Dateline: August 19, 2021 – Pinehurst

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We traveled down to the Pinehurst Resort from Raleigh for the North/South Championship, a redo of last year. We decided to stay at one of the Pinehurst Resort properties, the Holly Inn. It was a lovely place a very nice room with a separate sitting room and we had lots of fun learning the history of the Inn which is situated next to the picturesque Pinehurst Village. Since we have posted about Pinehurst before we thought we might focus a bit on the history.

Street Views of Pinehurst Village

Holly Inn of Pinehurst Resort

The Holly Inn was the first hotel built by James Walker Tufts, the founder of Pinehurst in 1895.  He originally founded it as a retreat from Northern winters, Pinehurst’s season ran from November 1 to April 30

On New Year’s Eve in 1895, The Holly Inn welcomed its first guests. For $3 a piece, 20 people celebrated sending out the old and ushering in the new at this hotel in the pine barrens of North Carolina’s Sandhills.

The prices have certainly gone up since then, but based on inflation about the same!  $3.00 per person or $6.00 per couple is approximately $195.00 today, pretty close to what we paid, and we even got a “to go” breakfast bag for the golf course!

Located in the heart of The Village of Pinehurst, the Holly Inn mixes architectural styles including Queen Ann Revival, Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau. All of it!  It all goes together.  We would just refer to it as Victorian today. The surrounding property has abundant foliage and winding pathways with a pool in the back.

The Holly has been enchanting guests since that first New Year’s Eve in 1895. In those days, the hotel boasted all of the modern amenities of the time: electric lights, steam heat, telephones, a solarium, billiard room, and the “best hair mattresses.” In the country.  Thank God, now that the golf season is year-round, they have A/C!

Although much has changed since Holly’s founding, it remains a Village focal point.

Through the years, the inn evolved. Perhaps its most unexpected role came in the mid-’40s. In 1943, it was home to officers and their families when Camp Mackall was short on housing. 

Then in the summer of 1944, The Holly was the site of an Army-conducted study of the common cold. Conscientious objectors from Fort Bragg, who had religious objections to war, volunteered as guinea pigs for the experiment.  Here are the links to the study called the Pinehurst Trials

There were no Covid-19 studies being conducted at the hotel during our visit that we know about!

The inn struggled in the 1970s as newer, more modern accommodations caught the eye of travelers. The Holly closed for a period, and its future was uncertain — but after extensive renovations, it reopened in 1986. The meticulous restoration preserved the inn’s finest features, and it was designated a National and State Historic Landmark.

It was such a pleasure to stay at the Holly and would do it again in the future.

Dugans Pub

We have continued to return to Dugans Pub for various meals over the years. Great pub with reasonable pricing. We caught up with two friends, Liz and Pat from the Jacksonville area, they were both playing golf in the Veterans Golf Association National Championship in Pinehurst. We enjoyed a beer at Dugan’s and the next evening had a fantastic dinner at Theos Taverna in Pinehurst Village.

Golf in Pinehurst – Is it Just One Course?

We had an interesting conversation recently with a relative about Pinehurst golf. He was from California and was not aware of the size of golf in Pinehurst, thinking it was only one course. The Pinehurst Resort has nine courses. The famous course at Pinehurst is Number 2 where the USGA Open has been played 3 times since 1999. The first four courses at Pinehurst No 1, 2, 3, and 4 were designed by Donald Ross with the other courses designed by other reputable architects.

There are about 20 additional courses in the Pinehurst area that range in quality, but most are very good to excellent. Many were also Donald Ross courses.

The Pinehurst Resort courses are fantastic with many ranked in the top 100 “playable courses” (not private) in the United States by Golfweek and Golf Digest. Pinehurst No. 4 was just renovated and taken back to the original Donald Ross design.

We had the pleasure of playing three great Pinehurst Resort courses in the North/South Senior Amateur. Number 2, Number 5, and Number 8. What a great experience.

Pinehurst Bronze Statues Around the Clubhouse

There are a number of bronze sculptures outside the main clubhouse that are memorable.

The Putter Boy

In 1912, sculptress Lucy Richards used the lad as the model for her bronze statuette in sundial form. Since Richards wasn’t a golfer, Ross demonstrated the proper grip and stance for her—but the image is not of Ross, who was a grown man at the time.

The shaft of the club created the shadow that would be used on the sundial to tell time, and in order to get the proper angle, the length of the club had to be inordinately long.

The statue was known as “The Sundial Boy” until the 1970s, when “The Putter Boy” name caught on. For many years the statue sat on a concrete base between the two large putting greens beside the clubhouse. It was moved in 1978 to the PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame but returned to Pinehurst around 1990 and now is displayed prominently once again outside the clubhouse.


Donald Ross

The father of American
Golf Course Architecture, he
was responsible for golf course
construction, maintenance, the
golf shop, and tournaments at
Pinehurst from 1901 until his 
death in 1948

This statue was dedicated
by his daughter, Lillian Ross
Pippitt, on the occasion of the
PGS TOUR Championship,
November 1, 1991.

Payne Stewart

The larger-than-life statue of Payne Stewart overlooks the 18th hole of Pinehurst Number 2.

Stewart won the 1999 US Open with a 15-foot putt for par, beating Phil Michelson by one stroke. He lept into his caddy’s arms swinging his legs back like the pose used for the statue.

Stewart tragically died 4 months later at 42 years old when the plane he was traveling in crashed.

This statue was dedicated the day before the start of the 105th, 2005 US Open at Pinehurst. A single bagpiper playing three slow Scottish Airs as he walked up the 1st fairway. Stewart’s thrilling victory was relived by friends and former competitors.

John was unable to complete the 3rd round of the tournament (he was not feeling great) and Janice finally had a decent round of golf the last day and was not DFL… We completed the tournament on Wednesday and immediately started our trip North to visit Janice’s Aunt and Uncle in Harwich Massachusetts (on the Cape), and Janice’s sister Connie and Lee in New Hampshire. More on that later.


  1. Mark Ouellette

    Wow that certainly is a place I have to get to some day, it’s amazing how many courses Ross developed in his life time around this Country, hope the remainder of your travels are just as fun for you guys.

    1. John and Janice

      Thanks. When our cousin mentioned he thought that Pinehurst was just the one course. It is an amazing area with some of the best Donald Ross courses in the country. He lived across the street from Pinehurst No 2. Be back Sunday, looking forward to getting home!

  2. Janice Thomas

    Hi Janice & John,
    Enjoy reading about your many travels! We are going to Pinehurst next month and will definitely try Theo’s and Dugans Pub. We have not been there in many years so looking forward to our visit! Enjoy your travels!

    1. John and Janice

      Pinehurst is just wonderful. Have a great time.

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