- Whispering Pines Golf Club, the top-ranked golf course in Texas, now includes a nine-hole, short course named The Needler. Like its award-winning, 18-hole course big brother, The Needler will provide a fun, but stern test for every golfer. Founder Corby Robertson again worked with Chet Williams, the course architect for Whispering Pines Golf Club, to achieve his particular short course vision.
Chet Williams and Course Construction Manager, Cole Sanders, created nine exquisite golf holes that marry beautifully into the rolling hills, lakes and forest. Each of the nine holes has four different tee boxes to choose from with holes ranging in length from 68 to 312 yards, almost guaranteeing golfers will use every club in their bag to play.
Says Williams, "Shaping Corby’s defined vision was a fun, creative project that resulted in a challenging golf course in a serene setting. I believe we made excellent use of the natural vegetation and water features to compliment a variety of green complexes.”
The most impressive and challenging green complex is the 28,000 square foot double green on holes #4 and #8. Straight across the green measures 300 feet, equivalent to the length of a football field. Combined with a nine-foot elevation change and devilish deep sand bunkers, this green will leave golfers humbled by the inherent challenge of The Needler.
The Needler course will have several other unique features, including the following:
- Zeon Zoysia Grass – Tees and approaches
- Y-2 Zoysia Grass - Rough
- Eco Buffalo Grass – Native areas
- Mini Verde – Putting surfaces
Seven out of the nine holes have water features
- Longest tee shot – 312 yards from the back tee on #4
- Shortest tee shot – 68 yards from the front tee on #3
- The Roadhouse – a rustic operational Gristmill will serve as halfway beverage station, restrooms and house the new pump station that will irrigate both courses. The most impressive feature of the Roadhouse will be located inside on the wall above the boat bar: a 14-foot alligator named "Lucky,” who lived a full life at Whispering Pines
- The Pavilion – a natural timber structure built entirely from large trees harvested during the course construction. This stone and timber pavilion will offer a 360 degrees view of the entire short course.
Located along the northern shores of Lake Livingston, Whispering Pines Golf Club showcases the beautiful piney woods of East Texas and offers members a memorable golf experience. Since opening in 2000, Whispering Pines has received numerous outstanding honors; Golf Digest listed Whispering Pines the "Third Best New Private Course in America” and 11th in "America’s 50 Greatest Golf Retreats.” Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golfweek and Links Magazine currently rank Whispering Pines among the "Top 100 Golf Courses in America.”
Dedicated to hosting the finest amateur events, Whispering Pines is home to The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, a biennial tournament that showcases the best men and women amateur golfers from around the world. The Spirit International will be played October 30 – November 2, 2013. The United States is the defending international team champion.
The Spirit Golf Association, a 501 c- 3 charitable organization, is responsible for the Whispering Pines Membership Program and tournament management of The Spirit International. The Texas Golf Association is the governing association for The Spirit International and The Big 12 Men’s Conference Championship.