Pinehurst News

Bubba Watson…from both sides of the plate

It’s baseball season, and Bubba Watson shows he has power from both sides of the plate.

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VIDEO: Pinehurst No. 2 Superintendent talks course maintenance

There’s a science to keeping Pinehurst’s greens in top shape.

Watch this video from BASF to see Pinehurst No. 2 Superintendent John Jeffreys talk about the process of caring for the championship course. It’s a great insider look at the operation.

John and members of his team can sometimes also be magicians. Look what they did to help No. 2 recover from over an inch of rain that poured down in less than 30 minutes on the night between the first and second rounds of the U.S. Open:

 

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Padgett II named Golfweek’s Father of the Year

Don Padgett

Don Padgett II

Golfweek has named retired Pinehurst President Don Padgett II its Father of the Year, an honor previously awarded to  Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Peter Compton.

Padgett, who served as president and chief operation officer of Pinehurst from 2004 to 2014, led the yearlong restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 in 2010. Conducted by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the project restored the course’s natural and historic character.

Coore and Crenshaw removed some 40 acres of grass to re-expose the natural hardpan sand and unkempt look the course’s designer, Donald Ross, so embraced in the early 1900s.

Padgett’s father, Don Padgett Sr., served as Pinehurst’s director of golf from 1987 to 2002. He is credited by then-CEO and President Pat Corso as being the “insider” in the world of golf who opened doors and lent credence to Pinehurst’s drive in the late 1980s and early 1990s to land a major golf championship for No. 2.

PF6-17.05-5 Don Padgett (1280x908)

Don Padgett Sr.

Padgett II came to Pinehurst to replace Corso in 2004 after a successful tenure as director of golf and general manager at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. His experiences on the PGA Tour in the 1970s (he shot a 66 in the 1977 U.S. Open) gave him a unique perspective on the nuances of the Pinehurst golf experience.

After the 2005 U.S. Open, Padgett came to the gradual realization No. 2 had become too homogenized with its svelte green sheen and a maintenance protocol that had course workers only half-jokingly say they’d catch fallen pine cones “on the first bounce” rather than let it reflect its natural ambiance that reminded Ross of his native Scotland.

“His leadership on the No. 2 restoration was remarkable,” said Jay Biggs, the club’s senior vice president for golf and club operations. “I’ve thought about it often: ‘If I were in his shoes, would I have had the courage to pull that trigger?’

“He had the idea and the vision to go to Mr. Dedman at a time when the economy was poor, the golf business was suffering. It was a big gamble. But it paid off and Pinehurst is better off for it.”

Padgett remains active around the resort with the title of Executive Emeritus. His office moved from the executive suite on the second floor of the resort clubhouse to a smaller office on the first floor — one that coincidentally his father occupied two decades before.

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

Read more about the Padgett family legacy at Pinehurst by clicking here.

Golfweek will honor Padgett during its Father & Son Open at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. View an entire list of past honorees here. 

 

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Pinehurst hosts Southeast lawn bowls tournament

There’s a heated competition underway at Pinehurst, but it’s not taking place on a golf course.

The Southeast Division of the U.S. Lawn Bowls Association is hosting their playdowns at the main clubhouse through the weekend.

Playdowns is lawn bowl lingo for playoffs. The winners of the competition will go on to compete in the U.S. Championships later this year.

“That’s as good as it gets in this sport,” said George Tucker, a member of the Pinehurst Lawn Bowls Club. “It’s like the World Series in baseball.”

About a dozen teams are facing off in the pairs competitions, which is expected to wrap up Friday. Singles play will get underway Saturday with 22 individuals facing off.

George has been participating in lawn bowls since he first picked up the sport in 1998.

“It’s just a fun game,” he said.

George’s wife, Jackie, started playing in 2003, but it didn’t take long to catch up with her husband. Last year, she took home first place in the pairs competition at the U.S. Championships.

Now, Jackie stays busy coaching the Team USA.

“This is a game you can play for the rest of your life,” she said. “It’s good exercise, you’re outside and it is always challenging.”

The strategy needed to win a game keeps the mind sharp, Jackie said.

“You’re got to be one thought or two thoughts ahead of your opponent, which is why I tell people it’s like playing chess on grass,” she said.

Jackie compares the physical aspect of the sport to curling, but George likens it to shuffleboard.

Pinehurst members interested in lawn bowling can contact Jackie at 910-215-5538 or Dan Delgarn at 910-215-0811 to set up a free lesson and learn more.

Groups interested in lawn bowling during their visit at Pinehurst can call Recreation Manager Mallory Caddell at 910-235-8783to make arrangements for a lesson.

 

 

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Inside the Pinehurst greenhouse

By Sarah Campbell
Pinehurst Resort

It looks like spring inside the Pinehurst greenhouse well before the season arrives.

The first batch of bulbs are delivered at the start of February. By the end of March, the 17,000-square-foot facility is filled with flowers as far as the eye can see.

About 250,000 annuals are grown inside the massive structure each year. Half of those are planted during the spring.

“We grow all the annuals for the grounds, including the clubhouses at No. 6, 7, 8 and 9,” Grounds Assistant Superintendent Chris Jones said.

Up to 10 different plants, including dwarf zinnias, begonias, marigolds and black-eyed Susans, are grown for the spring season.

“We rotate plants from year to year and grow different colors of the same plants to mix it up,” Jones said.

Fall is slightly less hectic, although the same number of flowers are planted.

“It’s mostly pansies,” Jones said. “Our spring is a little busier because we do some propagation ourselves.”

The plants spend about 6 to 8 weeks inside the greenhouse before being put out on property.

Jones and a team of three full-time staffers handle the greenhouse operation.

“We do all the watering and all the fertilizing by hand,” he said. “There’s also a lot of spacing that’s done because some plants require extra space to grow to the correct size.”

When it’s time to plant the bulbs, the greenhouse team typically receives a helping hand from the grounds crew.

“About 15,000 bulbs may be delivered in a day, so we come and help put the plugs into pots,” Grounds Superintendent Chris Burrows said.

Greenhouse 12

Betty works on the potted plants to go outside the Tennis Club.

The greenhouse staff also stays busy tending to the plants that go inside the 150 clay pots throughout the property. You’ve probably seen them around the pool and at the entrances to the spa, tennis club and clubhouses.

“We try to get all those out by Mother’s Day,” Jones said.

Betty is in charge of putting together all the potted plants, a duty she takes pride in. It’s tricky business since some of the pots are positioned in shady areas, but it’s a labor of love.

“I really enjoy it,” she said. “It’s gratifying to see how they turn out.”

When Betty is done with the potting, she spends the bulk of her time out on property tending to the interior plants.

“I do all the shining and watering to make sure they look nice for guests,” she said.

One whole section of the greenhouse is used to care for interior plants like the ficus trees used to spruce up event space.

Burrows said it’s convenient to have the greenhouse on site to cater to each group’s specific needs.

“Not every place has something like this in their backyard,” he said.

Greenhouse 6

Pinehurst’s first greenhouse was constructed with plywood back. Today’s greehouse is made of polycarbonate plastic.

Pinehurst has had a greenhouse since Burrows began work here in 1996.

“I think they built the first one around 1993 or 1994,” he said. “It was really primitive with plywood that made up the sides of it.”

Today’s greenhouse is built with polycarbonate plastic that provides good light transmission. It is equipped with a fan system to circulate air throughout the structure.

Burrows said technology has grown “leaps and bounds” throughout the past 20 years.

“All the controls are electronic now,” he said. “We used to have an old school dial.”

Those controls help regulate the temperature within the greenhouse. It hovers around 72 degrees during growing seasons.

Jones has had to get inventive to help plants that require a lot of sunlight grow during the winter. He added a large tube that pumps heat into a small plastic-covered area that houses the plants.

“It inflates and looks like a giant plastic burrito, but it works,” he said.

Sarah Campbell is the Resort’s content & social media specialist. 

 

 

 

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