In the spring of 1959, the Rotary Club held a convention at the Pinehurst Hotel. A guest speaker was Ardis B. Hardee, a young high school teacher from Lexington, NC. Andy, as he was known, had done some sales work at real estate developments in Virginia during his summer vacations. Now he was ready to try it on his own.
During this convention trip, Andy took an immediate liking to the Sandhills. He stopped at the office of Carthage realtor Ed Comer and inquired if there were any lakes or lake sites in the area which might be for sale. Ed showed him Thagard Lake which after years of neglect had been cleaned up by a gentleman from Pennsylvania. Hardee could see that this was the ideal spot to develop a colony of vacation cottages for families from northern North Carolina. His bid for the property was accepted and work began on the creation of Whispering Pines.
Hardee brought in Ellis Maples to design and build the “Original Course” that is holes #1-4, #14-18 of the Pines (formerly East course) combined with #1-2, #8-10, #15-18 of the River (formerly West course) to be the first course layout. The first nine holes opened on April 12, 1962 and the final nine holes were completed by August of that year. Avery Beck was named the golf professional and Linwood Harmon was named the superintendent. (Find out more about Ellis Maples on his biography page).
On October 21, 1965 the reconfigured East Course opened. It consisted of the original holes 1-4 and 5-9, and inserted nine new holes between them. These were the holes south of Hardee Lane, reaching almost to Airport Road. To showcase the new 18-hole course, Andy Hardee, President of Whispering Pines, Inc. inaugurated the Golf Capital Pro-Am Golf Tournament which was played at CCWP for many years.
With the completion of the East Course, the newly named “West Course” was left with only nine, holes since its front nine had been grafted onto the front and back of the new East Course. For four years, Whispering Pines operated with 27 holes however on September 1, 1969 the West Course was completed to bring the total to 36. Five of the new holes lay west of Rays Bridge Road, and the remaining four were dredged up out of the swamp where Little River joins the upper end of Thagard Lake.
On January 1, 1996 fire destroyed the CCWP office, kitchen and cart storage. Then on January 26, 1996 the members voted to build a new clubhouse and the current clubhouse is the result of that vote.
Throughout the years, the Country Club of Whispering Pines has experienced some financial difficulties but has always risen from the ashes to prosper. On November 6, 2012 Brown Golf Management completed the purchase of CCWP along with Foxfire Resort and Golf Club. The future looks very bright for the future of the Country Club of Whispering Pines.
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