In Volume 2 of The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, Tom Doak published that:
“This gentle, graceful layout feels different than any other in Pinehurst because the routing is a long loop, with 85 years of mature landscaping to make the homes unobtrusive. For years, it was a perfect length for resort players and for the best women golfers – not surprising since its owner is Peggy Kirk Bell and her family – and the course has hosted three U.S. Women’s Opens to prove it. The restoration of the original Ross tees at 6,436 yards is a shrewd addition that works perfectly for many visitors to the resort. However, John Fought’s new back tees at 7000 yards ensure that many drives again hit into the plentiful up-slopes in the ground found around Southern Pines, which is hillier than Pinehurst itself."
Pine Needles received a score of 5 out of 10 from Tom Doak, and scores of 5, 6 and 7 out of 10 from his three co-authors.