PINEHURST 2-THEN WHAT DO I PLAY NEXT

 

STREAMSONG RED 16 Streamsong Resort in Central Florida Streamsongresort.com.  THE MANOR INN has reopened in Pinehurst and is part of the Pinehurst Resort. The newly remodeled Manor Inn, has mixed the present in with the history of the building. So for more details on staying at the historic Manor Inn-please go visit Pinehurst.com    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect with him on LinkedIn. On the 7th hole of Pinehurst Course #6, where I made an ace in 2005.

ONE OF THE most frequently asked questions in golf.

I’m headed to Pinehurst, and I want to play Pinehurst #2. But then what ?

Because the resort now has 10 courses and I’m not sure which other ones I should hit while I’m there for a couple of days.

Yes after #2-Then What ?

As someone who has played all 10 of the Pinehurst Resort courses, let me shed some light on how to approach making a schedule of what to play and when.

Pinehurst 2 the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur course, perhaps some say the best work ever by Donald Ross.

The 18th green on Pinehurst #2, the biggest must play in Pinehurst.

Because as you might guess there is plenty of demand to play #2. So when you book your trip to Pinehurst, do it early enough so you can play #2.

But to really enjoy the course, it’s best played with a caddie. So take one. Just walking these fairways without having to carry the load of your clubs, makes the round even that much more enjoyable. But a piece of advice. Try not to book #2 on the first day there, or the last day there in case weather becomes an issue. No reason to get washed out on your last day, and end up missing #2.

The Gil Hanse par 3 designed course ‘The Cradle’ is a must play while in Pinehurst. Pictured the 9th and final hole.

But speaking of fun. The Par-3 course ‘The Cradle’ by Gil Hanse should be your second choice.

9-holes why can be played quickly, if the course is not crowded. And kind of quickly even if it is crowded.

But even better news, is that for those golfers who wish to do a few laps around the Cradle. A halfway house with bathrooms will be coming soon.

Think of it this way. You could make a hole-in-one on every hole, always a good thing. So yes ‘The Cradle’ should be second on your must play list. Plus you can play it before or after another fully scheduled 18 hole round.

RIGHT THERE at the main clubhouse is the recently renovated by Gil Hanse, is Course #4, that should be on everyone’s list. I would recommend a caddie here as well.

THE NEW 11TH HOLE on Pinehurst #4.

Because the newly redone Course #4 is the best it’s ever been.

I played the course under three different looks, between renovations from Tom Fazio and Hanse. But you can’t beat the redesign that Hanse did.

It just says Pinehurst when you get on the first tee box.

While the first hole on #4 is a good opening hole, the second hole is even better. Plus it gives the golfer a feel of what to expect the rest of the way.

Course #4 was used during the U.S. Amateur in 2019, it is a championship venue and it plays like one. Have fun and do book course #4 as your second 18 hole choice.

FROM THERE the next round is a toss up. Because you can’t lose by playing either course #8 or #9. But both courses do require a short drive off the resorts main campus. If you have you car, they are easy to get to. But if you don’t, then take the Pinehurst shuttle from which ever resort hotel your staying at. Both trips are less than 10 minutes. One note here, is that Course #8 will be closed in the summer of 2022 for upgrades.

Welcome to Pinehurst #8 the Centennial Course (L)-Pinehurst National Course #9 (R)

Pinehurst #6 is a great golf course.

So next on my list is Pinehurst #6, which is another course that’s a few minutes off the main Pinehurst campus.

I have to admit here I am a bit partial to this golf course. Because back in 2005 I made my only hole-in-one on the 7th hole of Course #6.

172 yards with a 6-iron is something I won’t forget. Thanks to the Pinehurst Resort, I have the pin flag off the stick that day, along with the Pinehurst Hole-In-One bag tag and a certificate. All now under glass in my home. But Course 6 is a fun golf course. It’s not over bearing, and while there is sand, not as much as some of the other Pinehurst courses. Plus who knows maybe you will make a hole-in-one here too. Then you can enjoy the post round with some food and drink outside under the new dining pavilion next to clubhouse.

The new 18th hole on Pinehurst 3.

Courses 1,3 and 5 are all fun golf courses, they are not long in terms of yardage.

But on some days these courses are reserved for Pinehurst Resort members only, not available to resort guests.

Courses 1 & 3 and 5 have had some recent work done on them to make way for the Cradle Course.

Courses 1 & 3 are original Donald Ross golf courses. So they are historical courses, for those of you who enjoy playing these types of courses. My choices in order would be Course 1- Course 3 and then Course 5, and that’s basically because playing an original Ross design scores well in my book. But I did have a great time playing Course #5 in January of 2020.

FINALLY IS COURSE #7, which is not a bad course, but some some reason I have not played well there. The design leaves the course with plenty of ‘V’ shaped holes. The elevated tee boxes should add to your drive, but many of the approach shots are uphill. ‘Hint’ play more club on your approach shot. One of the fun holes on the golf course is the island green-par 3 #16. When I say island green, if your thinking water carry-your wrong. But it’s Pinehurst, that means the island green is surrounded by sand. But it’s still fun, and if you miss the green, bring your sand wedge, not your ball retriever.

Good news, recently added drainage will help the lower landing area’s that stay damp after heavy rains. So #7 will be on my hit list the next time back in Pinehurst.

I like the idea of playing Course #3 and the Cradle on your first day. If you can’t get on Course #3, try for #6, followed by #4 then #2, wrapping up with #8 or #9, or both if your time permits. One thing you should do, is get to Pinehurst when you travel golf re-starts. For more information visit Pinehurst.com. It’s always a beautiful day in Pinehurst.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM820 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.