You have read the headline correctly: plural US Opens (Women preceded by Men) in consecutive weeks, over the same course.

Pinehurst #2 is considered to be the masterpiece or labor of love of Donald J. Ross. Ross was born in Dornoch, Scotland. He came to the USA and became the most prolific designer of golf courses in North America. After a time, he took up residence full-time in Pinehurst and lived there until his death. He never stopped working on the #2 course at the Pinehurst Resort.

In 2011, golf course architect Bill Coore and his associate, Ben Crenshaw, were retained by the resort to remove the wall-to-wall (tree-to-tree?) carpet that most USA golfers associate with proper golf, and return the course to its origin: sandy, scrubby turf that melts away from the fairway. When I first played #2 as a 16-year old in 1982, I played this wall-to-wall carpet. When I returned in February of 2013, I was astonished by the restoration.

You will see on your television (and below, if you cannot wait) what I’m suggesting. Wire grass, native to the area, are those tufts now found throughout the sandy rough. Pine needles, pine cones and other debris will serve as “rough.” Instead of definition by grass height and thickness, a bit of ambiguity and uncertainty come into play.

As I type, the first golfers are one hour into their rounds, with Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar tied at minus-one. Look at the photos below, then go and watch the show. Watch it this week and next and get a sense of how golf can be a bit wilder, a bit unkempt and just a bit different from what we’ve come to expect.


Photo Gallery From #2, February of 2013