Pinehurst Day 1: No. 5
I’m staying at the classic Carolina Hotel, which is a nice a resort property as you can imagine. The staff is extraordinarily friendly and the service superb. Once the car is parked, a golfer can just take a shuttle from course to course.
The first round of my stay was on Pinehurst No. 5.
Five is a design by Ellis Maples, a protege of Donald Ross. It has wide, friendly fairways (I didn’t miss a single one) and greens that aren’t going to beat you up.
I think it was a good course to play to shake off the stiffness of driving nearly 900 miles in two and a half days.
That doesn’t make it boring or easy, though. Five presented an unexpected amount of elevation change to go with a nice variety in right- or left-bending holes. I counted five that turned to the left, and six that turned to the right. Five holes had water to avoid.
Elevated greens with sharp slopes on the edges rejected quite a few of my approach shots. On others, I was fooled — in spite of my GPS watch — by bunkers that appeared closer to the greens than I thought.
Tomorrow, it is on to “The Cradle,” Pinehurst’s short course, and Number 4.