Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (No. 2) – Played 2014
- Rankings: Golf Digest #40, Golf Digest Public #7, Golf Magazine #10, Golf Magazine Public #3
- Location: 1 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst, North Carolina
- Year: 1907
- Architect: Donald Ross
- Course Access: Resort
- Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available
Score Card Information:
- U.S. Open: 7,588 yards, Par 70, 76.5 Rating/138 Slope
- Blue: 6,961 yards, Par 72, 73.7 Rating/133 Slope
- White: 6,307 yards, Par 72, 70.7 Rating/126 Slope
- Green: 5,801 yards, Par 72, 68.2 Rating/123 Slope
- Red: 5,257 yards, Par 72, 70.0 Rating/117 Slope
The Pinehurst Resort is one of the most famous resorts in the United States. It is a massive property with five golf courses on the main site. An additional four courses (No. 6 – No. 9) are each located on their own sites close by. In addition there are three hotels associated with the resort and a spa.
The main property is dripping with history. Just look at a list of the tournaments that have been hosted on the famed No. 2 course.
- 1999, 2005, and 2014 US Open
- 2014 US Women’s Open
- 1994 US Senior Open
- 1962 & 2008 US Amateur
- 1989 US Women’s Amateur
- 1951 Ryder Cup
- 1936 PGA Championship
- 1991-1992 Tour Championship
- 1973-1982 Hall of Fame Classic/World Open
- 1901-Present North & South Men’s Amateur
- 1903-Present North & South Women’s Amateur
- 1902-1951 North & South Open Championship
There is plenty of memorabilia in the clubhouse signifying the momentous moments. I have included an assortment below.
They start with the poignant images of the 1999 US Open won by the late Payne Stewart.
The history does not end with the tournaments played. The resort was founded by the soda fountain wonder James Walker Tufts in 1895. It was owned by the Tufts family until 1970. It changed hands a few more times until landing with the Dedman family. The resort was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1996.
An interesting tidbit about the resort is that it is the home of three championship croquet courts and a lawn bowling court. You see these right when you walk in to the clubhouse.
Let’s get down to the crown jewel of Pinehurst. The No. 2 course. It was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1907. A redesign by Robert Trent Jones in 1974 followed. Later in 2010 the team of Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw did a full scale restoration. Coore & Crenshaw removed 35 acres of turf in their project and removed a bunch of irrigation. They also reintroduced hardpan, natural bunker edges, and native wire grasses to the site. The grasses on the course consist of tifway Bermuda on the fairways and tees, the rough is native sandscape, and the greens are Champion Ultradwarf. All in all there are 111 bunkers on 196 acres of property with 61 of those acres being turf.
I had played the course many times during my two summers working here. Unfortunately those had all been before the restoration. Luckily, a fundraising event came up last November and I got to go around the venerable track again.
We played the white tees and all yardages reflect that.
Hole 1 – 376 yards – Par 4
Ross eases you into the course with a shorter hole. Driver is not needed due to the fact that the fairway runs out on the right side. A well struck shot will run on the firm fairways.
The second plays a little downhill and to the right. You will notice that the course is not intimidating off the tee. It is truly defended by its greens. You just need a long one out there.
This is probably the tightest tee shot on the course. You really don’t need driver here as there is out of bounds left and wire grass right.
They have changed the pars of the fourth and fifth holes since I last played the course. This used to be a par five, but now is a long, uphill par four. There is plenty of room in the fairway.
The fifth is now a short par five. The fairway cants to the left making a slinging draw up the right side the best play.
This hole is a mid-length one-shotter. The middle of the green is the best play here.
The tee shot here needs to be played right up the path. If you stray too far right the wiregrass comes into play. A fade is the best ball flight for this hole.
This is a very reachable hole in two, especially with the firm fairways. The fairway slopes to the left so be aware of that when picking your line.
This is my favorite short hole on the course. There is plenty of defense with the bunkers and a large drop off behind the green. Their are tiers to the green making shot direction critical.
This hole plays much longer from the US Open tees, but for us is a short par five. No need for more thinking than a straight drive in the fairway.
This hole visually favors a fade off the tee. I can attest that a draw can be played. You can get away with not hitting driver here due to the hard fairways.
This tee shot is straightaway. Just pound one out there as far as you can.
This tee ball must negotiate some trouble up the right side. You can definitely hit something about 200-210 yards here and be in great shape.
This is one of the longer par fours on the course, but it does play a bit downhill. We were playing into the wind so the hill wasn’t much help. A long, power draw is a good play here.
This is probably the most ordinary hole of the eighteen. It is not overly long or short and is guarded by a few bunkers.
This photo features a view of the only water hazard on the course. Unless a drive is absolutely topped the water is not in play. This fairway favors a slinging draw that will run a long way.
This hole has plenty of good history with Payne Stewart and Phil Mickelson hitting shots stiff in the final round of the 1999 US Open. The distance control is crucial with the bunkers guarding short and long.
The famous finishing hole is much different from when Stewart won in 1999. There is no rough at all. A slight fade aimed up the middle of the fairway will leave you with a great look at the green.
The clubhouse, built in 1899, is one of the iconic buildings in the game. As you saw earlier it features a lot of memorabilia. It is also home to some good eating and drinking with the Donald Ross Grill and 91st Hole.
Off to the right side of the clubhouse, if you are standing on the putting green, is the Learning Center. This building houses some clubs for sale as well as video equipment. The driving range is right behind this building.
The resort at Pinehurst has wonderful accommodations and world-class golf. If you have the chance to go, do it. Don’t think twice, just book it. No. 2 post-renovation is awesome and a throwback to a different kind of golf architecture. I highly recommend it.