Just 24 golf courses have been included on every Golf Digest national ranking since its inception in 1966.
Pinehurst No. 2, host of the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, remains one of them. Golf Digest has revealed its biennial survey of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, ranking Donald Ross’s famed No. 2 28th.
“In 2010, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw led a team that descended on Pinehurst No. 2 and killed out all the Bermudagrass rough that had been foolishly planted in the 1970s,” Golf Digest writes. “Between fairways and tree lines, they established vast bands of native hardpan sand dotted with clumps of wiregrass and scattered pine needles. They reduced the irrigation to mere single rows in fairways to prevent grass from ever returning to the new sandy wastelands. Playing firm and fast, it was a wildly successful fortnight when the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens were played on consecutive weeks at No. 2. Because of its water reduction, the course was recently awarded a Green Star environmental award by Golf Digest.”
Pinehurst Resort is home to three courses on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. No. 2 is seventh while Pinehurst No. 4 is 59th and Pinehurst No. 8 is 80th.
On No. 4, Golf Digest writes: “Tom Fazio recently said that he felt his work at Pinehurst No. 4 was perhaps his best remodeling job to date. Confined by the existing corridors of the old layout, Fazio created an unusual complement to neighboring No. 2 Course by adding two new par 3 holes, styling the greens with slopes and run-offs, creating large expanses of native sand waste areas, and peppering the remaining landscape with 180 pot bunkers, most of them in clusters guarding doglegs and pin placements.”
And No. 8: “Located not within the Pinehurst Resort complex but about a mile north, Pinehurst No. 8 is one of Tom Fazio’s most versatile designs, as each hole plays differently from the previous. The front nine is mostly tree-lined, the back more open, with both touching on ponds, marsh and Pine Valley-like sandy wastelands. For putting surfaces, Fazio built crowned greens with greenside swales, intended as a salute to Donald Ross and Pinehurst No. 2.”