Wilder, less predictable course to host U.S. Open

Next week, North Carolina’s Pinehurst No. 2 will host the U.S. Open, the time the course has welcomed a major championship since its renovation in 2010, which replaced acres of manicured rough with native vegetation. 

Bill Pennington, reporting for the New York Times:

By the end of the restoration, about 700 of Pinehurst No. 2’s 1,100 sprinkler heads had been eliminated, which has cut water use in half, saving about 40 million gallons a year.

Mike Davis, the United States Golf Association’s executive director, said the environmental impact of the restoration could have a lasting effect in golf.

“At the U.S.G.A., we would say the biggest threat to the game, long term, is water,” Davis said. “That is a great story of what Pinehurst has done because they’ve said that we don’t have to irrigate 150 acres anymore. We can get drier, firmer fairways, and we hope that this can be done other places, too.”

The revamped course looks gorgeous. Far more visually appealing—and probably much more technically challenging, which as course designer Bill Coore points out, could make for better TV viewing.

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