My Quest to Check Off Golf's Best Experiences
The Golf Bucket List
Pinehurst was a fun experience. It's a different kind of experience from something like Sawgrass, or the Ocean Course--more of an old fashioned experience where you need to appreciate the history of the game and older design philosophies, rather than the modern approach of Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, etc...
It's definitely worth playing. I'm not sure I'd say the other courses on the property are worth the cost to play them (#4 was good, not great). I think #2 is probably a little overpriced too but the package deals often make it more tolerable and it's definitely worth playing at least once to get a feel for the game as it used to be.
#18, Par 4, 366 Yards
#17, Par 3, 162 Yards
The last of the par 3's, this one played 170 yards for me and was a smooth 6 Iron. However, the pin played way on the right of the green and my shot ended up on the front left. So, a long putt (not my cup of tea). Three putts and a bogey.
#15, Par 3, 170 Yards
Tricky one-shot hole with a small green. Tough bunker on the right and long is a bad miss too. Keeping the ball short is the best place to miss here. A lousy knock-down 5 Iron ended up in the right bunker for me.
#16, Par 5, 478 Yards
Another picture of the borderline between fairway and junk, and the border of what's watered and what isn't.
#14, Par 4, 419 Yards
The toughest of this stretch of par fours, and probably the hardest hole left, at least from the white tees. This hole makes you want to hit driver, but the fairway tightens up at about yards, with a bunker on the left side and four bunkers on the right. I hit a long drive, but well left and ended up on the sandy hardpan "cart path" with 157 yards left into a hole. Right and/or long are bad misses coming into this hole.
#13, Par 4, 358 Yards
As seen below, big big difference between hitting the fairways and taking your chances in the junk.
#11, Par 4, 375 Yards
#12, Par 4, 360 Yards
Looking back at the "big boy" tees
#10, Par 5, 455 Yards
I have to be honest. I felt like I was cheating on this hole. The two back tees are 619 and 580 yards respectively to a hole that doglegs a little to the left at the end. However, we bypassed these two tee boxes and walked over a long sandy area to the white tees that were only 455 yards from the hole. Seriously, I felt a little gypped! From there, this really isn't a difficult par 5. I was left with 218 yards into the hole after a decent drive, and put a 5 Iron into the front right greenside bunker. I recovered with a smooth 54 degree wedge to about 15 feet and two-putted for an easy par to start the second nine.
#7, Par 4, 385 Yards
#8, Par 5, 440 Yards
#9, Par 3, 148 Yards
#4, Par 5, 471 Yards
As I mentioned above, this will be converted into a long par 4 for the US Opens, but the little people play it as a par 5. With the tee shot going downhill, many players will be able to try for this green in two. I only had 185 yards into the green, but out of the scrubby stuff, I didn't hit a great 4 Iron, and left it in the short left greenside bunker. Have I mentioned that it's pretty important to hit fairways on this course? A bunker shot a two-putt left me my first par of the day after bogeying each of the first three.
4th green from the 5th tee
#5, Par 4, 425 Yards
#6, Par 3, 178 Yards
#3, Par 4, 330 Yards
A short par 4, but the green makes it tougher than it looks. A bunker crosses the fairway at about 228 yards from the tee, a 200 yard shot form the tee is the wise play. After teeing off, take note of Donald Ross's former home. On your approach, whatever you do, don't go long , as you'll end up around the 5th green....not a good thing.
Looking back from the green
#2, Par 4, 411 Yards
Looking back at the clubhouse from the first green
#1, Par 4, 376 Yards
A fairly smooth and stress-free opening here, aside from fact you're hitting from the first tee on the famous Pinehurst No. 2! You should definitely plan to arrive for your tee time early enough to practice chipping and putting on the greens adjacent to the first tee....they're the closest resemblance to what you're about to see. Anyway, back to the first hole. A decent drive down the left side left me barely in the sandy area with 96 yards into the pin. As I said above, driver isn't necessary if you'd prefer something else. This is the first of 18 straight greens with crazy contours, many of work their way from the middle of the green to the edges. All else equal, a good rule of thumb is that your putt will break from the middle to the edge (certainly not always true, but a good starting point).
#16, Top 100 Courses in the World (2013)
#10, Top 100 Courses in the U.S. (2013)
#3, Top 100 Courses You Can Play (2012)
#1, Best Public Golf Courses in North Carolina (2012)
#7, America's 100 Greatest Public Courses (2013-2014)
#28, America's 100 Greatest Courses (2015-2016)
#2, Best in the State of North Carolina (2013-2014)