Pinehurst No. 2 Restoration

Donald Ross believed in providing golfers with strategic choices, and Pinehurst No. 2 was intended to epitomize that philosophy. In March 2011, No. 2 reopened following a year-long restoration project designed to restore the course’s natural and historic character, and the strategic options that were the centerpiece of Ross’s vision. The $2.5 million project was conducted by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and included work on every hole. Features of the project include:

  • Increase fairway widths. Fairways were widened by as much as 50 percent, offering more strategic options in playing holes from tee to green.
  • Removal of rough. All rough was eliminated, establishing two heights of grass: greens and everything else.
  • Reintroduction of natural areas. 35 acres (40 percent) of irrigated turf were removed, restoring natural areas of sand, wire grass, pine straw and a variety of native grasses.
  • Turf maintenance. 650 irrigation heads were eliminated, and the centerline irrigation was restored.
  • Wiregrass. More than 200,000 plants were added
  • Overseeding. Eliminated during the winter months, allowing for firm, fast conditions throughout the year
  • Increased length. Thirteen new tees were added to the championship course, increasing the total championship length by more than 300 yards, to 7,565 from 7,214.
  • Bunker modifications. Several bunkers were restored, eliminated or reshaped based on aerial images of the course from the 1940s, and bunkers were edged to create rustic appearance
  • Greens. Only two (15 and 17) were modified slightly to increase hole locations.
  • Cart paths. Relocated and concrete removed.

Following are detailed, hole-by-hole modifications:

Hole 1
Par: 4
Yardage: 402 - 401 - 401
New tee: No

There are more options off the tee, and the removal of turf on the right, left and behind the green brings more natural areas into play. Specific changes include:

  • Added mound to the right of the fairway, about 300 yards from the tee
  • Created visual backdrop by adding a sandy wiregrass mound behind the green and left of the second tee
  • Removed turf behind the green to bring sand, pine needles and wiregrass into play

Hole 2
Par: 4
Yardage: 507 - 469 - 447
New tee: Yes

The second hole remains one of the most difficult on the course. It is one of four par-4s that can play over 500 yards from the back tee during the U.S. Open.

  • New tee lengthened hole by about 35 yards
  • Removed turf on the right side to expose mounds and low areas that accumulate loose sand
  • Restored bunker in front of fairway
  • Expanded fourth fairway bunker on the left into the drive zone
  • Bunkers were elevated in order to be viewable from the tee

Hole 3
Par: 4
Yardage: 387/329 - 336 - 335
New tee: Yes

The third hole could be set up as a drivable par-4 during the championships. With turf removed from behind the green, approach shots that go over could roll down the hill considerably.

  • Added a championship tee at about 250 yards that would be used to make the hole drivable during the U.S. Women’s Open.
  • The back tee, at about 390 yards, was not built during previous U.S. Opens, but it was used during the U.S. Amateur.

Hole 4
Par: 4
Yardage: 529 - 565 par 5 - 566
New tee: Yes

  • Two new tees left of the previous tee restore original line of play, which moves from right to left. The new back tee is on the backside of the sixth tee.
  • Added two fairway bunkers, which existed in the 1940s, in the drive zone on the right, and one on the left about 170 yards from the green
  • Expanded the left greenside bunker so that it comes more into play on the approach

Hole 5
Par: 5
Yardage: 576 - 472 par 4 - 482
New tee: Yes

The 5th was converted to a par-5, the way it played during the 1936 PGA Championship.

  • Built four new tees, which will allow the hole to play as long as 585 yards
  • Restored the fairway bunker at the start and left of fairway. From the back tee, it is about 290 to 300 yards to carry the fairway bunker.
  • Added sandy wiregrass collection area left of green.

Hole 6
Par: 3
Yardage: 219 - 220 - 222
New tee: No

The sixth had the fewest changes on the course.

  • Expanded left greenside bunker
  • Repositioned red tee to the left

Hole 7
Par: 4
Yardage: 424 - 404 - 398
New tee: Yes

The seventh may have had the most significant amount of work of any hole with an expanded fairway, new back tee and sandy rough all down the right side. It will be about a 280- to 300-yard carry of the dogleg right. 

  • New championship tee sits behind the sixth green on the other side of Muster Branch Road (the existing blue and white tee lowered)
  • Right fairway bunkers complex shifted right
  • Restored approach bunker left of fairway 60 yards from green
  • Left side of fairway native area expanded to include hollows and wiregrass; large mounds removed
  • Turf removed behind green; mounds created behind green to collect shots hit over

Hole 8
Par: 4
Yardage: 502/486 option - 467 - 485
New tee: Yes

A par-5 for regular play, this will continue to play as a par-4 during championships. With firm and fast conditions, balls will continue to feed from right to left, bringing the sandy wiregrass into play left of the fairway.

  • A new tee was added that can increase length to about 500 yards. It played as 485 yards in ’05.
  • Added right fairway bunker about 270 yards from the green and added approach bunker on left about 75 yards from green
  • Shifted right greenside bunker farther right away from green
  • Added wiregrass mounds left of fairway in the drive zone

Hole 9
Par: 3
Yardage: 191/186 option - 175 - 179
New tee: No

This hole may represent the most visual of the restoration’s changes, although the hole will play similarly. Sand and wiregrass cover most of the area from tee to green.

  • Restored greenside bunkering to match appearance in 1930’s
  • Eliminated pot bunker at rear of green and replaced with turf mound

Hole 10
Par: 5
Yardage: 617 - 607 - 610
New tee: Yes

The longest hole on the course has been extended and will have sandy and wiregrass in play throughout the hole. Because of the valley between the tee and fairway, it will play about 570 yards or about 455 yards.

  • Extended back tee about 10 yards, bringing the maximum length to about 617
  • Removed bunker on top of mound at right landing zone and added wiregrass
  • Restored left fairway bunker about 200 yards from green
  • Sand and wiregrass has been brought in to make the landing area very narrow about 50 yards off the tee. There is ample room in the 125- to 150-yard area for those laying up
  • Brought sandy wiregrass area closer to back of green, so that it will come into play for balls rolling off the green.
  • Shifted red tee to the right

Hole 11
Par: 4
Yardage: 483 - 476 - 453
New tee: Yes

Ben Hogan called the 11th one of his favorite par-4s, and the hole has been restored to the way it looked and played in his era.

  • A new back tee has added about eight yards, and the tee was slightly raised by about six feet.
  • Shifted white, green and red tees to the right
  • Lowered area between blue tee and start of fairway to improve visibility of drive zone from back tees
  • Added left fairway mound about 165 yards from green

Hole 12
Par: 4
Yardage: 484 - 449 - 447
New tee: Yes

This hole has been lengthened as much as any other on the course, and sand and wiregrass play a strategic role off the tee and around the green.

  • A new tee, which sits near the No. 4 course, has added about 35 yards
  • Added wiregrass mound on left side of fairway that is about 300 yards off the tee and 135 yards from green
  • Brought sandy wiregrass area closer to back of green

Hole 13
Par: 4
Yardage: 385 - 378 - 383
New tee: No

The 13th played as one of the more exciting holes on the course. With the back tee, it demands precise yardages to stay in the fairway. It was played as a drivable par-4 (for both championships), bringing sand and wiregrass into play on the left side of the green.

  • Added right fairway bunker about 90 from green
  • Eliminated small bunker left of green and large bunker
  • Expanded left greenside bunker along the approach
  • Significant amount of turf removed from the left side of the fairway up to the green, bringing sand and wiregrass into play

Hole 14
Par: 4
Yardage: 473 - 468 - 436
New tee: Yes

The 14th, which plays with the prevailing wind, will play similar to how it has previously, with sand and wiregrass guarding the fairway and green instead of Bermuda grass.

  • New championship tee added about five yards
  • Restored two right fairway bunkers about 225 yards from green. Both were in original photos of the course.

Hole 15
Par: 3
Yardage: 202 - 203 - 202
New tee: No

The hole looks significantly different from the tee due to the removal of trees behind the green. One of only two greens that were slightly modified, it has significantly more hole locations.

  • Added about 600 square feet of pinnable hole locations
  • Recaptured middle right hole location by bringing green closer to right greenside bunker. That bunker now runs right up to the green.
  • Removed trees behind green to open sightline into the fairway bunker on No. 16
  • Enlarged blue and white teeing ground
  • Added sandy wiregrass area behind green

Hole 16
Par: 4
Yardage: 528 - 492 - 489
New tee: Yes

A par-5 for regular play, this played as No. 2’s longest par-4 during championships.

  • Extended men’s championship tee, adding about 36 yards
  • Brought in the left side of the fairway about 300 yards off the tee and added some sandy mounts
  • Added right fairway bunker about 300 yards from tee
  • Added wiregrass mounds left of fairway
  • Connected and enlarged right approach bunkers
  • Bunker at rear of green brought closer to back edge of green

Hole 17
Par: 3
Yardage: 205 - 190 - 191
New tee: Yes

The 17th has been lengthened and has more hole locations than in previous championships.

  • New back tee has added about 15 yards, bringing the total length to about 205 yards
  • Recaptured front right hole location by softening contour of green
  • Removed one of three right greenside bunkers

Hole 18
Par: 4
Yardage: 451 - 442 - 446
New tee: Yes

Ross’ masterpiece concludes with a slight dogleg right that now plays around sand and wiregrass. Where Payne Stewart drove his tee shot in the final round of the ’99 Open would now land in sand and wiregrass.

  • A new championship tee added about nine yards, increasing the overall length to about 450
  • Added mounds and wiregrass left of fairway in drive zone
  • Consolidated two front right greenside bunkers into one
  • Sandy mounds and sandscape extend on the other side of the right fairway bunker, which can come into play for those missing right or trying to drive over the bunker

Total yardage
2014 U.S. Open – 7565; U.S. Women’s Open – 6649
2005 U.S. Open – 7214
1999 U.S. Open - 7175