Pinehurst No. 2 Timeline
1907 Pinehurst No. 2 opens as an 18-hole course for the fall season. Total yardage: 5,860.
The Pinehurst Outlook reports in 1907 “Pinehurst is now watched by the entire world in the affairs of golf, for it sets the fashion in this particular just as Paris is the center to which the world of fashion looks expectantly spring, summer, fall and winter.”
Donald Ross, course architect, incorporates such elements as 60 ft. square sand/clay greens, “whisker” mounds of native wire grass, cross hazards, and sand bunkers in front of the greens.
1909 The Men's United North and South Amateur Championship is moved to its permanent home on Pinehurst No. 2, eight years after its inauguration. All major championships transfer to No. 2. 1913 Ross and golf course superintendent Frank Maples plant an experimental plot of Bermuda grass, with the intent of finding a strain that would survive summer heat and provide firm and fast playing conditions. Grass is slowly established on the No. 2 fairways. 1915 Donald Ross is quoted in the local newspaper that “many of the greens have been relocated and the surroundings cunningly devised in dips and undulations, with bunkers and apparent natural divergence in contour, which puts a premium upon the proper shot.” He finishes the project two years later - all with the intent of making the greens more challenging. 1932 Ross installs the first irrigation pipes - a five-mile system - on No. 2. 1934 Pinehurst experiments with grass greens (Bermuda base) on the first three holes of No. 2. Ross states, “No. 2 has always been a pet of mine. In building these fine new greens, I’ve been able to carry out many of the changes which I have long visualized but only now have been able to put into practice.” 1935 Ross undertakes a renovation of No. 2. Elevated grass greens replace sand on all 18 holes of No. 2 (overseeded with rye in winter) in preparation for the 1936 PGA Championship. The course is extended to 6,879 yards. Present 4th and 5th holes replace old 9th and 10th holes.
Ross, speaking of the mounding around the greens created during the renovation, said “This mounding makes possible an infinite variety of nasty short shots that no other form of hazard can call for. Competitors whose second shots have wandered a bit will be disturbed by these innocent appearing slopes and by the shot they will have to invent to recover.”
1936 Denny Shute wins the PGA Championship on No. 2 with a 3 and 2 victory over Jimmy Thomson. The championship is moved to November this year, to take advantage of optimum weather conditions. 1948 No. 2 architect Donald Ross dies in Pinehurst. 1951 No. 2 lengthened to 7,013 yards for the Ryder Cup Matches, won by the American team 9 1/2 to 2 1/2. Sam Snead is playing captain; Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret are on the American team. 1962 No. 2 lengthened to 7,051 yards for the U.S. Men’s Amateur Championship. Labron Harris Jr. defeats Downing Gray 1 up. President Eisenhower is a prominent member of the gallery. The match was played in PDT - Pinehurst Daylight Time, to accommodate early tee times for the 72 first round matches, and continued village wide for the entire week.
Billy Joe Patton says of No. 2 “There’s one word to describe it. It’s the only word, although it’s a kind of old and worn-out expression. Masterpiece is the word. It’s a masterpiece.”
1972 No. 2 greens changed from Bermuda to bent grass to accommodate year-round play. Hard sand and wire grass natural areas flanking the fairways were replaced with grass. 1979 Greens on No. 2 converted from bent grass to Bermuda. 1987 Greens on No. 2 converted from Bermuda to bent and rebuilt to USGA specifications; Jack Nicklaus is selected as design consultant. Fairways converted to Tifway 419 II Bermuda. 1988 Native wiregrass restored in natural areas. 1989 Vickie Goetze, at 16, becomes the youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, defeating Brandi Burton 4 and 3 on Pinehurst No. 2. 1991 The TOUR Championship contested on No. 2, and the course plays at a 7,005-yard, par-71; Craig Stadler defeats Ross Cochran in a playoff.
Chip Beck says at the same event, “Donald Ross must have been the toughest, hard-nosed architect in the world, because this course has stood the test of time….It's like Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. It’s a standard to judge by.”
1997 Pinehurst No. 2 reopens after a nine-month renovation, with Rees Jones as consultant. Greens are rebuilt to USGA green construction specifications and seeded with Penn G-2 bent grass, a denser bentgrass able to withstand the Sandhills summers. New tees are built for the 5th, 6th, 10th, 12th, and 18th holes; holes 2, 4, 11 and 14 are lengthened. 1999 The U.S. Open is conducted on No. 2 for the first time with the course playing 7,175 yards. Payne Stewart defeats Phil Mickelson with a historic 15-foot putt on the 18th green. He’s the only player to finish under par. 2004 Minor renovations to No. 2 center on the upcoming U.S. Open. Five holes are lengthened to bring the course to 7,265 yar 2005 The U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst No. 2 for the second time in six years, the fastest return for an Open since World War II. New Zealand’s Michael Campbell finishes two shots better than Tiger Woods to capture his first major title. Campbell is the only player that doesn’t finish over par. 2007 Pinehurst No. 2 celebrates 100th anniversary 2008 Danny Lee, at 18 years and one month, becomes the U.S. Amateur’s youngest champion, supplanting Tiger Woods, by holding off Drew Kittleson 5 and 4 in the final on No. 2. 2010 Pinehurst hires design firm of Coore & Crenshaw to restore No. 2’s natural and strategic character. 2011 Pinehurst No. 2 reopens on March 4 following the yearlong, $2.5 million restoration project. Among the changes: all rough was eliminated; about 35 acres of irrigated turf were stripped, leaving natural sand and hardpan areas; fairway widths were increased by about 50% on average; about 650 sprinkler heads were turned off, leaving about 450 operational; greens were sodded with A1/A4 bent; natural bunker edges replaced rigid bunker definition; and minor modifications were made to the 15th and 17th greens to return lost pin placements. Thirteen new tees are added to championship course, increasing the total yardage to 7,565 yards. 2014 Pinehurst No. 2 becomes the first course to hold the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in consecutive weeks. The championship fortnight runs June 9-22. Following the tournaments, the course’s greens were converted from bentgrass to Bermuda grass.