Pinehurst No. 2 may have surprised a lot of people during the recent U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, but I liked it for a couple of reasons – playability is great and I like the commitment to the environment.
What they did with the use of Pinehurst No. 2 was give golf permission to be more responsible.
From a maintenance standpoint, the ability to do more in certain playable areas and abandon other areas is proper use of your maintenance budget.
Members and public players will have to be educated because today, people are expecting a golf course to look like a nice, big, green park. In our case, we’re on about 150 acres and every tree has be trimmed around and a lot of it has to be mowed.
This year, we’ve started to do some neat things like letting some of the cattails and some of the areas around the ponds grow up and putting the hazard line outside of that. There are some areas where we’re going to take out old shrubs and let native grasses come in.
I’d much rther have our budget go to tees, fairways and greens rather than trimming around trees and cutting rough as you would in a park.
It will take time for golfers to adjust to this mindset, but it helps to have a golf course with Pinehurst No. 2’s stature introducing it to masses of golfers watching the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.
It gives the rest of us permission to start moving in that direction as well.