One of the area’s best kept secrets on the links could be found tucked away just off of Highway 6 in Lewis County.

Three Pine Golf Course was founded in 1993 by a group of 20 investors and has been thriving ever since.

One of the area’s best kept secrets on the links could be found tucked away just off of Highway 6 in Lewis County.

Three Pine Golf Course was founded in 1993 by a group of 20 investors and has been thriving ever since.

The land was originally used as a saddle club and cow pasture, but the investors had bigger and better ideas.

“They thought the area needed a golf course,” part owner and course vice president Nathan Childress said. “They used their own money and own resources to build and design the course.”

Three Pines is also the reason Childress became involved in the game.

“It’s why I got into golf and why I still enjoy the game today,” he said.

He was a member of the Highland High School back-to-back state qualifying teams and also went on to play two years at Culver-Stockton College.

Childress became an owner of the course three years ago and was recently elected to his vice president title earlier this year.

Although the course has lost a few trees in recent years, the outlining of the course with trees is a reason why the 9-hole course presents a bit of a challenge to golfers.

“The course has had very few changes since the beginning, but the addition of many more trees make the course play the way it was supposed to be coming of age,” Childress explained. “We have lost a few trees, but new ones have been planted in their place.”

The vice president also mentioned the course can play to the strengths of many different types of golfers.

“It sets up for almost anyone’s game,” he said. “The course is not super long so birdies can be made.”

Players must navigate around water on the first three holes and the fourth hole is long, tough Par 4, according to Childress.

The Par 5 No. 8 is considered, by many, as the easiest hole on the course, which is immediately followed by the biggest challenge on the course.

The 150-yard Par 3 No. 9 is Three Pines signature hole, and one in which Childress explains as the most difficult hole in the area.

“The famous No. 9, as we call it, is the toughest hole in the area,” Childress explained. “It is an island green that is one-third the size of the famed TPC Sawgrass 17th hole. It requires anyone’s best to birdie.”

Childress also noted the hole presents a “Tin Cup” type of moment from some players.

“Over the years Three Pines has become known for this hole,” he said of No. 9. “We watch people hit ball after ball until they finally hit one on (the green) and they are as happy as if it was their first shot.”

Bill Tallman is the course greens keeper who keeps the course in exceptional shape.

“He works his tail off to give the public a course we all can be proud of,” Childress said. “The course is most generally always well manicured and very well taken care of and most often we hear nothing but great reviews on the course.”

Placement of pins can also present a challenge to the most avid golfers.

“Our greens are generally very nice and a pin change here or there can make the course play totally different and much more challenging,” the Highland and Culver-Stockton grad mentioned. “One day I may come out here and shoot even or a couple under (par) and then they move the pins and it is tough to shoot close to par.”

The course plays host to a men’s league on Thursday evenings starting at 5:30 p.m.. Childress noted most league nights between 20-30 golfers gather and it is always open to anyone who wants to partake,

A four-man scramble is set to take place on July 15 which is limited to the first 18 teams.

Discussions of expanding the course and adding in a driving range is something Childress noted he would like to see for the future.

“We have had those discussions and also maybe moving some tee blocks, but those are future plans and we are not able to make those additions at the moment,” he said.

A second Par 3 is also a hole which is often talked about on the course.

“It nestles back into the woods with trouble all the way around it,” Childress said. “It is another one of our “prized” holes.”

When asked what brings golfers back to Three Pines, Childress didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“If you ask anybody who has ever played the course, they will tell you about No. 9,” he said of the ever popular hole. “It is the first thing you see when you pull up to the course and it pumps you up for the whole round just waiting to play it. It is also the last thing you see when you leave so it has that allure of talking you into coming back and taking her on again and again.”