Golf Course Architecture - Issue 74, October 2023

63 PINEHURST NO. 10 No. 10’s eighth hole is part of the course that does sit on land formerly used by the Pit. It is, very clearly, part of the old sand quarry, and it essentially occupies a valley among trees whose bases are higher than (most of) the land they encompass. But not all of it: the valley is home to a number of enormous, and steep, sand mounds, the biggest of which is fully 20 feet high, and is, presumably, left over from the sand quarrying operation. They are as large as any contours I have ever seen in the direct line of play. The hole is, to top it all, mostly blind: a sliver of fairway can be seen from the tee, but not much! You can get a view of the green for your second, but only if you are brave enough to drive straight over the top of the ‘Matterhorn’. It is, essentially, a larger version of Harry Colt’s unique (until now) sixth hole at De Pan in the Netherlands, a par four that also involves a drive over a large hill and is mostly blind. Truly, No. 10’s eighth is among the boldest holes that I have ever seen: there cannot be many other places in golf where a 20-foot-high contour is in the direct line of play. It should not, though, be too brutal: the nature of the valley means that balls will inevitably bounce or roll off the huge contours, but will not often go out of play. It is a fine piece of design by Doak: a hole that everyone who plays it will always remember and discuss, and it will also not eat golf balls too hungrily. Angela Moser is, I think, entitled to be well pleased with her first job as a lead associate for Doak. Pinehurst No. 10 will be a splendid addition to the resort’s offering, with enough radicalness and drama to be hugely memorable to resort golfers, yet sane enough to be very playable and unlikely to scare too many horses. When golfers, after their rounds, sit down and analyse what they have played, it will not, I think, be regarded as one of Doak’s more extreme courses. But nobody will ever forget that eighth hole. The eighth plays over a ‘Matterhorn’ feature to a heavily contoured fairway Photo: Pinehurst Resort “ There cannot be many other places in golf where a 20-foot-high contour is in the direct line of play”