Pinehurst auction for workers displaced by coronavirus raises huge sum

March 31, 2020
Pinehurst Clubhouse sunset

Pinehurst’s auction for employees whose jobs were displaced by the coronavirus ended Monday, raising more than $200,000. The auction, which featured a series of “once-in-a-lifetime” Pinehurst-themed experiences and other giveaways, raised a final tally of $222,680, according to the fundraiser’s website.

The idea for the auction came as course officials raced to set up a fund for employees who’d been out of work because of the virus.

“With the closing of the hotels and restaurants by the coronavirus crisis, hundreds of amazing Pinehurst Resort and Country Club employees have been impacted,” the resort said in a letter to media sent this weekend.

To raise money for employees, course officials decided to auction off a series of “exclusive ‘Pinehurst Experiences’ that have never been offered before and may never be offered again.”

Among those “experiences”:

– A foursome on Pinehurst No. 2 with Mike Hicks, who was on Payne Stewart’s bag for Stewart’s iconic 1999 U.S. Open victory.

– An exclusive walking tour preview of Coore & Crenshaw’s routing and ideation for a 10th Pinehurst course, given by Bill Coore.

– A six-night, stay-and-play package on all 10 Pinehurst courses for two.

– A foursome on Pinehurst No. 4 with Gil Hanse, the architect responsible for building the course.

– Two uninterrupted hours on the par-3 9th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 for a closest to the pin competition with you and your buddies.

– Four uninterrupted hours on the Cradle, Pinehurst’s famed short course.

In truth, those giveaways represented only a few of the offerings receiving bids this weekend. Far and away the most popular item on the list? A vacation package at the historic Dornoch Cottage. The stay-and-play package featured two nights at Donald Ross’ historic former cottage, a golf history lesson from a local historian, and a foursome on both Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4. The final price tag on the Dornoch Cottage trip when the dust settled Monday evening was a cool $25,000.

All of the cash raised through the fundraiser will go directly toward recently displaced Pinehurst staff. Considering the funding came entirely from the goodwill of the golf community, that’s a heck of an accomplishment. Good for Pinehurst, for the donors, and for the benefactors of their generosity, who are all making the most of an unfortunate situation.

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