Southern Pines Golf Club Restoration

Southern Pines Golf Club, a vintage Donald Ross-designed course dating to the early 1900s, is now under management of the company that owns and operates the Pine Needles and Mid Pines in Southern Pines, North Carolina. The course is currently undergoing an 18-month improvement plan that includes design tweaks from architect Kyle Franz, who has supervised restorations at Mid Pines (2013) and Pine Needles (2018.)

The restoration will be completed in two stages. This will allow the crew to work on one hole at a time for 18 holes to remain open for play throughout most of the work. Stage One will end roughly the first week of March 2021 (weather dependent), and the spring season will be in full swing. Stage Two will begin in May 2021 for work on the greens, cart paths, and other areas. During this time, there will be temporary greens while the permanent greens are being renovated to allow the course to remain open. Play will be available for a reduced rate during this time until the restoration is complete, and Southern Pines Golf Club will open fully sometime in late August or early September (again, weather dependent).

There are currently no plans for the “Little 9” at this time, as management’s focus is on perfecting every detail on the main course over the coming months.

Master Plan

Our goal is to make the golf course feel as much like a Ross original staying true to the well preserved routing and trying to remove the superfluous elements that have been added over the decades.

On every hole of the course, we will be widening the fairways to make them more inviting for the beginning level players, but also allow more advanced players to strategize. Removing the maintained rough around the greens, making it all clean fairway height, will encourage players to be creative and have more fun. Installing all new piping around the greens and new wiring in the fairways to get a modernized irrigation system, as well as tackling a great deal of bunkers, are huge tasks that will improve the course’s irrigation.

In the late spring, we will begin on the detailing work needed to make each green feel like the original Donald Ross greens. We want them to feel and play the way Ross originally intended, and in some cases, we’re starting from scratch again.

Restoration In Progress

Click on any photo below to enlarge

Work has already begun to restore the original fairway bunkering pattern on the opening hole. In Summer 2021, we will be restoring and recontouring some of the edges of the green to make it feel original to Ross’ design and encourage ground game shots on this hole.
Moving back the 2nd tee has allowed us to restore the original length of Ross’ hole. We have restored and readded mounding and bunkers on the 1st half of the hole and are restoring Ross’ 1910's/20's-style crossing feature. We will also be removing the right front greenside bunker, which was not part of Ross’ original design.
Restoring the diagonal nature of the landing zone and the big, beautiful back greenside bunkering on Hole 17 has already made a huge visual impact from every angle.
On the finishing hole at Southern Pines Golf Club, we've been restoring the diagonal nature of the landing zone by adding a bunker in place of trees that had grown in, improving the severe bottom tiers of the greens and restoring the big bump on the front left of green, that is both a hazard and a helper.
Notables on the 15th hole include restoring the iconic crossing hazard and the creek and washout feature on the righthand side restore the front right bunker location from the original course, which had been moved around time, creating a walk the plank greensight effect.
On Hole 16, we've started the process of restoring the grand left hand greenside approach bunker and filling in the right greenside bunker which was not original to Ross’ plan.
On Hole 11, we plan to change the green complex entirely to be more consistent with Ross’ original concept for the hole and make it more ground game friendly.
Tree removal is a large focus this winter throughout the course, and we have already removed hundreds of trees between Hole 4 & 15. Hole 15 is also getting a new back tee, and we will restore the iconic crossing hazard, as well as the creek and washout feature on the righthand side.

Check back regularly for updated progress photos, interviews, and additional details and plans as we continue to move forward with the full course restoration.

Follow Southern Pines Golf Club on social media for weekly updates on restoration progress and more.


Aerial footage by The Sky High Arts.