What are the 5 greatest rounds in Pinehurst No. 2 lore? Historian Lee Pace examines
It’s difficult to compare golf scores on the same course over three-quarters of a century. The equipment changes too much, the agronomy and course conditioning practices evolve and new tees are stuck in the woods to lengthen the course.
The back-to-back 65s posted in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open by Martin Kaymer certainly rank among the finest rounds ever played on the course first designed by Donald Ross in 1907 and completed in its current configuration in 1935. Just look at all the history Kaymer has made in two days here.
Kaymer’s rounds came on a course more than 7,500 yards long with greens putting in the 12-plus neighborhood on the Stimpmeter. No one playing No. 2 in 1940s through the 1970s played a course that long or that slippery. But Ben Hogan and Tom Watson, authors of two great rounds in No. 2’s history, were playing with persimmon drivers and balls comatose by today’s standards.
Still, the exercise can be fun to compare rounds throughout the ages. Here, then, are five more of the finest rounds ever on Pinehurst No. 2: