The Dormie Club: Coore, Crenshaw Create a Classic in the Sandhills
While accolades for their work in restoring the Pinehurst No. 2 Course are still ringing in their ears, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are being applauded for their design of the Dormie Club.
While there has been limited play at Dormie over the past several months, the club is now open to both members and guests. And to enable local and area golfers an opportunity to enjoy the unique design before it reverts to a private facility, an invitational spring rate is being offered.
“For a limited time, any member of a local golf or country club is invited to play Dormie at the special introductory rate of $145, which includes the green fee, a cart and a forecaddie,” said membership chairman Mike Phillips. “For those who want to walk and play with a caddie, the fee is $160.”
The normal fee is $235 during peak seasons.
Originally planned to be an ultra-private membership club with a walking course, some concessions have been made due to the balky economy and a desire by members and guests to use golf carts if desired.
Head professional Paul Oglesby, formerly with the renowned Merion Club as a teaching pro, came to Dormie for a couple of reasons.
“The concept intrigued me, and I was able to move farther south,” he said. “I had taught golf for 16 years but never been in charge. I also liked the concept of it being a private club.”
Oglesby admits that he is in love with the course already. “This property isn’t what people expect when they come to the Pinehurst area,” he said.
“Coore and Crenshaw were pretty much given free rein to use the property the way they wanted for the building the course. Mr. (Bob) Hansen told them, ‘I really like what you do, so build what you want from what you find.’ He gave them a couple of ideas of things he wanted, but that was about it. This was the first course in North Carolina for them, and they were excited to build something here.”
The course winds through a forest of hardwood and pines with changes in elevation making the holes scenic and adventurous. Two large lakes add to the natural beauty.
The greens are built to offer golfers different avenues of approach, from flying the ball in to running it. The options are intriguing.
Phillips, who was with Pinehurst Plantation before it was sold and renamed Mid South, loves the layout. “The first five holes are all par-4s,” he said, “but it’s a great assortment of holes. Every hole is outstanding … not a boring one out there.”
Oglesby enjoys the layout so much that he can give you a quick breakdown on the best way to play each hole:
No. 1 par-4 390 — Tee shot slightly uphill. Play the approach shot about five yards longer than it measures.
No. 2 par-4 385 — Keep tee shot right of bunker, but closer to it gives a flatter lie. Second shot slightly uphill and green is deeper than it looks.
No. 3 par-4 295 — 215-yard tee shot keeps you short of the large bunker. Most severe green on the course.
No. 4 par-4 385 — Biggest drop in elevation on the course. Aim tee shot down the middle. Don’t hug the left side. Aim approach to left side of green. Do not miss to the right.
No. 5 par-4 415 — Keep tee shot to left half of fairway. Carry over water 160 yards and ball runs to right. Aim approach to the left and ball runs right.
No. 6 par-5 495 — Tee shot uphill, final 180 yards downhill. Aim tee shot at left edge of huge bunker. Green is narrow and falls off to left. Hit approach to the front of the green.
No. 7 par 3 212 — Aim left of green. If between clubs, always hit the longer one.
No. 8 par-4 460 — Favor right of fairway, ball runs right to left. Bogey not bad here.
No. 9 par-3 142 — Tee shot little uphill. Small green, false front and back tier. Favor right side.
No. 10 par-5 601 — Second shot must carry wetland or be kept to right.
No. 11 par-4 390 — Aim left of sand ridge down right side. Blind second shot, must be kept left.
No. 12 par-3 98 — Slightly uphill green features a shelf, a saddle and back left tier.
No. 13 par-4 465 — Aim tee shot left of large tree. Keep second shot to left side of green.
No. 14 par 4 284 — Keep tee shot left of large tree on right. Narrow green falls off on the right.
No. 15 par-4 364 — Tee shot carry of 190 over wetland. Aim second shot left side of green. Don’t miss right!
No. 16 par-3 175 — Downhill and plays five yards short of yardage. Spine bisects the green.
No. 17 par-5 445 — Waste bunker crosses fairway. Long hitters can carry with second but some will lay up. Green has false front and back tier.
No. 18 par-4 410 — Wetland area crosses fairway 275 from tee. Fairway slopes left to right.
Those are great guidelines, and the caddies are quick to help you with the intricacies. The entire course is a visible masterpiece as well as an inviting challenge.
For information regarding the Dormie Club or for tee times, call (910) 947-3240.
Contact Howard Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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