Still down in Pinehurst for my fourth day. So far we’ve tackled Tobacco Road, Pinehurst [photopress:pine_needles_golf_hole14b.jpg,full,alignright]No. 2, No. 5 and No. 7. But perhaps the biggest surprise to date has been just how good Mid Pines and Pine Needles are. Pine Needles, which we played today starting mid-afternoon, was among the best courses I’ve ever played — certainly comparable to the much more highly regarded No. 2.
I’ll do a long review (as well as a week of full on commentary on Pinehurst and area), but today was just about playing golf — lots of it. We started with the Ellis Maples-designed No. 5. It was an interesting enough course with intriguing rolling land and some truly space age condos surrouding much of the back nine.
Then we headed to Pine Needles. Ever had one of those days where they put your twosome out after four slow players. Well that’s exactly what happened to us. The starter even told us we’d run into them by the third hole, which was the case. But with potential thunderstorms in the area, we had decided to pass on walking and took a cart. That allowed us to double back and play the opening holes again, something we did nine times over our entire round. From an architecture standpoint, it was quite intriguing, as you quickly were able to experience different shots and shot values from different perspectives soon after trying them for the first time.
When it was all said and done we’d played 45 holes — though that was not our intent. When we finished, we met with Ran Morrissett, also known as “golf’s most beloved figure,” and the founder of Golfclubatlas.com. Interesting to sit and talk with Ran, who is one of the partners behind Cabot Links in Cape Breton. He’s a big advocate of many things Canadian, including Highlands Links and St. George’s. Clearly he has great taste.
Anyway, I’ll be back in Canada tomorrow night, when I’ll recap some of the trip details and get back to work — including plenty on that little tournament that starts this week.