Pinehurst No. 2: Restored Back to its Historic Roots

By Cameron DaSilva 06/09/2014

  • Pinehurst Media

    When fans sit down to watch the U.S. Open this week, they may be startled by the look of the course. Pinehurst No. 2 will look burnt out and have a rustic feel, completely different from the Masters at Augusta National. The grass won't be nearly as green and lush as we're used to seeing on the PGA Tour, but this is the U.S. Open. And it's all done on purpose.

    pinehurst-hole-14_article

    Back in 2010, Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore began working to restore Pinehurst No. 2 to its natural state, when it opened in 1907. The year-long renovation process included changes to every single hole, completely changing the look and feel of the course. Not to mention, it's sure to play tougher, yet more strategic, than ever before.

    The course reopened in May 2011 after renovations costing a total of $2.5 million. Three years later, the world will get a chance to lay its eyes on the new beauty that is Pinehurst No. 2 at the 2014 U.S. Open.

    pinehurst-9_article

    Unlike past years, players won't have to worry about hitting irons out of four inches of thick rough, and there's a simple reason for that: There is no rough. Just fairway ... and everything else.

    The 35 acres of rough were replaced with "natural areas," which includes sand, wire grass, and pine straw. That's the "everything else" part. The area that you don't want to be in.

    The fairways were widened by up to 50 percent, giving players better angles into the greens. However, if you miss the fairway, you'll pay the price. Players shouldn't expect clean lies outside the fairway and should prepare for their shots to often come to rest in pine straw or waste bunkers.

    pinehurst-hole-17_article

    In addition to removing all the rough, the course was lengthened significantly. From the championship tees, No. 2 now plays at 7,565 yards, nearly 400 yards longer than the 1999 U.S. Open (7,175 yards). It shouldn't be a problem for big hitters like Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, but it will absolutely change players' approach shots.

    With the famous turtleback greens at Pinehurst, it's ideal to hit high approach shots, landing the ball softly on the putting surface. That'll be more difficult with the new length of the course, as players will be hitting long irons instead of wedges.

    pinehurst-green_article

    One of the only parts of the course that remained relatively untouched were the greens, a signature feature of Pinehurst No. 2.

    The greens look exactly how they sound: turtlebacked. The edges of the greens all slope away from the hole, forcing players to hit the center. Only two greens, 15 and 17, were renovated, simply to increase the size for additional hole locations.

    With all the changes made to Pinehurst, the pros seem more excited than ever to take on the historic course.

     
    Pinehurst will give us a U.S. Open unlike any that we've seen in recent history. It's sure to be full of incredible recovery shots from the top players in the world, putting them against one of the toughest (and longest) courses in U.S. Open history.

    Sit back and enjoy the show, golf fans. It's going to be a good one.

    More U.S. Open Coverage:
    5 Things You Need to Know: 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst
    2014 U.S. Open Round 1 & 2 Tee Times and Pairings
    Top 9 U.S. Open Moments
    9 Players to Watch at the 2014 U.S. Open
    9 Best Golfers Yet to Win a Major
    U.S. Open Ticket Prices Plummet From 2013
    U.S. Open Odds: McIlroy, Scott and Mickelson Lead
    Mickelson Finally Plays Pinehurst, Joined By Fowler, McIlroy
    Missing Major: 9 Players Who Just Missed Career Grand Slam
    Oh, the Places Golf's Majors Trophies Have Been
    Nike Golf 2014 U.S. Open Scripting
    It's Official: Tiger Woods To Miss U.S. Open
    Phil Mickelson Sees Multiple Olympics, U.S. Open Wins in Future
    Heartbreaker: Amateur’s U.S. Open Dream Ends with Self-DQ
    USGA Hands Out 25 More U.S. Open Exemptions 
    Cheyenne Woods Qualifies For U.S. Women's Open

  • Bleacher Report

MORE IN

Courses

  • Tournament Hole of the Week: Deutsche Bank Championship

    Tournament Hole of the Week: Deutsche Bank Championship

  • Man Wields Machete After Golf Ball Lands In His Yard

    Man Wields Machete After Golf Ball Lands In His Yard

  • Tournament Hole of the Week: The Barclays

    Tournament Hole of the Week: The Barclays

  • The Most Extreme 1,476 Feet in Golf

    The Most Extreme 1,476 Feet in Golf

  • Tournament Hole of the Week: Wyndham Championship

    Tournament Hole of the Week: Wyndham Championship

  • Rory McIlroy's Personal Golf Course Modeled Augusta, St. Andrews

    Rory McIlroy's Personal Golf Course Modeled Augusta, St. Andrews