Pinehurst 2014 U.S. Opens Archive

The Book – and The Building of Ben Crenshaw

The World Of Golf

By LEE PACE

Ben Crenshaw was a 15-year-old growing up in Texas when his father gave him Charles Price’s 1962 book, The World of Golf, a 308-page treatise to the game’s venues, champions, implements and traditions that covered six centuries in words and pictures.

Crenshaw adored the game and was quite good at it, but so far his universe extended only as far as the out-of-bounds stakes at Austin Country Club and the local municipal course.

“I couldn’t have cut my teeth on a better book.” – Ben Crenshaw

“I couldn’t have cut my teeth on a better book,” Crenshaw says. “It has a little bit about everything. When I first read that book, I began to understand the rich history and colorful stars of the game of golf.”

Soon after, Charlie Crenshaw suggested to Ben that he enter the 1968 U.S. Junior Amateur, scheduled for The Country Club in the Boston suburb of Brookline. Ben lost in the quarterfinals but had a mesmerizing week — “The ground was so perfect, I was scared to take a divot,” he says — and the experience ignited a magical circle that ended in 1999 when Crenshaw captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team to its memorable final-day rally at The Country Club.

“It was perfectly natural. It was so history laden. You had to ask yourself: ‘Why? Who put this together? Who started this? Who nurtured it?'” -Ben Crenshaw

“I couldn’t have been luckier to see Brookline early on, when I was so young,” Crenshaw says. “It was rustic, it was New England, it seemed like the other side of the world from Austin, Texas. It was perfectly natural. It was so history laden. You had to ask yourself: ‘Why? Who put this together? Who started this? Who nurtured it?’ There was so much romance about it, and then I learned about it being one of the founding clubs of the USGA and the place where Francis Ouimet won the Open.

“Together, Charley Price’s book and my trip to Brookline set me off on a path I’ve enjoyed the rest of my life. They opened my eyes to a different world.”

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The Secret of Pinehurst No. 2

BY LEE PACE

“There’s nothing like it, nothing like it in the world.”

Ben Crenshaw has seen thousands of golf courses around the globe in four-plus decades of competition and design work with partner Bill Coore. Since first seeing Pinehurst No. 2 in November 1973, he’s revered its unique qualities.

So what makes Pinehurst No. 2 special?

Let us count the ways.

 

Pinehurst No. 2 8th Hole

Pinehurst No. 2 8th Hole

No. 1 Wide fairways

Donald Ross and superintendent Frank Maples installed the first irrigation system on No. 2 in 1933. The pipe was laid down the middle of each fairway and water was thrown roughly seventy feet on either side.

“There’s nothing like it, nothing like it in the world.” – Ben Crenshaw

That ground was maintained as fairway, everything else was the natural hardpan sand that had defined the region for generations. That breathing room off the tee allowed golfers the opportunity to aim tee shots to one side or the other in order to have the best angle to approach the green and the hole location that day.

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LPGA Commish Mike Whan: 2014 Open presents “Opportunity”

Mike Whan LPGA

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan appeared on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Tuesday – less than a week after Michelle Wie sat in the same spot and gushed about the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, to be played the week immediately following the men’s U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2 in June.

It is a grand experiment that has many - LPGA players included – wondering how the USGA is going to make it all work.

But Whan is on board. Here are his comments about the Open at Pinehurst.*

*Once Golf Channel posts video of Whan’s Pinehurst comments, we’ll post it here.

More from Whan:

“I’m a fan of change. With change provides opportunity. I think a lot of people in the world are going to watch the U.S. Women’s Open who may not have watched simply because of this back-to-back situation.”

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Why Bill Coore?

Bill Coore

Bill Coore (Photo by John Gessner)

When Pinehurst officials decided to restore Pinehurst No. 2 to the way famed designer Donald Ross originally intended, the choice to lead the giant undertaking was clear.

Here’s why.

 

By LEE PACE

Fifty years later, Bill Coore can easily conjure up the sights and sounds of a summer day spent playing golf at Pinehurst. As a boy growing up in Davidson County just an hour northwest of Pinehurst, Coore would often travel with an adult golf mentor or a group of junior golf buddies to play Pinehurst No. 2, then as now one of the top courses in the nation.

“This was the foundation of my introduction to golf architecture.” – Bill Coore

“We’d tee off at daybreak,” Coore says. “It was five dollars. You got a little tag, a paper tag to put on your bag. We would start walking and playing. Far more than a few times we’d play fifty-four holes in one day, carrying our bag, on the No. 2 course. That was my earliest memory. It’s just an incredible place.”

Coore, established in 2010 as one of the top architects in the game of golf, pauses to reflect on the influence Donald Ross and No. 2 have had on his life and career.

“This was the foundation of my introduction to golf architecture,” he says.

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Place your bets: Who’s the favorite to win the 2014 U.S. Open?

Online sports book Bovada has released its odds for the upcoming majors season.

So who’s the favorite to win the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst?

Big surprise, right?

tiger-woods-quote

2014 U.S. Open
Tiger Woods 6/1
Rory McIlroy 14/1
Adam Scott 16/1
Phil Mickelson 18/1
Justin Rose 20/1
Henrik Stenson 22/1

 

In fact, Woods is considered the favorite in all four majors.

The most interesting number? Perhaps the left-handed guy?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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