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Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw renovate Pines course at The International

International Pines Bill Coore

It’s a case of addition by subtraction at The International in Bolton, Massachusetts, as the famed team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have replaced an emphasis on outlandish length with a much-improved golf experience on the club’s Pines Course.

Known for decades as the longest course in the U.S., the Pines opened in 1955 with a design by Geoffrey Cornish and legendary amateur Francis Ouimet. The course originally stretched to 8,040 yards, an extreme length for that time period. Nearly two decades later, architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. stretched it to 8,325 yards in a renovation.

Coore and Crenshaw have scrubbed that focus on length and difficulty in their total renovation that began in 2022. Scheduled to reopen this fall to limited member play, the private Pines is a whole new golf course. And they have removed some 1,200 yards – the combined length of three mid-sized par 4s – as the course will now play to a much more reasonable 7,103 off the back tees.

International Pines Bill Coore

Architect Bill Coore walks the Pines course at The International in Bolton, Mass. (Courtesy of Escalante)

Not a single playing corridor or green site remains from the old layout, as Coore and Crenshaw reimagined the course to better take advantage of interesting topography and mature vegetation. Instead of length and head-banging difficulty, the Pines will now offer playability with an emphasis on natural and strategic golf holes.

“Bill, Ben, shapers Ryan Farrow and Zach Varty, and the rest of the Coore and Crenshaw team have worked their magic, taking an exceptional site and crafting what we strongly believe will be considered one of the country’s best new golf courses,” Paul Celano, director of golf at The International, said in a media release announcing the upcoming completion of the project. “Their deep admiration for courses built during the early 20th century, the so-called ‘Golden Age of Architecture,’ is an ideal match for our vision of a golf-first experience at The International that preserves and honors the club’s 120-year history.”

Another addition: The Pines will now feature fescue turf tees, fairways and rough. Besides making for amazing aesthetics in the rough, fescue provides a firm and bouncy playing surface that should highlight the strategic opportunities intended by the design team. Add in sandy waste areas carved through the pine trees, and it will be an entirely new experience for golfers versus the old layout.

The Pines is one of two layouts at The…


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