Pinehurst Heritage Archive

When Jack and Arnie roamed Pinehurst No. 2

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus share a laugh in the Donald Ross Grill at Pinehurst Resort before their 1994 match on Pinehurst No. 2.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus share a laugh in the Donald Ross Grill at Pinehurst Resort before their 1994 match on Pinehurst No. 2.

In April of 1994, Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf brought together a match for the ages on Pinehurst No. 2

By Lee Pace

IT WAS SHOW BUSINESS, for sure. Jack Nicklaus vs. Arnold Palmer in a made-for-TV match at Pinehurst, part of the modern reincarnation of the Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf series. Nicklaus owned the TV production company. Flags on each green had the yellow Shell logo in place of a green Pinehurst logo. No one hit a shot until cameras were properly positioned.

But watching Nicklaus and Palmer stride to the 18th green on a brilliant April afternoon in 1994, Palmer tipping his visor and Nicklaus patting his old rival on the back, was as real as the historical moments come on Pinehurst No. 2.

Arnie … Jack … Pinehurst … what scriptwriter came up with this? Some 4,000 in the gallery appreciated the significance of the moment. They clustered around the final green five and six deep, offering a hearty and rousing ovation to these heroes in the twilight of their careers.

Nicklaus won the match with a 67, rolling in a 70-foot putt from off the 18th green for a final birdie. Palmer shot 74.

“Jack and I haven’t always agreed on everything, but I think we’ve found one common ground here,” Palmer said after a practice round the day before the match. “I agree with him that No. 2 has been one of the greatest golf courses I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. And I go back to when he was wearing three-quarters pants when I first came here. That would have been 1947.” … Continue Reading

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U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst in 2024

Pinehurst No. 2 will be home to the U.S. Open for the fourth time in 25 years when the national championship returns to Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in 2024, the United States Golf Association announced on Wednesday.

“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places for golf in this country,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA president. “Some say it’s our St. Andrews – it’s certainly something special, and that’s why we’re going back there for the 2024 U.S. Open.”

“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places for golf in this country,” – USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr.

The U.S. Open’s return in 2024 will mark the first time in over a century the USGA has awarded four Opens to a single site in a span of 25 years. It will also mark the 25thanniversary of the moment Payne Stewart won the 1999 U.S. Open with a dramatic par putt to win by a stroke over Phil Mickelson.

Prior to the 2024 U.S. Open, Pinehurst will host the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship. Pinehurst hosted the historic back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in June 2014, won by Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie.

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Pinehurst’s New Golden Age: No. 2 and the Championships

We’re fortunate to have much of our faithful audience outside of North Carolina, which means even if you wanted to enjoy our new documentary on UNC-TV last night, you might not have had it available in your market. While the DVD is available online for just $14.95 and certainly offers a better, more satisfying viewing experience than what you’re about to get here, we still wanted to whet your appetite a bit with several clips from the hour-long program.

Please enjoy Pinehurst’s New Golden Age: No. 2 and the Championships:

Introduction

 

Jack Nicklaus and the North & South Amateur

 

The 1999 U.S. Open

… Continue Reading

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Excerpt from “Slaying the Tiger” – The 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Shane Ryan’s new book, “Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes of the New PGA Tour.”  Ryan dives into the 2014 U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2, the USGA, some of the – ahem – more interesting thoughts on Coore and Crenshaw’s 2010 restoration of Donald Ross’s masterpiece. You can purchase the book here.

“Charlie Price, the great writer, he’d say Pinehurst in his day was fairways, and the fairways were oases within sandy country. The wispy rye grass, pine needles and sand, the little tufts of ground, that’s what Pinehurst was.” —Ben  Crenshaw,  to PGATour.com, on the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2

BY SHANE RYAN

In the nine years preceding the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, the winning score was even par or worse six times. Two of the three winners who actually went under par—Tiger Woods in 2008 and Lucas Glover the next year—stayed nice and close, at -1 and -4, respectively. The only exception came in 2011, when Rory McIlroy put on a historic show at Congressional Country Club, decimating a difficult track to the tune of -16 and asserting himself as one of the world’s best players.

The first winner in that difficult stretch was Michael Campbell, who won at the Pinehurst Resort in the Sandhills of North Carolina with even par in 2005. Campbell has largely been forgotten—he’s a member of golf’s one-hit wonder club, and you can barely find a mention of him at the club—but the previous Pinehurst champion in 1999, Payne Stewart, has become an important part of the resort’s identity. Less than six months after he won the event, he died in a plane crash, and he’s honored today with a large statue outside the clubhouse that captures the moment when he sunk the winning putt on 18 to beat Phil Mickelson—clad in his famous knickers and tam-o’-shanter cap, right foot off the ground, fist extended in triumph. … Continue Reading

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John Derr – An Extraordinary Life

By LEE PACE

John Derr was sitting in the west wing of The Carolina Hotel lobby one afternoon in December 2009 doing what he did best — telling stories. What Ben Hogan was with a 5-iron and putter, Derr was with a narrative and punch line.

“He loved entertaining people,” longtime friend Tom Stewart once observed. “He was maybe the best storyteller I’ve ever known. I never heard him repeat himself. He always had something new to give.”

From his beginnings as a teenage sports, police and obituary  reporter at the Gastonia Gazette to 62 years covering the Masters Tournament — many of them from the CBS radio and television tower above the 15th green — Derr had seen everything and met everyone. Or so it seemed.

And as he recounted having walked Pinehurst No. 2 with architect Donald Ross back in the 1930s and of having covered Hogan’s milestone win in the 1940 North and South Open at Pinehurst, it occurred to me there was surely not another soul on the planet as the 21st century was nearly a decade old whose reach into golf history hit those particular high notes.

John Derr at home in his element - from a TV tower broadcasting golf for CBS.

John Derr at home in his element – from a TV tower broadcasting golf for CBS.

His after-dinner talks included anecdotes ranging from golfers including Bob Jones and Sam Snead … to broadcasting luminaries like Red Barber and Edward R. Murrow … to film stars like Grace Kelly … to royalty such as the Duke of Windsor … to scientists like Albert Einstein. Mostly what people enjoyed hearing were his experiences at Augusta.

“I was fortunate to be there, seeing the action, and it was my pleasure to try to let others share my joy through my description,” Derr said. “I was heard by many, but I always tried to put myself in the position of being a reporter for a ‘shut-in’ who could not be there in person. I was telling him or her what was happening — speaking to that one person.”

Sadly one of the icons of the golf broadcasting and journalism worlds passed away Saturday evening. Derr was 97 when he died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Pinehurst. … Continue Reading

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