Mid-Pines – Played 2016
- Rankings: None of the four lists
- Location: 1010 Midland Road, Southern Pines, North Carolina
- Year: 1921
- Architect: Donald Ross
- Course Access: Resort
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Blue: 6,723 yards, Par 72, 71.0 Rating/126 Slope
- White: 6,163 yards, Par 72, 68.7 Rating/122 Slope
- Green: 5,669 yards, Par 73, 65.9 Rating/116 Slope
- Red: 4,913 yards, Par 72, 68.8 Rating/119 Slope
This was going to be a fun round. I met up with multiple GolfMatchers the night before for dinner after their outing. I couldn’t make that round due to tax season, but I came up for the Sunday round. We were all feeling the effects of a little too much fun the night before, but that couldn’t stop the excitement we all had to play a wonderful course. I was especially excited to be playing here since it was one of the one’s I had yet to play in the area.
The Mid-Pines course remains almost exactly as Donald Ross numbered and routed the course in 1921. It is a real treat to have a Ross course that is basically unaltered. It has been called pure Ross for how it fits the land. The ethos of the course is to be fun for players, not to be super challenging for tournament players. Even so, the course has hosted the 2002 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
Kyle Franz undertook a renovation in 2012 to restore some of the Ross characteristics. While the character of the course was basically unchanged there were some changes with the passage of time and technology. Some greens were lost to the riding mower, for instance. Franz came up under Tom Doak and assisted Coore & Crenshaw with the restoration of Pinehurst #2. Those are solid credentials!
Let’s get into the course tour. I played the tips and all hole distances will reflect that. Below is a photo of the scorecard. The course has a great logo and and old school card.
Hole 1 – 401 yards – Par 4
The first hole is no shortie easing you into your day. Luckily, it does play a good bit downhill. You really just need one down the middle here.
The approach plays back up the hill. The green is tucked between plenty of sand and requires an accurate shot.
Here is a shot of the green.
l don’t always remember, but I took an opportunity to show you the flags here.
Hole 2 – 190 yards – Par 3
The second hole is another tough one. You must carry the bunker on the right. Anything not on the green will make for a difficult par.
Here is a little closer look.
The green is pretty large and slopes from back, right to front, left. There is a lot of slope along the edges.
Hole 3 – 437 yards – Par 4
This is an intimidating tee shot. If you hit it good at all you will carry the water, but you can run out of room up the left side. A slight fade here is the best play.
Here is a little more zoomed-in look to show the shape of the hole.
Much like the first, the approach is all uphill. The green is mostly open in the front and is framed with bunkers.
You can see the domed back section of the green. Balls in this area will roll away from the green and make for tough chips.
Hole 4 – 330 yards – Par 4
The fourth gives you the first legitimate birdie opportunity. It bends slightly right and plays a little uphill. You definitely have option off the tee.
The approach plays to a raised green. You can see the red flag just over the bunker. I always find these shots difficult because you cannot see the green.
Due to the length of the hole, the green is small. It challenges you since you will most likely have a short yardage into the green. The slope isn’t too crazy on this one.
Hole 5 – 484 yards – Par 5
This hole is very reachable with a good tee shot. To maximize roll you should play a draw up the right side. The fairway slopes right to left as you can see.
This is a a pretty looking shot to me. The green is ringed with plenty of sand. The water is in play if you choose to layup. That portion of the fairway is pretty narrow.
Here is a closer look at the green site. Bring your sand wedge if you miss either direction.
The green is large with quite a bit of slope in the back (right of this photo). You can get some tricky putts depending on where the pin is located.
Hole 6 – 537 yards – Par 5
There are back to back par fives which is a little quirky, but I liked it. Due to the distance they play differently for most players. This one bends to the left and also favors a draw.
This is a longer second shot than the last hole and it is flatter. If you can see the players in the distance that is where the green is located.
The green has a wavy look to it that makes for difficult putts across the green.
Hole 7 – 383 yards – Par 4
This tee shot plays back up the hill. There is a little room to land the ball, but the sand up the right side is definitely in play. The left side of the fairway is the place to be for the best angle to the green.
I practiced what I preached and left myself with a good angle. The approach is also uphill to a green that is open in the front. This is one of the easier second shots we have seen so far.
The green is sloped from the back to the front. For Donald Ross it is relatively tame.
Hole 8 – 179 yards – Par 3
This hole played more downhill that it looks. At least it did for me. You need to be precise since there is no great place to miss. Short and left is probably the only bailout area.
Below is a closer look to illustrate what I am talking about.
Hole 9 – 340 yards – Par 4
The ninth forces you into a certain kind of shot. You either have to lay back with a long iron or hit a fade. Anything too far straight will run out of room and go into the trees.
Here is a little closer look.
The approach should be a shorter one with a good drive. With this pin position it is definitely a green light.
The green has quite a bit of slope on the right side (far side here). Overall though this is a green where you can make some putts.
Hole 10 – 514 yards – Par 5
This tee shot can result in vastly different second shots depending on how far you hit it. The landing area is up a hill and then downhill past the crest. Where you land could influence whether you can go for it in two.
Here is the second shot view.
The green has a steep false front you can see below. The front bunkers are quite deep and best avoided.
The green is pretty large and flat other than the false front. Birdie or eagle putts are makeable here.
Here is another look at the green from behind.
Hole 11 – 180 yards – Par 3
The tees were a little up here. There is sand on both sides and a bit of a false front. Distance control is the main idea here.
You can see below this is a long green. The slope coaxes the ball to the middle which is a nice bonus.
Hole 12 – 380 yards – Par 4
This hole is a slight dogleg left. There isn’t too much strategy here. Hit a power draw up the middle.
The green is angled to the fairway and is guarded mostly by a bunker on the right. It is quite deep.
Here is a look from the right side of the putting surface.
Here you can see the deepness of the green. This was a long putt!
Hole 13 – 223 yards – Par 3
This hole is one of the most challenging on the course. It plays all of its yardage. Thankfully there is nothing short of the green.
And a closer look.
I liked this view from behind the green. A miss long is not too bad if you keep it in the grass.
Hole 14 – 361 yards – Par 4
This hole is not very long, but it can be difficult. The fairway cants to the right. Anything curving that way may run into trouble.
The green is not very large. There is a drop off to the right and the bunkers are tough. I would recommend hitting the green.
Below you can see the crazy slope to this green. There are no easy up and downs on this hole.
Hole 15 – 542 yards – Par 5
This is a longer hole, but it plays downhill off the tee to give you some added distance. As you can see it plays out of a little chute. The less curve the better.
Here is the view of the second shot.
The green obviously slopes to the left and from back to front. You will need to make sure wedges don’t come in with too much spin.
Here is a side view.
A different angle shows the overall slope of the putting surface.
Hole 16 – 440 yards – Par 4
This hole is a beast. It is clearly downhill, but still long. Thankfully the fairway is pretty wide.
This shot must be hit with enough distance to cover the false front. Other than that the trouble is off to the sides.
This view of the green shows the slope past the false front.
The view below shows the false front from up close.
Hole 17 – 391 yards – Par 4
This is a completely opposite hole from the last. It plays flat and bends to the right. If you can do it play a fade at the bunker in the distance.
Here is a view of the approach.
A closer look at the green reveals the slope.
The view below is from just short of the green.
Hole 18 – 411 yards – Par 4
The last hole is no pushover. It plays down the hill and bends to the left ever so slightly. A draw is definitely the play. With the trees down the left a fade is a dangerous shot to play here.
This is a great looking shot. The iconic hotel is in the background giving a stadium feel to the green. The shot plays uphill and there is a false front to carry.
This is the bunker to the left of the green. It is quite large and has some native grasses in it to add to the challenge.
I had to punch out due to a wayward drive. This is the shot I was left with. One of the cooler looking wedge shots I would say. I have some posture work to do though!
It’s nice when someone else can take the pictures. It let’s you guys know that I do exist. This is a cool setting to finish a round!
And because it is so pretty, one last look at the hotel/clubhouse.
Below is the walk you encounter on the way to the locker room.
And the other way. To put it lightly there is a lot of memorabilia.
There is a nice area devoted to owner Peggy Kirk Bell. You should read up on her. Quite a life.
The locker room is classic. Look at all that wood. You could almost say it smells of rich mahogany! I could definitely see myself using this all the time if this was my home course.
This was an amazing day on a great course. The Franz renovation was masterfully done. This is one of the best courses in the Pinehurst area. The day was made even better by getting to meet new friends. GolfMatch is a wonderful tool and I hope to be able to play in more of these outings! Thanks everyone!