Pinehurst News

Thistle Dhu – History rekindled at Pinehurst with naming of new putting course

Thistle Dhu Pinehurst

Thistle Dhu – Pinehurst history lives on.

James Barber, owner of the Barber Steamship Links of New York, built his home, Thistle Dhu, in Pinehurst in 1919. On its grounds, he constructed the first miniature golf course in America. The story goes that upon first seeing the home and course, he pronounced, “This’ll Do.” It was translated into Thistle Dhu and the name stuck.

Nearly a century later, the name returns once more, and it does so at its rightful home of Pinehurst.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/GM35uDhburE]Welcome back to Thistle Dhu.*

* (WATCH THISTLE DHU – THE VIDEO.)

While the restoration of famed Pinehurst No. 2 continues to grab the headlines as the clock counts down to the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2014, everyone who has played at Pinehurst knows the legendary locale’s true identity stems from Donald Ross’ iconic turtleback greens.

At times those greens can be harrowing, but Pinehurst Resort has forged a new way to make them fun while paying homage to yet another note of golf history linked to Pinehurst. Near the first tee to Pinehurst No. 4, visit and play Thustle Dhu, a new putting course like few in the world.

The original Thistle Dhu — America’s first miniature golf course, which was built in Pinehurst in 1919.

Calling to mind the legendary Himalayas Course at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Thistle Dhu features 18 holes of mind-bending journeys designed to entertain everyone in the family, from the golfing beginner to the scratch player and everyone in between.

We think the Putter Boy will approve.

Nearly 100 names were suggested as part of Pinehurst’s naming contest, with Andrew Stilwell and John Gessner each nominating “Thistle Dhu.” After careful consideration of all the names by Pinehurst Resort, Thistle Dhu was chosen as the winner.

The course will enjoy its first play on Friday following play in the Pinehurst Member-Guest Tournament. A regular schedule for its opening is upcoming.

The beginning:

Thistle Dhu Pinehurst early

The beginning…

Today:

Thistle Dhu Pinehurst

…Today

The course will be free to play and available for resort guest play each day. It will be closed Monday and Thursday mornings for maintenance.

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The Nervous Guy’s Guide to the Spa Experience

Spa exterior

I’ll let you in on a little secret about myself. Do with it what you will.

I worry a good bit. Maybe I don’t worry as much as my lovely wife does, but then again, I’m not the one married to me.

Still, I get pretty nervous in new situations. I’m better than I used to be, when I was a hot mess. But 15 years of being in media has helped me get past many of the pre-jitters jitters.

I think you need an example. And I’ve got a doozy. Let’s say me, average 36-year-old guy, was given the opportunity to relax – in the middle of a work day, no less – at a luxurious resort spa. And not just any spa. The Spa at Pinehurst – one of the best resort spas in the nation.

For most people, they would’ve jumped at an opportunity like this the moment they were given the green light. Me? I took my foot off the gas kind of hoping the light would turn to yellow.

The Roman Catholic I am, however wishy-washy I may be decades past Confirmation, I knew going in I had enough of a hurdle just to get over the guilt of taking in the Spa while others in my department worked. “Oh, so the new guy gets to the go to the Spa under the guise of gathering a marketing sense of the place. Yeah, surrrre.” That was the line going through my head, over and over in a “Call Me, Maybe” maddening spiral of repetition. (Oh c’mon! This link isn’t nearly as bad as the others! Go ahead...click.)

The guilt is no small thing. But I could dumb myself past that. “This is for work.” Say that to yourself enough times, and eventually you’ll become convinced that this is all good.

But there was more. Another lingering feeling.

… Continue Reading

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Pinehurst Podcast with David Feherty

David Feherty is well known for his sharp wit, whether it’s on the golf broadcast for CBS, or on his acclaimed show, Feherty, on the Golf Channel.

But what may not be as well known is Feherty’s charitable side, which was evident in a moving speech on behalf of the Linden Lodge Foundation in Pinehurst. Feherty also took time to speak with Pinehurst Resort in advance of his speech, discussing the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, why it’s in good hands with Ben Crenshaw and how the Open will play differently in 2014 than we’ve seen in the past. Feherty also spoke passionately about mental illness awareness and his organization, Feherty’s Troops First Foundation. And you don’t want to miss his comments on what makes Pinehurst special.

Please be advised that there is some strong language in this podcast. We pick up with Feherty’s thoughts on Ben Crenshaw and Pinehurst No. 2.

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Coore and Crenshaw provide update on Pinehurst No. 2 restoration

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, whose firm oversaw the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 in preparation for the back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2014, took a moment on Aug. 15, 2012, while visiting Pinehurst Resort to discuss the maturation of the famed Donald Ross masterpiece since its restoration.

There is a lot of interesting information from the two here, including their contact with the USGA, what they were looking for in this visit, how the Pinehurst Opens will differ from any other Open in history, and thoughts on how No. 2 will play when it is firm and fast. Both Coore and Crenshaw believe the restoration is perfectly in line with not only what the USGA is looking for in 2014, but with what legendary designer Donald Ross intended when he originally put his lifelong touches on No. 2.

Please enjoy, and feel free to leave your comments below.

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Under Construction — Pinehurst’s dazzling new short game practice area

Construction on Pinehurst’s new short game area is under way.

Before August, Pinehurst Resort already had one of the best golf practice facilities in the world.

Soon, it will be even better.

Anyone who has stepped foot onto the Resort Club the last few days couldn’t have helped to notice the large project currently in progress. Three large dump trucks hauled dirt early last week around what was formerly the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 1 while that green and the small chipping green behind it were stripped.

The small chipping green, used primarily for green research before, will be enlarged.

It’s all part of a project to expand and redesign the practice area. The smaller chipping green, which was being used as part of a multiyear plan for the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), will be enlarged to about 3,000 square feet. The whole area affected and improved will be close to an acre when it’s completed.

Formerly the 18th green for Pinehurst No. 1, the green will be the focal point of improvements to an already state-of-the-art practice facility.

The old 18th green will also be enlarged and reconfigured to resemble a green from Pinehurst No. 2, with a turtleback construction and closely mown areas around and below. Several bunkers will also be added, and the firm of Coore and Crenshaw, which restored No. 2 in advance of the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in 2014, will add the unique touches of sandy areas and wiregrass in and around the new practice area.

The new short game area will likely be open in early October. The greens will be built with Penn A1/A4 Bentgrass – the same as Pinehurst No. 2.

When the views are great even for practice, well, that’s what makes Pinehurst special.

“It will have a taste of No. 2,” said Bob Farren, Pinehurst’s director of golf course and grounds management. “Those who come out to enjoy Pinehurst may not always get to play No. 2. But with this practice area, they’ll be able to get a real appreciation for what No. 2 is like.”

The practice area will likely get plenty of attention from U.S. Open participants. With plans to have the driving range near the tees of No. 3 and No. 5 – the same area it was for the 2005 Open – participants will be able to approach the short game area and the putting green without being disturbed by spectators.

But Pinehurst members and guests will get their shot at the new area well before then.

Here are a few more photos from the first days of construction:

Hauling dirt in for upgrades and expansion.

The small chipping green.

Expanding what used to be the 18th green on Pinehurst No. 1 for a new short game practice area.

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