Marianne and I first experienced the charm and magic of Pinehurst
on the occasion of our first wedding anniversary. We've returned
countless times, some trips including golf and some not.
We love introducing friends to this Southern slice of heaven.
As a surprise on my 40th birthday she arranged with Pat Corso,
the President/CEO there at the time, a very special round of golf on
Pinehurst #2 including three of my closest friends. We would have caddies.
The caddies at Pinehurst are truly links to the past, as many had caddied
for some of the legends of the game. My caddie that day was Fletcher
Gaines. Fletcher had caddied for Ben Hogan among other greats.
After I dumped my 5 iron tee shot on the 15th hole into the right
front bunker, and as I wiggled my feet into the sand and addressed the ball,
I asked Fletcher, "How would Hogan have played this shot?"
He deadpanned, "Hogan wouldn't have been there."
I will leave it to the poet Edgar Guest to sum up the feel of Pinehurst.
There are other spots on this gracious earth, where the sky is just as blue.
There are scenes like these, with the gentle breeze, and the kindly sunshine too.
There are haunts made fine by the stalwart pine, where the charms of a June are
known. But I've learned today in a curious way why Pinehurst stands alone.
There are gardens fair in the sunny south where the rich magnolias bloom.
There are fairy scenes with the wealth of greens, and the scent of a sweet perfume.
But more than a sky where the sun shines high, and more than ridge of pine,
Or a sea or a lake, God needs to make an earthly golfers' shrine. The Lord had
lavished his treasures rich all over the orb of earth. Yet some are base with the
common place, and some are lost to mirth. But Pinehurst holds in its friendly folds
the lure of an honest grip. And a manhood fine adds to gifts divine the wealth of its
fellowship. It isn't the pine with its towering fronds upraised to the God on high,
Or the fragrant air that men come to share, and it isn't alone the sky. It's the
handclasp true, that they seek anew, the smile on the cheery lip, And they come
again to be care-free men in a brotherly fellowship. Here honor counts more than
the victory, and a man is more than his gold; Here love of the game means more
than the fame, or the joy that the prize may hold. Oh, Pinehurst gleams with the finest
dreams, and the best that we mortals know. It is rich in the things that a true life brings,
God grant you may keep it so.