"We explored it," says Don Padgett, President of the Pinehurst Resort, "but it didn't take us long to figure out it wasn't going to work."
On Feb. 16, I posted a blog about Pinehurst's purchase of the Pit. Some speculated that the course, which has been closed since December due to financial issues, might become the ninth course at Pinehurst, but given the state of the industry, it looked like the storied resort was simply taking advantage of a good price on a purchase that made sense.
In the previous post I wrote, "To simplify the scenario: The resort owns a doughnut-shape chunk of land; the Pit was the doughnut hole Pinehurst didn't own. It was in the resort's best interest to control that piece of property, and the timing and the price were right. So Robert Dedman Jr., the owner of Pinehurst Resort, filled in the gap by purchasing the Pit, which gives his family 925 acres of uninterrupted land."
In a recent phone conversation with Padgett, he confirmed this to be true. "The maintenance facility and irrigation is in disrepair," he says. "We estimate it would've cost us $750,000 to $1 million to get the Pit in a place where we would feel comfortable to fly it under our banner. And right now, we don't need another golf course."
In a statement, which will be released on Monday morning, Dedman says, "We have a high opinion of the Pit Golf Links, but it's no secret that the golf industry in general has struggled during this economic downturn. We will continue to evaluate the property, but will not open the golf course this year. Our focus remains on the newly restored Pinehurst No. 2."
My focus remains on playing the newly restored No. 2.