The 1986 Rees Jones-designed No.7 golf course at the famous Pinehurst Resort may not be everyone’s first choice but it’s certainly a challenging and at times dramatic layout that is naturally eclipsed by No.2.
The No.7 course was laid over the site of a former 9-hole course which was fashioned by Donald Ross for the use of Pinehurst's employees.
Tiger Woods claimed his only Pinehurst title on No.7 in 1992 when he led wire-to-wire to win the Big I Junior Classic. Woods became only the second junior, after Billy Andrade, to win two Insurance Youth Golf Classic titles.
I can’t figure out why No. 7 has fallen so far down in everyone’s rankings. Personally, the only Pinehurst course I liked better was No. 2. No. 7 was certainly the most difficult course I played in town. Everyone should give ole No. 7 a try!
Recently, we had the pleasure of playing all 9 Pinehurst courses. Sean Delaney of golftripjunkie.com was instrumental in coordinating our itinerary and at a reasonable price. I heartily recommend Sean and golftripjunkie.com
Number 7 is a Rees Jones design and of the newer courses has a throwback feel to it. This can be partially attributable to integrating some of the old employee course into the new design. The first hole is a welcoming par 5. Possible to get home in two if one challenges the moguls on the right side. Safer play is favor the left and choose your wedge yardage as this green is well protected. The 2nd hole is a beast of an uphill par 4. There is a plethora of bunkers down the left side and the green slopes right to left. I would suggest aiming 5 yards right of the pin. Two of our approaches landed on the green and ended up in the greenside bunker. Woe is me. The par 4 3rd is not long but it is tight with fairway bunkers right. Also, on your approach to this elevated green I would suggest adding a club. The 4th hole also has a boatload of bunkers on the left. However, more note worthy is a bunker that is behind the back tees. When #7 was being built this bunker was discovered. Evidently, it had been part of an old Donald Ross course. The mid-yardage par 3 5th looks easier than it is. Bunkers right protect this deceptive green. The 6th is 438 yards from the whites, bunkers down the left, pot bunkers right, water and a green protected by bunkers left and right. It is the number 11 handicap? The short par 4 7th, Devil’s Gut, is a birdie oppty. The hazard runs diagonally, thus there is a lot more yardage left than right. Regardless, I would strongly advise laying up off the tee to your preferred wedge distance. This green is trickier than most politicians and is well guarded by 4 bunkers. The par 5 8th is also birdieable. A fade off the tee will give you an oppty to go for it in two. The green does not hold real well and there is a creek in front and a bunker behind the green. The par3 9th will play a club longer. One must carry the water hazard and the false front , not to mention the greenside bunkers.
The 10th is a short par 4 dogleg left. Favor the left side off the tee, you can drive through the fairway and be forced to navigate several trees. On your approach, it is at least one extra club. The 11th is another dogleg left. Cut the corner, you do not want to be in the bunkers on the outside of the elbow through the fairway. Speaking of bunkers, there is a BAB short right. That one is even worse. The par 5 12th is a double dogleg. If you are huge and crazy you may be able to get home in two. A better play, favor the right side off the tee, for the second shot favor the left to your preferred wedge yardage. This is an elevated green that loves to reject shots that are just short to set up the walk of shame as they roll back the hill. The 13th is a longer uphill par 3 over gunch. There are bunkers short right and left and the green is fairly narrow. It will play at least one club longer. The par 4 15th is a good hole. Slight dogleg right with fairway bunkers. If you bomb it over the hill, it is possible you will end up in the creek left and right. The approach is uphill to a green that is well protected with 4 surrounding bunkers. The par 3 16th is considered the signature hole. Personally, I liked 7,12 and 13 more. For 16 there is a large waste area called Jones Fingers. I ended up in one of these fingers but was able to pull a par out of my orifice. The par 4 17th is a good birdie oppty. There is gunch about 100 yards out. The uphill green is protected by 3 bunkers and be prepared for a downhill lie on your approach shot. The par 5 18th is not reachable. Off the tee favor the right center to avoid the fairway bunker left. There are bunkers on each side near the second landing zone. Here, too, you will probably have a downhill lie.
Overall, an enjoyable course, but I would not pay to replay