Pinehurst News

Sir Nick Faldo Visits Pinehurst [Video]

Sir Nick Faldo, a six-time major championship winner, recently visited Pinehurst as part of a BMW function, running about 15-to-20 minutes extra on what was supposed to be a 1-hour golf clinic. He also took the time to chat with Pinehurst Resort (despite blistering wind as Hurricane Sandy was near the Carolina coast) about the perils of playing Pinehurst No. 2, the fear involved in chipping here, and also gave his opinion on the controversy surrounding banning anchored putters and talked his new book, an updated version of A Swing for Life, which will hit stores on Nov. 6.

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Honoring Payne again, a day later

Pinehurst Putter Boy in fog.

A day ago, many of those connected to Pinehurst remembered Payne Stewart, winner of the 99th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, on the 13th anniversary of his tragic death. It was a beautiful Carolina Autumn day, with temperatures rising near 80 as the bright blue sky above housed a generous sun and a light breeze. Tables on the Resort Club’s veranda were full at lunchtime.

First Tee, Pinehurst No. 2

First Tee, Pinehurst No. 2

The next morning, though, a billowing fog draped Pinehurst’s hallowed grounds, as if to doff the cap again to Stewart in memoriam. It was only three days after Stewart’s passing on Oct. 28, 1999, that the PGA Tour and several Tour players gathered before the 1999 Tour Championship at Champions Golf Course in Houston as a heavy fog surrounded them and bagpiper Steve Agan for a memorial service to honor Stewart’s life.

Tony Bullard/AFP/Getty Images
Walking through the early morning fog on the first tee Oct. 28, 1999, bagpiper Steve Agan begins the memorial service for Payne Stewart before the PGA Tour Championship at Champions Golf Course in Houston.

Today, to see the fog lightly brush the pinetops and sprinkle the rolling sandhills with dew could only tug on Stewart’s memory in Pinehurst a little harder.

Yes, we miss you, Payne. We always will.

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Don Potter’s Magical 18th on Pinehurst No. 2

Don Potter stands with the flag from the 18th green on Pinehurst No. 2 after making eagle.

Don Potter stood in the middle of Pinehurst No. 2’s 18th fairway, 155 yards from the green. In the distance, he could see the iconic Payne Stewart statue. No one has played the 18th better in a bigger spot than Payne Stewart.

But Don Potter tried.

A heady wind facing him, Potter made his wisest decision of the day. “I listened to my caddie,” he said.

Just 155 away, Potter’s caddie told him to play it 170. Potter took the advice, pulled a 5 iron and set up for a punch shot as his approach.

Potter rifled the shot on a line Payne has seen few times in his time adjacent to the finishing green of one of the world’s most demanding courses. Potter knew it looked good.

Then he heard the roars.

Potter came to Pinehurst with his group S.T.A.G. – The Royal Society of Soon-to-Be-Ancient Golfers. Most of his group had finished its round, and awaiting the final pairings to come up the 18th, the group was watching the action from the Resort Club’s back veranda. They are the ones who saw Potter’s ball roll straight into the cup for an eagle 2.

“I only heard it,” said Potter, who hails from Chicago. “It was downright fantastic.”

Potter was given the flag from the pin as a keepsake for his eagle. It was a great cap to a trip in which S.T.A.G. donated $7,000 to the Carolinas Golf Association to promote junior golf.

Oh, and one more thing: On the tee, Potter needed eagle to break 80.

He got it.

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Thistle Dhu – In Time [Video]

Pinehurst Resort’s newest attraction, Thistle Dhu, continues to draw rave reviews from guests and members alike. At just about any time of day, one can find players enjoying themselves on a course like few have seen anywhere.

Now we offer you a look at the maturation of the course, which is playing firm and fast just a few months after ground was broken and the design of Coore and Crenshaw’s Toby Cobb and Dave Axland came brilliantly to life.

Kudos to the incredible staff at Pinehurst. It truly is amazing how quickly Thistle Dhu came together.


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Putter Boys Swingin’ it at Pinehurst [Video]

Pinehurst’s Maniac Hill practice range was full of golfers on Monday, enjoying their warmup in cool seasonal temperatures before they embarked on a memorable round at one of Pinehurst’s famed courses.

But in the middle of the range stood a man possessing dark sunglasses, striking white hair and a soft, soothing voice. In front of Joe McAuley were two of his grandsons, McAuley, 6, and Porter, 4.

And the three of of them were having the time of their lives.

Especially Grandpa, who gave perhaps the best piece of advice for everyone who introduces the game to kids. Check out the video’s final frame for that sage wisdom. We could all learn a thing or two from Joe and his grandsons.

Pinehurst member Joe McAuley stands with his grandsons Porter 4, (left) and McAuley, 6, (right) on the practice range at Pinehurst Resort.

Pinehurst member Joe McAuley stands with his grandsons Porter 4, (left) and McAuley, 6, (right) on the practice range at Pinehurst Resort.

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