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Golfers flock to overhauled Pinehurst course

Posted April 14

— The famed No. 2 golf course at Pinehurst Resort has undergone extensive renovations in advance of the historic back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open tournaments in June.

"The players that were here previously will see an entirely different course," Bob Farren, Pinehurst's director of grounds and course maintenance, said Monday.

The manicured turf was replaced with sand and natural grasses.

"We started to try to turn back the clock to find out what the course was then and find out what its real identity or spirit was," Farren said.

The two-week run of men's and women's tournaments are expected to sink millions of dollars into the local economy. Many of the hotels in the area were booked up more than a year ago, and Pinehurst is already feeling the impact.

"More people have been coming here because they want to play (the course) before the pros do. They want to sit at home and say, 'I played there. I hit that shot,'" Pinehurst Report Vice President Tom Pashley said.

Crews are working feverishly to ready No. 2 for the estimated 400,000 attendees. Construction of luxury corporate suites has overrun the driving range.

"It's different for our guests and different for our members to have to plan their day around some of this construction, but it shows the scale and the excitement," Pashley said.

Individual tickets to the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open are still available, starting at $60 each for the practice rounds.

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  • Objective Scientist Apr 15, 7:14 p.m.

    Back in the day... when courses had scoreboards that required "humans" to put up and take down names and numbers by hand there was a scoreboard where the green for #3, the tee for #4, the green for #5, and the tee for #6 all "came together". I enjoyed working that scoreboard... you were elevated above the crowd and could see the approach shots and putts on #3 and #5, the tee and 2nd shot on #4, and all of #6 which was a par 3. Hole #5 is a par 4, 476 yards, and is the #1 handicap hole on #2. The green on #5 is incredibly challenging on the approach shot, even if you're hitting from the center of the fairway. I saw countless PGA pros, best in the world, land the ball on the #5 green... but could not hold it! One day I observed 20 3-somes hit to that green and tabulated what happened. 48 shots were hit from the fairway, 42 landed on the green, only 3 remained on the green.

  • dukefanv12 Apr 15, 1:57 p.m.

    I've played he course, many times, both before and after. I much prefer the before play. Golf is supposed to be a game of skill, not luck, and you can be 1 ft off the fairway, and have no shot, but be 5 yards or more, and be in the clear.. I can hear TW now, cursing out the course when this will happen.

  • ssmith5399 Apr 15, 1:38 p.m.

    Played it yesterday. Narrow landing areas, very hard to keep the ball from rolling from the narrow fairway into the waste areas. Hitting out of 400+ yard waste areas all day into turtle shell greens. Can't hit any green in the middle or beyond or it goes off the back into the dungeon. Some of the tees they put in for the pros are murderous. Isn't aesthetically beautiful, but par will be a great score...

  • rduwxboy Apr 15, 12:46 p.m.

    I've been and it looks fantastic. The new grasses will make hazards a real hazard. This is like the great courses in Ireland and Scotland that juxtapose natural grass with the greens. I am sure it will be a challenge and a welcome change to the US Open.

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 15, 11:48 a.m.

    Haven't played the course, however from TV, it looks like they planted a bunch of scrubby weeds... View More

    — Posted by dmccall

    Agreed. The course looks like some of the municipal golf courses I played back in the day. Ugly.

  • dmccall Apr 15, 10:44 a.m.

    Haven't played the course, however from TV, it looks like they planted a bunch of scrubby weeds to take the course back to an era where it was too expensive to seed and irrigate much of the land. Not pretty.

  • baldchip Apr 15, 9:30 a.m.

    Great course-great area of NC-great weekend to stay home and watch on TV!!

    Went in 2005 and wish I had stayed home!

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