Club Custom Fitting available now! Schedule your fitting session with certified professional today!

ONLINE SERVICE & SUPPORT (612) 216-4152
 
Clearance Section Shop Now
ONLINE SERVICE & SUPPORT (612) 216-4152

U.S. Open at Pinehurst Personified: The Pine Crest Inn

U.S. Open at Pinehurst Personified: The Pine Crest Inn

U.S. Open at Pinehurst Personified: The Pine Crest Inn

Perhaps as much a staple to the storied golf history of Pinehurst Resort and Golf Club as famed Course No. 2 itself.

If it's been good enough for Jack, Arnie, Bobby, Crenshaw and Payne, you might want to check out this historic hotel when visiting Pinehurst the next time (that would be No. 4) it hosts the U.S. Open.

If it’s been good enough for Jack, Arnie, Bobby, Crenshaw and Payne, you might want to check out this historic hotel when visiting Pinehurst the next time (that would be No. 4) it hosts the U.S. Open.

The Pine Crest Inn in Pinehurst Village, N.C.,(Not to be confused with the 1906 Pine Crest Inn in Tryon, N.C.) has been serving up a warm and inviting atmosphere for more than 100 years now.

The Pine Crest has always a popular place to stay, eat, drink and socialize, welcoming more than 8,000 guests annually. But, this year with the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens taking place on Course No. 2 in successive weeks, things expectedly have been busier than normal. The majority of the Pine Crest Inn’s rooms for this week have been booked since 2012 under a contract with the Golf Channel.

For the U.S. Opens (Pinehurst has hosted three as of this week.), Pine Crest constructed a hospitality tent with six bars and food service. Inside and out on the porch, four more bars were added. The restaurant will serve nearly 300 dinners per night and the Inn’s much beloved Mr. B’s bar, which pours about 45,000 drinks in a typical year, will nearly double that number in 2014.

U.S. Open fans enjoying nightlife at the Pine Crest Inn during the last Open at Pinehurst in 2005.

U.S. Open fans enjoying nightlife at the Pine Crest Inn during the last Open at Pinehurst in 2005.

Throughout 100 years, so much has changed, but what hasn’t is the Pine Crest’s devotion to keeping things simple and authentic without pretension. In fact, it is that very thing that locals and visitors alike have come to expect and enjoy the most. The Pine Crest’s first marketing slogan was “The Inn Like A Home,” a credo that remains today.

None other than the likes of Bobby Jones, Francis Ouimet, Harvie Ward, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange and Payne Stewart have paid visits to the once Donald Ross-owned Pine Crest (Ross, a true Scotsman, is Pinehurst’s famed original course designer.) over the decades.

In fact, Stewart inked his name on the wall at the Inn the week before his great victory at Course No. 2 in 1999, just weeks before his bizarre and tragic death aboard a private plane.

“The Inn is a throwback to another time period, a family business that has evolved to a small business, but continues to be run with ‘innkeeper’ values,” said Drew Gross, Pine Crest’s resident manager. “It’s a break from the glass and chrome in a commercial hotel. We want you to feel like you’re staying in your grandmother’s house in the 1950s.”

A must for any trip to Pinehurst is a visit to the Pine Crest’s lobby to try a shot at the fireplace chipping board, which is watched over closely by a portrait of Ross, an image that these days is covered with bulletproof glass thanks to the many wayward chips shots over the years.

The Pine Crest Inn's renowned chipping board, where many world-class golfers have competed during their stays over the decades.

The Pine Crest Inn’s renowned chipping board, where many world-class golfers have competed during their stays over the decades.

Gross said legend has it that Ross created the chipping board years ago when a spring snowstorm would have otherwise emptied the hotel. As the story goes, Ross gave free lessons to his guests to keep them from leaving and going farther south. The board remained — and today guests and non-guests alike stop in to say they hit a chip at the Pine Crest Inn.

Among seemingly hundreds and hundreds of stories, Gross shared a couple other interesting moments in the Pine Crest Inn’s history:

“Arnold Palmer was having breakfast here and hadn’t drank his orange juice,” Gross said. “Marie Hartsell, a breakfast server, admonished him by saying, ‘Drink your orange juice, Mr. Palmer. It’s good for you!’”

Another time, Gross said Palmer was having dinner and a waitress named Shirley, who had the personality of a drill sergeant, recited the salad dressing list to the table.

“Palmer was last the last to order and asked her to repeat the choices,” Gross said. “She told him, ‘Your eyes don’t look like they are lapped over. Listen up from now on because I don’t repeat things.’ Palmer laughed so hard, he almost fell out of his chair. From that point on, he always asked for Shirley and would wait an hour to dine when she would be available.”

The Pine Crest has a way of making people feel at ease, at home. And that’s just the way the Inn’s staff likes, or rather expects it to stay.

“If the Inn makes people feel welcome and comfortable, they tend to let their guard down and socialize with strangers who soon become friends,” Gross said. Mr. B’s lounge results in a perfect blend of locals and visitors. For the most part, everyone gets along well. Plus, when you have guests coming back year after year for many years, the locals remember them, and the friendships are rekindled.”

 

 


No Comments Add a comment

No comments yet.


Leave a comment