The Best Par-5s in the Sandhills
What makes an iconic golf hole? For many, it’s the memories. The time you stripped a perfect drive 300-plus yards to the exact position you wanted. You remember that hole and the desire to repeat the magnificence or face the golf demons.
The best par-5 golf holes will taunt you to let the Big Dog eat. You’ll swing for the fences and if you’re on your game, be rewarded with a perfectly positioned second shot that could line you up for a clean approach and easy putt.
The par 5 holes on a golf course can bring a ton of excitement or fear for a golfer. The best golfers look forward to the par 5s as an opportunity to make a birdie or possibly an eagle. Par is almost a disappointment for the best golfers. Yet, for high-handicap golfers, the par 5 can bring some fear. The extra length in the hole and possible out of bounds, water hazards or bunkers can bring some doubt into the swing and the mind of the golfer.
Whether you love par 5s or not, they can make for some magnificent golf holes.
As for Village of Pinehurst golf? You’ve seen the area’s best par 3s and par 4s, so now we complete our project with the Best Par 5s in the Sandhills. You can decide if you want to “go for it in two” on these or not…
BEST PAR 5s IN THE SANDHILLS
- CCNC Cardinal – 15th hole
- No. 2 – 5th hole
- Talamore Golf Resort – 11th hole
- Mid Pines – 15th hole
- Tobacco Road – 1st hole
- Mid South Club – 15th hole
When it comes to the area’s best par-5 holes, it’s no surprise that Pinehurst No. 2’s par-5 fifth is one of the course’s three holes on the Global Golf Best 18. For decades, No. 5 on Course No. 2 was considered one of the great *par-4* holes in the world.
“The No. 1 handicap hole on the course, and plays like it,” the experts have written of No. 2’s 5th hole. “The fairway slopes from right to left. That can turn a good shot on any other course into trouble in natural area. The pros will get on the green in two if they keep it straight, but there are no guarantees they will get down in two. The green is brutal.”
Tobacco Road, one of the most inventive designs by the late Mike Strantz, is represented by two holes on the Best 18 of the Sandhills, including its memorable, par-5 first hole.
“Two massive mounds frame the hole and pinch the fairway to an extremely tight avenue before spilling through and rewidening beyond the mounds,” the experts wrote of Tobacco Road’s par-5 opening hole. ‘The second half of the fairway tightens down again and blocks much of the view of the green. Reaching this green in two means roping a blind shot to a green that is protected by a trio of bunkers to the right of the putting surface. If choosing to layup, the fairway widens a bunch beyond the second narrows are leaves a relatively easy shot into the green. This is one of the most exciting, intimidating, and interesting opening holes in all of golf.”
Mid Pines, another Ross design recently updated by Kyle Franz, also has three holes on the Best 18 list including its par-5 15th.
“The drive requires avoiding both bunkers of this sloping fairway and a possible reach in two shots,” wrote the panel of Mid Pines’ 15th hole. “A risk/reward hole that can yield birdies and eagles with a fairly flat green.”
Mid South Club, an Arnold Palmer design in one of the area’s most picturesque private residential communities, placed its 15th hole on the list of the Best Par-5 holes, while sister course Talamore Golf Resort, designed by the “U.S. Open Doctor” Rees Jones, is known for its outstanding 11th hole, one of the best par-5s in the Sandhills.
Last but certainly not least, the Country Club of North Carolina’s 15th hole on the Cardinal course made our list of the Sandhills best golf holes.
“No. 15 on the Cardinal course is a long par 5 – more than 600 yards from the championship tee, but with the elevated tee and downhill slope of the fairway the hole can be reached in two shots with a well-placed drive,” the experts wrote. “The second shot for players laying up is deceptive as the open fairway on the right is welcoming, but the long, narrow green is much more difficult to hit and hold from that side.
“Bunkers right, a steep fall-off on the left and water long require an accurate approach to hold the green. The green is divided by a ridge creating distinct front and rear sections which makes distance control on the approach critical to avoid 3-putts. Putts within each section of the green are tough to read on the subtly sloped surfaces.”