Celebrating 100 Years of Pinehurst No. 2

In 2007, Pinehurst Resort celebrated the Centennial of its most famed golf course, Pinehurst No. 2. Site of more individual amateur and championship events, its history marks the story of the game itself - from early agronomy and course architecture, to the making of legends. We invite you to share in its rich heritage.

Historic 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.

1908: Walter Travis plays Pinehurst No. 2 in October and tells the local newspaper, "I know of no course, north or south, which provides a more thorough test or better golf, and none which gives such diversity."

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.

1910: Walter Travis wins the first of three Men's United North and South Amateur Championships on No. 2. 

1911: Charles "Chick" Evans wins the United North and South Amateur Championship on 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.

1918: Walter Hagen wins the first of three North and South Open titles on Pinehurst No. 2.

1920: Francis Ouimet wins the Men's North and South Amateur Championship on No. 2.

1922: Glenna Collett wins the first of six Women's North and South Amateur Championships on No. 2.

1923: Present third and sixth holes of No. 2 replace old third and fourth holes.

1929: Ross experiments with grass tees on No. 2, using Italian "winter" rye. 

1931: George T. Dunlap wins the first of seven North and South Amateur Championship titles on No. 2, the most captured on the course in its history. Maureen Orcutt wins the first of three Women's North and South Amateur Championships on No. 2.

1932: Ross installs the first irrigation pipes - a five mile system - on No. 2.

1934: Pinehurst experiments with grass greens (a 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: Today's course stems from Ross' renovation of No. 2 this year. Elevated grass greens replace sand on all 18 holes of No. 2 (overseeded with rye in winter) in preparation for the 1936 PGA Championship; course extended to 6,879 yards. Present fourth and fifth holes replace old ninth and tenth 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." Estelle Lawson Page wins the first of seven Women's North and South Amateur Championships on No. 2, the most victories of any female on No. 2.

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.

1939: Byron Nelson wins the North and South Open on No. 2 with a four-round score of 280. 

1940: Ben Hogan defeats Sam Snead on No. 2 to win the North and South Open, his first professional championship. (He would later defeat him as well in 1942 and 1946).

1941. Sam Snead wins the first of three North and South Opens on No. 2, makes an eagle on the 10th hole. (He wins the 1949 and 1950 North and South Opens as well). He later proclaims "No. 2's always been number one with me."

1947: Babe Didrikson Zaharias wins the Women's North and South Amateur Championship.

1948: No. 2 architect Donald Ross dies in Pinehurst. Harvie Ward upsets Frank Stranahan in the Men's North and South Amateur Championship. He remembers of No. 2, "Whenever you missed the fairway, you played out of wire grass or sand…the course played fast. If you hit it off line, the ball would roll and roll."

1950: William C "Billy" Campbell wins the first of four Men's North and South Amateur Championship titles. He later becomes president of the USGA and captain of the Royal and Ancient in St. Andrews.

He tells a crowd at Pinehurst in 1990, "Pinehurst is more than great golf. It is a state of mind and a feeling for the game, its aesthetics, courtesies and emotions."

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 by the Great Britain team. Sam Snead is playing captain; Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret are on the American team's roster. Noted British journalist Henry Longhurst files a report in the London Sunday Times on a preview round, "It was not long before my partner and I agreed upon it as an admirable battlefield for the Sneads and Mangrums of this world but no fit stamping ground for aging investment brokers and golf correspondents."

The matches were suspended in midstream for both teams to attend a college football game between UNC and Tennessee in Chapel Hill, NC.

1959: Jack Nicklaus wins the North and South Amateur on No. 2, beating Gene Andrews 1 up.

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 villagewide for the entire week. Billy Joe Patton, competing in the event, 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."

1971: Sam Snead wins the PGA Club Professionals Championship on No. 2

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.

1973: World Open won by Miller Barber, 3 strokes over Ben Crenshaw. Both Gibby Gilbert and Tom Watson shoot the current course record for lowest competitive scores, a 62.

1974: Johnny Miller defeats Jack Nicklaus, Frank Beard and Bob Murphy in a playoff on No. 2 for the World Open Championship. Nicklaus says to a reporter following the round. "So I lost another golf tournament, but I never enjoyed playing a golf course more. No. 2 is fabulous. I learned about five things about design this week - on a course 50 years old."

1975: Jack Nicklaus wins the Hall of Fame Classic on No. 2 in a playoff with Billy Casper. Curtis Strange defeats George Burns III for his first Men's North and South Amateur title. He wins a second title a year later, defeating Fred Ridley, later president of the USGA. Strange later said of Pinehurst No. 2, "When you go to a place like Pinehurst and do well it means so much more than winning on a golf course no one's ever heard of. My name will be on that plaque in the clubhouse for a long time."

1977: Hale Irwin wins the Hall of Fame classic with a 20-under par, tying the course record with a 62 on his 2nd round, on soft bent greens.

1979: Greens on No. 2 converted from bent grass to Bermuda.

1980: Hal Sutton wins the Men's North and South Amateur with a resounding 12 and 10 victory over Kevin Walsh.

1981: Corey Pavin wins 11 and 10 at the Men's North and South Amateur, defeating Steve Jones.

1984: Davis Love III wins the Men's North and South Amateur on No. 2.

1985: Jack Nicklaus watches with pride as his son, Jack Nicklaus II, wins the Men's North and South Amateur, the same his father won in1959. The son asked his father on the third tee of No. 2 one day, "This is a good golf course, isn't it?" and the senior Nicklaus replied, "No, it's a marvelous golf course."

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 Tiffway 419 II Bermuda.

1988: Native wire grass restored in natural areas.

1989: The U.S. Women's Amateur Championship is played on No. 2, Vicki Goetze is victor.

1991: The TOUR Championship contested on No. 2; Craig Stadler defeats Ross Cochran in a playoff. The course plays at a 7,005-yard par 71. Stadler proclaims during the event, "This course requires a lot of patience." 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."

1992: The TOUR Championship contested on No. 2; Paul Azinger defeats Lee Janzen by three strokes. After the match, Azinger speaks of No. 2: "It's a great course… It's just really hard. This is the way golf was meant to be played."

1994: Simon Hobday wins the 1994 U.S. Senior Open Championship on No. 2. Jack Nicklaus beats Arnold Palmer in a televised match on No. 2 for Shell's Wonderful World of Golf. At the press conference, Palmer tells the audience, "Jack and I haven't always agreed on everything, but I think we've found one common ground here, that I agree with him that No. 2 has been one of the greatest golf courses I've ever had the opportunity to play. And I go back to when he was wearing three-quarter pants when I first came here."

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: Payne Stewart makes an historic 15-foot putt on the 18th green of No. 2 to defeat Phil Mickelson at the U.S. Open Championship. He is the only player to score under par on the 7,175 yard course. Stewart tells the media after his victory, "I think myself and all the contestants this week will attest to how grand Pinehurst No. 2 is and how special a place it is."

2004: Minor renovations to No. 2 center on the upcoming U.S. Open. Five holes are lengthened to bring the course to 7,265 yards.

2005: Michael Campbell wins the U.S. Open Championship on No. 2, defeating Tiger Woods by two strokes. He tells reporters after the final round, "It's amazing how this type of golf course brings out different type of players and ages and colors, you could say. (cont.) "The thing I'm trying to say is I felt very, very comfortable when I got to the first tee a Monday. And the first time at Pinehurst I watched Payne win it six years ago, and I didn't qualify. And to go back there six years later and to do what he did, not shoot the same score unfortunately, is a big thing for me." Woods says of Pinehurst No. 2, "Pinehurst is so different than any other U.S. Open because it so much more relies on the short game than pure ball striking….it's a wonderful course." He tells reporters more than a year later, when describing the kinds of courses he'd like to build, "I play courses on tour and we all see it -- miss the green, automatic lob wedge, hack it out of the rough. That to me is not fun golf. Fun golf is Pinehurst."

2007: Pinehurst celebrates the Centennial of Donald Ross' masterpiece, the No. 2 course.

2008: Pinehurst hosts the U.S. Men's Amateur Championship for the 2nd time in its history. Stroke play rounds are played on Nos. 2 and 4; all match play rounds are played on No. 2. New Zealander Danny Lee defeated Drew Kittleson 5-and 4 on Pinehurst No. 2.

2011: In February 2010, Pinehurst contracted with the design firm of Coore & Crenshaw, Inc., to restore the legendary No. 2 golf course with natural and strategic characteristics that were the essence of Ross’ original design. 

2014: Pinehurst will host 14 days of championship play in 2014, with back to back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships for the first time in their history, and now the only site to host all five of the USGA’s major championships.


Alex Podlogar
Todd Graff