Donald Ross design characteristics return to Pinehurst No. 3


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    The fourth hole at Pinehurst No. 3

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    Sandy native areas and wire grass, an original Ross feature, have been reintroduced...

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    ...returning holes to their vintage glory

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    The rough bunkering around these small greens are classic Ross design traits

Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert

The No. 3 course at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina, USA has reopened after work was carried out to restore much of Donald Ross’s signature spirit and vision to the course he originally designed.

The shortest course at Pinehurst now features many elements of Ross’s design characteristics, including sandy native areas and wire grass. It has also been rerouted to make room for what will be Gil Hanse’s ten-acre nine-hole short course, which breaks ground in May.

Work has been led by architect Kye Goalby, with support from Blake Conant and Kyle Franz, who has also been working in the area at Mid Pines GC. Pinehurst superintendent Kevin Robinson and his team also collaborated on the work.

To keep Pinehurst No. 3 as an 18-hole golf course, which plays to a par 68, the team built two new holes – both par-3s.

“The two new par-3s are devilish short holes that feature sandscape and water,” said Chris Buie, author of The Life & Times of Donald Ross and The Early Days of Pinehurst, in an article on the Pinehurst site. “In addition, where the par-3s were placed allowed designers to rework two other holes, making them more interesting in the process.”

Ross-style strategy is now evident throughout the course.

“Where before players could see mounds or depressions that reflected past design features, now those elements are brought again to the forefront with the sandscape and bunkering,” said Buie.