Day two of our Pinehurst weekend was spent at Pinewild Country Club! Whenever I take a golf trip I do my best to mix up the quality of the golf! I try to sandwich mid-tier courses around a premium course and if I’m just looking to add another course to my list, I’ll throw in a cheapo round somewhere. Well, Pinewild was our premium stop on this trip.
Pinewild is a private club that we were able to access through our Tobacco Road Golf Travel reservation. If you are on the fence about a golf package, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you book through Tobacco Road Golf Travel. Everything worked out perfectly and they arranged for our rounds here at Pinewild, on both championship courses. Our morning round was on the Holly Course while our afternoon round was on the Magnolia Course.
For whatever reason, Pinewild doesn’t get mentioned much when it comes to Pinehurst golf, at least from my research. I suppose that’s because the property is private and that Pinehurst Resort, 10 minutes away with all its history, gets most of the golfing attention. My money tree hasn’t grown enough for me to embark on a Pinehurst Resort trip yet, but one of these days I hope to play the courses there! No matter, I had read good things about Pinewild and together both courses have hosted their share of professional and amateur events.
We got started on a chilly morning and I picked the blue tees to play from, which are 70.5/131/6388. Somehow I made a birdie from the trees on the 1st hole (think of Phil’s shot on #13 at Augusta in 2010), but that was about the extent of my golf brilliance this day! I did manage one more birdie later on in the round, but the course beat me up pretty good. In my defense, it was a chilly, breezy morning! I wouldn’t have minded seeing some combo tees as the blacks are 7021 yards.
When I look back on my time at the Holly course, I’m going to remember two things about design. First, it was tough to score! Just based on the rating and slope I wouldn’t have guessed that the course would be so tough to tame. If you scroll through my pictures you’ll see that besides a few hazards and large bunkers, you can spray the ball around some. You might clatter it around in the pines, but you should be able to at least pitch it back in play once you find it. Off the tee, I’d say the Holly course is very fair. The course starts to get difficult once you are hitting your approach. For as much space as the occupies the greens are on the small side and have plenty of mounding! That makes it tough to end up with a birdie putt and if you miss the green, then you are going to have your hands full! It seemed that every short game shot I had, needed to be a high lob so that it could land on a downslope and trickle to the hole.
The second thing that I’ll remember about the design is a wonderful four hole stretch on the back nine! The front nine was fine, but the back nine had my favorite holes. The 10th through the 13th were my favorites! The 10th is a short par 4 where you’ll just want to get the tee shot in play with your favorite longer club. The approach will most likely be a short iron into a green that is guarded by a pond to the right. It was a scary nine iron for me! The 11th, 12th, and 13th circle a lake and offer some options depending on how aggressively you play. The 11th is a short, double dogleg par 5 with a pine tree that guards the green. The 12th plays over the lake and features a gaping bunker, which you’ll want to avoid! The 13th plays back over the water and gives you some angles off the tee.
The Holly course, and the rest of the club, are upscale community courses. So, if that isn’t your thing then you can probably skip both of the regulation courses on the property. There is also a shorter course at the club, the Azalea, which we didn’t play. I’d assume it has a similar look with homes set back from play, but visible. Even with the homes, I thought much of the course had a great look to it!
The conditions were impeccable! Everything was full and cut tight and the greens were pure and quick. Good luck chipping off the tight bermuda fairways, I haven’t figured that out yet! I don’t have much more to add about the maintenance, you should not be disappointed with it!
The Holly course was designed by Gary Player, and from my experience you cannot go wrong playing one of his courses. The course is a touch more modern than I prefer, but it is a solid choice in Pinehurst. The maintenance really makes the course stand out, phenomenal!
#1 (351 yard par 4):
#2 (501 yard par 5):
#3 (162 yard par 3):
#4 (395 yard par 4):
#5 (304 yard par 4):
#6 (527 yard par 5):
#7 (408 yard par 4):
#8 (149 yard par 3):
#9 (396 yard par 4):
#10 (334 yard par 4):
#11 (465 yard par 5):
#12 (186 yard par 3):
#13 (353 yard par 4):
#14 (511 yard par 5):
#15 (402 yard par 4):
#16 (399 yard par 4):
#17 (159 yard par 3):
#18 (386 yard par 4):