Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A Great Day

I am a little late with details about my visit to Pinehurst last Thursday.

In the morning, we played at Pine Needles, perhaps the second best golf course in North Carolina. Their greens and fairways were recently renovated and the weather was mild, so playing conditions were perfect. Pine Needles has hosted two recent US Women's Opens and will again host that event in 2008, so it was the perfect warm up for an afternoon at the men's US Open. Interesting note - US Open champion Michael Campbell stayed and practiced at Pine Needles during the tournament.

After we played, we drove over to Pinehurst CC and were able to park on the club's grounds. My host had a corporate tent complete with everything we could want - exquisite food, a full bar, four televisions, internet access, carpeting, and air conditioning. In fact, the entire corporate tent area was pretty amazing.

The driving range at Pinehurst was transformed into a village of corporate tents. They laid asphalt down on the range, then had special roller impress a brick pattern into the asphalt. The asphalt was painted and sanded, so it appeared you were walking on brick pavers. The other areas were beautifully landscaped with trees and sod that were brought in. Now they are taking down the tents, digging up the asphalt, and resodding the driving range.

I have been to several major championships at amazing locations, including The Masters, the US Amateur at The Homestead, the British Open at St. Andrews. None can compare to the ease and efficiency with which Pinehurst conducted this championship. You can count on the US Open returning to Pinehurst every ten years or so for at least a few decades.

Last Thursday will remain one of my favorites for a long time, and I owe a big thanks to my host, Southern Community Bank.


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