The Dormie Club
I know it’s hard sometimes to drag yourself away from the magnificent Crystal Coast, but if you occasionally like to test your golf skills elsewhere, there’s no other place like Pinehurst.
As I’ve said before in this column, Myrtle Beach has some good courses and some not so good, but there are no bad courses in Pinehurst.
Last week, a dozen of us from here on the coast traveled to Pinehurst to try the new Dormie Club.
In 2012, Golf Magazine declared the Dormie Club as the second-best course in the U.S. that you can play. The course was designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the same pair who orchestrated the reconstruction of Pinehurst No. 2.
We flatlanders were highly impressed with the 110-foot elevation change on the 307 acres on which the 18 holes were laid out. Just like at the Ocean Course at Kiawah, the Dormie Club has no bunkers, just waste area. The greens are A-1/A-4 bentgrass with a little Crenshaw bent worked in.
This golf course is a gem, and I highly recommend you go out of your way to play it while you can, as plans are for it to go private in the future.
You can see some photos and a description of the course on www.dormieclub.com. And while you’re in Pinehurst, there’s still no better place to stay than the Pinecrest Inn.
News from the golf world
For many years, the Masters has given a spot in the tournament to the winner of the USGA Public Links Amateur Championship.
For the first time in the history of the organization, the USGA is removing a championship from their schedule. The Publinks Championship will be replaced after this year with the Four-Ball Championship.
The winners will not receive an invitation to the Masters so the Crows Nest at the Augusta clubhouse where the amateurs stay will have a vacancy.
Phil Mickelson will be competing in the Northern Trust Open in Tucson this week, mustering up for the fifth event in a row.
He is skipping the World Match Play later this month.
Rocco Mediate won the Allianz Challenge in Florida last weekend with a fine 17-under-par performance.
He joined the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player by winning his inaugural event as a senior.
Swedish golfer Daniela Holmquist was in Canberra this week competing in the Women’s Australian Open and was bitten by a spider on the course.
She used a golf tee to extract potentially fatal venom from the bite wound and continued the round. The spider was probably a redback, similar to our black widow.
Her score of 74 missed the cut, but she’s one tough gal.
Tiger Woods’ popularity... or lack thereof
Tiger Woods came in third this week in an opinion poll to identify America’s 10 most disliked athletes.
Leading the list was Lance
Armstrong, followed by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
Tiger is actually a little better off than in last year’s poll when he polled second to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Shorter, yes ... faster, no
As the years go by, the length and size of our swings may get shorter and smaller, but according to one golfing great, we should learn to play
with a more compact swing rather than trying to re-lengthen it.
None other than Jack Nicklaus says that on occasion he has tried to lengthen his swing as he’s gotten older, but the end result felt so unnatural that
it would not work in competition. Jack found that as his swing got a bit shorter, he could still play good powerful golf, as long as he focused on avoiding the fault that so
frequently accompanies time-induced swing shortening — excessively speeding everything up. In that respect, Jack says he quit worrying about the size of his swing and more about its pace and tempo.
I don’t think there is any doubt that the Golden Bear could still compete on the
Champions Tour if he wanted, so don’t fret if your backswing isn’t quite as long as it was a few years ago.
Lousy golf joke of the week
It was the Sunday round of the Masters, and a Norm is sitting front row on the 18th green with a perfect view of the action.
Another gent is standing several rows back and notices that the chair next to Norm is
empty and has been for hours. The gent makes his way through the crowd and asks Norm if he could sit in the chair for a bit until the owner
“You’re welcome to sit there, Sir,” says Norm. “That chair belonged to me wife. She recently passed away, and this is the first Masters we have
missed together since 1964. Out of nostalgia, I felt it appropriate to bring her chair and set it next to me.”
The gent sat down in the chair and told Norm, “It’s a shame the ticket and the chair had to go unused. Didn’t you have a friend or relative
that could have come?”
“No,” replied Norm. “They’re all at the funeral.”
(Editor’s note: Mick Brown writes a regular golf column for The News-Times. Brown is a PGA of America teaching pro at the Golfin’ Dolphin practice facility in Cape Carteret. He is also the head pro and director of golf at the Star Hill Golf Club in Cape Carteret.)