I know this will be sacrilege around these parts, so I waited until the last day of the U.S. Open to say it to avoid having my press credentials revoked (just joking, USGA).
So here goes:
I am not in love with Pinehurst No. 2.
There, I said it, and I feel better already having finally gotten it off my chest.
I get how the Southern Pines would awe someone from Kansas or Iowa, but give me the good old pine trees back home. I would pick Sahalee Country Club over nationally revered No. 2, and it isn’t even close.
The dried pine straw here gets lodged in your shoes and is annoying. The natural wiregrass waste areas that replaced the rough here are environmentally great, but they are not attractive, nor is the brown tint to the fairways that the USGA loves.
The brown tint means the course is dry and firm, and the USGA wants its championship played on a firm course. But green is a lot nicer on the eyes.
I am sure that golfers with low handicaps are going to tell me I am not adequately appreciating the great design and the crown-shaped greens that repel balls off of them. And they are right: I would not appreciate shooting 150 here.
It’s not that I don’t like Pinehurst No. 2, because I do, and there is no disputing that the area around it is very picturesque. But I am not in awe like I was when I saw Augusta National and Sahalee for the first time.
Maybe I’m just becoming like my dad, the most provincial man in the world. My dad says Seattle is easily the best city in the world, if he played Pebble Beach he would still rate it behind West Seattle Golf Course and he is convinced that the world’s best teriyaki is made a mile from his house at a rundown strip mall (sorry dad, but it’s awful).
It is almost time to leave Pinehurst No. 2. I just hope I can beat the mob that will want to run me out of the state after writing this.
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