Steve Pike Anywhere: Dormie Club

Dormie Club, opened in 2010 was met by rave reviews, including a No. 3 ranking in Golfweek's list of best new courses, was designed by Bill Coore and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, have formed one of the most renowned golf course architecture teams in the world.

WEST END, North Carolina – Dormie Club, a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design here just north of the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., will undergo substantial bunker and cart path work. The club will also see the addition of a full-service clubhouse and a new maintenance facility.

A walking golf course, Dormie Club was crafted into more than 300 rolling acres of land, and features 100-foot elevation changes, two natural lakes, and hardwood and pine forests.

“Dormie opened during the (economic) fluctuations that were occurring around 2007 through 2009,” Bill Coore said. “So it had a sort of fitful life right to that time. We were always so proud of the golf course and so happy with it, but there were parts of the golf course that were never quite finished.

“Most people would not recognize that – they’d go out there, see it was a nice piece of property and a nice golf course, and they’d have a good time. But (parent Dormie Network) knew that we thought there were a few refinements that could be made and some polishing touches – things that we had hoped to do initially. None of it major, just a list of some refinements and things we hoped to do and they wanted us to do.”

Dormie Network’s other Coore & Crenshaw course is another of its designers’ favorites. Located just outside Atlantic City and a short drive from Philadelphia, Hidden Creek Golf Club opened to widespread acclaim in 200

The Dormie Club features Bermuda fairways and tees with bent grass greens and its Old World design includes a number of reachable par fours, wind tunnels, bunkers positioned to stimulate creative strategy, and a 241-yard par three.

“Ben and I are a little prejudiced, but we think (Hidden Creek) is a wonderful golf course, absolutely wonderful,” Coore said. “I think of that course with such positive feelings. We did Hidden Creek the same time as Friar’s Head on Long Island in New York. They were completely different properties and different everything else, but we thought both turned out to be really fine golf courses.

“When it comes to the feel and the whole personality and character of everything, from our perspective, Hidden Creek is a perfect complement to that area of New Jersey. Hidden Creek’s greens are very low-profile, with an old, almost Heathland-outside-of-London feel to them.

“It’s a subtle site, but it’s a wonderful site for golf, with pine trees and subtle contours, yet big enough to be interesting,” Coore said. “(Hidden Creek’s previous owner) allowed us to build a golf course and situate it so the golf came first, so the home sites or anything like that would never be intrusive on the golf.

“The golf course has been very highly received around the country. They played a United States Senior Amateur there several years ago, so it was very highly regarded by the USGA.”

Coore said Hidden Creek’s previous owner talked to him before he elected to sell the club to Dormie Network.

“Other people had offered to buy it, because it was a very attractive property and it was successful in terms of its membership and its operations,” Coore said. “They were looking very quietly, patiently for someone who might want to buy the club. But it needed to be someone they thought would treat it with respect, and carry on the tradition and the understanding of what Hidden Creek was created to be.’’

Coore said that in Dormie Network, they found the right steward.

“The (Dormie Network) vision is obviously very ambitious,” Coore said. “They are certainly putting together an impressive portfolio of courses, and the products they are putting forth are very, very good.

“Golf course owners and operations managers are all trying to navigate these uncertain waters and determine the best approach and product offering to make their version of the golf industry viable. Dormie Network is an extremely desirable concept.”

In addition to the Coore and Crenshaw courses, Dormie Network’s portfolio includes two layouts by Tom Fazio (Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Tex., and Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind.). Dormie Network also owns courses designed by Arnold Palmer (ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Neb.) and Lester George (Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Va.).

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at

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