The National Golf Club -- now Pinehurst No. 9 -- is a well liked Jack Nicklaus design.  (Courtesy of Pinehurst Resort & C.C.) Pinehurst Resort & Country Club recently purchased the National Golf Club and rebranded it Pinehurst No. 9.  (Courtesy of Pinehurst Resort & C.C.) The clubhouse of the new Pinehurst No. 9 will be upgraded by its new owners at the Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (Courtesy of Pinehurst Resort & C.C.)

Pinehurst Resort & C.C. buys Nicklaus-designed National Golf Club, rebrands it Pinehurst No. 9

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. -- Talk of Pinehurst No. 9 goes back more than a decade.

First it was to be a Rees Jones design. More recently, it was reported that Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw would get a crack at designing the resort's newest course on land adjacent to and shared by the old Pit Golf Course.

Turns out, Pinehurst No. 9 already existed. The resort purchased the nearby National Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus design dating to 1989. The only Nicklaus course in the Sandhills has been rebranded Pinehurst No. 9 and is immediately open to Pinehurst members. Resort play will begin in July soon after back-to-back men's and women's U.S. Opens on Pinehurst No. 2 in June.

"We're very excited to add this ninth course to our offering and look forward to welcoming National's members to the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club family," Jay Biggs, Senior Vice President of Golf and Club Operations for Pinehurst, said in a statement. "The golf course presents a challenging test in a beautiful setting that complements our eight other courses."

The 7,150-yard National has received mostly positive reviews from users on GolfAdvisor. One reviewer, TSDCRH, who plays to a 5-to-9 handicap gave it four stars and wrote: "The course is very challenging and in great shape. Not your typical Nicklaus course, it really is a fair and forgiving layout. Highly recommend to play if you are in the area."

National Golf Club, bought from the Robinette family who developed it, underwent a renovation in 2012 that softened green contours and re-grassed the putting surfaces with more consistent A1/A4 bentgrass. Pinehurst already plans to upgrade some of the club's amenities -- a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse, five tennis courts, pool, banquet facilities and restaurant. Pinehurst recently completed a $4 million renovation of its own main clubhouse and has plans for an expansive, multi-million-dollar aquatics facility targeted for completion next summer.

The resort -- which opened Pinehurst No. 8 in 1996 -- now boasts courses designed or renovated by Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Donald Ross, Rees Jones, Ellis Maples and Coore/Crenshaw.

Meanwhile, The Pit, purchased by Pinehurst in 2011, remains closed, although Coore and Crenshaw reportedly have a routing ready if the resort ever wants even more golf.

Jun 03, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.