Pinehurst Looks at Branching Out
“Orange juice — it’s not just for breakfast anymore,” the old commercials used to say. Now we can look for a variation on that campaign regarding Pinehurst: It’s no longer just for golf.
Pinehurst has never been a golf monoculture, of course. Indeed, there was no golf there at all in the early days — until, according to legend, the man in charge of the dairy began complaining that some guys were hitting little white balls around in the pasture, scaring the cows.
In the early years after its birth in 1895, Pinehurst was mostly the scene of activities like horseback riding, gun shooting, archery, polo — and founder James Walker Tufts’ personal favorite sport, lawn bowling.
But then, around the turn of the 20th century, those little white balls began multiplying at warp speed — especially with the arrival from Scotland of a man named Donald Ross. Ever since, whether fairly or not, Pinehurst has been characterized in the eyes of the rest of the world as something of a one-trick pony.
And the trick has been golf — which, we hasten to say, has been very good to that lovely little village over the years.
A Movement Toward Diversity
Now, a concerted movement toward diversification is taking shape, and it seems a healthy trend.
The goal of those leading this movement is to have “people to come here almost any weekend and be able to have fun, interesting events that are tailored to the personality of the area.”
The village government has bought into the idea, with Assistant Village Manager Natalie Dean taking an active role. The village is also putting some of its money toward the contemplated marketing campaign.
Many of the activities being proposed tie in closely with downtown businesses and their own efforts to attract customers. And as ambitious as this new movement is, it is really only a piece of a bigger goal, which is generally to improve Pinehurst and make it more user-friendly.
Still the Big Hitter
Obviously, golf is not about to fold its tents and leave Moore County — or even to take a back seat. For the immediate future, indeed, quite the opposite is true. Between now and the summer of 2014, all things golf will be front-and-center as Pinehurst basks in a national spotlight while hosting the first ever back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.
Even after those events have closed, entities like Pinehurst Resort, the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau can still be counted on to keep golf in the middle of the publicity spotlight. After all, they don’t call it “The Home of American Golf for nothing.
Over the long haul, though, a broadening of the local marketing campaign seems like a wise course. Ultimately, the goal of attracting a greater variety of people to the area will depend on developing a greater variety of things for them to see and do.
The more baskets to put our recreational and entertainment eggs in, the better.
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