Rain – and Research – on Pinehurst No. 2

Pinehurst Director of GCM Bob Farren (second from left), is flanked on Pinehurst No. 2 by No. 2 Assistant Superintendent John Jeffreys (far left), No. 2 Assistant Superintendent Alan Owen (second from right) and No. 2 Superintendent Kevin Robinson (far right). (Photo by John Gessner)

Pinehurst Director of GCM Bob Farren (second from left), is flanked by No. 2 Assistant Superintendent John Jeffreys (far left), No. 2 Assistant Superintendent Alan Owen (second from right) and No. 2 Superintendent Kevin Robinson (far right). (Photo by John Gessner)

A cool thing happened at Pinehurst today.

It rained.

Granted, this aside, we don’t ever want to highlight a moment when Pinehurst isn’t about Carolina blue skies, brilliant sunshine and glistening green grass. But a pouring rain shower in the middle of the day on May 15, 2014, proved to be very interesting in and around Pinehurst No. 2.

Especially when it’s exactly 4 weeks from the first round of back-to-back U.S. Opens.

And so as the rain poured Thursday – and poured and poured and poured – Pinehurst Director of Grounds and Golf Course Management Bob Farren readied the troops.

After two solid weeks without rain and temperatures soaring into the low 90s – and more importantly, temperatures hovering in the 60s at night – finding Bob Farren was to find a man with a relaxed smile. No. 2 has emerged from a fluky winter in pristine condition. “The weather,” Farren says, “has been perfect. Just perfect. Ideal.”

But then it rained.

Hard.

But for Farren and his army of groundskeepers, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. As he peered through the sheets of rain pelting the Putter Boy statue, Farren knew a long day was ahead, no doubt, and a quick lunch with No. 2 Superintendent Kevin Robinson was called. But with heavy rain came an opportunity.

“Getting a rain like this only helps us prepare.” -Pinehurst’s Bob Farren

Out they went, flat-bed carts one after another, forking in different directions to survey No. 2. The clock was ticking, and Farren was watching. It wasn’t so much course maintenance as it was research – major championship research.

“A month from the championships, this kind of rain helps,” Farren says. “We’ll know, ‘OK, if we get an inch-and-a-half of rain in the middle of a round, how quickly can we get the course back to playing shape?’ We can identify the trouble spots, what will be needed to maintain those spots and how quickly we can react and get the job done. Getting a rain like this only helps us prepare.”

And so it went on Thursday. Call it Reconnaissance Golf.

Just another beauitful – and important – day in Pinehurst.

 

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