Unveiled as the National Golf Club in 1989, the original Jack Nicklaus-designed layout was renovated by the 18-time major champion in 2012. The facility was acquired by Pinehurst in 2014 and renamed the No. 9 course, adding the Golden Bear to the stellar list of architects in the resort’s portfolio.
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
This is a fun course. As a Nicklaus design, as you would expect, it discriminates against hookers. Having said that the first hole is a slight dogleg left. You can drive through the fairway and if you hit a really good drive you may have a downhill lie on your approach. This a redan green running left to right and is protected by half a dozen bunkers. The second hole is a longish par 3 that is all carry over water. If the pin is left don’t be the sucker that it was designed for. The 3rd is classic Nicklaus dogleg right with a bunker on the inside corner and a large pine tree about a third of the way into the fairway from the right. The tree is marked in no uncertain terms that it should never be cut down. On your approach, best to take an extra club for the elevated green. The 4th hole is a neat par 5 dogleg right with water down the right side. The fairway slopes left to right and narrows significantly about 250 yards out from the green. Another uphill green that will require an extra club. The par 4 5th is another cool hole. The right side is favorable off the tee, once again you will probably have a downhill lie to a well protected green. There is a solitary bunker but there is ten yard wide stream just in front of the green. The par 4 7th is a birdie oppty. The left side will give you the best look and angle to a green protected by bunkers on the left and right. The par 5 8th is reachable, especially for a good drive down the right side. The long green is protected on bith the right and left by bunkers and is sloped front to back. Hitting the green is only half the challenge, we couldn’t hold it. The short eye candy par 3 9th rewards good shots and punishes the marginal or worse. The challenges are water left and the right side of the green sloping to a collection area.
The back side starts off with a bang. The par 5 10th is more eye candy and a great risk/reward hole. A short par 5 dogleg right with a lake on the right and the green jutting out into it with the siren song of “hit me”. The par 4 13th is a dogleg right and is aptly named “Lone Pine”. I would recommend opening the face of your driver and flying right over it. This will give you a mid iron to a well protected three tier green. The par 4 14th is a tough par 4. The fairway slopes to the left , which is the best angle to come if from. Another well protected elevated green. The 15th is reachable par five. Approaches on the left side of the green run the risk of rolling off into the collection area. The par 4 16th is a birdie opt, but you may want to leave your driver in the big. A large waste starts about 90 yards out and ultimately spreads across the entire width of the hole. The 17th is a mid-distance par 3. The bunker on the left appears to be greenside, but is actually about 20 yards in front of the green. The 18this a fantastic finishing hole. Slight dogleg right and you can cut some yardage off going down that side but run the risk of having to contend with some pine trees. Conversely, going down the left side the approach shot must contend with the lake and the bunkers.
We had a great time. This round zoomed by. A real fun track. I would pay to play it again