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News-Herald Staff Writer David S. Glasier has been playing golf for over 50 years and writing about it for over 30. Always operating on a tight budget, Glasier is on a lifelong quest to find good courses to play at affordable prices.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 3 of DSG's North Carolina Golf Vacation: Dormie Club

     On the face of it, there is nothing vaguely affordable about Dormie Club.
     Located about five miles outside of Pinehurst in West End, Dormie opened in 2010 as a private club with lofty aspirations.
     The $25 million project - $15 million for land acquisition and $10 million to design and build the course - was bankrolled by a group of well-heeled investors that includes founder and co-owner Robert Hansen.
      A New Jersey native whose been in the business of operating golf courses for most of his adult life, Hansen moved to Pinehurst a few years ago and lives in the house bordering Pinehurst No. 2 once owned by legendary architect Donald Ross
Bob Hansen
      Dormie was designed by the golf architecture team of Bill Coore and PGA Tour great Ben Crenshaw. The walk-in greens fee during this busy season is $190 during the week and $215 on the weekend. During the heat of high summer, May 26 to Sept. 14, those numbers will moderate slightly to $95 and $115.
       Dormie offers motorized carts to anyone who chooses to use one, but it is envisioned as a walking course on which golfers can choose to use a caddie. Caddie fees are $80 for a single and $65 per player for doubles.
       So, how is it that the traveling golfer of modest means ever could fit a round at Dormie into his or her budget?
      The answer in this instance is the same I'd offer in similar circumstances at the majority of upscale golf destinations. Look for the best stay-and-play packages and do the math.
       Legacy Golf Package, based in nearby Aberdeen at Legacy Golf Links. books for 27 courses in the area including Dormie.
       The Premiere II package offered on, currently priced at $529 per person (quad occupancy), is a 3 rounds/2 nights deal with rounds at Dormie, Legacy and Talamore. Package buyers stay in a Pinehurst condo. Breakfast at Pinehurst Track Restaurant is included.
       Here's what you get for $529 - three rounds of golf (estimated walk-in greens fees, $440), two nights lodging (estimated market value, $350) and two free breakfasts (estimated $30). That's $820 of value for $529.
       Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it if you can swing it? Heck yes.
       You can reason your way to thinking the round at Dormie is paid for,  and then some, with the difference between market value and Legacy's package price.
        Which begs another question: Is Dormie all that it's cracked up to be and worth the expense?
        Without hesitation, I'd answer "yes'' on both counts.
        Coore and Crenshaw went with the lay of the land on the 390 acres given over to the  golf course. With its naturally occurring sandy waste areas flecked with native grasses and vegetation, the holes are nicely framed and given to changes in elevation. The putting surfaces are large, smooth, fast and smartly contoured.
        From the par-4, 402-yard first hole to the par-4, 410-yard 18th hole, there isn't a hole at Dormie that isn't pleasing to the eye and challenging. We played Dormie from the white tees at just under 6,000 yards and par-71.
        Other tees are red  (5,180 yards), blue (6,576 yards) and black (6,883 yards).
Dormie No. 17, par 5, 489 yards
        The clubhouse (pictured below) is a lodge left over from the days when the 1,200-acre property was a private hunting preserve.
        Hansen was at Dormie on the day we played there. He shared with us the history of the building project and how the original plan to be strictly private had to be scrapped in the lingering aftermath of the economic collapse of September 2008.
        Although he still plans to eventually take Dormie private and add amenities such as a 10-hole "short course'' and learning center, for now Hanson is content to have public play serve as Dormie's lifeline.

        Dormie Club
        6033 Beulah Hill Church Rd.
        West End, N.C. 27376
        (910)  215- 4587

        Legacy Golf Package
        12515 U.S. Highway 15-501 South, Aberdeen, N.C. 28315
        (910) 944-8838; toll free, (888) 287-2199




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