Pinehurst No. 9 on the horizon?

The routing for a ninth Pinehurst Resort golf course has been completed on the site of the former Pit Golf Links, but it’s unlikely construction on a new layout will begin within the next two years.

Resort president Don Padgett II told Triangle Golf Today architect Bill Coore, part of the team along with Ben Crenshaw that worked on restoring Pinehurst No. 2, routed a golf course on part of about 1,000 acres that once housed the Dan Maples-designed Pit Golf Links.

The Pit, opened in 1985, was purchased out of foreclosure by a Charlotte businessman, and then acquired by the Bob Dedman Family, which owns Pinehurst Resort, in February 2011.

Padgett said a potential Pinehurst No. 9 course would be routed along the eastern portion of the property and only use land where two or three holes from the Pit are now located. None of Coore’s No. 9 routing uses the back nine lake, where the scenic 12th hole island green was designed by Maples.

“Right now No. 2 is driving a lot of interest,” Padgett said. “Over a period of time as people travel to different resorts and all the different opportunities they have, to add a Coore-Crenshaw ninth golf course would give you another shot in the arm like the restoration of No. 2. Before that happens though we have to have greater demand than we have right now or we would just be shifting revenues. General business levels have to come up quite a bit.”

Padgett said the resort has had a strong spring, but said as of now fall corporate play appears weak.

“If our resort business started to pick up and got back to where it was in 2007 and 2008, somewhere near there, then yes, absolutely we would entertain moving forward on a ninth golf course,” Padgett said. “Bill Coore tells us the land there is pretty dramatic.”

The last golf course expansion for Pinehurst Resort was in 1996 when the Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst No. 8 course was opened to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the resort. – by David Droschak

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