A friend and I headed down to Pinehurst to play some golf for my birthday weekend! We each had been to the area previously and decided to check out some “new to us” courses. We made our arrangements through Tobacco Road Golf Travel and our package included three nights in a hotel and four rounds of golf. I was impressed with how easy it was to use them and feel that we got a good deal! If you don’t want to plan the trip yourself, or are looking for access to certain courses then I’d suggest giving them a call!
Our first round of the trip was at Deercroft Golf Club, a course that I wasn’t familiar with! I have taken two previous golf trips to the area and only learned about the course recently, after my friend mentioned it. I spent some time online researching it beforehand and agreed that we should give it a try.
Deercroft, from what I found, is a success story of someone who loves the game! By most accounts, the course had taken a turn for the worst because of the conditions and Ted Robinson (the owner and pro) took a shot at pursuing his dream. He has successfully put the course back on the map in one of the most competitive golfing areas of the country! I won’t do the story justice, so I encourage you to read about the course’s recent history here. It makes me appreciate just how much it takes to get a course into good shape!
Deercroft is about 20 minutes south of Pinehurst, off route 501. In a town where everything is so close, the drive took a bit longer than I expected! We enjoyed a small bucket on a quiet morning before our 8:30am tee time. Sadly, my range shots would be my best of the day! That turned out to be problematic as Deercroft requires plenty of precision!
I played the black tees which are 72.6/135/6595. I didn’t think they would be much of a problem because the course isn’t terribly long, and the rating is around par. I even scoped out the course on the satellite before my drive down and saw that there wasn’t much water! Well, um, this place sure is tough! If you are hoping to ease into your Pinehurst trip here, then I’d rework it so that you get a round or two under your belt before playing Deercroft. I didn’t play well and got eaten alive!
The main thing that makes Deercroft so difficult is how narrow it is! As mentioned in that article, there’s even evidence of trees being cleared out! I paced off a couple fairways at ~20 yards wide and there wasn’t much rough on either side, before getting to the pine forest from which the holes are carved. It isn’t like an average hitter can avoid the driver either so try to bring the straight ball if you play here. There is a stretch of three par 4’s over 400 yards on the back (#13 thru #15) where long and straight drives are the only way to score there. If you drive it well you can take advantage of the short par 5’s. It doesn’t take much to clip a pine on many holes and end up in someone’s yard! One great thing is that residences are played as a lateral hazard. I would love to see more courses adopt this! It should help with the pace of play and score. The other thing that makes the course tough is the smaller greens, which proved elusive for me to find in regulation!
My attraction to Deercroft before the trip was that the pictures conveyed a rustic look. After playing it, I’d say my high expectations regarding the aesthetics were met. The course looks great and I see this as a competitive advantage for Deercroft! It took a few holes for the fog to burn off, but once it did the sunlight highlighted patches of native grass, waste areas, and sandy cart paths. This look isn’t uncommon for courses in the area (from what I’ve played I’m thinking Dormie Club, Mid-Pines, or Tobacco Road), but Deercroft does it for pennies on the dollar compared to those courses. Our round here was included with the package price, but the course website had the green fee listed as $60 when we played. That’s cheap for such a good looking course during peak season!
The conditions were better than I was expecting for a value course, which is what I’d call Deercroft. The tees and fairways were full for the most part and the greens rolled well, although they were slower than they looked. As you’ll notice in the pictures, some greens had sanded patches around the edges, but it didn’t affect any of my shots. Hopefully those will heal up quickly now that the summer heat is over! The rough (the little there was!) was short and easy to play from while it was a crap shoot when drawing a lie off the rough line.
To close, Deercroft offered a nice touch of Southern hospitality and I hope they continue to make the course more playable. It is a position course where you have to pick a spot and then execute your shot. I fade the ball when I’m playing well and I just never got comfortable looking at lots of draw tee shots! The course seems to have come a long way from where it was and I wish it all the best!
#1 (423 yard par 4):
#2 (425 yard par 5):
#3 (152 yard par 3):
#4 (390 yard par 4):
#5 (347 yard par 4):
#6 (172 yard par 3):
#7 (550 yard par 5):
#8 (389 yard par 4):
#9 (380 yard par 4):
#10 (371 yard par 4):
#11 (455 yard par 5):
#12 (182 yard par 3):
#13 (403 yard par 4):
#14 (437 yard par 4):
#15 (432 yard par 4):
#16 (185 yard par 3):
#17 (494 yard par 5):
#18 (402 yard par 4):