Since we posted this article initially, we have learned that the W I D E Open scheduled for Thursday March 10 has been postponed to Friday, March 11 because of heavy rains in North Carolina. Those registrants who will not be able to play on Friday may free up some space for golfers in the central North Carolina area who might want to participate. Contact information is at the end of the article.
Pine Needles Golf Club in Southern Pines, NC, is a classic Donald Ross layout but a golf event there this Thursday will literally stretch one time-honored measurement of golf. The Pine Needles W I D E Open, sponsored by Golf Digest, will feature golf holes 15 inches in diameter, about three times larger than the normal hole and almost as large as a basketball hoop. For those who obsess over the number of putts they take each round, this could be their day to remember.
The event's geneology traces back to Taylor Made CEO Mark King who suggested publicly that one way to encourage new golfers was to enlarge the hole. Golf Digest editor Jerry Tarde found the idea intriguing and organized this first W I D E Open to gauge the impressions of professional and amateur golfers alike.
There may be a few openings left for the event on Thursday. Cost is $100 per person and includes lunch, a fair price for a wonderful golf course I visited just a week ago. The greens were in splendid condition.
Contact Pine Needles at 910-692-8611 if you are interested.
The greens at Pine Needles are so tough to hit and hold that some players may see more birdies from chip-ins to the larger holes than from putts. (Par 3 13th green shown)