COURSE CARE
2014 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Opens Upcoming at Pinehurst May 27, 2014 By Patrick O'Brien

Single-row fairway irrigation design provides water primarily to the middle of fairways, resulting in edges that can be ragged and off-color depending on the amount of rainfall the course receives.

Course No. 2 at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club will be site of U.S. Open (June 12 – 15) and U.S. Women’s Open (June 19 – 22). It is the first time these championships will be played back to back on the same course. Located in the Sand Hills region of N.C., the golf course is built on a strip of ancient beach dunes. Natural vegetation in the area is characterized by longleaf pine trees and wiregrass. This environment provides an interesting setting for golf and produces a golf course that drains rapidly, too.

The following are a few facts about Pinehurst Resort and Country Club’s Course No. 2 and the course setup for the upcoming USGA Championships. For more information, visit U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: Two Championships. One Event.

 Architectural History

  • Donald Ross – 1907
  • Rees Jones – 1996
  • Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw – 2010

 Past USGA Championships at Pinehurst Course No. 2

  • 2008 U.S. Amateur
  • 2005 U.S. Open
  • 1999 U.S. Open
  • 1994 U.S. Senior Open
  • 1989 U.S. Women’s Amateur
  • 1962 U.S. Amateur

 Putting Greens

  • Construction method – USGA guidelines
  • Turfgrass variety – Penn A-1 and Penn A-4 blend
  • Target green speed – 11 to 12 feet measured by USGA Stimpmeter
  • USGA TruFirm will be used to measure firmness
  • The putting greens are best known for their crowns and undulating design by Donald Ross, which are among the most complex and widely acclaimed in the world.
  • The closely mown areas surrounding the putting greens will be conditioned to provide many options to players – putt, chip, or pitch and run.

 Tees

  • Turfgrass variety – Tifway bermudagrass

 Fairways

  • Turfgrass variety – Tifway bermudagrass
  • Height of cut – approximately 0.45 inch
  • There are no clearly defined edges along the margins of the fairways as they blend into non-irrigated sand and wiregrass areas.

 Rough

  • Approximately 40 acres of rough turf were removed during the 2010 renovation and converted to sand and wiregrass areas. There is no bermudagrass rough.
  • The rough consists of sand and wiregrass areas as described below.

 Sand and Wiregrass Areas

  • A mixture of native wiregrass, native plants and other vegetation indigenous to the Sand Hills region of North Carolina.
  • Over 200,000 wiregrass plants were established by hand planting in the sandy areas during the 2010 renovation.
  • Over 70 plant species were identified in the sandy wiregrass areas during research activities by Dr. Danesha Seth Carley, assistant professor, Crop Science, North Carolina State, Raleigh, N.C.
  • The most abundant plants, besides wiregrass, include cudweed, spotted sandmat, carpetweed, purslane, broomsedge, crowfoot grass, longleaf pine, horseweed, poor joe and Eastern pricklypear.

 Unique Course Facts for the 2014 U.S. Opens

  • Mowing – There will be only two heights of cut: putting greens and the rest of playing areas.
  • Turf areas were reduced from approximately 90 acres to approximately 50 acres during the 2010 renovation by eliminating all bermudagrass rough.
  • Fairway irrigation – Single-row design: the simplest of irrigation plans possible. The irrigation lines are in the middle of fairways and follow the old steel pipe from the first in-ground system.
  • Irrigation sprinklers – From a peak of 1,100 irrigation heads prior to the 2010 renovation, there are only 450 sprinklers on Course No. 2 today.
  • Annual water use was reduced by approximately 70 percent.

 Maintenance Staff and Volunteers

  • Bob Farren – director of golf course and grounds management (32 years at Pinehurst)
  • Kevin Robinson – superintendent, Course No. 2 (22 years at Pinehurst)
  • John Jeffreys – assistant, Course No. 2 (14 years at Pinehurst)
  • Alan Owen – assistant, Course No. 2 (11 years at Pinehurst)
  • Andy Caddell – service center manager (42 years at Pinehurst)
  • Pinehurst Course No. 2 staff – 30 employees
  • The remainder of the maintenance staff will consist of 100 staff from other Pinehurst Resort Courses (Courses No. 1 through No. 8) and volunteers from local area golf facilities. Approximately 90 percent of the additional help needed to conduct the U.S. Open Championships will be from other Pinehurst Resort Courses.

The Southeast region agronomists will both be working at the U.S. Open Championships. In the meantime, please contact Chris Hartwiger (chartwiger@usga.org) or Patrick O’Brien (patobrien@usga.org) to schedule a Course Consulting Service visit.

Source: Patrick O’Brien (patobrien@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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