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At No. 2, Everything That’s Old Is New Again

PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA | To appreciate what Pinehurst No. 2 is, perhaps it helps to understand what it is not.
It is not flawless and emerald green like Augusta National.
It is not near an ocean or perched on a cliff with the surf rolling in below. There are no creeks or lakes,
the only bit of water being a pond on the 16th hole that shouldn’t come into play for better players.
There are no fountains, no paved cart paths and no long walks between greens and tees.
It’s a golf course in the purest sense, laid across scraggly, sandy turf common to the North Carolina Sandhills.
“I think it’s arguably the best inland course in the world,” Paul Azinger said recently.
It’s different than when it opened 107 years ago with sand greens and a handful of holes that aren’t part of the layout today. Pinehurst No. 2 has been tweaked and stretched, altered and adjusted across time, the way designer Donald Ross imagined it would be, seeing it as an ever-changing creation he massaged while living in a house adjacent to the third green.
It has the distinction of having hosted virtually every great player of the past century, from Walter Hagen to Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan to Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods.
It has fallen victim to the times and stood the test of time.
Now, as the men’s U.S. Open returns for the third time in 15 years and the U.S. Women’s Open comes for the first time, Pinehurst No. 2 hasn’t so much been restored to its former glory as it’s been re-created, better than ever.


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