If you are an avid golf fan, then you are probably familiar with one of the most famous courses in America. Course No. 2 at Pinehurst has served as the site of more single golf championships than any other course in America. It has also hosted back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in 2014, and as the U.S. Open’s anchor site. The return of the U.S. Open will mark the first time in over a century the USGA has awarded four Opens to a single site in a span of 25 years.
The Pinehurst Resort continues to make history as they have been chosen to host the 2024 U.S. Open taking place in June.
Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina has no fewer than nine 18-hole courses, a nine-hole course and a putting green. However, Pinehurst No. 2 has remained as the most famous of the courses. The course was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1907. He continued to make tweaks to the course until he died in 1948, seeking perfection, which proved he knew he had created something extraordinary. In 2010, the course was revitalized by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, who reshaped the fairways and bunkers, removed the rough, and added sand and scrub to mirror Ross’ original design.
The best thing about Pinehurst is that all the courses are open to the public. So, if you wanted to play one of the most historic courses in the country, there are several ways to do so! In order to play courses 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 or 9, Pinehurst requires that you be a member or resort guest. The Resort offers several different golf packages, most of which require a two night minimum stay. For example, the Donald Ross Package includes the option of a two-night stay starting at $747, including three rounds. In preparation for the 124th US Open, Pinehurst No. 2 will have several fairway zones that require a fairway hitting mat between the dates of December 4, 2023 through Februrary 29, 2024. Mats will be provided at each zone location and will also be required on all par 3 tees to help preserve the course conditions during the winter months. If you would rather play courses 1, 3, 5 or The Cradle, you do not need to be a resort guest. Instead, you’ll need to call no less than a day in advance to book a tee time.
Winternational Junior Series
Perhaps an even better way to experience the greens at Pinehurst No. 2 is to register to play in one of their hosted tournaments. Pinehurst hosts many junior tournaments throughout the year. The Winternational Junior Series holds tournaments at popular courses throughout North Carolina, Pinehurst being one of the main courses. Their next tournament at Pinehurst No.2 takes place on January 20, 2024. Registration is open until January 17.
Donald Ross Junior Championship
Pinehurst also hosts the Donald Ross Junior Championship. The 76th tournament takes place starting December 27th. Although registration for this year’s tournament has closed, there will be several more chances to play in a junior tournament at Pinehurst. Entries for this tournament are open to male & female golfers who are age 18 or under, and have NOT completed high school. Play will be contested in three age divisions: 11 & Under Division, 12-14 Division, and 15-18 Division. Following the event there is an additional Parent-Child competition for the contestants across all three age divisions.
U.S. Kids Golf World Championships
Considered to be one of the world’s largest junior golf events, the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships is held every year in Pinehurst, North Carolina. This year’s tournament hosted more than 2,200 players from 55 countries and all 50 states. The U.S. Kids World Teen Championship for ages 13-18 was held July 27-29, 2023, while the U.S. Kids World Championship for ages 5-12 was Aug. 3-5, 2023. PGA Tour stars such as Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa have competed on the U.S. Kids world stage over the years. Junior Golf Scoreboard, AJGA and the World Amateur Golf Ranking recognize the U.S. Kids Golf World Teen Championship as a ranked event. To play in the kid’s or teen’s tournament, you need to have Priority Status. Due to heavy demand, players must qualify for the World Teen Championship via U.S. Kids Golf Priority Status. There are no open applications.
North & South Junior Championship
54 holes of stroke play determines the champion of the North & South Junior Championship. Held at the historic Pinehurst Resort, the tournament is divided into two divisions: Boys and Girls. A full field consists of 90 boys and 90 girls. This tournament takes place across all the Pinehurst courses. For example, the official practice rounds took place at Pinehurst No. 6 and No. 8 last year. Other rounds took place across the other main courses. Entries are open to male and female golfers who are ages 18 and under. This tournament typically takes place in July, so applications are open until May of that year. Players meeting the exemption criteria will be invited to compete. Players not meeting exemption criteria can formally apply via application.
A “bucket list” opportunity for any golfer, playing the historic Pinehurst courses are a lot easier than you may think! Whether you have the means to stay at the resort with one of their popular golf packages, or if you are able to enter through a tournament, playing at Pinehurst is not too far out of reach. As a junior golfer, there are many chances to play in a tournament at various times throughout the year.
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