“We don’t have to hit every course with the same hammer.”
This from the always quotable Tom Pashley, President of Pinehurst Resort. Case in point: the agronomic remastering of No. 8. Rather than another redesign or restoration, Pashley, Fazio and Director of Agronomy Bob Farren decided the Centennial simply needed to get its “edge” back.
New greens, fresh bunkers, better drainage, more airflow and tighter fairways – just what the doctor ordered
Pinehurst No. 8 reopened Sept. 2nd following agronomic and infrastructure enhancements highlighted by new TifEagle greens, fully restored bunkers with fresh sand, improved drainage throughout the course and the removal of invasive trees limiting views and inhibiting sunlight.
Additionally, the existing Bermudagrass turf on tees and fairways was “fraise” mowed to remove thatch throughout the course, tighten up lies and foster more rollout on tee shots. Fraise mowing is a highly disruptive mowing technique developed in the North Carolina Piedmont that effectively removes thatch, organic matter and soil from Bermudagrass in a single pass.
“No. 8 now appears crisper to the eye and plays firmer and faster the way Tom Fazio originally intended it,” says Pinehurst Resort Director of Agronomy Bob Farren. “Fazio, [Pinehurst Resort Owner] Bob Dedman and [Pinehurst Resort President] Tom Pashley all agreed that No. 8 should retain its original, commemorative design. As such, these changes are aesthetic and agronomic with no alterations to the course’s architecture.”
Opened in 1996 to celebrate the resort’s centennial, No. 8 seamlessly synthesizes the North Carolina Sandhills aesthetic with Fazio’s timeless design elements. The layout gently spills over 450 acres of rolling terrain dotted with natural wetlands and native grasses. It’s located five minutes from the main clubhouse and courses one through five with its own clubhouse and practice facilities. The new state-of-the-art Golf Pride Retail Lab opened in late June and is co-located near No. 8’s entry.
While quiet by Pinehurst Resort standards, fall is still brimming with activity at the Cradle of American Golf. Phase one of The Carolina Hotel’s renovation is nearing completion. Updated guest rooms reopened following an expansive transformation blending modern luxuries with Pinehurst’s historic charm and comfort. The hotel’s popular coffee shop, which also sells assorted, fresh baked goods, is slated to reopen in the coming weeks to provide guests with an array of fresh brews and grab-and-go options.
Improvements continue outside the hotel, as well, none more evident than the Ryder Cup Terrace. For decades, Pinehurst’s guests have retreated to the sweeping veranda circling The Carolina Hotel, soaking in the sounds and pine-scented air that make the Sandhills of North Carolina so unique. Steps from the veranda and adjacent to the Ryder Cup Lounge, the Ryder Cup Terrace will feature cozy fire pits and soft seating, making it the perfect setting to begin an evening with a pre-dinner cocktail or to wind down after a round.
In concert with the United States Golf Association (USGA), Pinehurst Resort was recently selected as the first U.S. Open Anchor Site and will host the championship in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. The resort is slightly more than an hour from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 90 minutes from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and only a half-day drive from many East Coast cities.