19th Hole: Pace Book Details Rebirth of No. 2
Lee Pace, a prolific author of books and articles dealing with Pinehurst and its history, has released his latest book, “The Golden Age of Pinehurst,” the story of the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2.
The book and how to obtain it are discussed in the following release:
First opened in 1907, No. 2 is considered by many to be the greatest masterpiece of legendary golf course architect Donald Ross.
The early 1900s witnessed the design and construction of many of America’s finest golf courses. They were built by mule and man, crude machines and architects walking the land lockstep with laborers. Strategy and the ground game were more important than pretty marketing images and do-or-die forced carries. One of the courses much revered and respected at that time and still today was Pinehurst No. 2.
The course was demanding physically and mentally. Ross gave players options on every hole and required them to envision and execute recovery shots from the sandy perimeters and the pine forests as well as around the intricate greens settings. No. 2 was a favorite of many of the nation’s finest professionals and amateurs.
“It would never leave the top five of my favorite golf courses,” noted amateur Billy Joe Patton, who won the 1962 U.S. Amateur on No. 2.
The modernization of golf courses in general and No. 2 in particular in the late 1900s and early years of the 21st century stripped No. 2 of some of its essential character. The course retained its identity through its greens — small, concave and surrounded by tightly mown dips and hollows. But it lost its width, its strategic appeal and its umbilical cord to the rough-hewn ground Ross found so reminiscent of his native Scotland.
“The Golden Age of Pinehurst” is the story of the restoration of No. 2 from its slick and monochromatic presentation to a more natural potpourri of hardpan sand, wire grass and the pine needles and pine cones so indigenous to the Sandhills of North Carolina.
The job was entrusted to the design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, whose work across America and the world has been heralded for its sympathetic use of the ground, its strategic appeal and its Old World flavor.
Their understanding of golf history and the work of Donald Ross and their personal experiences in Pinehurst dating to the 1960s gave them an ideal perspective for such a challenging task.
Upon No. 2’s reopening in the spring of 2011, Pinehurst members, resort guests, elite golfers and students of golf architecture enthusiastically embraced the result. The story of No. 2 is salient throughout the game of golf with the message that firm and fast with its burnished look is not bad at all.
It is, as Bill Coore would say, what Mother Nature intended in the first place.
“The Golden Age of Pinehurst” is distributed by The University of North Carolina Press in association with the Tufts Archives. The book includes 190 color and 54 black-and-white photos and also features a six-page color fold-out section.
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