Pinehurst: Over a Century of History
Posted June 13, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
PINEHURST — For over a century, one thing has not changed, people have come toPinehurst, North Carolinafor golf.
In the early days, golfers wore ties and tweeds, and played with hickory shafts for clubs. Times have changed as the quaint little village prepares to host the big time - the1999 U.S. Open.
Although Pinehurst has become a massive golf haven, that was not the original intent of James Tufts, the Boston soda fountain magnate who founded the village in 1895.
"Golf was actually a second thought here," said Khris Januzik, Tufts archives curator. "Originally, it was supposed to be a health resort for those of modest income, the genteel class. Golf was just not in the picture in the very beginning."
However, golf became a major focal point in the picture. The Pinehurst No. 2 course, designed by world renown golf-architect Donald Ross, quickly gained an international reputation. It attracted golfers from all over the globe enabling the resort to grow to the mammoth size it is today.
"It has eight courses, which makes it the world's largest golf resort," said Kaleb Miles with the convention center and visitors bureau, "and thousands come to what they call 'the mecca of golf' to play golf. It has so much tradition and history, and it all got started back in the early 1900s."
But even with all of its history, landing the U.S. Open may be Pinehurst's crowning achievement.
"It's definitely going to overshadow the '36 PGA Championship and the '51 Ryder Cup, but it also really signifies the major return of pro golf here, which has been coming back," Januzik said.
The family that ran Pinehurst for many years did not like professional golf tournaments. They preferred the amateur tournaments like the annual North and South tournament.