Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Bubba Watson…from both sides of the plate

It’s baseball season, and Bubba Watson shows he has power from both sides of the plate.

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VIDEO: Pinehurst No. 2 Superintendent talks course maintenance

There’s a science to keeping Pinehurst’s greens in top shape.

Watch this video from BASF to see Pinehurst No. 2 Superintendent John Jeffreys talk about the process of caring for the championship course. It’s a great insider look at the operation.

John and members of his team can sometimes also be magicians. Look what they did to help No. 2 recover from over an inch of rain that poured down in less than 30 minutes on the night between the first and second rounds of the U.S. Open:

 

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Padgett II named Golfweek’s Father of the Year

Don Padgett

Don Padgett II

Golfweek has named retired Pinehurst President Don Padgett II its Father of the Year, an honor previously awarded to  Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Peter Compton.

Padgett, who served as president and chief operation officer of Pinehurst from 2004 to 2014, led the yearlong restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 in 2010. Conducted by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the project restored the course’s natural and historic character.

Coore and Crenshaw removed some 40 acres of grass to re-expose the natural hardpan sand and unkempt look the course’s designer, Donald Ross, so embraced in the early 1900s.

Padgett’s father, Don Padgett Sr., served as Pinehurst’s director of golf from 1987 to 2002. He is credited by then-CEO and President Pat Corso as being the “insider” in the world of golf who opened doors and lent credence to Pinehurst’s drive in the late 1980s and early 1990s to land a major golf championship for No. 2.

PF6-17.05-5 Don Padgett (1280x908)

Don Padgett Sr.

Padgett II came to Pinehurst to replace Corso in 2004 after a successful tenure as director of golf and general manager at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. His experiences on the PGA Tour in the 1970s (he shot a 66 in the 1977 U.S. Open) gave him a unique perspective on the nuances of the Pinehurst golf experience.

After the 2005 U.S. Open, Padgett came to the gradual realization No. 2 had become too homogenized with its svelte green sheen and a maintenance protocol that had course workers only half-jokingly say they’d catch fallen pine cones “on the first bounce” rather than let it reflect its natural ambiance that reminded Ross of his native Scotland.

“His leadership on the No. 2 restoration was remarkable,” said Jay Biggs, the club’s senior vice president for golf and club operations. “I’ve thought about it often: ‘If I were in his shoes, would I have had the courage to pull that trigger?’

“He had the idea and the vision to go to Mr. Dedman at a time when the economy was poor, the golf business was suffering. It was a big gamble. But it paid off and Pinehurst is better off for it.”

Padgett remains active around the resort with the title of Executive Emeritus. His office moved from the executive suite on the second floor of the resort clubhouse to a smaller office on the first floor — one that coincidentally his father occupied two decades before.

I can feel my dad’s spirit in here,” Padgett said. “It’s kind of like coming full circle.”

Read more about the Padgett family legacy at Pinehurst by clicking here.

Golfweek will honor Padgett during its Father & Son Open at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. View an entire list of past honorees here. 

 

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Phil Mickelson’s most painful U.S. Open loss

Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck has a new podcast, In the Rough, and the debut edition features Phil Mickelson’s caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay. On it, Shipnuck poses a tough question:

Which of Mickelson’s six U.S. Open runner-up finishes was the most painful?

The answer might surprise you: It’s not Winged Foot.

“It’s probably a tie,” Mackay says. “I would say between Shinnecock in 2004 and Pinehurst in 1999. Just because he played so amazingly well in both of them.”

Mackay explains, and is recounted by Golf.com’s Coleman McDowell:

The 1999 U.S. Open was the memorable duel between Mickelson and Payne Stewart where Stewart won by a single stroke.
“At Pinehurst, it was so surreal,” Mackay says. “You’re out there in the mist, and it’s like being on a movie set. At that point, he hadn’t won a major, and Amy was incredibly pregnant. Phil played so incredibly well and got beat by a guy who made the greatest par putt I’ve ever seen on 16, then birdied 17 and made a putt on 18. It was a tough pill to swallow.”

Mackay, it turns out, blames himself for Mickelson’s short birdie miss on 17:

“Phil brought me in for the read,” Mackay says. “We both thought it was pretty straight. He hit the putt, and I’ve only seen it once or twice on video, but it broke definitively to the right and didn’t go in. Payne makes the birdie putt to go one ahead, which was the difference in the tournament. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that, and if I had a do-over in my career, it would be that read.”

 

Shipnuck tries to smooth it over:

“I asked Phil,” Shipnuck says. “He says he pulled it.”
“Did he really?” Mackay says. “There you go, I’ve never asked him. That’s not something you talk about with your player there in the moment.”

 

Please check out the podcast below. Great stuff:

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Our new favorite college golfer

As host to the North & South Amateur Championships, we meet and enjoy getting to know many college golfers.

We might have a new favorite, though.

In a great find by GolfNewsNet’s Ryan Ballengee, check out the trick shot video by Arizona State golfer Mathias Schjoelberg:

Getting good at the shots I’ll never need. #golf #golfer #asu #asugolf #sundevils

A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

  Insane, right? But, as you might expect, Mathias has more. So many more. Including an even better angle of the above shot:  

Close enough #golf #golfer #asu #asugolf #golfgods A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

 

We’re not even sure what he does here:

Need to play around a bit as well! #golf #trick #golfer #pgatour #GolfGods

A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

… Continue Reading

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