Pinehurst Heritage Archive

Remembering Jesse Jones

 

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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.

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Pinehurst, and the next decade of championships

BY LEE PACE

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

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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

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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.

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Pinehurst’s New Golden Age: No. 2 and the Championships

We’re fortunate to have much of our faithful audience outside of North Carolina, which means even if you wanted to enjoy our new documentary on UNC-TV last night, you might not have had it available in your market. While the DVD is available online for just $14.95 and certainly offers a better, more satisfying viewing experience than what you’re about to get here, we still wanted to whet your appetite a bit with several clips from the hour-long program.

Please enjoy Pinehurst’s New Golden Age: No. 2 and the Championships:

Introduction

 

Jack Nicklaus and the North & South Amateur

 

The 1999 U.S. Open

… Continue Reading

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