Archive for May, 2010

An anniversary to remember-Pinehurst #2

May 18, 2010

The pose of a Champion

For those of you that are married, you experience the anniversary and the decision of what to get for the spouse and what to do. My wife and I just celebrated our 4th Anniversary a couple of weeks ago and as a treat, we spent the weekend in Pinehurst.

My wife, who does not play golf, made the arrangements for me to play golf on Saturday morning while she was getting some spa treatments. Guys do not be jealous when I say that my wife actually called for a tee time for me on Pinehurst #2. Very few women would do this and this is only one reason that I love her.

Pinehurst #2 is an amazing course to play with the very picturesque setting of the Carolina pines. You cannot help but to imagine the footsteps of golf greats who have walked the same fairways and putted on the same greens. From the legends such as Payne Stewart with his championship putt on 18 to the Golden Bear, Jack Nickolas. Site of the both the 2014 PGA and LPGA U.S. Open, one cannot but fantasize about being one of the elite golfers who have played this course in years past and to imagine the future Tour events to be held on this famed course.

The Donald Ross designed course #2 has such historical perspective that you cannot but imagine a simpler time before cell phones and computers and I-Pods. A simple time when people had the ability to take a break without being concerned about missing a phone call or a business deal. This is the understated value that a weekend at Pinehurst gives you.

The course itself is a very challenging course, but not in the traditional sense of challenging. I did not lose a ball on the course as there is only one water hole and the course is open to the point where the amateur can play this course without too many concerns with reaching the fairways off the tee. The challenge comes into play with the approach shot to the greens. If you do not place the ball in the correct spot on the green, the ball is likely to roll of the green. This is especially the case with the 5th hole as that green is nearly impossible to reach in regulation.

While walking the course, my caddy pointed out the hole and location where John Daly shot an eleven on a single hole. The better caddie here can give you some of the history of the course such as the John Daly explosion. Of course, no other hole is as famed by a PGA Champion then the 18th, where Payne’s tee shot went into the woods and he had to scramble to get up in 3 before making the 15 foot putt for a par and the Championship.

Many people are aware of the famed #2 course, but are not completely aware of the history of Pinehurst and its humble beginnings. It’s history begins in 1895 when a Bostonian named James Tufts purchased the 5800 acre site for about $1 an acre. The site once had large pine trees, but the previous owner had cleared nearly all of the pines for building supplies, leaving this a desolate, sandy and barren wasteland. Tufts had a vision of making something special with this land and went about achieving it.

His vision was to make this a health retreat for middle class Americans and wanted this new community to be designed like a New England village. He hired the firm of Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot to create a master plan for this sandy wasteland. Frederick Law Olmsted, the chief designer was a well-renowned designer of such lasting projects as Central Park. As a result, more than 220,000 tree seedlings were brought in, many of which were from France.

Thus began the humble beginnings of this Southern resort. The Holly Inn open for business in December 31, 1895 and golf came to Pinehurst three years later. The first course was designed by Dr. D. Leroy Culver of New York to build a nine-hole course. In 1899, Pinehurst’s first golf professional, John Dunn Tucker, was hired to add an additional nine, which later became Pinehurst No. 1, our first 18-hole layout.

Statues of the legends who formed Pinehurst

Donald J. Ross came to Pinehurst in 1900 to direct golf operations and remained there until his death in 1948. His first task was to redesign Pinehurst #1 and of course, his first design was Pinehurst #2.

If you wish to learn more about the history of Pinehurst, it is available on their website at It is an amazing story and one that would benefit you to learn.

Pinehurst is just one of the many great courses in North Carolina and the Triangle. Less than 80 miles from Raleigh, it is a great retreat to get away and return to a simpler time. If you have not been to Pinehurst, I would highly recommend a visit and a round of golf on one of the 8 courses.

Real estate in the Triangle and Golf

As mentioned, the Carolinas is a mecca for golfing with the weather to play golf nearly year round, but most will play 8-9 months a year. The Triangle has all the Urban amenities you would need coupled with the Southern hospitality that you have only heard and read about. I made Raleigh my home nearly 13 years ago and have not regretted that decision for an instant. When I moved here, I played golf 2-3 times a month, but with the many courses to choose, I have found myself playing 1-2 times a week.

The real estate market in the Triangle is good, not great, but improving. We did not experience the huge number of foreclosures or the major depreciation that many Urban areas experienced due to a number of factors. First of all, we continue to grow so there are more potential home buyers moving here. Secondly, the appreciation was modest throughout the real estate boom. Finally, the area is so open that there is plenty of land available for future growth, which is the major factor for our modest appreciation growth during the boom.

1st Anual Golf Tournament!

May 14, 2010 sponsors a hole and a team for this event

The Rotary Club of North Raleigh held its first annual golf tournament on April 29 and it was a huge success. Despite not reaching the participation goals that the club representatives set, they had great participation from the community and a wonderful event was held for all of those in attendance.

Mike Riddick of Riddick Insurance chaired the event on behalf of the Rotarty Club and did an amazing job to put this event together. Several other Rotarians assisted in the planning of this event that is being planned as an annual fundraiser for the club.

As a member of this Rotary club, Steven W. Nelson and Back Nine Homes sponsored a team and a hole for this event. Although the team did not bring home a win, a great time was held by all in attendance. The team included Steven W. Nelson, Greg Brissette, Hurly Gough and Steve Henion. “With my limited skill, I cannot say that I was a major assistance to the team, but I did have a few shots that helped the team”, reported Mr. Nelson. “The reason we get together is for those who will be helped because of the contributions of all of the participants”, added Mr. Nelson.

As this was a shot-gun start, the team started on the 15th hole. The team finished with 4 birdies and 2 bogies for a 2 under par. Although we were not the winners, we avoided the bottom of the list as there were 2 teams below us.

Despite not winning the tournament, we did have a winner among  us. The longest drive contest that was held on the Par 5 7th hole was won by one of our team members, Hurly Gough. Hurly had a great day as he also won one of several closet to the pin competitions. For his efforts, he took home 2 gift certificates to local restaurants.

“Due to the great work of the Rotary and the enjoyment of the event itself”, stated Mr. Nelson, “ plans to sponsor a team next year and possibly enhance our support of this great event.”

Wildwood Greens Golf Course is a semi-private course in North Raleigh located off of Strickland Road. Wildwood Green is a very challenging course with several water hazards, a few long par 5s and some very difficult par 4s that force you to craft your shot to ensure reaching the green in regulation. For more information about this course, you can visit the website at