Rees Jones added another classic Carolina through the pines course to the Pinehurst family on one of the most rugged pieces of land on the property. The course has an almost mountainous feel to it with many holes playing down off the tee to a landing area and up to the green on the approach. The hilly terrain makes the yardage on the scorecard deceiving since many holes play a club and a half more up to the greens. At a slope of 140 from 6800 yards it is in my estimation the hardest of the numbered courses here at the Mecca of American golf-just seems like avoiding the high score on individual holes is very difficult.
Many huge pines that seem to attract any wayward shot-anything off the fairway seems to find the trees and there are few par saves available from the needles. Therefore, it is a very exacting driving course-first four holes in particular are very tight. Knowing the Carolina pine needle shot is very important-use the fairway bunker swing-little leg motion-contact ball before needles. Driving in play and good putting are integral to a decent score.
The place is not over-bunkered, the trees present plenty of hazard on their own, but the bunkers there are have exotic shapes and sizes designed to visually intimidate. The greens are large, influenced by grain, rolling, and segmented with lots of slant in them. There is a big premium for keeping your approach shots below the hole. Most of the greens are set up on hills or plateaus so you have many high soft shots to stay on the putting surfaces.
Nature note-they have a special breed of fox squirrels here-looks like Zorro and eats anything. Plenty of playground room for them.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Architect: Rees Jones (1986)
Tees Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6819 73.7 140
White 6216 71.6 132
(Click to see complete Pinehurst No. 7 hole-by-hole descriptions)