Mid-Am Crisis ft. Tom Pashley – President, Pinehurst Resort

Tom Pashley sporting the famous Putterboy logo

If I owned a golf resort Tom Pashley would be exactly the sort of person I’d want running it. Unfortunately for my ownership aspirations Pashley seems quite happy with his current gig. As the President of Pinehurst Resort since 2014, he has spearheaded one of the most successful reimaginations of a golf property the world has ever seen. With tremendous momentum from the back-to-back men’s and women’s U.S. Opens in 2014, Pinehurst could have rested comfortably on their laurels. Instead, Pashley hit the ground running. In his seven years on the job he has overseen a dramatic transformation of the Pinehurst experience that includes the creation of The Cradle short course, the Gil Hanse renovation of  Pinehurst No. 4, the renovation of Pinehurst No. 3, the construction of Pinehurst Brewing Company, renovated lodging options, and even refreshed branding based on the resort’s rich history. All of which has resulted in a new golden age for the resort.

Pashley spent 19 years at Pinehurst before ascending to the role of President and he wears his love for the place on his sleeve. He’s also a humble and easily approachable person. If you see him walking around the grounds at Pinehurst you’d think he was just another immensely satisfied customer. Although, his smile makes you think he knows something you don’t. What that might be is that the big ideas and grand plans aren’t over yet. Not even close. In 2020, Pinehurst announced that the resort would not only become an anchor site for the U.S. Open, but also the second home of the USGA. That partnership has triggered a whole new wave of possibilities including plans for a new hotel overlooking the Cradle and potentially a 10th course for the resort.

I have only known Pashley for a few months, but after having dinner with him this Spring and then seeing him again on a Summer buddies trip, he’s almost got me talked into moving to Pinehurst myself. Pashley has been quite generous with his time with me to date and it was a real treat to have him on the podcast as well. In our discussion we touched on all the resort’s recent success, how COVID19 impacted the area, and what the U.S. Open coming to town every five years will mean for Pinehurst’s future. We also dove into my recent trips and why the resort is seeing unprecedented levels of guests in 2021. If you have never been to Pinehurst, I’m confident this conversation will make you want to go and book your trip immediately. After a few trips in the past couple years, I can proudly say there are few places I love more than there. Thanks to Tom Pashley that love will only continue to grow.

If you want to learn more about Pinehurst Resort and how to book your next trip there, please visit https://www.pinehurst.com/

Thanks as always for listening to Mid-Am Crisis. The show is brought to you by my friends at Imagine Golf – the #1 app for the mental game. Download Imagine Golf today and start your journey to an improved way of thinking on and off the course. https://www.imaginegolf.com/

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JayRevell and find more or my work at https://jayrevell.com/

If you enjoy the show, I would love for you to leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts.

Cheers,

-J

Mid-Am Crisis is a production of Revell Media, LLC

Mid Am Crisis ft. Mark Stewart – Owner, Tobacco Road Golf Club

The 13th hole at Tobacco Road Golf Club

Mark Stewart once had a crazy idea to build a golf course on his family’s old sand pit. Turns out it was a pretty good idea. Tobacco Road Golf Club has been wowing guests for over 20 years now and Stewart is still at the helm of the operation. When the project began in 1998, he took a chance on an up and coming golf architect named Mike Strantz. There was no way to know how impactful that decision would become. Today, Mike Strantz courses have a cult following and Tobacco Road is widely considered his masterpiece. Stewart has always liked taking risks and he’s still at working to make his dream course an even better place for people to have an unforgettable golf experience.

Stewart and I first met a few years ago when I was doing some reporting for the Golfer’s Journal on how Tobacco Road came to be. We’ve stayed in touch since the story came out and have become good friends. He keeps a close eye on trends in the golf industry and we often talk about how things are going at his course and here at my home track in Tallahassee. Now, as the COVID19 golf boom reaches the one year mark, I wanted to catch up with Stewart to see how things were going and what he is doing at Tobacco Road to seize on these generational golf business opportunities.

During our discussion, we talked about the impacts to golf travel, the surge in new players, and what strategies the Tobacco Road team has pursued to capture new business. We also dove into some of Stewart’s memories from the early days and working with Mike Strantz. I’m always impressed with how much he emphasizes the preservation of Strantz’s work there and we spoke on that as well. There is also a fun segment where we dive into Stewart’s favorite movie franchise – The Fast and the Furious. You will get a kick out of that.

It’s always a treat to talk to Mark Stewart and this episode was a blast to record. I’m headed up to Tobacco Road again soon and look forward to seeing that great place again with a new batch of friends. If you haven’t been yet…I highly recommend you go.

To learn more about Tobacco Road Golf Club, Mike Strantz, and all the great ways to experience the course please visit https://tobaccoroadgolf.com/

Thanks as always for listening to Mid-Am Crisis. The show is brought to you by my friends at Imagine Golf – the #1 app for the mental game. Download Imagine Golf today and start your journey to an improved way of thinking on and off the course. https://www.imaginegolf.com/

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JayRevell and find more or my work at https://jayrevell.com/

If you enjoy the show, I would love for you to leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts.

Cheers,

-J

Mid-Am Crisis is a production of Revell Media, LLC

Golf is Everywhere – Pinehurst #3

One of the most enjoyable rounds of golf I played in 2019 was at the often overlooked Pinehurst #3 course. While visiting the North Carolina Sandhills on assignment for The Golfer’s Journal, I had the opportunity to venture out and see some of the great courses that make the area so special. Because Pinehurst and the Sand Hills region is such a hub for golf activity, I was able to play with a wonderful assortment of good friends who had gathered there for various reasons. We took on Pinehurst #3 late one afternoon and played as a seven-some. It was a highly enjoyable experience that provided further evidence as to why the Pinehurst Resort is among the best places for golf in the United States.

Over the past decade, the Pinehurst Resort has undergone some incredible upgrades to its long storied collection of golf experiences. Among the most notable enhancements are the restoration of Pinehurst #2, the renovation of Pinehurst #4, the newly added Thistle Dhu putting course, and the creation of the Cradle Short Course. With all of those efforts gaining so much attention it is easy to see how an impressive overhaul of the #3 course could get lost in the coverage.

Pinehurst #3 is an original Donald Ross design that has been altered in a variety of ways throughout its existence. Said to be among his favorite works in the area, the #3 course still maintains much of the original Ross routing. Despite many changes over time, some holes were carved off to create the #5 course while others were lost to resort expansion, the course still has a ton of golden age charm. Now, after an extensive renovation led by architect Kye Goalby the Sand Hills aesthetic has been brought back and the course once again has a strong and attractive identity within the resort.

Finishing up at Pinehurst #3

As the shortest of the resort’s 18 hole courses, Pinehurst #3 is perfectly tailored for a fast-paced round of golf with friends. At just over 5,000 yards long and with a par of 68, the #3 course is reminiscent of some Brittish courses that don’t adhere to the more standardized scales of modern golf. Don’t be fooled by the small ballpark appearance though. With difficult greens, tight lies, native sand areas, and many dogleg holes, #3 still can pack a punch.

Built over an attractive hilly terrain and offering many delightful Donald Ross features, Pinehurst #3 makes for a great add-on round during a visit to the resort. With six par 3 holes on the course, a good day of ball striking is required to score well there and the course serves as a great introduction to play the more famous tracks on site.  In my estimation, a visit to the resort would be incomplete without spending a few hours tackling the #3 course.

To get a more full picture of the Pinehurst #3 experience, take a few minutes to enjoy the latest installment from my Golf is Everywhere Youtube series. With seven friends playing such a fun course, my afternoon there made for a few good memories and a real desire to come back soon. I think you’ll enjoy the scenes I captured from the round while gaining some insight into why the course is a must-play at the resort.

Shoutout to my friends Dave Baysden, Joe Zwickl, and Robbie Wooten along with others for recommending the course and making the walk so enjoyable.

Cheers,

-J