Pinehurst is on The Move,
and so is The Pinecone
They always say “It’s a beautiful day at Pinehurst,” but yesterday it was exactly that.
A colorful sunrise on the Sandhills of North Carolina and a gaggle of golfers who were already out swingin’ and smilin’ as the train rolled by. Maniac Hill was manic with all ages working on their swing thoughts and final preparations for the tasking tests of tight lies and Donald Ross greens. While wandering around the clubhouse, I was shaking my head at what continues to be more construction and enhancements to the pro shop and what they call the 91sthole, a little snack shack that overlooks the back porch. The Pinehurst Resort has been on a multi-decade run of improvements, and apparently there are a lot more to come, of which I’ll be reporting on in the near future.
But in the meantime, I’d like to provide an update on the Pinecone, the mini liquor locker that they park between the Cradle, the 9-hole par-3 course, and Thistle Dhu, the putting course. The Pinecone started as a way of serving thirsty customers as they wander the mini golf amenities, which opened in 2017. The Pinecone was cost-effective and had the right vibe for that spot on property and it has been nothing but a success, dolling out the drinks at an amazing rate of efficiency. Which is why it’s a little sad it’s being replaced and upgraded by what they’re calling the Cradle Crossing, a small open-air bar that will open in the fall and include much-needed restrooms, seating and fire pits. (There are never enough fire pits.)
“No worries,” says Tom Pashley, the Pinehurst President, “the Pinecone isn’t going away. And you may even see it more all around property.”
The big fridge that has rolled its way behind a truck to places like the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando and even made a pitstop at Winter Park 9 is in fact going to continue to roll around other spots on the Pinehurst property. I’m thinking the central station at No. 2, where there’s an intersection of the third and fifth greens, fourth and sixth tees. Or, have it roll up to the Dornoch Cottage for special guests and occasions. One could argue, it was always better served at the driving range or teaching facility as beginners and instructors attempt to suppress bad swings or disappointing performances on the course.
“Don’t shed a tear, Riggs” says Eric Kuester, VP of Sales and Marketing at Pinehurst, who was poking fun at Sam “Riggs” Bozoian, Pinehurst’s 99-day resident during Covid who now famously left (6/24/20, one-year ago today) in a puddle of emotion and applause from the staff. “Everything is going to be OK. In fact, it’s only getting better,” says Kuester, who marvels at the idea that the Pinecone has its own brand and has developed a loyal fanbase and following.
To follow the Pinecone is to be well-served and on occasion, over-served. But regardless, it’s not going anywhere. It’ll now be everywhere. And everyone wins.
On that note, one more transfusion please! For some reason, they taste better out of the back of that Pinecone. Wherever it may be.