Don Padgett's Feature Inteview (complete with GolfClubAtlas.com's first streaming videos) can now be seen by clicking on the link below:http://www.golfclubatlas.com/feature-interview/feature-interview-with-pinehurst
Many of us have our own Pinehurst story and this is mine: My great grandfather was a lawyer in Carthage, North Carolina and little could he have known what would transpire from his continued work for a family down from Boston whom had acquired some (!) acres thirty minutes south in the Sandhills of Moore County in an area called Pinehurst. I have a few copies of letters between Mr. Tufts and Mr. and Mrs. Adams including one congratulating them for the birth of their son (my grandfather) in 1908. The letterhead notes that Pinehurst is 'The Famous Winter Resort in North Carolina', that it was founded by James W. Tufts, and that in 1908 Leonard Tufts was the owner.
In 1981, my two brothers, Dad, and Mom went on family vacation to Pinehurst and Hilton Head and without that trip, this web site might well not exist. On the ride home from Hilton Head, we debated with vigor why we liked Pinehurst more than Harbour Town, all despite HT being full of overtly great holes. The discussion raged on, perhaps as an early precursor to this Discussion Group
Hence, this part of the world has always held special meaning to the Morrissetts and it is no wonder I moved here once I was forced to flee Australia
. Anywhere you elect to live, you only want the best for that area and good things have indeed happened since moving here in 1999 including multiple Women's Opens, a U.S. Open, and a U.S. Amateur. Famously, 2014 is going to be quite the year as well. And yet....was Pinehurst still stirring souls as it had in decades gone by?
Perhaps not, or at least not to the level that Ross's artful handling of the rolling, sandy terrain would merit. Other resorts had sprung up, some with multiple world top 100 courses. No. 2 was still highly regarded despite ~26 yard wide (shouldn't it be 'narrow'?) fairways with thick bermuda rough on each side.
Roger Maltbie crowed to me at dinner in November 2009 that he had never seen No.2 better than during the 2008 Amateur. The rest of that dinner conversation (albeit a short one) did not flow as perhaps he expected.
Move the clock forward and here we are today, Friday, March 4th, 2011 and Pinehurst No.2 opens back up to resort play today after being shut for five months for the most controversial project that Coore & Crenshaw have ever undertook. The end result is SENSATIONAL though some locals still wonder why the resort decided to 'pull up perfectly good bermuda grass.'
In recent times, golfers would say that they loved No.2 though when pressed for specifics, they couldn't offer up many details other than they just 'loved the greens.' The holes seemed to almost blur together despite a superlative set of greens.
That tepid answer no longer washes as each hole now looks and plays in a distinctive manner, there is much strategy from tee to green whereby angles are in play once again, there is a great variety to the fate of your ball should it leave the tight turf of the wide fairways, etc. The list of benefits from C&C's work goes on and on for this course which now features short grass galore and no rough.
Bottom line: No. 2 is no longer 'just' about the greens and it once again possesses many, many memorable holes of outstanding merit. In addition, C & C may have pulled off a very neat trick: No. 2 might now play easier for the bad golfer and harder for the good golfer than before. Time will tell if that proves to be true but that is reckoning of some that have closely followed this project.
Give credit where credit is due as shutting down the premier course at a large resort like Pinehurst is never easy. Don Padgett II, initially of Firestone fame and now here as President, played an instrumental role in pushing the resort in this direction.
There has been much discussion about this project within this Discussion Group and the purpose of this Feature Interview with the man himself is to help set the record straight with good solid facts.
Hope you enjoy it! Pinehurst has always been an anchor in the American golf scene and once again it lives up to - and perhaps even exceeds - such lofty expectations.
PS All photographs contained in this Feature Interview are courtesy of George Waters who was part of the Coore & Crenshaw team that worked on this project.