Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were tasked with the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 ahead of the 114th US Open
Architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have completed the project which aimed to restore Pinehurst No. 2 to how to looked after Donald Ross altered his original design in 1935.
The pair began work on the newly renovated course in February 2010 and completed the task in March 2011.
Coore and Crenshaw said they were initially reluctant to alter such an acclaimed course in the golfing community.
However with Mike Davis’s, the USGA executive director, declaration that thick rough would not be added for the US Open and US Women’s Open, the architectural pair set out in their renovation.
Bill Coore said: “The course had changed a lot, certainly over the last 40 years.
“It has changed dramatically from one really quite natural looking course that looked like it lay very gently on that sandhills land with the native landscape as the rough.”
Coore and Crenshaw worked with aerial photographs of the course that were taken on December 25 in 1943 to aid them with the restoration project.
Coore continued saying, “It is going to be a fascinating week. The contrast will be enormous between what we will see at Pinehurst and what we saw at Merion last year.
“They will be complete opposites. Instead of long grass ‘protecting’ the course, Pinehurst’s difficulty will primarily be on and around the greens.”
The project saw the removal of around 35 acres of turf as well as the reintroduction of hardpan and natural bunker edges.
Principal features of the project also included an increase in fairway widths which offers golfers strategic options in playing holes from tee to green.
Perhaps most distinctively, all rough on the course was eliminated, establishing two heights of grass, that of the green and everything else.
With the newly restored course, Pinehurst No. 2 will be the first golf course to serve as host to the US Open and US Women’s Open Championships.
Phil Mickelson, who has finshed runner-up in the US Open a record six times – said in a video posted on June 2 on Pinehurst.com that “[Coore and Crenshaw] have restored the shot-making value that was originally intended.
“You have so many decisions you can make off the tee, what club you hit. And around the greens, so much skill and touch is involved with your short game, which is to salvage shots, as opposed to the ‘hit it and hope’ out of the thick, heavy rough.”
The US Open will start on June 12 and will finish on June 15.
The US Women’s Open will commence the following week on June 19.