Yep. Those balls randomly clanging off the roof are first tee jitters. We all have them... The glory of starting out on a classic track designed by the master. Hope springs eternal. We put a little extra oomph into the drive and WHOOPS...fore right!
When we opened the property, the unit you are in WAS at the dogleg of the third hole on Pinehurst's #3 golf course. Folks had two holes to settle in before realizing that you can't just overpower this Ross gem. But then the resort decided to make some changes. As a true golf nut, I kind of agree with them. Developing a short course for working on your short game after practicing on Maniac Hill all day is the best, quickest way to lower scores. And they are reconfiguring to make that happen. Offering their members and resort guests the opportunity to test/work on their short shots, the chance to have an 'emergency 9' that can happen with just one cocktail in hand, and to some extent, to give beginners a chance at feeling what it is like to reach a green in two shots and have a shot at par - all noble goals. Unfortunately, it makes the hole you are staying on the opener. Those nerves and tight grip do tend to cause a bit of what my high school coach called a 'strong power fade'.
The layout is actually closer to the original layout as the hole we had known as #3 was actually the opener for the back 9 on the Ross designed #3. As a show of respect for the quality of the golf course you are staying on at Third on Three, the resort maintained this short dogleg par 4 instead of knocking it into two 1 shotters. This hole is a very good introduction. From the tee, not a long hole for even the shortest of hitter, this offers all of the challenges you will see all day on #3, a fairly open tee lanfing area, a preferred line that may not be that obvious until you stand on the green, and of course, the green that is a challenge from even 60 yards away to get onto the right section, but relatively easy to actually hit, all Ross specialties. A true test of a golf lover of any level.
So relax, enjoy the view out your wall of glass or on the covered porch and know that the guy who has to come sheepishly over to ask if you have seen his tee shot does not want to be asking on his opener!
Jason Chambers spent more than 10 years as a PGA professional and enjoys sharing his experience and perspective with the Ahtel community. He currently works in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina as a residential architect focused on modern, efficient design.