Pinehurst Resort’s Director of Golf Ben Bridgers and longtime Vice President of Course Maintenance Bob Farren once again joined us to talk about Course No. 1. Our “OG” offering was truly a collaborative effort. Dr. Leroy Culver designed the first nine in 1897, John Dunn Tucker added the second nine in 1898, and Donald Ross pulled it all together with his incomparable architectural touch in 1901.

In your estimation, what role does course No. 1 play in the Pinehurst Resort rota?

Bridgers: It will always be our first course, sort of like our first child, and holds a special place in Pinehurst Resort lore. This is where it all started for the Tufts and Ross families.

Farren: No. 1 is a great introduction to the history of golf at Pinehurst. The landforms are essentially the same as they were when the course was established at the turn of the 20th century. There is little evidence of any major grading that changed the way the course was originally designed. Holes 2-through-4 bring attention to the earlier days of Pinehurst as they play alongside the historic Pinehurst Harness Track. A must-play for anyone that enjoys golf and history.

What stands out to you about the course in terms of its architecture?

Bridgers: It’s just a great course for all skill levels. The doglegs and elevation changes on some of the holes give you the true feel of an authentic Donald Ross experience.

Bob Farren: The course fits into the contours and elevation changes without feeling “created”. It just feels as though Donald Ross “found” the ground forms to build the holes on in order to take advantage of what was offered. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect is that the course is one of the most walking friendly layouts at Pinehurst, very much like No. 2.

12th Hole, Pinehurst No. 1
12th Hole, Pinehurst No. 1
What stretch of holes stands out as particularly memorable or challenging?

Bridgers: I enjoy holes 3-through-7as they’re the perfect mix of doglegs, elevation changes and birdie opportunities for the good player. You’re also playing along the Harness Track, which takes you back in time.

Bob Farren: Holes 12-14 are very memorable. The par-3 12th hole can stand up against any par-3 for strategy and beauty. Holes 13 and 14 both fit into the contour and elevation changes on the land.

Which hole presents the best birdie opportunity?

Bridgers: This is a tough one as hole 18 is a shorter par-5, but if you are on your game, there are lots of birdie opportunities.

Bob Farren: There are plenty of birdie opportunities throughout the course to offer a good confidence boost for the rest of your stay.

10th Hole, Pinehurst No. 1
10th Hole, Pinehurst No. 1
Which hole looms as a potential blow up hole? And what precautions can golfers take to play it safe on this hole?

Bridgers: The par-3 12th is such a challenging hole because of its length and the fact that if you go left you will make a double bogey. If you bail out right it’s still a tough up-and-down for par. As far as one-shotters go, it’s a brute.

Farren: The 10th hole is challenging compared to the preceding holes with a sloping fairway that is representative of old school architecture and an uphill approach to the green. I agree with Ben, the par-3 12th hole is without question the most difficult and presents the greatest chance to stumble upon a double bogey.

Bottom line, why should golfers play Course No. 1?

Bridgers: It’s such a fun course to play. The lower-handicap players have some great birdie opportunities and the average golfer has lots of opportunities for par. The doglegs and elevation changes give you some great views and makes for some fun shots.

Farren: It is simply a great place to walk and have a relaxing round of golf.