Helping Fine-Tune a Legendary Course
Pinehurst Resort does not change its golf courses without careful consideration and expert advice. So we can assume that when the world-famous Course No. 2 undergoes a restoration, it is not on a whim.
The work on this legendary course - which enjoys a reputation as one of the very finest tests of golf in the world - has received the blessing of everyone from maintenance heads such as Bob Farren and Paul Jett to CEO Bob Dedman, President Don Padgett and the United States Golf Association.
The retooling of a golf course would normally seem a rather trivial subject. But when you're talking about this historic course in this golf-dependent community, it becomes a matter of considerable public import.
There are various reasons behind the decisions to give this community treasure a face-lift at this time. For one thing, and probably the chief reason, the course had gotten away from the look that the great Donald Ross had intended when he designed the masterpiece of his lifework. For another, gradual changes over the years have resulted in more maintenance on a golf course that had been rather simple to care for in its earlier stages.
When Ross built No. 2, which opened in 1907, he did it with mules, drags and shovels. He designed the fairways long before the multi-cut mowers of today. The greens, now a svelte year-round grass, were sand. The rough along the fairways was mostly sand and wire grass.
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have taken on the job of returning the course to a look that Ross would have appreciated. No, the greens are not being converted back to sand, but the wire grass that lined the fairways is replacing much of the mown Bermuda.
"We're trying to uncover it, not recover it," said Coore, a North Carolinian who grew up loving No. 2. "We'll bring the strategy back and reinstate its character."
The first priority of all involved in this project should be historical authenticity. And if the restoration also happens to lower the cost of maintenance in mowing and chemical use in this time of tight budgets - why, that's just another plus.
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