Six-time major championship winner Sir Nick Faldo recently led a golf clinic at Pinehurst Resort. In between incredible insight and golf instruction, Faldo mixed in anecdotes from his world of golf, including stories about Ernie Els, Sam Snead, Ivan Corona and all of us hackers. (HINT: There’s playing in the wind for Nick Faldo, and playing in the wind for the rest of us.)
So often when a PGA Tour player comes to Pinehurst, he has a history with the historic venue and famed Pinehurst No. 2.
But for 24-year-old Aussie Jason Day, Sept. 26, 2012, marked the first time he’s ever been to Pinehurst and the first look he’s ever gotten at Pinehurst No. 2.
And he liked what he saw.
“The immediate thought was how tough it was around the greens,” he said. “I was trying to get through my head how they will make this course so firm and keep it playable because it’s so tough around the greens.”
Day is an accomplished player already, and at 18 was the youngest player to win on what was then the Nationwide Tour. He was ranked as high as seventh in the world following second-place finishes at the 2011 Masters and U.S. Open and became the youngest Australian to win a PGA Tour event when he won Byron Nelson Championship in May 2010. He finished ninth of the PGA Tour money list in 2011.
Day was a big fan of the Coore and Crenshaw restoration, mentioning the 35 acres of rough removed from the golf course and the expansion of the natural waste areas with wire grass and love grass. Day expects a unique U.S. Open venue in 2014.
“If you hit it in that waste area, you can either get lucky or you can get very unlucky, depending on if you go into the tufts of grass,” he said. “It’s going to be a very, very tough U.S. Open in 2014.”
“Just think, if you miss a fairway, it’s just pretty much luck on where your ball is going to finish,” he added. “Your ball may finish into the wire grass. It may finish in the open, but you may have an awkward stance. There might be some erosion in there. Right now, it looks so natural, it’s very patchy, but it works well with the golf course. It’s all luck when you hit it in there. It’s all luck.”