Pinehurst No. 9 is one of nine courses at Pinehurst Resort, a historic golf resort anchored by the main lodge – the Carolina Hotel. Designed from 1898 to 1961, the first five courses surround the main golf club. No. 2 is the most well-known course, designed by Donald Ross in 1898. A $435 greens fee reflects its history of hosting major championships including the US Men’s and US Women’s Open in 2014. No. 2 is tough especially the upside-down saucer greens.
However, the other eight courses are challenging but more playable and much lower priced.We played the four modern courses, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9, originally built from 1979-1996 in separate locations up to four miles from the Clubhouse.
Pinehurst No. 9 – The National
Pinehurst No. 9 is the only Nicklaus course in the Sandhills area. It was originally opened in 1989 as a private club – the National Golf Club. Pinehurst purchased it in 2014 making it the ninth course in the Resort collection. It’s also known as Pinehurst National. Not surprisingly, an impressive clubhouse and entrance awaits visitors, featuring a splendid restaurant looking over the 9th green.
Pinehurst No. 9 packs some punch. The Par3 second hole immediately calls for a long carry over water with no bailout. The tenth hole is fun Par5 with options. Risk the tee shot close to the water on the right for the best approach. The second shot over water tempts one to chew off as much of the dogleg as feasible to get home in two or set up a short approach. Both nines finish with a flourish. The ninth and eighteenth holes are scenic and sport greens that are guarded by water on the left. A classy monument to Jack Nicklaus was installed to commemorate the only Nicklaus course in the North Carolina Sandhills area.
Pinehurst No. 9 is a more challenging Nicklaus course than you’ll find on his typical resort course offerings. Memorable water holes are exciting and it’s extremely well manicured. Typical of Nicklaus, bent grass greens are undulating and mounded rather than plateaued allowing for more options for green-side recovery shots. Pine straw is predominant instead of grassy rough. It’s a great addition to the Pinehurst Resort golf course group.
Explore other Carolinas golf course profiles from Quintessential Golf Magazine.