So, a few days before he returns to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge, here’s Tiger’s Woods’ golf swing with his driver from a practice round on Monday:
With that in mind, back in September when Woods announced his hopes for returning to golf, we put together a list of all the changes and improvements that have been made at Pinehurst since his previous PGA Tour appearance at the Wyndham Championship in August of 2015.
But after Woods’ withdrawal before a Tour event in October, our list has grown. To wit:
9. Gil Hanse to redesign Pinehurst No. 4, build short course – In early November Pinehurst announced that Hanse Golf Design will redesign Pinehurst No. 4 and build a short course as part of a master plan to further restore the original character and spirit to the Pinehurst golf experience.
Beginning this winter and unfolding in several stages over the next few years, the plan also includes restoring Donald Ross’ original characteristics to Pinehurst No. 1 and No. 3 while enhancing Maniac Hill and Thistle Dhu.
To honor The King today, we set up a spot on the 1st tee of No. 2 for players to make an Arnold Palmer.
Peyton Manning raised a glass. pic.twitter.com/xJgfrHRNs5
— Pinehurst Resort (@PinehurstResort) October 4, 2016
— Pinehurst Resort (@PinehurstResort) November 24, 2016
8. Sadly, we lost Arnold Palmer and Peggy Kirk Bell – Two giants in golf, both with legendary Pinehurst connections. We’ll miss them every day.
7. Pinehurst won the Ryder Cup Wager with St. Andrews – The Pinehurst No. 2 flag flew proudly on the 18th hole of The Old Course at St. Andrews after the United States defeated Europe in the Ryder Cup. That’s video we’ll never get tired of watching.
6. Room Renovations at The Carolina Hotel – This year, all 168 guest rooms in the Carolina Hotel’s main tower have received enhancements. The upgrades will enhance the guest experience by providing a modern look without losing the hotel’s timeless feel.
5. Pinehurst No. 5’s New Greens – The greens at Pinehurst No. 5 have been converted to champion ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass, a move that will extend peak conditions throughout the year.
Six of the resort’s nine courses now have the heat-tolerant Bermuda grass installed. No. 1 successfully converted to Bermuda in 2012. Pinehurst Nos. 3 and 8 followed in 2013 and famed Pinehurst No. 2 underwent the conversion following the back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in 2014.
4. History Hall has more…History – This year, we’ve taken a few minor steps in what we hope will be an improved experience with the vintage photos in the hallway of Pinehurst’s main clubhouse. With the help of the wonderful Tufts Archives, we’ve restored many of the photos, which had been damaged over time.
Also, we’ve updated the framing and matting, and in what may be our favorite part, added contextual captions with each photo. Most of these captions go into further detail about every photo – you already know the where; here, we add the who, the what and the why.
3. Paul Simson Makes History, Then Makes it Again – Since Woods teed it up to start the 2015 Wyndham, amateur golf legend Paul Simson has won two more North & South championships – each of the last two Senior Men’s North & South Amateurs. His 2016 victory in August gave him eight total North & South wins, making Simson the most decorated golfer in Pinehurst tournament history.
2. Kelly Mitchum Does It Again – Kelly Mitchum, the 1993 North & South Amateur champion and one of the leading instructors at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, continues to make viral waves with his original 3-putt.
But in January, Mitchum may have outdone himself with his sequel – another 3-putt that boggles the golfer’s mind.
1. The Deuce Opens – For decades, golfers and guests have gathered on the veranda overlooking the 18th green of famed Pinehurst No. 2. Now, they are able to do so in The Deuce, Pinehurst Resort and Country Club’s new bar and restaurant. And after just a week, the reviews were rolling in:
— GOLF.com (@golf_com) September 7, 2016
Pinehurst’s new ‘Deuce’ tavern overlooking 18th hole at No. 2 opens this week.Instantly one of the best spots in golf for a beer and more.
— RonGreenJr (@RonGreenJr) August 30, 2016
— LINKS Magazine (@LINKSMagazine) September 6, 2016