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Pinehurst No. 2 Goes Green with Brown Course


Martin Kaymer wasn’t the only winner at the recent US Open. Pinehurst No. 2, the world-class golf course located in Pinehurst, NC, proved to the golf world that you don’t need thick rough and inches of the greenest grass to create a golf course worthy of a championship.

The course was recently restored to the original features and designs of seminal golf architect Donald Ross. Revived by Ben Crenshaw and partner Bill Coore, the tournament grounds forewent narrow fairways surrounded by dense, lush grass in favor of sandy areas with native grasses and pine straw.

As USGA executive director Mike Davis told Cybergolf, “I have seen a lot of restorations, but I honestly have never seen one as good as what’s happened here. What Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore did was really take it back to the roots of Donald Ross, to take it back to the unique aspects of being here in the Sand Hills of North Carolina.”

The restoration has had an added benefit: fewer resources are needed to maintain the course. It’s no longer overseeded, so less water and fertilizer is used, and in the winter it goes dormant. There’s less grass to be cut, as well.

With no rough, Pinehurst No. 2 cut down on water usage by 40%, saving 35 million gallons of water each year. Mike Davis also comments, “The biggest threat to the game long term is water…water is going to be the thing that ultimately is going to affect the game the most.”

Pinehurst No. 2 wasn’t just a smashing success for the sport of golf; it proved to the rest of the world that a course doesn’t need to be over-the-top and excessive to be challenging and a delight to play.

In the words of ESPN, “…the decades-old mold of the tournament setup has been broken – opening the door for new interpretations of what a US Open course can be.”

First Bank is proud to have been a sponsor for the US Open and to have several locations in a community that supports environmental efforts like those made by Pinehurst No. 2 and the USGA. Making the world a better place starts at home, and this is a great example of how the city of Pinehurst is doing just that.

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