It’s common knowledge Pinehurst is the home of golf in America, but did you know the nation’s first miniature golf course was built here?
James Barber constructed the course in 1918.
According to the Feb. 2, 1918 edition of the Pinehurst Outlook, the first people to play the course were the ladies of the Advertising Golf League on Jan. 26, 1918.
The article states: “For some time now Mr. Barber has been laying out and perfecting a miniature golf links winding in and out among the shrubbery and paths of his place — a kind of glorified and elongated putting green, with obstacles to be negotiated with a well pitched mashie shot, and bends and curves calling for nice and discriminating slices and pulls.”
The story goes that upon first seeing it, Barber proclaimed, “This’ll Do.” It was translated into Thistle Dhu and the name stuck.
Fox will air an hour-long documentary titled “Nicklaus: The Making of Champion” at noon Sunday prior to the NFC Championship Game.
The film, produced by the USGA and Ross Greenburg Productions, features interviews with golf icons Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. It also includes never-before-seen home movies from the Nicklaus family collection.
Until then, we have a treat for you. A new documentary we’re producing features footage of Jack’s iconic 1959 North & South Amateur win at Pinehurst. You know, the one that launched his championship career.
Jack went on to win his first national championship that year at the. U.S. Amateur. You know the rest.
The BEST part of our video is the footage from son Jackie’s North & South Amateur win in 1985. Jack followed him throughout the tournament, offering advice and support.
It’s a really wonderful look at a special father-son relationship.
A new clip reminds us why we love 2005 U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell
By ALEX PODLOGAR
I stood there, baking in the sun and wondering just how I could possibly forget to put on sunscreen.
There were no trees near the practice range at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. And in the midday sun, with barely a cloud in the sky, not even the range grandstand could offer relief.
Stand, bake, sweat and burn. That’s all I could do.
The player I wanted to talk to was hard at work, certainly sweating more than me. And, even as I stood there with my amateur video camera – the one with the funny little squirrel microphone that Sir Nick Faldo had made fun of – and feeling very much out of place next to the network heavyweights, this guy was struggling more than I was.
On No. 4, Golf Digest writes:“Tom Fazio recently said that he felt his work at Pinehurst No. 4 was perhaps his best remodeling job to date. Confined by the existing corridors of the old layout, Fazio created an unusual complement to neighboring No. 2 Course by adding two new par 3 holes, styling the greens with slopes and run-offs, creating large expanses of native sand waste areas, and peppering the remaining landscape with 180 pot bunkers, most of them in clusters guarding doglegs and pin placements.”
Pinehurst No. 8 14th Hole
And No. 8: “Located not within the Pinehurst Resort complex but about a mile north, Pinehurst No. 8 is one of Tom Fazio’s most versatile designs, as each hole plays differently from the previous. The front nine is mostly tree-lined, the back more open, with both touching on ponds, marsh and Pine Valley-like sandy wastelands. For putting surfaces, Fazio built crowned greens with greenside swales, intended as a salute to Donald Ross and Pinehurst No. 2.”
Famous Pinehurst caddie Willie McRae appears in the January issue of Our State.
Willie McRae isn’t a know-it-all.
But, the longtime caddie pretty much knows it all when it comes to Pinehurst No. 2.
How can it be? Time is the ultimate teacher and McRae has had plenty of time to learn. He’s been working at Pinehurst for more than 70 years.
McRae, a charter member of the Pinehurst Caddie Hall of Fame, has been a caddie since he turned 10 in 1943.
At 81, McRae imagines he’s the “oldest caddie in the world,” yet he shows no signs of slowing down.
Writer Tommy Tomlinson recently visited Pinehurst to glean some words of wisdom from the well-known greens reader. His story appears in the January issue of Our State.
A sage piece of advice from Pinehurst caddie Willie McRae appears on the cover of the January issue of Our State.
Over the years, McRae has caddied for everybody from Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford to U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. He even carried bags for Donald Ross, the famous architect of Pinehurst No. 2, and Richard Tufts, the grandson of Pinehurst founder James Walker Tufts.
“Everybody’s famous. Everybody’s somebody,” McRae told Tomlinson. “I don’t try to classify one person over another.”
A young Willie McRae takes a quick nap.
Willie McRae, far left, watches as Ben Hogan tees off during the 1951 Ryder Cup at Pinehurst.
Eddie Mac and Willie McRae in 2006.
Willie McRae tees off on Pinehurst No. 2 in 2011.
Darick McRae, Willie McRae, Don Padgett and Paul McRae take a quick picture before a round on Pinehurst No. 2 in 2009.
Willie McRae ESPN 2014
Willie McRae chats with ESPN before the 2014 U.S. Open championships get underway.
Here’s a look at some of the wisdom McRae shares in the article. Read the entire piece over at ourstate.com.
“The first thing that you gotta do, you gotta be nice to people. If they say something you don’t like, let it go in this ear and out that ear.”
“Ain’t no use in throwing a club. The club ain’t done nothing to you. You’re the one who hit the ball.”
“I’m not too worried about the swing, as long as they get it back in the right channel. You got a lot of crazy-looking swings, but that ain’t got nothing to do with it, as long as you keep that arm stretched out.”
“I had some ladies on the 1st tee one time. One of them looked at me and said, ‘Willie?’ I said, ‘Ma’am?’ ‘What’s wrong with my game?’ I said, ‘Miss, I’m going to tell you. You’re too close to the ball after you hit it.’”
“As long as you feel good and in your right mind, you might as well go ahead and work. You’ll die when your time comes.”
I had [pro golfers] Justin Rose and [Hunter] Mahan just before the U.S. Open, and I taught them how to read the green. They asked me, “Willie, which way does the grain go?” I said, “The grain goes from east to west. The grass has got to be going toward the sun when it comes up. If it don’t, it’ll burn the root out. And if you notice, when they cut the cup in the morning, the east [edge] is rough. And the rest of the cup around there is sort of smooth. Most of it’s common sense.”
One of them said, “There ain’t no other caddies out here on the [PGA] tour that told me nothing like that.” I said, “Well, they don’t know. They can’t tell you what they don’t know.”
If you can’t be a drawing card — if people don’t want you the next day — you’re in bad shape.
Sometimes when I’m down and out, I like to sing.
Your grace and mercy Brought me through I’m living this moment Because of You
That sounds pretty good, huh?
Want more? Check out this video of McRae and pal Eddie Mac discussing Pinehurst No. 2.