On my recent trip to Pinehurst we played three new courses and revisited an old favorite. The third new course that we played was Whispering Woods in Whispering Pines. Whispering Woods was one of the more economical alternatives to the higher priced courses in the Pinehurst area that I had selected for this trip. I stumbled across this course on the internet and was excited to find that it had been designed by Ellis Maple who has designed some pretty good golf courses around the Carolinas including Grandfather Golf & Country Club which I had really enjoyed. The fact that we could play it for a scant $35 made it even more appealing. I was actually looking forward to this course more than any of the others we would play in hopes that i might uncover a hidden gem that we could return to year after year for a great price.
For this round our group would be playing one of our favorite games – alternate shot. This format consists of two player teams where one ball is in play for each team and the players alternate hitting the shots until the ball is holed. One player on the team is responsible for starting play with a tee shot on the odd holes and the other player does the same on the even holes. It’s a fun game that I love and usually makes for a speedy round.
Because we expected to play in less than 3 hours I arranged for us to have the first tee time off in the morning at Whispering Woods. When we arrived in the parking lot at 7AM there was no one to be found at the club but another car load of players who had the tee time immediately behind us. After hanging around for about 15 minutes a car pulled in and the courses’ pro unlocked the clubhouse and checked us in for our round. With no driving range available we rolled a few putts and went directly to the first tee.
After putting the first two balls in play it quickly became evident that this course was seriously lacking in the maintenance department. I’m not one who really cares much about perfect grooming, but I have to say that there is a point where grooming can become a problem. Luckily, all four of us grew up playing golf at public municipal golf courses and were accustomed to hitting off of grassless fairways, so we enjoyed revisiting our roots a little bit.
I didn’t take any photos of the course but there we certainly a number of interesting holes out there. Ellis Maples is a good designer and it was a shame to see his work fall into such disrepair. Had the course been in a more playable condition it would have been a fun round of golf. Our match was closed out after the 15th hole and we elected to call it a day for Whispering Woods rather than play the last 3 holes.
For $35 my expectations shouldn’t have been quite so high, so I guess I cannot be surprised. If you are planning to play this course I would try to get a very clear picture of the conditions before booking a tee time. If the conditions are even halfway decent it would be a great value at $35.