2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2

For the first time in the history of the U.S Open, Pinehurst will host both the women’s and men’s event. The women’s event will immediately follow the finish of the men’s tournament. In fact on Sunday of the final round of the men’s event, the women will be allowed on the practice facilities to start preparing for their week. And if there happens to be an eighteen hole playoff on Monday, the women will have access to the course after the playoff. The USGA is trying to set up the tees so that if the average Men’s Open contestant would hit an eight iron approach to a par three then the average Women’s contestant would do the same. This will be carried out for the par fours and par fives as well. The green speed, firmness and cut height will be as close as possible, weather permitting. It will be interesting to watch the scoring differences between the two Championships. Las Vegas betting will have fun with this wager: Will Lydia Ko score lower than Tiger Woods?

Pinehurst No. 2 was remodeled by Coore & Crenshaw in 2011 for an entirely different look but the same basic routing. The greens were not remodeled. The Coore/Crenshaw goal was to restore the course to the original design of Donald Ross. Twenty six acres of irrigated land was removed. The rough was replaced with irregular bunkering with random clumps of wiregrass planted heavily throughout. If you miss outside of this, you will find yourself playing off pine needles and under tall pine trees. This will be the first U.S. Open without any rough – everything will be mowed fairway height or lower. The greens are inverted and targets areas are very small. With no rough bordering the greens, a lot of good shots will hit the green surface, bounce and roll off into bunkers. Most recovery shots will be from tight lies to an elevated green. Don’t be surprised to see a variety of clubs used from around the green, especially the putter.

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