Arnold Palmer remembers Pinehurst as being the number one place in golf in the 1940s. He wasn’t as enamored in the 1970s with the changes made to No. 2—much of the older, natural look was plowed under by new owners who wanted green. Much of that natural look has been restored, but that didn’t help Palmer then. Perhaps his play during the old World Open underscored those feelings, as Palmer missed the cut in 1974 just days after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He also missed the cut in 1975.
“Pinehurst was the most elite spot in the world as far as I was concerned,” Palmer says. “It was the golfing capital of the world. No. 2 was the best golf course I had ever played. I was very disillusioned over the years with all the changes they made to No. 2. I just thought as that golf course stood in the ’40s when they had the North and South Open and North and South Amateur, that it was impeccable—it was perfect.
“Then people came in and changed it. I was just very, very sorry to see that happen, and I’m sorry today it happened. I think it’s still a wonderful golf course, but I think it lost some of the charm.”
As you can see above, Palmer is glad to see No. 2 return to its roots.-Lee Pace