Pinehurst No. 2, the site of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in consecutive weeks in 2014, will close in the winter as the final stages of the course’s restoration project are completed.
The famed course, designed by legendary architect Donald Ross, will close Nov. 16 and reopen sometime in March 2011, Pinehurst officials announced.
The project, which began in February and is being led by designers Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, will restore the course’s natural and strategic character, returning some of the shot values, strategic play, waste areas and wire grasses that have been lost over time.
When it reopens, Pinehurst No. 2 will have no rough, larger playing areas and a natural aesthetic that befits the native sandy soil and topography that is reminiscent of Ross’ original design.
While much of the bunker work will be done during the next few months, the course’s putting surfaces will also be resodded with an A1/A4 strain of bentgrass, but no contours will be changed on the famed turtleback greens. One exception is a section of the 15th green that will be expanded to restore a “lost area” over time, Coore said.
When completed, No. 2 will use 30 percent less water to maintain the fairways and surrounding green complexes.
“Over a period of time the golf course has gotten away from its character, its heart and soul that Donald Ross originally intended for it to be,” said Pinehurst president Don Padgett II. “Certainly, the heavy bermuda rough was not a feature. We’re trying to bring the course back to its original design and characteristics.”
“The USGA has not dictated this process,” added Coore. “I think there is a perception that all this work is being done for the U.S. Open, and that is not the case. This has been driven by Pinehurst Resort officials because they believe this is the right thing to happen for Pinehurst.”
Pinehurst officials haven’t announced yet if there will be a price increase in the spring to play the newly restored No. 2.
– By David Droschak