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 to allow the crew to work on one hole at a time for 18 holes to remain open for play throughout most of the work. The majority of the tree removal and bunker work has been happening since December 2020, and work on the greens, cart paths, and other areas started in May 2021. 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 on September 1, 2021 (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.

Restoration Update: Part II

Greens Q&A with Kelly Miller and Kyle Franz

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

Slide the arrows on each photo to see the before/”after” of each part of the course.

We will continue to update as more work is completed.

Overview from the 1st Green

Overview from the 1st Green

Hole 16

Hole 18

Click on any photo below to enlarge

The Lost Hole will create an easy way to play 9 holes at Southern Pines, starting on the first 4 holes, moving to the Lost Hole, and then finishing on 15-18.
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.
Moving the tees right on the 3rd hole will make for a slightly more angular approach into the green. Work has started to restore the connected fairway between 3 & 4.
Hundreds of trees have been removed between hole 4 and 15 already, and work has started to reconstruct the bunkering on the right hand side of the fairway and improve the severe slope on the front of the green.
We will be filling in left green side bunker on the 5th hole and moving the left fairway bunkers further down so they play as Ross originally intended.
Work has begun on hole 6 to restore the foreground bunkers off the tee and the lefthand features and bunkers next to the landing zone. We will also be modifying the greenside bunkers to reestablish the blood-pumping shot that Ross intended.
Hole 7 features one of the best terrains on the course, and we plan to restore Ross’ bunker pattern around the green. Two of these bunkers had been filled in over the decades.
We will be lengthening #8 to play like Ross’ original hole and restoring the back and left bunkers.
Work has started to remove the 3 left front bunkers surrounding the 9th green in favor of Ross’ original style.
Tree removal has started on the 10th hole to restore the meandering nature of fairway.
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.
We will be restoring the left to right kicking feel to the 14th green and improving the severe bottom tiers, as well as adding in a new back tee on this iconic Southern Pines hole.
Notables on the 15th hole include restoring the iconic crossing hazard and the creek and washout feature on the righthand side. Re-establishing the front right bunker location from the original course, which had been moved over time, will create 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.
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.
The old Elks building has been taken down at the entrance of the property.