Carolinas Golf Magazine


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Page 34 of 43

acres around Coles Mill Lake and has more than 100 feet of elevation changes. The towering pines are uniquely Pinehurst, with a rolling layout reminiscent of the game's roots in the sandy linksland of Scotland. The property has no homes, real estate or other devel- opments around it, giving Dormie Club a relaxed, secluded feel despite being mere minutes from the heart of the Village of Pinehurst. The design includes reachable par-4s, a 240-plus yard par-3 and many memorable views. Skilled golfers will enjoy the subtle strategic elements that reveal themselves with multiple rounds played, while average players will have fun playing the course's wide fairways. The strategy built into Dormie Club's layout will be familiar to anyone who's played Donald Ross' Pinehurst No. 2 masterpiece, or Coore/Crenshaw lay- outs such as Bandon Trails or Sand Valley. The fair- ways are wide, and golfers can collect pars and bogeys after hitting the ball to nearly any portion of the land- ing areas. But golfers looking to shoot a score will quickly find that the ideal lines and targets on each hole are exacting and blend risk with reward. The 400-yard opening hole is an ideal example. From an elevated tee box, the massive fairway is an inviting target, and a very large green awaits. Hitting both isn't difficult, but better players will skirt the fairway bunkers along the left for the best angle into the green. A similar challenge is faced on the third hole, one of the outstanding short par-4s at Dormie Club. At only 302 yards, golfers can lay back with an iron or hybrid or try to pound a driver close to the green. But the green has multiple levels and subtle ridges, and getting your approach on the right level is a must if you're trying to make birdie. Like many holes on the course, you'll want to plot your course management strategy from the green back to the tee shot. And, of course, a little local knowledge never hurts. The closing trio of holes serve as a fitting summary of Dormie Club's layout. The long par-3 16th gives players plenty of room around the green, but aggres- sive players will flirt with waste areas as they hunt birdies. No. 17 is a reachable par-5, and longer hitters will be tempted to carry the bunkers that divide the layup zone from the green – but difficult pot bunkers lurk in defense. The home hole is a mid-length par-4 with a wide fairway and large green, but there are pin placements that create slippery putts and demand touch and nerve. As it stands, Dormie Club is a great course in an unexpectedly rustic location. The pine straw parking lot and quaint wooden clubhouse hide the fact that the course is roughly five minutes away from dining, shops and hotels. ■ S U M M E R 2 0 1 8 | CAROLINAS GOLF | 33 "This is a special golf course, and I'm glad to see the investments that are going to be made to the course , and the addition of a new clubhouse and cottages. —Bill Coore MIKE PHILIPS

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