Boston businessman James Walter Tufts sold his soda business in 1895 and purchased 6000 acres of land in the North Carolina Sandhills with the express purpose of building a health resort, and opened the Holly Inn that year. Tufts employed Frederick Law Olmstead ( of Central Park fame ) to design the village and central green for what became the village of Pinehurst. Although the first golf course was laid out in 1897 by a Dr Leroy Culver, it wasn't until Donald Ross was appointed in 1900 that golf really came into it's own at Pinehurst. Scottish born Ross designed over 400 courses in his time, many of which have stood the test of time. He is rightly regarded as one of the finest golf architects the world has seen. Pinehurst no 2 opened in 1907 and Ross declared it was 'the fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed". Pinehurst no 2 is regarded as his masterpiece.
Indeed Pinehurst no 2 has now hosted major championships such as the U.S. PGA, the Ryder Cup, The Tour Championship, and a number of U.S. Opens- perhaps the most famous of these was the 1999 Open won dramatically by Payne Stewart. In fact no 2 has hosted more championship events than any other course in the USA.
But Pinehurst Resort wasn't always all about the golf, although that is what it is universally known for now. Originally Tufts designed it as a health resort, and riding, hunting, cycling and archery were key activities. In 1916 exhibition shooter Annie Oakley came to Pinehurst Gun Club teaching 125000 people how to shoot in a 5 year period!
But these days it is all about the golf. Pinehurst now has 9 championship courses under its care, and the general sandhills area around Pinehurst has many more.
Pinehurst no 4.
Redesigned by Gil Hanse and opened in September 2018, It was noticeable after my round
that the instructions for this course were to build another championship course to test the best.
With the back tees (orange) measuring at 7,227 Yards, this course was no joke.
I decided I wanted to test myself by playing off the blue tees measuring 6,962 Yards. Whereas, most would choose to play the course at 6,428 Yards.
No 4 is beautiful course. With a great set on land with gentle rolling hills. It had a plethora of waste bunkering as well as random blowout bunkers dug throughout the surroundings of the Course.
Unfortunately being relatively new (opened in October 2018), the course had not fully grown in. The greens were rolling ok, but slower and bumpier in comparison to the other courses at Pinehurst. The fairways were also ok, but will require more time to thicken up and also roll better (particularly on the green surrounds). As this course was built to test, it will be interesting to see how the greens play when the are quicker and more mature. I have no doubt that when it has matured. We will get a better understanding of the challenges faced to the golfers, as well as how well this course will rank. In my opinion, I think it will rank very well due to beautiful rolling landscape and bunkering.
But, its first test will be hosting its first championship jointly with No 2 with the US Amateur played there in June 2019. This, i'm sure it will be a sign of things to come for this course.
Golf Tours- Pinehurst
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a package to suit your group, including time at Pinehurst Resort and some of the other outstanding courses in the area.
For further information see Golf Tours: Pinehurst & The Sandhills of North Carolina
Please contact us if you are interested in a golf tour to Pinehurst Resort and/or The Sandhills of North Carolina: