Driving into Pinehurst we had no idea of what to expect. We knew we had a few games of golf lined up and accommodation somewhere but we had no idea what this little quaint town of Pinehurst was going to be all about.
This town is all about golf.¬† Driving in we saw golf course after golf course after golf course. The town centre has antique golf shops and everyone is walking around in their golfing ‚??uniform‚?? of beige shorts and a tucked in polo shirt, or a ‚??Bob Charles‚?? as my other half cheekily names them. ¬†Most people look like they have seen a bit much sun from their round of golf, particularly given the temperatures we‚??re getting now.¬† And when sitting in the restaurants you can always overhear the tales of a golf round that was ‚??almost the one‚?? but for the odd unlucky bounce here or there.¬† In a nutshell this place reaks of golf.
So we arrived at the Pinehurst Resort which is the home of the Pinehurst courses #1 through #5 for our 1030am tee time.¬† Perfect timing considering our drive through from Charlotte in the morning and we arrived at the course relaxed, refreshed and well and truly awake and raring to go.¬† Much of this must go down to the awesome way we were looked after by the Gibbons family and leaving Charlotte both rejuvenated and with clean clothes.¬†
We were buzzing about arriving in Pinehurst and our first course in the area was to be #1 ‚?? the original design here by Donald Ross. Donald Ross was hired by Mr Tufts (the original owner of Pinehurst) to design the golf courses here in 1900.¬† He quickly got to work re-doing the original layout of #1 (which had been opened in 1895) and creating his own masterpiece in #2.¬† #2 he terms the best test of championship golf that he has created, and this famous course has been the home to many US Opens, a Ryder Cup and plenty of other prestigious amateur and professional tournaments.¬†
#1 is very much the ‚??warm up‚?? course at Pinehurst. The appetizer to the main meal.¬† It is very short at about 6000 yards (that is 5400m) and whilst the greens loosely resemble upturned saucers, they are far from severe.¬† The course is very playable and the ideal place to get your golfing holiday started with some confidence.¬† It is also an example of how golf courses have been eaten alive by technological advances.¬† The par fours are all around 380 yards, and the two par fives are 460 and 430 yards ‚?? both would be considered short par fours in terms of many PGA Tour golf courses.¬†¬† At least Jamie capitalized on one of them to break his eagle duck, and record his first ‚??2 under‚?? with a perfectly played 6 iron on the 17th. This also got him back to even par for the round and had he rolled in a raking putt on the last he may have gone sub-par. Alas it was not to be and we ended up with scores of 71 (J) and 72 (M) which helps to reduce the scoring average for the year.
We were joined by a lovely couple: George and Linda who were down in Pinehurst for a weekend of golf from the north. These two pharmacists own a condo down this way and find time around 4 or 5 times a year to come down for a weekend or so of golf. Not a bad holiday place if you ask me, and somewhere I would try and get to as often as possible if I lived within reasonable driving distance (eg, not New Zealand). ¬†¬†¬†As the pace of play slowed behind a few of the members who enjoy playing this agreeable course, we invited a sole player behind us to join the last coupe of holes. Emett was a policeman (more often called state troopers here in the US of A) and judging from a few of the iron shots I saw him hit, this guy could play.¬† Emett was down Beth from Richmond, for a holiday punctuated, surprisingly, by the fine game that is golf. ¬†The picture below is on the 11th tee, the only hole on the course with water (not really in play) and really the toughest hole on the course, a 220 yard par three which we both made 4 on)
The last couple of holes we were also joined by Stewart Taylor, who kindly welcomed us to Pinehurst and escorted us to our digs, the famous Pine Crest Inn where we will be basing ourselves whilst in the town. ¬†The connection with Stewart is that he gave Jim Musick (the owner of the La Cita Country Club whom we met a couple of weeks ago) his first job as a assistant pro here at Pinehurst when Jim had joined the golfing industry at a late age. ¬† Stewart has also kindly arranged for us to play at Forest Creek on Thursday of this week for what promises to be a great day of golf. Stay tuned.¬†
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