The replacement of bentgrass with Champion ultradwarf on the Donald Ross-designed green complexes at the North Carolina resort took just two months after the conclusion of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.
Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst Village, N.C. announced on September 4 that it had re-opened its famous No. 2 course, which closed shortly after hosting both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in June.
The course closed so that the existing bentgrass on the Donald Ross-designed green complexes could be replaced with Champion ultradwarf, the popular new strain of Bermudagrass that will bear the North Carolina summer heat better and help prolong the course’s season.
Pinehurst No. 2 is the fourth of Pinehurst’s nine courses to have the heat-tolerant Bermuda installed on its greens. Pinehurst No. 1 was successfully converted to Bermuda in 2012. and Pinehurst No. 3 and No. 8 were converted in 2013. In addition, Thistle Dhu, the popular new putting course installed at the resort in 2013, features ultradwarf bermudagrass.
“Golfers have truly embraced the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, and the greens conversion will allow our members and guests to experience and enjoy peak conditions for [a longer time], regardless of weather,” said Pinehurst President Don Padgett II.
Champion ultradwarf has been used with great success throughout the Southeast and on more than 500 courses across 16 states. The durable strain maintains high density during extreme temperatures and at low mowing heights, delivering smooth, consistent putting surfaces throughout the year. The ultradwarf variety provides top-quality conditions on a daily basis and allows fine-tuning for elite championship conditions when needed.
The new turf was planted using the “no-till” process and did not require excavation of the greens nor any changes in the contours. Because ultradwarf bermudagrass greens are installed with sprigging rather than seeding and thrive in the heat, No. 2 was able to open in just two months.
“Champion ultradwarf Bermudagrass is a great option for the North Carolina climate,” said Bob Farren, Pinehurst’s Director of Grounds and Golf Course Maintenance. “We’ve already seen great results on our other courses in terms of sustaining firm greens with a smooth, fast and consistent roll, and we can’t wait for members and guests to have the same experience on Pinehurst No. 2.”
Pinehurst No. 2 is among several major tournament sites to convert to Bermuda. Others have included Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga., which converted prior to the 2011 PGA Championship, and East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, site of the Tour Championship, which converted in 2008, Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., will convert prior to hosting the 2017 PGA Championship.