That’s right, Little River. Not on the Mid Pines course…why, you ask? Snow. Snow in Pinehurst. Not north of the town, but smack dab in the middle. We met guys from Pittsburgh at the Pine Crest Inn who lost their tee time at Pinehurst #2 due to the weather. Talk about a crap shoot…

As a result, we headed to the only open join in the area: Little River. Thanks to a friend of a friend, we were able to get out and play. A few years back, we had played the course in the middle of July and wondered how it could be so wet in the middle of summer. This time through, we were not only thrilled to be golfing, but surprised to have a new take on the course. The Ellis Maples-design, dressed in its winter browns of dormancy, gave us angles we hadn’t seen the first trek through in 2009. Putting value and hole locations became apparent on tour number two.

It’s funny how the worth of a hole can be redefined by a great shot. Four years back, I moaned and complained about the penal 16th hole, a heroic blast over Lake Despair (or something like that) to a sliver of a green with a thumb-print depression. As I recall, my tee ball on the par three ended up long and left, in the tall grasses, from which I was lucky to make bogey. This year, my four-hybrid rode the wind to six feet and my putt never left the hole…never made the hole either, for a one-inch, tap-in par.

16th at Little River…Once Wretched, Now Memorable

The temperature never reached 40 degrees on Sunday, but the absence of wind and snow made it seem … not almost balmy, but certainly not as much of a chore as the march through Dormeria on Saturday.

As I type, the Monday-morning frost is melting in Pinehurst. We’ll probably have an hour delay at Pine Needles, yet anticipate an upshoot of temperature into the 40s.