Pinehurst’s Bob Farren talks water conservation on Morning Drive


It’s Water Week on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and Bob Farren, our director of grounds and golf course maintenance,  appeared Tuesday to talk about water conservation at Pinehurst.

“I think it’s certainly a situation for the entire golf industry …,” he told Matt Ginella. “The restoration that we did with (Pinehurst) No. 2 was really about restoring the strategy and the net result of that was a reduced water footprint. Every increase or improvement  we had made over the past 50 years involved adding water, that was a common denominator. When we started to restore it, we took away the water.”

Bob shares his thoughts starting at 2:07, but we recommend watching the entire clip as Jim Moore, director of the USGA’s Green Section; Craig Kessler, director of governmental affairs for the Southern California Golf Association; and Dana Lonn, managing director of Toro’s Center of Technology, also weigh in.

Pinehurst No. 2, which hosted the back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open last year, received Golf Digest’s 2014 Green Star Award for Outstanding Environmental Practices.

No. 2 was honored with the award because it has “implemented water reduction programs in startling and instructive ways.” In 2014, in fact, Pinehurst No. 2 used about 73 percent less water than in 2009 – the last full year prior to the beginning of a major restoration project that eliminated Bermuda rough and reintroduced sand and native wiregrass.

The restoration project sought to return the course to the playing conditions created by Donald Ross in the 1930s, around the time when the course hosted its first major championship and when it began to be regarded as one of the premier layouts in the country. That included restoring a single-line sprinkler system in the fairways and reducing the total number of irrigation heads to 450 from about 1,100.

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Check out Morning Drive on Wednesday morning for an in-depth look at the water conservation on Pinehurst No. 2.