Pinehurst Heritage Archive

We miss you, Payne

Payne statue

It’s been almost 15 years since we lost Payne Stewart. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of his death, but he had one heck of a life.

Take a look back on Stewart’s personal and professional trials and triumphs by watching “Love & Payne.” The short documentary by ESPN’s Hannah Storm offers an intimate glance at the golf legend’s life and unexpected death.

Leave a comment

Pinehurst’s Back-to-Back Opens – and what they mean for the game of golf

Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer celebrates after winning the 2014 U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2. (Photo by the USGA)

When the USGA’s Mike Davis looks back on the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, what does he see? Two of the most important weeks in the long history of the U.S. Open and the USGA

By LEE PACE

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis is a keen historian of golf and says when asked to talk about the most memorable and important U.S. Opens in history, he thinks of 1900 at Chicago Golf Club, where Harry Vardon won his first Open—“That was the one that took the Open from a small, mostly regional event into a national and international competition,” Davis says.

He thinks of 1913 at Brookline, when American Francis Ouimet bested the top players from Great Britain —“The game had been dominated by players from the U.K., and here an unknown American wins. It was the kickoff of the great American golfer,” Davis says.

He thinks of Arnold Palmer winning at Cherry Hills in 1960, beating an aging Ben Hogan and a young Jack Nicklaus; of Nicklaus and Tom Watson winning at Pebble in 1972 and ’82, respectively; and of Tiger Woods’ playoff win over Rocco Mediate on a broken leg at Torrey Pines in 2008.

“In a few years from now, I think we’ll look back on the 114th U.S. Open and the 69th Women’s Open and say that in a lot of ways, it was a seminal moment in the game of golf.” – Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director

And he’ll now think of the two weeks in June 2014 at Pinehurst No. 2, when Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie won back-to-back the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open.

“We saw this year we don’t have to have real narrow fairways, we don’t have to have to have long, rough grass to have successful U.S. Opens,” Davis says. “In a few years from now, I think we’ll look back on the 114th U.S. Open and the 69th Women’s Open and say that in a lot of ways, it was a seminal moment in the game of golf and championship golf and sustainability of the game. These two weeks will rank right up there with the best ever.

“We have to celebrate how well Martin Kaymer played and how Michelle Wie won her first major championship. It was a great story on water use and a great story of the restoration of one of the great golf courses in the country—in the world, for that matter. It’s going to be hard to give these two weeks enough accolades for what they’re going to mean to the game.”

… Continue Reading

Leave a comment

A Timelapse: Putter Boy at Sunrise

The Putter Boy has seen a few sunrises in his day. After all, he was originally a sundial.

Watch as the morning sun rises to greet Putter Boy, ending in a most perfect eclipse.

Leave a comment

The Padgett Family Legacy at Pinehurst

padgett (853x1280)

Don Padgett II at Pinehurst

BY LEE PACE

Two snapshots from 27 years of Padgetts at Pinehurst:

The first one is from the spring of 1987. Don Padgett Sr., the new director of golf at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, is having lunch in the resort clubhouse and talking about bringing his four-plus decades of experience as a club professional and national officer of the PGA of America to his job at Pinehurst, now just three years into the ownership regime of Robert Dedman Sr. and his ClubCorp empire. Padgett is wearing a white dress shirt, necktie and cardigan sweater.

“This is a multi-million-dollar operation, and I’m administering that business,” he says. “I need to look the part.”

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

After lunch, he walks to the driving range, dubbed “Maniac Hill” many years earlier for the fervor with which golfers of all rank and file search for the Holy Grail of the golf swing. Padgett surveys the array of golfers striking balls in early spring sunshine and says, “Anyone important in golf has hit balls right here. If you’re a golfer and can’t get excited at this, you need to take up tennis.”

The second is from his son, Don II, in the spring of 2010, seven years after his father’s death and six into taking the reins as the president and COO of Pinehurst. The club is two months into a daring and admittedly risky restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, the idea hatched by Padgett and the project headlined by removing some 40 acres of grass and re-exposing the natural hardpan sand and unkempt look the course’s designer, Donald Ross, so embraced in the early 1900s. Recently Padgett’s office has been peppered in the height of the spring golf season with complaints that the resort isn’t taking proper care of this national treasure, when it fact it was simply in the early stages of retrofitting and rediscovering what Ross left upon his death in 1948.

“I can take the heat,” Padgett says. “I can sleep because when I lay my head on the pillow, I know we’re doing the right thing.”

… Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Nice year, Martin

If for some reason you haven’t warmed up yet to the thought of Martin Kaymer as the 2014 U.S. Open champion at Pinehurst, it’s time to embrace him.

We were reminded once again during singles matches of the Ryder Cup in the fashion he closed out Master Champion Bubba Watson:

As great as that was, it’s not even close to his clear shining moment in Ryder Cup history:

He’s already risen to the World No. 1 ranking once, has two major championships, and put together one of the historic U.S. Open performances in June, carding the lowest U.S. Open round on Pinehurst No. 2 not once, but twice:

Pinehurst is supremely proud to have Martin Kaymer as one of our legendary champions.

Martin Kaymer Sunday 18

.

.

.

(I mean, he’s so good he inspired THIS:)

Leave a comment