Longleaf Golf & Country Club is an 18 hole course located in the Sandhills of North Carolina, near Pinehurst. The course was designed by Dan Maples and is unique in that the back nine is built on what was once a horse racing track. The white fences, rail posts & hedgerows have been retained as atribute to the original site...
Of more interest is the fact that the course is the base for U.S. Kids Golf, a wonderful concept that scales the course to the ability of the player. Whilst it is primarily targeted to children starting golf and their families, the theory is equally applicable across women's golf, seniors golf etc..
The theory is that if a strong player can hit a green on a hole by hitting a driver off the tee and then a seven iron approach, then other players should have the same ability to hit a 7 iron to the green by matching their length to an appropriate tee.
The driving range is set up with a number of coloured targets to determine how far a player can hit, and the matching colour for tee boxes should then be used for the round of golf.
I thought this might slow play right down, because players in a four could be potentially hitting off 4 different tees, but I have been assured by the team at Longleaf that this is more than offset by the speed players hole out given they can reach greens and actually have less scoring shots.
It is an intriguing prospect, and I would like to take it further in relation to positioning of hazards, and shaping of greens to offer similar challenges to golfers of varying length and skill.
The course was a pleasure to play, without being outstanding. The front nine traversed some undulating terrain and was quite pretty.
It was perfect for children and families, but still good for everyone else. The back nine moved through the old race track and the land was generally flatter. To my mind it did not quite have the appeal of the front nine.
Longleaf Golf & Family Club can be played as part of a Travelling Golfer tour of Pinehurst & The Sandhills of North Carolina. The Travelling Golfer would be pleased to tailor a tour to suit your group
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