she compiled in 1946-47 by winning 17 – 17! – consecutive golf competitions from Texas to Pinehurst, from Miami to the nation’s capital.

In fact, perhaps no source other than The Pinehurst Outlook referred to Zaharias’ unprecedented run of domination in such cutesy fashion. Run a Google search on the phrase in that context and you’ll come up dry.

But there it is in one of the Outlook’s weekly editions in early April 1947 as it chronicles the Babe “winning everything in sight on the winter and spring tour” and being “under unusual strain as she wanted to complete the most remarkable sequence of victories ever accomplished in women’s golf.”

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