In last week’s digital newsletter, I alluded to a pair of winter golf getaways in 2013. It’s strange to have two opportunities to visit favorite destinations of golfers during our cold months. Strange because it simply doesn’t happen with any frequency for BuffaloGolfer. Life’s typical tugs consistently keep me tethered to a desk or a sequence of family responsibilities. I savor the exploits of others, their exploration of the open road. As I type, internet golf cronies sample the pair of new courses in central Florida, opposite St. Petersburg. Others investigate realms previously unknown and treasured, while I count snowflakes outside the windows.
All that is changing, with luck, in a few weeks. In mid-February, I depart for four days of golf in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Pinehurst has two faces, like many places. In its case, neither is a bad face. One hales from a time when golf was fairly new and fairly fresh. Inspiration came from Scotland and the empty patches of sandy hills were ripe for golf course development. After all, what better surface over which to construct a links than a sandy base?
After a spate of courses like Pinehurst Resort courses 1-3, Pine Needles and Mid Pines was built, the area went through a bit of pause as it re-examined its relative popularity. As the area gained recognition, a second wave of layouts were designed and constructed, involving the work of architects like Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Ellis Maples, Mike Strantz, Jack Nicklaus, Rees Jones and Davis Love III. In essence, there are two schools of architecture in the region. One is golden age, old school, traditional. The second heeds the advances of technology and swing improvement, demanding a defined aerial method to match one’s awareness and kinship with the ground game.
This is what awaits the BuffaloGolfer expedition in mid-February. We’ll stay old school on this sojourn, having toured some of the area’s newer courses (The Pit, Tobacco Road, Tot Hill Farm and Little River Farm) on our last trip south. Expect a full review with pictures of what we played and learned throughout the days leading up to, during and after the journey.