HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY
In keeping with the heritage and rich tradition of this 418-acre farm, The Bull at Pinehurst Farms was chosen as the name for this Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Known as Pinehurst Farms for over 150 years, this property has been owned by only two families — the Giddings family and the Reiss (Bachmann) family (since 1910).
Grand Champion-caliber purebred Holstein cattle have been a mainstay of this farm for over 90 years. Under the Pinehurst name, these cattle have gone on to win National Championships and command top dollar at both public and private sales. A brief history of this famous breeding establishment follows, along with photographs chronicling over 150 years of history.
A barn fire in 1993 marked the end of Pinehurst as a dairy farm, but also marked the start of the realization of another dream… creating a championship golf course on this beautiful property.
Construction on The Bull began Aug. 4, 2000. The course meanders through the farm and features breath-taking views of meadows, woods, wetlands and streams. Each of the 18 holes is named after a bull bred by Pinehurst Farms, each with its own unique story. You can find a photo of each bull in the Hole by Hole Tour section of this website.
The property, known for over 150 years as Pinehurst Farms, has a rich history itself. The Pinehurst story began with the establishment of Pinehurst Farm by the Giddings family of Sheboygan Falls. They began acquiring land in the area as early as 1845, prior to statehood being granted to Wisconsin. By the turn of the century they had a well-established farm and dairy herd.
In 1910 the farm was purchased by Peter Reiss of Sheboygan. Mr. Reiss was determined to make Pinehurst a showplace of agriculture. He immediately started construction of modern farm buildings, completing the project in 1915. He also stocked the farm with the best purebred dairy cattle, swine and horses available. In 1924 conditions brought on a dispersal of the Holstein herd. However, a rebuilding program was immediately started through new purchases and remnants of the original herd.
The farm continued to be operated by Mr. Reiss and his family until 1950 when it was purchased by Mr. Reiss’ grandsons, Peter and David Bachmann. Again a dispersal was indicated, and in October of that year all but thirty head were sold at public auction.
In 1955 David Bachmann Sr. acquired his brother’s interest in the farm. He purchased additional land and added some new buildings, bringing the farm to its final size of 800 acres and 300 registered Holsteins. His son, David Jr., graduated from Arizona State in 1981 and returned to help market Pinehurst cattle around the world. During those years the export market, especially to Japan, was very strong and cattle were being exported on a weekly basis. Throughout the years the cattle were also taken to major exhibitions for competitive classes.
For the better part of the last 30 years, there have been three or four National competitions in the purebred Holstein business. Put in golf terms, these four major shows are the equivalent of the four golf majors. Very competitive, very prestigious, and very lucrative to the winner. One, however, stands at the very top and is considered the “Super Bowl” of purebred cattle shows…World Dairy Expo held each fall in Madison, Wisconsin. All seven dairy breeds compete within their breed at this show, and the Grand Champion female from each of the breeds competes for Supreme Champion honors. Pinehurst has exhibited the Grand Champion female in five different breeds, and two went on to be named Supreme Champion.
Six top-placing animals from the various National Shows are also chosen to compete in an “All-American” competition. A panel of several judges selects the six nominees, which in itself is a great honor. Those judges then select an All-American animal and Reserve All-American animal within each class (classes are broken down by age so yearlings and milking 4-year-old cows do not compete against each other). Pinehurst has bred or developed over 80 All-American or Reserve All-American animals, and from 1975 to 1981 was the leading exhibitor of All-American nominees.
Another honor each individual breeding establishment strives for is the Premier Breeder and/or Premier Exhibitor banner. The Premier Breeder is awarded to the farm that bred the overall highest placing animals of the show. While you may not always win a class or Grand Champion honors, you may very well have animals in the top five on a consistent basis, and this award honors your achievement. Just as the Leading Money Winner on the golf circuit may not have won a tournament recently, he or she is obviously “in the race” at all times! The Premier Exhibitor banner is given to the owner of the overall highest placing animals of the show (whether they bred the animal themselves or purchased it from another farm is immaterial). Many times two different farms will win these banners, but at times one farm can have a very successful show — with homebred animals — and capture both banners.
In 1976, Pinehurst became the first herd to be named Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor at all three National Shows, an impressive honor they repeated in 1980. No other herd has repeated this accomplishment to date. Pinehurst has won the Premier Breeder and/or Premier Exhibitor banner over 35 times at National Shows and numerous other times at the Wisconsin Championship Show and many State Fair competitions.
In 1983 a lightning storm set fire to the main farm and destroyed the existing buildings. Fortunately no cattle were killed in the blaze. Early in 1984 the animals moved into a beautiful new state-of-the-art facility and continued with the Pinehurst tradition that was begun many years before. Ten years later in 1993, tragedy struck once more as a fire once again destroyed the milking barn. This time the animals were moved toanother Bachmann-owned facility, Lakehurst Farm, north of Sheboygan. Many of the Pinehurst animals were dispersed in a public auction in 1999. Several animals were retained and they and/or their offspring are currently part of the Fieldstone Farm herd, located just across the road from the former Lakehurst Farm.
Although the barn fire was very devastating and ultimately marked the end of the Pinehurst program at this location, it did allow for another dream to be realized…. the building of a championship-caliber golf course that would showcase the beauty of the terrain and allow the rich history of Pinehurst Farms to be preserved and shared with others.