Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Jack Nicklaus’s North & South win got the attention of Sports Illustrated

If you’ve been even a casual reader of Sports Illustrated over the years, you know of SI’s Faces in the Crowd page, where in over a half-century thousands of young athletes – some of the brink of stardom and some never to be heard from again – were pictured with a brief about their magnificent athletic achievements.

Golf has certainly had its share of entries in Faces in the Crowd, including Jack Nicklaus, who made his second appearance at 19 years old on May 4, 1959.

The reason? As you can see in the photo, it was for his victory in Pinehurst’s North & South Amateur.

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Other golfers were included in Golf.com’s recent piece about Faces in the Crowd, including Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Lanny Wadkins and this guy:

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Pinehurst’s golf courses in a way you haven’t seen them before

Today marks National Golf Day, which we feel is a great day to share new looks you may not have seen before of four of Pinehurst’s greatest golf courses:

Pinehurst No. 2:

Pinehurst No. 8

Pinehurst No. 4

Pinehurst No. 9

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New Rules of Golf Decision Limits Use of Video Review

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News Release from the USGA and The R&A

USGA and The R&A Prioritize Working Group to Assess Role of Video in Applying Golf’s Rules

FAR HILLS, N.J., USA AND ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (April 25, 2017) – The USGA and The R&A have issued a new Decision on the Rules of Golf to limit the use of video evidence in the game, effective immediately.

The two organizations have also established a working group of LPGA, PGA Tour, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America representatives to immediately begin a comprehensive review of broader video issues, including viewer call-ins, which arise in televised competitions.

New Decision 34-3/10 implements two standards for Rules committees to limit the use of video: 1) when video reveals evidence that could not reasonably be seen with the “naked eye,” and 2) when players use their “reasonable judgment” to determine a specific location when applying the Rules. The full language of the Decision can be found here.

“This important first step provides officials with tools that can have a direct and positive impact on the game. We recognize there is more work to be done. Advancements in video technology are enhancing the viewing experience for fans, but can also significantly affect the competition. We need to balance those advances with what is fair for all players when applying the Rules.” – USGA Executive Director/CEO Mike Davis

The first standard states, “the use of video technology can make it possible to identify things that could not be seen with the naked eye.” An example includes a player who unknowingly touches a few grains of sand in taking a backswing with a club in a bunker when making a stroke.

If the committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of the potential breach, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules, even when video technology shows otherwise. This is an extension of the provision on ball-at-rest-moved cases, which was introduced in 2014.

The second standard applies when a player determines a spot, point, position, line, area, distance or other location in applying the Rules, and recognizes that a player should not be held to the degree of precision that can sometimes be provided by video technology. Examples include determining the nearest point of relief or replacing a lifted ball.

So long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.

Both of these standards have been extensively discussed as part of the Rules modernization initiative. The USGA and The R&A have decided to enact this Decision immediately because of the many difficult issues arising from video review in televised golf.

The standards in the Decision do not change any of the current requirements in the Rules, as the player must still act with care, report all known breaches of the Rules and try to do what is reasonably expected in making an accurate determination when applying the Rules.

Video-related topics that require a deeper evaluation by the working group include the use of information from sources other than participants such as phone calls, email or social media, and the application of penalties after a score card has been returned.

USGA Executive Director/CEO Mike Davis said, “This important first step provides officials with tools that can have a direct and positive impact on the game. We recognize there is more work to be done. Advancements in video technology are enhancing the viewing experience for fans, but can also significantly affect the competition. We need to balance those advances with what is fair for all players when applying the Rules.”

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have been considering the impact of video review on the game and feel it is important to introduce a Decision to give greater clarity in this area. Golf has always been a game of integrity and we want to ensure that the emphasis remains as much as possible on the reasonable judgment of the player rather than on what video technology can show.”

The USGA and The R&A will consider additional modifications recommended by the working group for implementation in advance of Jan. 1, 2019, when the new code resulting from the collaborative work to modernize golf’s Rules takes effect.

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Pinehurst No. 3 – A Return to Ross

The early reviews to the recent work on Pinehurst No. 3 have been very good from those who have played it since its reopening. Here is a little deeper look at the many flourishes returned to No. 3:

  • Much of the restoration work is designed to return elements of Ross’s original design characteristics, including sandy native areas and wire grass. Where before players could see mounds or depressions that reflected past design features, now those elements are brought again to the forefront with the sandscape and bunkering.
  • Note the above video of what is now the second hole of Course 3. The vintage photo is from the 1930s, and one can see how the native area defines the hole. In the middle photo, that area was grassed over, though the original slope of the land remains. Today, though, as the course reopens, the work Kyle Franz did to recover that area returns the hole to its vintage glory. And what you don’t see – the bunker comes into play off the tee from the first hole as well. It’s pure Ross.
  • Two new holes were built – both par-3s – and the course will play to a par 68. In doing so, the two new par-3s are devilish short holes that feature sandscape and water. In addition, where the par-3s were placed allowed designers to rework two other holes, making them more interesting in the process.
  • Tour the course and it quickly becomes readily apparent – Ross-style strategy is evident throughout. Short par-4s could be drivable, but the small turtleback greens and native areas could make a short hole yield a big score in a hurry. Perhaps the player should lay up off the tee instead to a number he or she is more comfortable with into those small greens. Much like No. 2, the player may now need to consider the hole location even from the teebox.
  • The rough bunkering around these small greens are vintage Ross.

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Jordan Spieth, the 2024 U.S. Open champion at Pinehurst? An interesting thought

In his always entertaining #AskAlan mailbag at Golf.com, Alan Shipnuck was asked to consider how many major championships Jordan Spieth might finish his career with. And while it’s clearly fun speculation that can go in any number of ways, it’s an interesting thought as well to try to peer into the elusive crystal ball.

One part of Alan’s answer might interest you – how Spieth and his game match up for the 2024 U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2:

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Spieth was competitive at the 2014 U.S. Open, opening the tournament with a 1-under 69 and hanging around the top 10 before finishing in a tie for 17th. A year later, he won the Open at Chambers Bay.

It’s a fun exercise. What do you think? Is Spieth Pinehurst’s Open champion in 2024? And if not Spieth, want to go on record with a pick now?

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