The 10th annual Mid Pines Hickory Open fielded some 112 competitors who challenged the newly restored Mid Pines Course in Southern Pines, N.C. All of them faced newly built and restored greens that rejected balls like a giant shooing away flies. Nothing could land and remain put. The best of us figured it out, however, and played safe to the fairways following with carefully placed shots that, if they did not run up close to the flag, at least found a safe haven on some remote part of the green.
Talk of the course condition began during practice rounds and never let up. Universal acclaim for the original architect, Donald Ross, and kudos for his current-day advocate and course restoration expert, Kyle Franz, were common. Still, those hard-to-hold greens befuddled many, leading to grumbles and strong language. No matter; the Mid Pines Course is one of the best Ross courses in the land, perhaps, some say, even better than any the great Pinehurst Resort has to offer. (Just wait for those greens to mature a couple more years, said Mike Fay, Captain of the Donald Ross Society. They’ll settle in and hold much better.) Well, perhaps such topics are best left to the wise course architects among us for learnéd descant. For the rest of us, it was a pleasure to tee it up again with good friends, enjoy drinks afterward, and share the excitement of the Saturday evening’s trade show.
It was a pleasure to see Mitch Laurance, host of the radio show “Hooked on Hickories” taping a few shows under the tent adjacent to the practice putting green. Several members were “hooked” into being on the show, talking about hickory golf, of course, and its growth both here and abroad. Mitch is proud of the show and loves hickory golf. Please do what you can to promote him and listen to the show. It can be found online at the following link: Hooked on Hickories
Even the awkward handling of the final score tabulations could not diminish what most felt was one of the finest hickory events the country has to offer. And glad we were to experience it. Thanks to the Mid Pines staff and the Society of Hickory Golfers tournament committee for their efforts in hosting and promoting the event.
For the benefit of those whose travel plans dictated they leave the final banquet before the winners could be announced, the SoHG Board indicated they were most unhappy with the long wait to announce scores and winners. “Our members deserve much better,” said Bob Caston, president of the Society. Steps are underway to ensure future post-tournament announcements are made promptly. Still, the Board works quite hard to present a quality experience to all members and we are grateful for their efforts. Remember, this is a volunteer organization.
So, congratulations to all participants and winners, to the Mid Pines staff, to the SoHG, and to all who love and support hickory golf. We look forward to future events and to the next opportunity to explore the depths of hickory swings and fathom the meaning of mashies, niblicks and mid irons.
Results of the Mid Pines Hickory Open
1st Place – Jeremy Moe 1st Place – David Ramos
2nd Place – Jeff Smith 2nd Place – Rick Schmidt (card playoff)
3rd Place – Kelly Miller 3rd Place – Sean Curtis (card playoff)
1st Place – Tony Smarrelli 1st Place – Glen Rapoport
2nd Place – Michael Shiff 2nd Place – Paul Dietz
3rd Place – Richard Bullock 3rd Place – Mike Henderson
Click on the following link for a results sheet from Mid Pines of all players.
Tenth Annual Mid Pines Hickory Open Results Rev 11-15.pdf