Pinehurst No. 3 – A Return to Ross

The early reviews to the recent work on Pinehurst No. 3 have been very good from those who have played it since its reopening. Here is a little deeper look at the many flourishes returned to No. 3:

  • Much of the restoration work is designed to return elements of Ross’s original design characteristics, including sandy native areas and wire grass. Where before players could see mounds or depressions that reflected past design features, now those elements are brought again to the forefront with the sandscape and bunkering.
  • Note the above video of what is now the second hole of Course 3. The vintage photo is from the 1930s, and one can see how the native area defines the hole. In the middle photo, that area was grassed over, though the original slope of the land remains. Today, though, as the course reopens, the work Kyle Franz did to recover that area returns the hole to its vintage glory. And what you don’t see – the bunker comes into play off the tee from the first hole as well. It’s pure Ross.
  • Two new holes were built – both par-3s – and the course will play to a par 68. In doing so, the two new par-3s are devilish short holes that feature sandscape and water. In addition, where the par-3s were placed allowed designers to rework two other holes, making them more interesting in the process.
  • Tour the course and it quickly becomes readily apparent – Ross-style strategy is evident throughout. Short par-4s could be drivable, but the small turtleback greens and native areas could make a short hole yield a big score in a hurry. Perhaps the player should lay up off the tee instead to a number he or she is more comfortable with into those small greens. Much like No. 2, the player may now need to consider the hole location even from the teebox.
  • The rough bunkering around these small greens are vintage Ross.