Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pinehurst No. 2 may get Coore-Crenshaw touch

Pinehurst officials are moving closer to hiring Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore to handle a restoration of Course No. 2 before the 2014 men’s and women’s U.S. Opens are played there.

Tinkering with what is considered Donald Ross’ masterpiece is a delicate matter and Pinehurst president Don Padgett III is taking a careful approach.

He has consulted with Coore and Crenshaw as well as Mike Davis, senior director of rules and competitions for the USGA, who will oversee the set-up for the U.S. Opens.

“They are trying to develop a concept to restore the course to a lot of the original design criteria while, at the same time, have it be a championship venue for the Opens,” Padgett said this week.

Padgett said it is important for everyone – Pinehurst officials, Crenshaw, Coore and the USGA – to agree on any potential alterations to No. 2, which has hosted the 1999 and 2005 men’s U.S. Opens.

Any alterations would focus on restoring many of the strategic aspects to the layout and less on adding length.

The only significant lengthening would likely occur at the dogleg par-4 seventh hole where the tee could be moved back across a road, preventing players for trying to cut the corner as some did in the 2008 U.S. Amateur.

The main alterations would involve bringing back more of the sandy areas dotted with wire grass off the fairways, places where there is now rough. It would be similar, Padgett said, to how the course was in the 1930s and 1940s when Ross lived in the area and worked on it.

“What people expect of No. 2 has gone away,” Padgett said. “I think they (Coore and Crenshaw) plan to bring that back.”

Padgett said if the plan moves forward, it will be at least a year, maybe longer, before work is begun.

“I’m just glad to be headed in the right direction,” Padgett said.


Anonymous said...

Super! Now they will able to charge 1000 bucks a round.