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 8
Number 8 is a Tom Fazio course, and I think it is one of the better courses in the Pinehurst complex.
The course was built to celebrate Pinehurst’s first hundred years, and Fazio drew inspiration from Donald Ross’s work in designing what is also known as the centennial course.
He made the greens somewhat larger than no 2, but the movement in the greens, the fall offs, and false fronts maintained the challenges for golfers of all levels.
The course is routed through hillier terrain than the initial courses at Pinehurst, as well as natural wetlands, and proved a decent challenge for all.
In my view the back nine is stronger than the front, and more interesting.
The ‘cape hole’ short par 4 fourteenth hole is the standout!
You need to decide how much of the water to take on and commit!
Other notable holes include:
- the par 3 fifteenth hole surrounded by marshland
- hole 17, a par 5 with a tricky green
- hole 18, a strong par 4 finishing hole (see picture mid article)
Pinehurst no 8 should be one of key courses to play in any trip to Pinehurst Resort.
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: