US Open 2024 course: Five things to know about Pinehurst No. 2, Donald Ross’s best design ever

The USGA recently made Pinehurst No. 2 to become one of the main venues for the US Men’s Open in the near (and unpredictable) future. The US Open is scheduled to be held at the famous golf course in North Carolina in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. Rory McIlroy will be 58 years old in 2047.

The information is very clear: Pinehurst No. 2 is a golf course worthy of a national championship. It would be difficult to argue otherwise. Donald Ross’s design, among nine other courses at the Pinehurst resort, has stood the test of time and remains one of the country’s gems. It is also one of the few old-fashioned golf courses large and difficult enough to challenge the world’s best players.

No. 2 Pinehurst has hosted a PGA Championship, a Ryder Cup, the Tour Championship, three U.S. Amateurs, the U.S. Senior Open, the U.S. Women’s Open and now the fourth men’s U.S. Open this week.

Here’s what you need to know about this classic spot when attending the 2024 US Open.

1. High difficulty: In the three completed men’s US Opens, four golfers have finished under par. There are several USGA-related reasons for this. Green vegetables – as you’re about to hear 10,000 times a week – are difficult to handle because they’re shaped like upside-down bowls. And depending on how much water Pinehurst gets, it’s entirely possible chef. Of course, it’s the kind of field that turns brown, gray and purple during a major championship week, which could be awesome.

Last year’s U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club was considered by some to be too easy, especially after the 62-match major championship record was equaled twice in the first round. This time there won’t be a 62 or even any whiffs at such a low number. The best score of 2014 was 65, incredibly, Martin Kaymer shot twice in the first two rounds. There was only one 66 (Daniel Berger in Round 4). This week, depending on how much the USGA decides to dial in, will be devastating.

2. The best of Donald Ross: List of Donald Ross courses The impression is almost comical: Seminole, Oakland Hills, Inverness and Oak Hill among them. However, No. 2 Pinehurst is generally considered the best of his best. “The entire golf course is a most enjoyable and challenging golf course,” Ben Hogan once said. “It was a true test of golf. The North and South Open was a ‘big tournament’ back then. Pinehurst was the mecca of golf.”

Ross’s designs aren’t complicated, but they’re almost beautiful in their simplicity. This is how his #2 design was ever described.

Borrowing from what he learned growing up in Dornoch, Scotland, Ross turned the green crown into his trademark. He is meticulous and very patient making sure every slope and break is approved by him. All of his bunkers look like they were never built but created by the hands of nature. Donald Ross golf courses have a seamless, timeless quality and require very little earth moving for construction.

Pinehurst No. 2 is a perfect example. Water only appears in one hole and it has no effect. The course is not particularly long, the rough is a landscape of native sand and string grass, and it is nearly impossible to lose a golf ball. However, any golfer with a handicap close to his own will have a good day.

That’s a great thing to say about the architecture of a golf course. Much of that is what Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore relied on when they restored it in 2011, removing much of the rough edges that existed at the 1999 and 2005 US Opens. The 2014 US Open was a example of how the course is designed to look and play with sandy areas and the odd lie in the “rough”.

3. Those green vegetables: Among Pinehurst’s several notable features, its trees are perhaps the most prominent. As this video shows, the greens at Pinehurst resemble Augusta National in that they look big but are small in terms of where one can hit the ball to score on.

But it’s not just the shape of the greens, in there people talk about Ross“[He was] a meticulous man who was very patient in making sure every slope and break met his approval.” It’s also the surroundings that protect scoring at Pinehurst.

This is how Garrett Morrison of Fried Eggs does said that recently.

What I found more impressive than the severity of the runoff at the edge of the lawn, however, was the intricate contouring of the surrounding short lawns.

For example, on the first hole, there are two closely mowed mounds just below the berm on the right side of the green. When a player misses a shot to the right, their ball not only kicks to the right but can also end up resting awkwardly on the side of one of the mounds. These types of details bring variety and complexity to Pinehurst No. 2.

You know who has the second-best short game in 2024? Yes, the same man who won the Masters and is currently the No. 1 player in the world.

4. Solid winner but excellence runner-up: This is a strange statistic for Pinehurst. Payne Stewart (1999), Michael Campbell (2005) and Kaymer (2014) were all winners on the course; they have a total of 15 PGA Tour wins between them. Phil Mickelson (1999), Tiger Woods (82), and the duo of Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton (2014) were runners-up; they have a total of 133 PGA Tour wins between them.

Pinehurst is the type of course that can reward great golf shots and create real separation in the leaderboard, which is why there’s a bit of randomness about the winners. However, no lead is safe, which makes the event at this course a blast.

In 2005, three of the top six on the leaderboard reached the 80 mark on Sunday. Retief Goosen held a three-shot lead in round three and still lost to Campbell by a wide margin eight. Jason Gore is T2 and three return finalists; he lost to Campbell by 14. This year’s event will be exciting until the end.

5. Perfect roughness: In a recent interview on Golf Channel, USGA championship director John Bodenhamer spoke about Donald Ross saying Pinehurst had “a perfect game”. Why? It creates randomness, which is what experts hate the most.

“We love it because it creates a little bit of anxiety or fear if you miss the fairway,” Bodenhamer added.

This year will look a little different than Winged Foot or what some consider the “typical” US Open, but it will contribute to making golf more difficult because of the lies that make players players cannot understand how to hit the ball. Will react when hit. Combine that with octagonal lawns and chaos can ensue.


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