Golf has long been the pastime of presidents.
LINKS Magazine reports 15 of the last 18 U.S. Presidents have played golf.
President Barack Obama has played more than 200 rounds of golf since he took office in 2009.
While that may sound like a lot, Obama will never catch up to Woodrow Wilson, who reportedly played 1,200 rounds during his presidency.
Obama visited Pinehurst while on the campaign trail in 2008, but he didn’t get a chance to play.
Mr. President, don’t you think it’s time to come back and play Pinehurst No. 2? We’ll set you up with caddie Willie McRae.
He’s carried bags for four presidents: Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
McRae told the Associated Press that Nixon is the best player of the group, but he enjoyed them all.
“I mean, you’re caddying for somebody who is the head of the United States,” McRae told the AP. “There ain’t but one man ahead of him, and that’s God.”
Here’s a look back at some of Pinehurst’s presidential visits.
President Theodore Roosevelt visited Pinehurst twice: after leaving office in 1909 and before running again in 1912, according to Audrey Moriarty’s book “Pinehurst: Golf, History and the Good Life.”
Not long ago, we tweeted a 3-second Vine of Payne Stewart’s tee shot on the 17th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 during the fateful final round of the 1999 U.S. Open. The response was immediate. The swing looks effortless. It’s classic. It’s so far removed from pretty much every swing you see on any PGA Tour broadcast today.
It was marriage 40 years in the making.
And it happened right outside the Carolina Hotel on a clear December day. It was 12/13/14 to be exact, an unseasonably warm day at 62 degrees.
For Paul Sebo, it was like a dream seeing Lynda Hall walk down the aisle.
Draped in a sequined gown, the sun hit the bride just right.
“For a brief moment, it looked like she had an aura around her,” Paul said. “The Lord gave us such a gorgeous day.”
The pair exchanged vows in the gazebo on the West Lawn, a spot that brought them together in 1974.
It was Paul who had the idea to build a gazebo. As the manager of several musicians set to perform during the hotel’s Fourth of July celebration, he wanted his singers to have a stage and there simply wasn’t enough room for the crowds inside.
“We said ‘We’ll do it in Pinehurst because that’s where our story began, it began at this hotel, at that gazebo.'”
Lynda, who went by Linda in those days, was the first performer to belt out a song from the gazebo
A few years after that performance, Lynda and Paul parted ways. They saw each other once in 37 years.
The couple reconnected in 2012 after linking up on Facebook.
“We talked for 40 hours that first week, catching up on everything,” Lynda said.
It didn’t take long for Paul, 73, and Lynda, 67, to realize they never wanted to be apart again. As planning for the wedding got underway, they needed to decide on a venue.
The couple had a few options in mind. Paul, who teaches political science at Coastal Carolina University, lives at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Lynda’s family resides in Kernersville, North Carolina.
“We said ‘We’ll do it in Pinehurst because that’s where our story began, it began at this hotel, at that gazebo,’” Paul said. “For us, it was a no-brainer.”
Read more of Paul and Lynda’s story in The Pilot.
Legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith took his competitive fire to the golf course as well, molding Roy Williams into the man on – and off the course – he is today.
At a news conference on Sunday, Williams spoke about Coach Smith’s approach to golf, which included strict guidelines for gimmes and mulligans. Coach Smith’s style of golf lives on in Williams’ rounds on the links today, as do the memories.
So, who did Coach Smith REALLY get fired up to beat on the golf course? Well, you have to watch the video to find out, but they were matches that stoked his fire every bit as the biggest ones for the Heels on the hardwood.
Lastly, we cannot forget one of Coach Smith’s favorite golf moments, which happened right on Pinehurst No. 2: … Continue Reading