Despite overhaul, greens still the biggest challenge at U.S. Open

Players approach the 10th fairway during a practice round for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2....

Players approach the 10th fairway during a practice round for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. (KEVIN LILES/USA Today)

Jon McCarthy , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:19 AM ET

Pinehurst No. 2 takes everything to a different level.

It’s often said that a good golf course requires a player to use every club in their bag. This week at the U.S. Open, players are using every club in their bag just trying to figure out how to chip the ball on to the course’s famous turtleback greens.

Much of the talk this week is about the “new” Pinehurst No. 2 after the restoration work done by the design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. They removed all the rough, naturalizing the course and taking advantage of the region’s rough-and-tumble sandy terrain. But for all that is new, it’s still the greens that will decide the 114th U.S. Open.

“It boils down to, it’s very much the same,” Matt Kuchar said Tuesday. “We know Pinehurst because of the greens.”

The notoriously difficult dome-shaped greens have been rejecting golf balls and leaving players at their wit’s end for decades.


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