New Era Under Way For Pinehurst Club
Pinehurst Resort and Country Club - two names, two missions, two very different clienteles. It's been a difficult balancing act over the years, and the club members haven't always been foremost in that equation.
The members' day has come, and you can see that in the vast change as construction progresses on a $3.7 million renovation of the clubhouse. That's just the first phase of a much broader plan to update what had become stodgy and extend the club's reach to a Pinehurst that's very different from years ago.
The club, under the direction of Pinehurst owner Robert Dedman Jr., is seeking a greater footprint. Next week, club officials will send out 6,000 mailings to Pinehurst property owners who aren't currently members with a simple message: We have a membership package for you.
Not into golf? No sweat. There will be other membership options, including a simple "social" membership that will let members leverage the sweeping changes going in at the clubhouse - and at temporary hefty discounts.
Walk through the main entrance of the clubhouse and you still see the old chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and old dining room chairs are pushed to the sides, all coated in construction dust. But the hole has been cut for the dramatic new fireplace in the entry, and it doesn't take too much to picture the sweeping semicircular staircases that will rise from a landing up to the main dining level.
On that level, the structural steel is in place, along with studs where the new exterior walls will be. Holes are cut for the exterior fireplace. A spot is roughed out for the new bar, which will include a large raised table where groups can sit around and talk through their completed round.
The club also will offer daily a la carte dining, something it hadn't offered previously. And a ballroom will provide one of the most beautiful scenes in Moore County: an unobstructed view down No. 2 from the first tee all the way to the second green.
The biggest changes will be outside, where a large patio will provide outdoor dining, an exterior fireplace and more amazing views of golf's most treasured real estate.
Dedman himself has been keeping an eye on renovations, going so far recently as to order changes in the bar area to raise the ceiling a touch.
"They're trying to make it so member-friendly," says Sandy Smith, president of the club's board of governors. "I don't know that that's ever been there. It's just been, Pinehurst is a resort, and members were just here."
Leading the strategic turn is Jay Biggs, hired last year as the new senior vice president of golf and club operations, and Jeff Shepard, also hired recently as the new director of membership and sales. Both have experience managing private clubs, and they see the improvements as an opportunity to expand the club's reach.
The village isn't just a retirement community anymore. Its population has been swelled by people who've taken jobs with FirstHealth or transferred in to Fort Bragg as a result of military consolidation. These are younger families who might not have time or interest in golf but could appreciate a place to get away for evenings or weekends.
"We want an experience," says Biggs, "where the member can begin and end their day with us."
The overall impact is clear, after years of seeming to cater to tourists at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club: Members matter.
Contact John Nagy at (910) 693-2507 or email@example.com.
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