The No. 2 Course at Pinehurst Resort has reopened with a new strain of grass on its famous greens.
The conversion from bentgrass to Champion ultradwarf bermuda grass should help the greens ward off the heat of summer and stay in better shape year-round.
North Carolina sits right on the border of extreme temperatures -- cold, snowy winters to the north and hot, sticky summers to the south. This strain of bermuda has been used throughout the Southeast 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.
"Champion ultradwarf bermuda grass is a great option for the North Carolina climate," Pinehurst Director of Grounds and Golf Course Maintenance Bob Farren said in a statement. "We've already seen great results on our other courses in terms of sustaining firm greens with a smooth, fast and consistent roll, and can't wait for members and guests to have the same experience on Pinehurst No. 2."
No. 2 -- fresh off hosting back-to-back U.S. Opens for the men and women in June -- is the fourth of Pinehurst's nine courses to switch to the heat-tolerant bermuda grass, following Pinehurst No. 1 in 2012 and Pinehurst No. 3 and Pinehurst No. 8 in 2013.
The treacherous contours of No. 2's putting surfaces were left alone, keeping the course's defenses intact, although they didn't seem to bother Martin Kaymer, who rolled to an eight-shot victory as the seventh wire-to-wire winner in the history of the U.S. Open. Michelle Wie added the feel-good exclamation point the following week by winning her first major championship at the first U.S. Women's Open on Pinehurst No. 2.
Pinehurst No. 2 isn't scheduled to host another major championship any time soon, but the new greens will ensure that the Donald Ross design is ready when the USGA or PGA of America come calling. Atlanta Athletic Club converted to bermuda grass greens prior to the 2011 PGA Championship, the Tour Championship host East Lake Golf Club converted in 2008, and the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte will convert prior to the 2017 PGA Championship.