Pinehurst No. 3’s new pin flags are unlike any you see around Pinehurst.


There’s a story to that.

And well, there’s just something a little different about No. 3. It starts there. Surely, the numbers are what jump out at golfers first. Just 5,155 yards. A par 68. Six par-3s.

A pushover, right?


Ask anyone who’s set their Golf Ego aside and tried it, and No. 3 might be one of the hardest little golf courses there is.

It’s also one of the most fun.

No. 3 is originally a Donald Ross design, and while changes have been made to the course and routing since it first opened in 1910, the Ross spirit is still evident today, especially after much of the sandscape and native elements were returned to the course in 2017.

And those greens.

They are classic Ross greens, and like the course itself, they are small, full of character and shape.

Yes, shape. Like turtlebacks. Like upside-down saucers.

Like Pinehurst No. 2.

So, yes, you may not need driver off of every tee (though it is fun to drive a par-4, right?), but how is your short-iron game? How are your wedges? Your putting?

No. 3 will tell you.

The 16th hole pin flag flies on Pinehurst No. 3.The 16th hole pin flag flies on Pinehurst No. 3.

And so, the flags themselves represent some of what’s unique, fun and different about No. 3. Designed with love by Sugarloaf Social Club – which also designed the flags, scorecards and other touches you see around Hanse’s No. 4 – the flags stand out, waiting for the golfer to catch on to what’s distinct about the rest of the No. 3 experience.

Sugarloaf explains:

“As we’ve watched No. 3 become more and more beloved by golfers in the know, more renowned for its diminutive nature and its (now not-so-secret) identity as a ‘Mini No. 2’, we believe even more strongly that No. 3 can quickly become a fan-favorite for the second half of a 36-hole day or as an alternate option to exploring something else across town. It’s right there for the plucking.

“Shorter pins (in the same wooden style of Course 4) evoke those found on Scottish links, harkening back to Ross’ roots and, in addition, their own diminutive stature is naturally proportional to the smaller nature of this 5,100y, par-68 package. The slight optical illusion of a smaller flagstick (plays) especially well here.

“The flags themselves at No. 3 are also something of interest. In particular, a ‘burgee’ pennant feels fitting; a bold ‘Crossing Yellow’ border with the font in the ‘Ross Red’ of Course No. 2, for which 3 shares much lineage.”

It all makes for another special Pinehurst experience. And so, today, we enjoyed the flags. We’ll share the scorecards and other little nuances another time.