July 29th, 2023

Pinehurst No. 10, A Major Development in Tom Doak's Unique Course Design

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Four miles south of Pinehurst Resort is a sprawling property of 900 acres that resort owners purchased in 2011. A part of that land, a former sand mine, was home to a polarizing golf course called The Pit for 25 years. Today, it's what Tom Pashley, Pinehurst President, calls the resort's field of dreams. In late spring of 2024, a new golf course will open to the public with a new design by Tom Doak, the tenth 18-hole championship course at this iconic resort.

What's coming next at Pinehurst Resort is even grander in vision, focusing not only on traditional design but also excitement and trendy secondary options such as a short course and putting course. The resort will evaluate development opportunities with town officials, including the possibility of building guest cottages and other lodging besides a new clubhouse for the newest addition, Pinehurst No. 10. With 171 holes, Pinehurst is among the nation's biggest golf properties, but even that's insufficient to meet the existing demand.

The property where Pinehurst No. 10 will be designed was home to The Pit from 1985 to 2010. It boasts rugged dunes and native sand, towering longleaf pines, natural ridgelines, wiregrass, and streams. Topographically, it's quite distinct from the other Pinehurst golf courses, with roughly 75 feet of elevation change and expansive, breathtaking views from its highest point over the area. "It's bigger, bolder, and more dramatic," says Doak. The architect also adds that the sand of the region is what he's most excited about. Landscape architect Angela Moser, who has worked on amazing courses such as the Streamsong Black and St. Patrick's Links, will serve as Doak's lead design associate for the project.

It was over 40 years ago that Doak first visited Pinehurst and played the No. 2 course, designed by Donald Ross, which he rated a perfect 10 in his book, The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses. Doak was also a supporter of the course's restoration by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, who years ago created a property-specific course routing for The Pit that Pinehurst had sat on ever since. With 900 acres, there's certainly room for multiple courses, big or small. While the next historic chapter at Pinehurst will involve Doak, there may be more to come. "This exceptional property is a place where many of our dreams of the future can be contemplated," Pinehurst Resort CEO Bob Dedman Jr. says.

The Pinehurst No. 10 features an interesting layout that Doak has noted as unique in its own way. Because the site is topographically distinct and very different from anywhere in Pinehurst, it will be bigger, bolder, and more dramatic. Golfers will have expansive views from the apex over the rest of the course. It will undoubtedly be a memorable experience for players. "The number one thing that excited us about the project is working with the beautiful sand that's native to this region," Doak said.

Doak says the development of Pinehurst No. 10 has been swift because of its scheduling challenges with him and the contractors. They are only on-site for up to a week at a time, which has helped things move along. Shaping a green, developing a design, and building it will take a few days, but once it is finished, a sense of accomplishment will ensue. "I love what I do, and this is what I do: come out on-site during construction and tinkering around and working on these things," says the renowned golf architect.

So far, Tom Doak has designed approximately 50 golf courses nationwide, making him a prolific architect. Pinehurst No. 10 will be the first golf course to be added to the resort in over 30 years. The architect envisioned a course that complements the resort's other courses through its contrasts. Pinehurst No. 10 will incorporate dunes that were mined at the turn of the 20th century and feature the native sand and wiregrass characteristic to the area.

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