The Pinehurst Resort, which name came from the words ?pine? (the majestic trees towering over the historic property) and ?hurst? (a wooded hillock or plot of rising ground), was United States? first golf resort founded by Boston soda fountain magnate and philanthropist James Walker Tufts. In 1895 Tufts acquired a 5800-acre ravaged land at about 1 dollar per acre that would become the nation?s best golf championship setting and a world-class tennis, spa, meetings, special events and family destination.
With his purchase of the land, Tufts envisioned a health retreat ? far away from the cares of the world that is somewhat similar to the New England villages with walkways and greenery. Because a lot of people believed that the ?pine ozone? could cure respiratory illnesses, Tufts wanted his ground to be a place for middle-class Americans who wanted to recuperate from their ailments. Tufts hired the firm Olmsted and Eliot to create a master plan for the devastated land. About 220,000 tree seedlings and other plants, many of which were imported from France, were brought in to be planted around the estate. Because Tufts has not come up with its name yet, the estate was called Tuftstown for the first six months of its improvement, however, after a visit at his summer home?s city where a contest to name a real estate development was being held, he came up with the name ?Pinehurst? which was also adopted as the name the city where the property is situated.
The Holly Inn opened in the Pinehurst on December 31, 1895. Six years later, in 1901, the Carolina Hotel decorated with lush grounds opened and soon after became the center of all activities at Pinehurst. Aside from recreation and accommodations, riding, hunting, polo, lawn bowling, bicycling, and archery were popular in Pinehurst?s early days and many still remain here. With two courts on the original design for the Holly Inn grasslands, tennis was one of the recreational activities first conceived at Pinehurst. In 1916, with the arrival of the sharp-shooter and star of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show Annie Oakley, Pinehurst Gun Club was established. Oakley administered the gun club while performing shooting exhibitions at the Carolina hotel twice a week.
Three years after the resort first opened to the public, golf was introduced in Pinehurst by hotel guests who played the game in the dairy cattle grazing fields that disturbed the herd. This inspired Tufts to have a golf course built here in 1898. A nine-hole course was constructed followed by the first clubhouse in Pinehurst. In 1899, nine holes were added to the gold course making it Pinehurst?s first 18-hole layout named Pinehurst No. 1. Tufts then hired a young Scottish golf professional named Donald J. Ross to manage the golf operations at Pinehurst who also designed the most famous 18-hole championship course and named it Pinehurst No. 2. Pinehurst Golf Club was established in 1903 and the North and South Championship series commenced, making Pinehurst a major focus for golf in the United States.
The Pinehurst had been host to the 1936 PGA Championship, the 1951 Ryder Cup Matches, the 1962 and 2008 U.S. Amateur Championships; the 1989 U.S. Women?s Amateur Championship, the 1991 and 1992 TOUR Championships, the 1994 U.S. Senior Open, the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Open Championship and is a three-time winner of Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine?s Best Golf Resort in America award.