Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pinehurst Golf Resort, #2, Payne Stewart, and a beautiful North Carolina Afternoon

Clubhouse at Pinehurst Golf Resort
As a day trip this weekend, I decided to head out to Pinehurst, North Carolina.  As I am only down in NC for three more weeks, I thought that it would be worth the trip.  As I exited into the city of Pinehurst, I noticed how golf-centric the village was.  The road was surrounded by golf courses, both country clubs and public alike.  Each of them with their own little twist, and each of them making me want to stop and play.  But there was one course and resort that was on my mind: Pinehurst #2 and the resort at Pinehurst Golf Club.

Picture of Payne Stewart in the display at Pinehurst
As I was only going to visit and not actually play, I pulled into the parking lot and walked around for a little bit before heading into the clubhouse.  Upon entering the clubhouse, I noticed the displays dedicated to the past USGA and major championship winners of events at Pinehurst.  The one that caught my eye was the display dedicated to the late Payne Stewart, who won the US Open just months before the tragic plane crash that claimed his life.

Scorecard from the US Open final round
Other displays contained memorabilia from Michael Campbell's win in 2005 and Danny Lee's win at the 2008 US Amateur tournament.  Another display had replica trophies from each of the major championships and the Ryder Cup.  Here's a pic of the replica US Open trophy:
USGA US Open Replica Trophy

As I continued into the clubhouse, many golfers of all ages walked by.  I stopped in the pro shop and picked up a towel and golf ball, as I collect both.  I ventured out onto the veranda and noticed the statue of Payne Steward.  I snapped a picture of the statue, which captured the memorable fist-pump after the putt on 18 for the win in 1999.

Statue of Payne Steward near the 18th green at Pinehurst #2

Finally, I was able to see the golf courses.  From the veranda, you could get a great view of the 18th green and fairway of Pinehurst #2.  The course was in immaculate condition.  The redesign really has done wonders for the aesthetics and playability of the course.  I'm sure the course will be amazing during the 2014 US Open.  

The 18th green at Pinehurst #2
18th hole at Pinehurst #2

18th hole at Pinehurst #2

Finally, I took a short stroll towards the tee boxes of Pinehurst #3 and #5, which even though they are not as highly regarded at #2, still looked immaculate.  I think the only thing stopping me from heading into the clubhouse and scoring a tee time was the fact I did not have my clubs with me on the trip.  All in all, it was a great day and a great trip to see a beautiful part of the country.  I cannot wait to take another trip to Pinehurst, but this time I will have my clubs.

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