Pine Needles seeks another U.S. Women's Open
It’s never too early to lobby the USGA when it comes to hosting a major championship. If you’re Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, it should be a matter of simply filling out the paperwork.
Kelly Miller, president of Pine Needles and affiliated Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club located across the street in the Pinehurst, N.C. area, told me last week his golf course wants the U.S. Women’s Open at the next available date.
“We’ve extended the invitation,” Miller says. “Ideally, we’re looking to have them back in 2016 or 2017.”
That seems like a long time, but Pine Needles just hosted the 2007 tournament, and the men’s U.S. Open is scheduled for 2014 at Pinehurst No. 2 at nearby Pinehurst Resort. Miller adds that a two or three-year gap between majors in an area the size of Pinehurst makes the most sense in regard to logistics, volunteers, etc.
Pine Needles knows how to run a seamless major, having hosted three U.S. Women’s Opens in 11 years from 1996-07. The USGA obviously loves the area; Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014 will have its third men’s U.S. Open since 1999.
Both are storied Donald Ross designs and so suited for our national championship that all the USGA has to do is narrow the fairways, grow the rough and mow the greens.
Pine Needles has the added attraction of being a leader among golf courses and clubs considered friendliest for women. And, as Miller points out, a seasoned U.S. Women’s Open army of 3,500 volunteers stands at the ready.
Some might not agree that certain courses should host majors so frequently (be it a men’s or women’s). Question it if you want, but when it comes to the U.S. Women’s Open, Pine Needles should be on the rotation’s short list of venues.
(BTW, have you played Pine Needles? Let me know what you thought here.)
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