Pinehurst Resort & Country Club announced on Sept. 4 the reopening of Pinehurst No. 2 following a conversion of its greens from bent grass to ultradwarf bermudagrass. It marks the latest step in an evolution to extend peak conditions throughout the year and particularly during the heat of summer.
Pinehurst No. 2 is the fourth of Pinehurst’s nine courses to have the heat-tolerant bermudagrass installed on its greens. Pinehurst No. 1 was successfully converted to Bermuda in 2012 and Pinehurst No. 3 and No. 8 were converted in 2013. In addition, Thistle Dhu, the popular new putting course installed in 2013, features ultradwarf bermudagrass.
“Golfers have truly embraced the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, and the greens conversion will allow our members and guests to experience and enjoy peak conditions for even longer portions of the year, regardless of weather,” said Pinehurst President Don Padgett II.
(The above video is a look at the recovery of Pinehurst No. 2 following the back-to-back U.S. Opens – all done in 3 minutes. Sure, perhaps this is essentially watching grass grow, but note the sunrises, the storms, the blue skies and the ever-rolling clouds.)
Pinehurst installed Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass on June 30, following the successful back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships. This strain of Berrmuda has been used with great success throughout the southeast and on more than 500 courses across 16 states. The durable strain maintains high density during extreme temperatures and at low mowing heights, delivering smooth, consistent putting surfaces throughout the year. The ultradwarf variety provides top-quality conditions on an everyday basis and allows fine-tuning for elite championship conditions when needed.
Turf was planted using the “no-till” process and did not require excavation of the greens nor any changes in the contours. Because ultradwarf bermudagrass greens are installed with sprigging rather than seeding and thrive in the heat, No. 2 was able to open in just two months.
“Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass is a great option for the North Carolina climate,” said Bob Farren, Pinehurst Director of Grounds and Golf Course Maintenance. “We’ve already seen great results on our other courses in terms of sustaining firm greens with a smooth, fast and consistent roll, and can’t wait for members and guests to have the same experience on Pinehurst No. 2.”
Pinehurst No. 2 is among several major tournament sites to convert to Bermuda. Among them, Atlanta Athletic Club converted prior to the 2011 PGA Championship, Tour Championship site East Lake Golf Club converted in 2008, and Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte has converted prior to the 2017 PGA Championship.