Pinehurst facelift creates new challenge for PGA's best
Posted April 14, 2014
Pinehurst, N.C. — Pinehurst No. 2 is no longer the course Payne Stewart knew. A facelift has been applied ahead of this year's unprecedented back-to-back US Opens.
"For those of you who were here in 2005 and 1999, you will notice a different golf course," Bob Farren, director of grounds and golf course maintenance said.
Pinehurst No. 2 has re-transformed to a course closer to what the original architects intended. The caretakers of the club found a picture from 1943 and they've been working to match that look, from the hazards to the greens
"The project included removing 40 acres of rough," Farren said.
A lot of the perfectly manicured green grass has been replaced by wire grass and natural vegetation -- not where you want to hit your golf ball
"As we started looking at the archival research, we realized the strategy of the course had changed a great deal with the addition of the turf," Farren said. "So we turned off the water as we removed the turf."
Pinehurst officials say the reaction to the change has been positive so far, and they are ready to see how the course plays during both the men's and women's US Opens in June.
"Our resort guests, and certainly our members, have embraced it," Farren added. "I can't wait to see what the best players in the world come here in June (to find)."
The new-look course has 117 bunkers, and no longer has an official rough. But this new landscape is sure to cause some headaches for those trying to take home one of two trophies on back-to-back weekends.