Tom Fazio's Pinehurst No. 6 course: A stepping stone to the North Carolina resort's modern era

PINEHURST, N.C. - At Pinehurst Resort's main clubhouse, home to courses No. 1 through No. 5 as well as the golf academy, you could hardly fit even one more short, par 3 on the golf-saturated property.

So when the time arrived to expand the resort's membership and golf courses, Pinehurst looked elsewhere.

The Pinehurst No. 6 course represents the first step in the next generation of golf at Pinehurst Resort. It was the first course built away from the main clubhouse, where the first five were constructed in succession from 1898 to 1961, culminating with Ellis Maples' design of Pinehurst No 5.

Owners since the start in 1895, the Tufts family sold the resort to Diamondhead in 1970. When new ownership sought to increase membership and add real estate, they planned another golf course and decided that the main clubhouse, already home to five 18-hole layouts, was tapped out.

So for the first time, a golf course at the resort shifted away from the main clubhouse, coinciding with the development of new real estate and set on more spectacular, hillier land. Pinehurst No. 7 came along in 1986, and the No. 8 course joined the group as the final new golf course in 1995.

George Fazio designed No. 6, which opened in 1979, and his nephew, Tom, served as the site manager. As we all know, golf has changed since the Jimmy Carter administration. So Tom Fazio returned to the golf course in conjunction with the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 for a redesign and enhancement that transformed No. 6 into a championship test. The golf course remains worthy of hosting some of the resort's many prestigious events. It features crowned greens and runoff areas, a la Pinehurst No. 2, and that's no accident. Fazio tried to emulate the playability of No. 2 when possible.

Be sure to loosen your muscles before teeing off, because you'll need to hit some shots out of the gate. The opening hole, a straight, uphill par 4, plays as long as 441 yards. A dogleg-left par 5 awaits on the second hole. Each of the three par 5s, in fact, follow the same path at Pinehurst No. 6.

The back nine, more spectacular than the front, starts with a long par 4 that was converted from a par 5. It features an elevated tee, moves gently downhill, threads a needle between two ponds and heads back uphill to the green. Most tee shots on Pinehurst No. 6's back nine are elevated - none more so than the two par 3s, including the 13th. With a large pond left and behind the green, it invites higher winds, making club decision a little more complicated.

Every Fazio golf course, it seems, culminates with a long par 4, so brace for it here, too. It's a straightaway look of more than 400 yards with a relatively narrow landing zone, and it plays to a deep, elevated green.

Pinehurst No. 6: The verdict

Pinehurst No. 6 is less spectacular than Tom Fazio's other Pinehurst designs, No. 4 and No. 8, if only because of the stronger housing presence. But the back nine, in particular, delivers its share of moments.

A little shorter with fewer elevated greens, No. 6 plays a touch easier than No. 7 and No. 8. But it's still championship caliber and hosted the 2010 College of Charleston Pinehurst Challenge in March. It's championship slope rating remains a tough 74.4/139, slightly higher than the newest of Fazio designs at Pinehurst No. 4.

The golf course features a stand-alone clubhouse and practice area. Practice facilities expanded in 1998 to include multiple chipping and putting greens, a favorite of members and not as busy as the main clubhouse. Situated deep in a residential development, it's the longest drive from the main Carolina Hotel. Plan for about a 10-minute shuttle ride.

Stay and play at Pinehurst Resort

Walk-on green fees at Pinehurst No. 6, as well as No. 4, No. 7 and No. 8, are $265. For a better rate, tee-time privileges and a complete Pinehurst experience, stay at the resort. The historic Carolina Hotel dates to 1901 and serves as home to one of golf's great breakfast buffets and a newly expanded Ryder Cup Lounge for lunch, dinner and drinks. Guest rooms are spacious and classically decorated - all recently renovated and upgraded.

During U.S. Open time, players often stay in the historic Holly Inn. The original hotel on the property, it houses the 1895 Grille, home to one of the world's great mac-and-cheese sides sprinkled with chunks of lobster. For larger groups, villas and condos are available.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
0 Comments
Related Links
Designed by George Fazio and his nephew Tom, Pinehurst No. 6 winds through one of Pinehurst's residential communities. It received a renovation from Tom Fazio in 2004 and now plays 6,990 yards from the championship tees and a par 71. The back nine is the most spectacular of the two sides, featuring two downhill par 3s and several holes, such as the 10th and 14th, wrapping around large ponds.
8 Images
The greens at Pinehurst No. 2 were the pride and joy of legendary architect Donald Ross. But the famed No. 2, host of the U.S. Open in 1999 and 2005, offers more to the golfing community than its complex putting surface. The golf course is a masterpiece, writes Brandon Tucker, and set to undergo a facelift in advance of another set of important visitors in 2014.
4 Min Read
The North Carolina Sandhills are golfing country, anchored by the Pinehurst Resort, home to eight courses built between 1897 and 2004. Few visitors have time to play them all on one trip, especially if you plan on tackling some off-property courses like Pine Needles or Tobacco Road G.C., so we've compiled a briefing on each to help you decide which to include in your itinerary.
3 Min Read
The link between St. Andrews and Pinehurst is strong, beginning with Donald Ross, who came to Pinehurst in 1900 after studying under Old Tom Morris in St. Andrews, and stayed until his death in 1948. The two spots are both among the game's most coveted destinations for the majors they host, and their pure golf atmosphere is impossible to duplicate. It's a friendly rivalry, of course, but it's time for a showdown: Scotland's "Home of Golf" vs. the United States' most worthy contender.
4 Min Read
More from the author
4 Min Read
September 10, 2021
Pete Dye's golf course designs set the bar for innovation, creativity and challenge. We've compiled his top courses as rated on Golf Advisor by regular golfers like you.
4 Min Read
September 7, 2021
A recent visit to a trio of Midwest courses was a reminder that there's a lot to love about playing golf on campus.
3 Min Read
August 27, 2021
USA and Europe's finest women prepare to face off on a Donald Ross Midwestern classic. Here's a hole-by-hole guide to venerable Inverness.
9 Min Read
August 26, 2021
Who should you tip and how much? From caddies to bag boys to locker room attendants, here's how much cash you should bring to the club.
6 Min Read
August 24, 2021
Garmin's new golf product in 2021 features 14 swing metrics recorded, plus the option for video in a portable device.
5 Min Read
August 6, 2021
The experience at the newest golf course in Michigan is unlike anything you'll play in the Jack Nicklaus portfolio.
Popular
3 Min Read
August 19, 2021
Two recent sales of golf courses will eventually lead to the development of solar farms, continuing a concerning trend for golfers.
1 Min Read
August 20, 2021
Channel your inner Roy McAvoy.
5 Min Read
August 25, 2021
From signature country club drinks to commercially available canned cocktails, unwinding on and off the course is a powerful ritual for many golfers.
3 Min Read
September 16, 2021
Golf course news and notes: September, 2021.
Load More
Now Reading
Tom Fazio's Pinehurst No. 6 course: A stepping stone to the North Carolina resort's modern era