Pinehurst Golf News Archive

The Pinehurst No. 2 Restoration – A Hole-by-Hole Tour

9Before&After

The 9th Hole at Pinehurst No. 2 – Before and After the Restoration

Donald Ross believed in providing golfers with strategic choices, and Pinehurst No. 2 was intended to epitomize that philosophy. In March 2011, No. 2 reopened following a year-long restoration project designed to restore the course’s natural and historic character, and the strategic options that were the centerpiece of Ross’s vision. The $2.5 million project was conducted by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and included work on every hole. Features of the project include:

  • Increase fairway widths Fairways were widened by as much as 50%, offering more strategic options in playing holes from tee to green.
  • Removal of rough All rough was eliminated, establishing two heights of grass: greens and everything else.
  • Reintroduction of natural areas 35 acres of irrigated turf were removed, restoring natural areas of sand, wire grass, pine straw and a variety of native grasses.
  • Turf maintenance 650 irrigation heads were eliminated, and the centerline irrigation was restored.
  • Wiregrass More than 200,000 plants were added
  • Overseeding Eliminated during the winter months, allowing for firm, fast conditions throughout the year
  • Increased length Thirteen new tees were added to the championship course, increasing the total championship length by more than 300 yards, to 7,565 from 7,214.
  • Bunker modifications Several bunkers were restored, eliminated or reshaped based on aerial images of the course from the 1940s, and bunkers were edged to create rustic appearance
  • Greens Only two (15 and 17) were modified slightly to increase hole locations.
  • Cart paths Relocated and concrete removed.
Following are detailed, hole-by-hole modifications:
Pinehurst No. 2 1st Hole
1st Hole

Par 4
Yardage: 402
New tee: No
There are more options off the tee, and the removal of turf on the right, left and behind the green brings more natural areas into play. Specific changes include:

  • Added mound to the right of the fairway, about 300 yards from the tee
  • Created visual backdrop by adding a sandy wiregrass mound behind the green and left of the second tee
  • Removed turf behind the green to bring sand, pine needles and wiregrass into play

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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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Michelle Wie Previews the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst

One to always move the needle, golf star Michelle Wie appeared on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Thursday, and spent a good portion of an expansive interview chatting with hosts Gary Williams and Charlie Rhymer about the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Here are a few of Wie’s comments about the Open at Pinehurst, which will be played the week following the men’s U.S. Open on No. 2 – the first such occurrence in U.S. Open history.

Michelle Wie

It’s an experiment Wie seems very much excited to be a part of – similar to some of the other big names on the LPGA Tour:

“I’ve thought a lot about (the back-to-back Opens). I think it’s very interesting…I think it will be great.”

“Pinehurst No. 2 has a lot of great history…and if all else fails, I hear there’s a lot of other Pinehurst (courses) to play.”*

*Yes indeed, Michelle. We know of AT LEAST SEVEN other ones you might want to try. Let us know. We’ll take care of it.

When asked whether she had concerns about No. 2 being able to handle a second Open just days after the men complete their championship:

“Pinehurst No. 2 has a lot of great history…and if all else fails, I hear there’s a lot of other Pinehurst (courses) to play.” -Michelle Wie

“I have a little bit of concerns here and there, but at the same time I know the USGA will do a great job. They’re smart, they know what they’re doing, and I’m sure when we tee off on Thursday it will be in tip-top condition and we won’t even know that the men were even there.”

Wie, also, thinking about the health of women’s golf and how the back-to-back Opens experience may help:

“Hopefully all the fans will stay after watching the first U.S. Open because I think it will be great for fans. It’s like a one-stop and two tournaments. I think we’ll have a lot bigger gallery for our  event, which is a definite plus for us.”

Will she take notes from the men the week before?

“I definitely will watch how they play, where to avoid and where to go. I’ll definitely be watching golf that weekend – which is a change for me.” (Laughs.)

Worried about driving zones since Wie is a bomber off the tee? Might there be divots in her landing zones from the week before?

“I’m not really too worried about it. I feel like if I’m worried about it now, I’ll never hit a fairway there. If it’s in the fairway, you won’t be in any divot.” (Laughs.)

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