Pinehurst Area Adds Another Treat: The Dormie Club

Located due north from the Village of Pinehurst, the new Dormie Club looks and feels like a timeless golf club of years ago, offering aficionados a rare opportunity to experience pure golf the way it used to be.

The Dormie Club is the first new addition to golf in the Pinehurst area since 1996
The Dormie Club is the first new addition to golf in the Pinehurst area since 1996

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. — The term “dormie” is most familiar as a golf expression that means a player has reached an insurmountable match-play lead. The player cannot lose. Yet, dormie was a popular word in the Scottish language before golf was ever invented. Back then, Scots used it when they neared the end of their lives. They would say: “I’m dormie,” meaning they had reached a point in their lives when everything had become calm and tranquil, and they were content to live out their days in peace and comfort.

It was this original meaning of the word that inspired the naming of the Dormie Club — the first new golf course opened in the Pinehurst area since 1996. Rather than call it the Dormie Golf Club, the developers intend to create an overall dormie atmosphere for members and their guests that will include not only world-class golf, but also a complete lifestyle of serenity, health and wellness. Dormie Club is meant to be a place where those who inhabit the property have reached a point of tranquility and peace in their lives, and want their surroundings to reflect the same.

The most important component of the golf element at the Dormie Club is complete, as the renowned golf course architectural team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw has given the historic Pinehurst area a stunning new golf masterpiece. Adding to the historic nature of its opening, Dormie is being unveiled at the same time as Coore & Crenshaw are wrapping up their restoration of the Pinehurst Resort’s storied No. 2 course, which in 2014 will make history once again when it plays host to the Men’s and Women’s United States Open Championships in back-to-back weeks.

At Dormie, Crenshaw and Coore have designed a walking golf course just 4.5 miles north of the Village of Pinehurst on more than 300 rolling acres of land with 100-foot elevation changes, two natural lakes, and hardwood and pine forests, with no housing or roadways ever within this rather large golf course property.

Wrote LINKS Magazine: “Fittingly, the course is based upon the timeless design principles espoused by Donald Ross, who lived in Pinehurst. The transplanted Scot believed a course should be designed with width, which provides several options for players. Much of modern course architecture has been missing this key strategic element, but the throwback Dormie Club has restored this Golden Age philosophy of wide corridors and multiple angles to the green.”

After acquiring 1,000 acres in December 2007, out of which the Dormie golf course and areas for residential subdivision were carved, the developers of Dormie decided to proceed with building and completing construction of the golf course despite the recession. The original goal of the Dormie Club was to offer an invitation-only, private membership; however, upon completion of the golf course in mid-2010, Dormie decided to take non-member play as well as member play thru December 2012, after which the Club will revert back to a fully private Club.

While the concept for Dormie Club has not changed during the recent downturn in the economy, the developers view this interim period as a short-term opportunity to expose the club and its breathtaking golf course, which they believe will be the talk of the golf world in 2011 and beyond. This exposure will provide Dormie with a much wider base from which to select its ultimate membership.

“Membership prices are currently being offered with two installments so the second, final payment can be deferred until 2013 when the Club goes fully private, with the expectation that today’s lower membership prices will have escalated by then,” said Dormie Club Membership Chairman Mike Philips. “We have entered into an arrangement with several trusted golf packagers and four local hotels to promote play. Our non-member, in-season rate including cart and forecaddie is $235. Our off-season rate is $150. Of course, our Members will still be able to reserve prime tee times.”

This temporary arrangement at Dormie Club will provide golfers a taste of the forbidden fruit similar to the 1960s, when avid golfers in the northeast could make arrangements to play private enclaves like Pine Valley, Shinnecock Hills and Garden City — or many of the other great golf clubs in the area who at that time were looking to fill tee times and create exposure. Golfers will enjoy a similar playing experience at Dormie Club, where Coore & Crenshaw incorporated old-school design features such as reachable par-4s, wind tunnels, a 241-yard, reverse Redan par-3, as well as an impressive collection of natural-looking green complexes and bunkers remarkably varied in size and shape.

Paul Oglesby, Head Professional and the Director of Golf at Dormie Club, arrived from Philadelphia’s storied Merion Golf Club and walked the Dormie course after it had been center cut. “Just being able to spend time listening to Bill and Ben, seeing what they did and what they saw on a visual tour of the property, how they came up with the routing for the golf course with all the elevation changes and all the hardwoods and the pines and the two lakes we have, it all added so much to my own knowledge,” said Oglesby. “They were here an enormous amount of time with a tremendous attention to detail because they understood the impact of what they were doing.”

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