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Originally labeled a freak course? Possibly converted to an employee's course? Two sets of greens? Replacing acres and acres of grass with the very sandy wasteland it started as right before hosting two U. S. Opens in consecutive weeks?  It can't possibly be so.


In 1895, the inventor of the soda fountain bought more than 5,000 acres of barren, sandy wasteland in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He started his own village for consumptives but soon realized he made a grievous error. Fighting to preserve what was left of his investment, James Walker Tufts was saved by a little white ball. Witnessing a few guests swatting it around his dairy field with sticks, he realized his saving grace was a new game recently imported from across the Atlantic. The game was called golf.


Fast forward to the twenty-first century:  Seemingly on top of the golfing world, Pinehurst Resort dismantled Pinehurst Number Two, host of numerous worldwide events, a mere three years before hosting unprecedented U.S. Opens in consecutive weeks.  The dismantling eliminated acres of turf and hundreds of irrigation heads, the exact opposite of what the golfing world expected, in order to return to its past. 

The intervening years saw the evolution and challenges of one of the top golf destinations in the world. Inside these pages is the story of Pinehurst Resort, Mid Pines, Pine Needles, Southern Pines Golf Club, The Country Club of North Carolina, Tobacco Road and countless other golf courses of the Sandhills.   The story of Pinehurst is one of dumb luck, ingenuity, grand visions, and tremendous risk. This is the story of the Home of American Golf and it isn't what you think...

The Legendary Evolution of Pinehurst, Home of American Golf  is a completely updated and re-written version of his 2007 International Network of Golf Book of the Year tome on the history of Sandhills golf, Pinehurst ~ Home of American Golf (no longer in print and very difficult to find).  

The Legendary Evolution of Pinehurst, Home of American Golf  has forty-five new pages added and numerous updates, including a brand new chapter chronicling one of the most important restoration projects of the twenty-first century - Pinehurst No. 2 in addition to the Mid Pines restoration, the evolution of The Dormie Club and other advances in the recent past. This is a must have for those who love Pinehurst and the history of golf courses. 


In addition to the new pages are 112 new, never - before - seen images as well as an introduction from two-time Masters Champion, Ben Crenshaw.

Recent Press and Reviews

Tillinghast Illustrated - Recommended Readings

Spring 2019


"This is the definitive history of the entire Pinehurst community and golf complexes, for that is so much more than Donald Ross and his masterpiece, the # 2 course. There is no better way to understand what Pinehurst is all about than to go back to the original ideals of its founder. And so Richard does."

Ron Whitten:


"Nobody knows Pinehurst golf like Richard Mandell.  He's not just a golf architect who has lived in the Village of Pinehurst, he's studied its courses, investigated their origins and absorbed their design nuances.  The Legendary Evolution of Pinehurst combines the tenacity of a private investigator with the eye and ear of a practiced course designer. This updated version offers additional insight and commentary on the continuing evolution of golf in one of the grandest communities in the world."

Jim Dodson:


"Classic golf course and fine golf books are welcome perennials. My friend Richard Mandell's comprehensive table-top work is no exception to that rule. Not only does Richard, an outstanding young course architect with a rapidly growing resume, understand what makes a great golf courses tick, but as a longtime resident of Pinehurst and environs he's uniquely qualified to dissect the Donald Ross mystique and reveal insights and anomalies of the creation of Pinehurst that make this book a must-have for any serious student of the game."

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