Pinehurst no 7. is part of the legendary Pinehurst Resort in the Sandhills of North Carolina. The Resort currently boasts nine courses including the iconic Pinehurst no 2, designed by Donald Ross. Pinehurst No 2. has hosted many championships including some very famous U.S. Opens.
No 7. is probably the boldest and most dramatic golf course at Pinehurst. Designed by Rees Jones, the course is located on some of the more rugged land around the village of Pinehurst, giving a mountainous feel to a course that literally abutts the famous no 2., which is has much gentler movement through it's course.
No 7. opened in 1986, but was renovated by Rees Jones in 2002. In building the course Jones found evidence of bunkers on the site, and found that the land once housed an employee course. Remnants of those bunkers can be found behind the tees on the fourth hole.
The up and down nature of the site encouraged Jones to design a course which challenges golfers. A number of the tees sit on ridges so the golfer hits down into the fairways only to find the green sitting above him. There is nice variety in the terrain, too, with a number of wetland areas in play, as well as tracts of exposed sand.
The bunkering is strategic, and natural- framing the fairways and greens nicely. The green complexes seem to fit the land, and we found the greens beautifully manicured- like all the courses at Pinehurst. There was enough movement to make putting interesting, but not overdone.
Favourite holes include holes 7, 8 & 9.
Hole 7 is a short par 4 that requires a layup short of a water hazard and an accurate approach to a shallow green.
Hole 8 is a dogleg par 5 with a burn running across in front of the green.
Hole 9 is an uphill par 3 over water which is both challenging and pretty.
The signature hole at no 7. is the par 3 sixteenth hole called Jones' Fingers after the architect Rees Jones. The tee shot must carry a large tract of sand to an elevated green. The sandy wasteland has a number of fingers of sand projecting in different directions to catch the errant ball. It is a memorable hole.
No 7. concludes with a very pretty par 5 with the green sitting in front of a pond.
Courses 7 & 9 at Pinehurst are well used by members and not as many tee times are made available to the public. Maybe this is why no 7. flies under the radar....
From my perspective I would place number 7 in the top echelon of courses at Pinehurst and a must play on any visit to 'the home of golf in the USA'.
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