Making the trip to the sand hills of North Carolina can be quite the slog for those on the West Coast of the United States, but perhaps they can take solace at the Pinehurst Country Club in the Denver suburbs? That may not quite be apples-to-oranges, but the latter institution features a Press Maxwell golf course that’s at least worth a spin.
The land is not the most dramatic in the region, however Maxwell comes from good stock (his father was Perry Maxwell, of course) and knew that such things could be remedied with good greens and, indeed, that is where most of the challenge will lie for seasoned golfers. There are a number of ponds and creeks that play into the strategy of the course, but putting a red number on your scorecard will rely on placing your approach shots close to the pin.
The club last received a tuning up from Dick Phelps at the turn of the millennium, when he brought the tees back to their current distance of nearly 6,900 yards. The club also offers a nine-hole route, should you require a warm-up before the big event.
Jim Urbina is consulting with Pinehurst Country Club, but work is yet to start. We're hopeful (and confident) that Maxwell's contoured greens will not be flattened in subsequent revisions.
Precision required. Great greens. Last time I played was after they "redesigned" the second green, which made it ridiculous. Unfortunate, but once you get past that, it is a fine course. You can play this course with less than driver on many holes, but you will be rewarded if you hit solid, accurate drives with better approach angles and shorter second shots. Greens aren't the biggest, so a good approach game is really needed here.