Saturday, July 23
North-South Amateurs Praise Pinehurst No. 2 Restoration
EARLIER THIS MONTH TOP AMATEURS teed it up in the 111th Men’s North & South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina. It was the most significant tournament at Pinehurst No. 2 since the storied golf course reopened in March following a full restoration by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. A few of the amateurs share their thoughts about No. 2 in the above video. For the North & South, Pinehurst No. 2 played at 7,346 yards and to a par of 71.
Beginning in 2008, the $2.5 million restoration was undertaken to elevate the experience for members and resort guests, Pinehurst Resort said in April. The USGA was consulted throughout the process since it will conduct the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open at No. 2 on consecutive weeks in 2014.
Following are specific elements of the restoration.
• The wall-to-wall grass look synonymous with the modern era has been eliminated, leaving just two lengths of grass: greens and everything else.
• All rough has been eliminated from the course.
• Approximately 32 acres of grass have been stripped, returning natural areas of hardpan, sand, pine straw and wiregrass that were part of the original topography. More than 100,000 wiregrass plants were added.
• Fairways have been widened by almost 50 percent on average, offering more strategic options. Fairways also will be kept firmer, benefiting good shots and penalizing stray shots that continue to bounce into distressed areas, pine straw and native grasses.
• Almost 700 sprinkler heads have been removed, leaving about 450 operating heads along the single, center water line. These irrigation lines will define fairways, but leave other areas to be defined by the weather and natural elements.
• The removal of sprinkler heads coupled with no winter overseeding and the focus on firmer conditions will reduce overall water usage by as much as 50 percent.
• Eight new tees have been added to the championship course, increasing the total championship yardage to 7,485 yards from 7,214.
• All greens have been sodded with A1/A4 bent grass.
• Bunkers have been restored, eliminated or reshaped based on aerial images of the course from the 1940s.
• While No. 2’s famous greens went largely untouched, minor modifications were made to the 15th and 17th greens in order to create additional pin placements.
“My mouth literally falls open when I see the incredible work that they’ve done,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.
I hope to get to Pinehurst sometime soon and see for myself.
−The Armchair Golfer