Unpretentious Pine Crest Inn celebrating 100 years of golfing folklore

By DAVID DROSCHAK

The stories may have been exaggerated over the years, the truth stretched a bit here and there, but Pine Crest Inn’s assessment of 45,000 drinks poured annually to golfing foursomes is likely right on target.

Regarded as one of the nation’s best 19th holes, the historic inn begins a year-long celebration this winter of its 100th birthday, which will occur in November 2013. If you’ve ever been to the Sandhills to tee it up you’ve likely graced the front porch of the Pine Crest Inn for a brew or bourbon, or attempted a shot or two … or more … into the infamous fireplace chipping board.

It’s hard to put your finger on just what makes the Pine Crest Inn such a renowned gathering place. It’s far from fancy; closer to cozy, a place with what you might call character. Yet the appeal is undeniable, almost a golfing god magnet of the late, great architect Donald Ross, who once owned this place, pulling and tugging everyone who drives down Dogwood Road to stop to “see what’s going on.”

“Being on the porch of the Pine Crest Inn and relaxing is one of the greatest places in golf, without question,” said Drew Gross, the Inn’s resident manager. “There is an aura about it, relaxing, satisfying and a lot of people feel the same way.”

“It is probably the most significant after-golf place in America, not only because Donald Ross owned it but where else can you chip balls into a fireplace?” added longtime Pinehurst resident and memorabilia collector Tom Stewart. “It just has that reputation. Every golfer of any notoriety has stayed there at some point. It is where Arnold Palmer goes when he comes to town; Payne Stewart stayed there. It is one of the icons of this area.”

There are traditions that set the Pine Crest Inn apart as it sets to turn a century old. Practically any time of day – or well into the night – the small lobby will be filled with “chippers,” attempting to settle a bet – with real golf balls mind you. There is even a photo or Ross himself chipping in the hotel in the 1940s.

Balls have broken pictures, plate-glass windows and even zipped by patrons in the dining room, but Gross chuckled when asked if the Inn ever entertained the idea of doing away with the chipping.

“Never, never,” Gross said. “They come in even if they are not staying here, even if they are not going to eat here or drink here just to chip. It’s phenomenal. We’ll have entertainers in on Fridays and Saturdays and they are trying to sing and guys are chipping and they get all mad. There is a picture of Donald Ross above the fireplace that we now have in bulletproof glass. Hey, I was standing at the front desk one night watching these guys chip and this guy shanks it and it just missed my eye. I don’t know what would have happened if he would have hit me.”

“I want to know how they can get it that high with a 7-iron to hit that Ross picture, but they do?” added Tom Stewart.

Fact or fiction, you decide, but story has it that Ben Crenshaw once made 28 straight into the chipping board hole. Talk about hot.

“Of course everybody tries to duplicate that and most people can’t even get one,” Gross said.

The Inn has upgraded most of its “back of the house” items recently, and is beginning a room-by-room facelift, but nothing too drastic that would take away from the simplistic digs golfers have become accustomed to over the years. Tom Stewart helped accent the recent restoration of the 32-room inn with memorabilia from his Old Sport Gallery collectable shop around the corner in the Village of Pinehurst.

“The way I describe this place is it’s like staying in your grandmother’s house, it’s just very, very comfortable,” Gross said. “We’re not the Hyatt, we’re not the Marriott, and if you’re looking for that type of service this is not the place to come. But it is iconic; I call it a jock hotel. If you’re with a group of guys who want to play 36 holes a day, if you want to have a nice dinner, have some drinks afterwards, kind of a fraternity house atmosphere; this is the place.”

Another tradition is the 22-ounce pork chop, a dish created by former chef Carl Jackson, who worked at the Inn for 61 years. Jackson has since passed away, but it remains a savory staple.

“You don’t even need a knife to cut it,” Gross said. “People come from all around, even if they are not staying here they’ve heard about the pork chop, and they come and have it.”

It seems as if every famous golfer who ever played No. 2 has been to the Pine Crest Inn. Payne Stewart signed his name in the bathroom, while Palmer frequents the joint every time he’s in town.

You never know who you’re going to run into at the Pine Crest Inn.

“The golf writers always know where to find the players,” said Tufts Archives executive director Audrey Moriarty.

“This place is almost like a state of mind, it’s an institution,” said Gross, who has been coming here for more than 40 years. “I consider the Pine Crest Inn the last bastion of old Pinehurst.”

“People can walk in there and see Arnie sitting by himself, or with a couple people and you can sit down and have a beer with Arnie,” Tom Stewart said. “It is so unpretentious. I heard a comment once that said ‘it’s a low-class hotel for high-class people.’ What a great line.”

Comments (19)

 

  1. authentic prada bag online

    I fiori per nascondere gli odori

  2. prada white high top sneakers

    12) Pratichi sport?

  3. celine trapeze bag

    Poste actuel :Group CFOFircoSoft GroupPoste pr :Directeur FinancierKao Brands Europe (John Frieda)Ecole : Ecole Sup De Commerce

  4. hermes solde says:

    hermes solde

    The National Civil Rights Museum opened in 1992. Jacqueline Smith was at her post when I was there four years later. I didn’t photograph her because I was a tourist, and then she would be a tourist attraction, and I thought the motel’s value as a his…

  5. cheap christian louboutin shoes black friday deals

    Volunteers Jodi Jones, left, representing Hewlett Packard, and Judy Tipton, representing Acxiom Corp., lend a hand Monday afternoon in decorating the Conway Senior Wellness and Activity Center, formerly known as the Conway Senior Citizen Center. to noo…

  6. michael kors bags zurich

    Black Friday Events at Premium Outlets in Washington

  7. michael kors camo vinyl sheets

    Tay [June 15, 2011]

  8. mcm shoes saks

    And in the winter, I am excited when I wait for the coal men. There’s the window with our coal chute, down there. The only time grandma lets grandpa take me to the basement is to watch them pour coal down our chute, into a great big wooden bin. Then s…

  9. abercrombie and fitch nyc cyber monday 2014

    Dernier jour pour abandonner un cours/activit et obtenir un cr financier. Des droits administratifs s’appliquent. Consultez la page web Abandonner un cours pour en savoir plus sur les modalit de remboursement. Cette date peut varier selon la date de d…

  10. gucci victoire pink

    est un m茅t茅orologue respect茅 脿 l’茅chelle nationale avec 33 ans de t茅l茅vision et de l’exp茅rience de la radio. Un entrepreneur en s茅rie, Douglas est principal m茅t茅orologue pour WeatherNation TV, un nouveau r茅seau national de canal m茅t茅o 24/7 avec des s…

  11. gucci belt chief keef

    with the all the flights that are suitable with your specification. She takes care of mailing packages and dropping off dry cleaning at her friendly mega grocery store’s customer service counter.

  12. black friday hollister sales

    C’est un coup dur pour ce tour du monde et surtout pour Marie, mais il faut savoir raison garder et ne pas prendre de risques inconsid dans des pays qui n’ont pas le m acc ni le m rapport aux soins et aux traitements. Courage Marie.

  13. abercrombie sweatpants cyber monday sale

    Si cette note n’茅tait qu’un vulgaire calcul math茅matique, elle aurait pu 锚tre sup茅rieure. Mais puisqu’on prend aussi en compte la redondance du concept, ce n’est pas la m锚me chose, malgr茅 les dizaines d’heures de jeu effectives. Accessoirement, le…

  14. black friday hollister bettys

    La revanche du “moche”

  15. hollister tracksuit cyber monday sale

    “We have almost 1200 athletes registered, just about the same as last year,” says Montgomery. “We’re fairly happy with that, we’d like to get that up a bit more, build it and bring more people to town and do all of that good stuff that’s associat…

  16. air jordan 1 retro 94 white

    In una scena si vede un gremlin bere una provetta contenente i geni dei ragni e trasformarsi in un mostro aracnide. In sottofondo si pu udire il riff di Angel of Death degli Slayer.

  17. gucci mane album lyrics

    Per te, che può essere sinonimo di bianco sporco. tuttavia, questo colore vale re s. Lei è d’accordo con tutto e dà un look semplice ma chic. La signora semplice canotta di cui è a pochi euro si fa la moda.

  18. gucci belt women cheap

    "Es ist eine spannende Zeit f眉r Frauen, zu einer nat眉rlichen Frisur 脺bergang, und es ist auch eine spannende Zeit, um durch sie mit all den Produkten, die es gibt leben. Vor 15 Jahren haben Sie begrenzte M枚glichkeiten hatte. Jetzt Optionen haben S…

FIFA 14 Coins,FIFA Coins,FIFA 14 Coins,FIFA Coins,Replica Handbags,Replica Bags,Sexy Lingerie,Cheap Sexy Lingerie,FIFA 14 Coins,FIFA Coins,Wedding Dresses,Evening Dresses,Tattoo Supplies,Tattoo Kits,Iphone 5s case,Ipad air case,Wedding Dresses,Evening Dresses,Fashion Shoes,Fashion Clothing,Wedding Dresses,Evening Dresses