Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How To See The New No. 2 As The Restoration Unfolds

   If you've heard about the restoration project currently underway at Pinehurst No. 2 but haven't entirely gotten your head around what's going on and why, there's a new dedicated website -- PinehurstNumber2.com -- that allows you to see what's happening and hear from Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the men handling the project.

   The site offers fascinating flyovers of different holes, showing how they looked before the project began and showcasing the differences now that the rough has been removed and sandy waste areas have returned alongside fairways. Coore and Crenshaw provide voiceovers explaining the thought process behind the project, offering context to what is an historic restoration.

   The site will be updated as various elements of the project are completed.

   No. 2 is closed until March 4 while work near the greens is completed but much of the work has been done. It will take some time for new natural areas to be weathered in but the overall impact of the course changes will be spectacular. Seeing the before and after images brings into focus how much No. 2 had gotten away from what it originally was and highlights the artistry of Coore and Crenshaw.

  When No. 2 hosts the 2014 men's and women's U.S. Opens, it will be the first Open venue without rough. The idea is to bring back what Donald Ross originally created in the scruffy sandhills, replacing acres of bermuda rough with sandy areas dotted with wire grass, pine cones and pine needles.

   It's a month before No. 2 reopens but you don't have to wait to get a look at it.