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Golf

No. 2 renovations reveal great character

Posted April 21

Lush, flowing fairways surrounded by heavenly green hues will not be the focus at the US Open in Pinehurst this June.

The change a vision of two-time Masters champ Ben Crenshaw, and North Carolina-native Bill Coore.

"It's fantastic," said Pinehurst No. 2 course designer Coore. "And I say that knowing that there might be people look at it today and say 'oh my gosh, Pinehurst must've cut their maintenance budget in half.'"

Wire-grass, pine-straw and sand – a reconnection to No. 2's roots.

"We tried the best we know how to restore it in the character, both visually and strategically."

The original course design by Donald Ross more than a century ago is what Coore calls his absolute masterpiece. He said restoring No. 2 to its 1907 glory was not only a challenge, but also, a major risk.

"This was not a business model that was broken," says Coore. "Pinehurst played two United States Open Championships here, they were successful."

The renovation saw 40 acres of turf removed and took away 700 sprinkler heads.

A case of addition by subtraction, that equals USGA approval.

"There's a saying in golf that golf doesn't build character, it reveals character," said Pinehurst Resort Owner Bob Dedman. "They have revealed the character of this great course."

Character Coore certainly knew in his younger days, when he'd break out the bag before dawn and play 54. When the price tag for an all-day Pinehurst pass was just five dollars.

A different age, a different game, one Coore hopes he's captured for a new generation in his turning-back-time vision.

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