Before I get started, I have to say that whenever I read a glowing review of a product or vacation package the pessimist in me automatically thinks “of course it is great, or your experience was wonderful…. it was probably free!” So, let me start by saying that I paid full price, got nothing free, and learned about the Pinehurst Father’s Day Weekend Package via a random spam email (you know the type received when one of the golf magazines sells its subscriber info) rather than a fancy invitation (OK, just bitter because I didn’t receive one). Plus, if they were going to get someone to hype their vacation packages don’t you think they would find someone better than a patent lawyer with a golf blog!
I had never been to Pinehurst prior to last weekend, nor did I know anyone that had been there; therefore, I was a little apprehensive about driving 8 hours with my dad to go to play courses based upon the fact that they are quasi-famous (that was my initial thought – turns out that after learning about the history of Pinehurst there is no “quasi” about it). After dropping my dog off for a weekend with grandma, my dad and I headed out for our 8 hour road trip. The drive was pretty uneventful aside from a few accusations of questionable smells in the cabin, coasting down a decent size mountain without me touching the brake the entire way while my dad broke out in a cold sweat (it was his car), and a truck throwing up a stone and cracking our windshield. Luckily the windshield episode took place while my dad was driving and trying to pass a semi on a 2-lane road in North Carolina; which was the perfect opportunity for me to lecture him about hot-rodding.
We finally rolled into to Pinehurst about 4:30 on Friday and had a nice reception and dinner at the main clubhouse. The “Master of Ceremonies” was Jim Dodson , a great storyteller and apparently a pretty famous golf author. I will definitely getting a few of his books to read. On Saturday we played Pinehurst No. 4 with a nice father and son, hit a hospitality room to watch the US Open, and had a great dinner highlighted by Dodson interviewing legendary golf commentator John Derr about the great amateur golfer Harvie Ward, as well as many other great players. These guys are just full of amazing stories! We tackled Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday with caddies, again teamed with another nice father and son, toured the Pinehurst village and general vicinity, and then relaxed in the hospitality room to watch the finish of the US Open. Our caddie Patrick was great and knew every contour of every green, and described many of them as works of art. Monday we packed up and drove back to Ohio. It was a lot of driving for two rounds of golf, but it will be a weekend that I never forget. My hat is off to Pinehurst for putting together an incredible event that really reminded me how lucky I am to have had parents that encouraged me to take up the great game of golf (and to have been fortunate to have access to a great junior golf program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base). Here are a few pictures from the weekend.
The only thing that I would do differently would be to add a 9 hole par 3 tournament (and we should have extended our trip to play a round on Friday and Monday). It was an awesome first-class once in a lifetime experience that I would encourage all passionate golfers to consider.
David Dawsey – The Golf Lawyer