Golf fans will get to experience a first this summer when both the men and women tee it up in the U.S. Open in consecutive weeks at the Donald Ross gem Pinehurst No. 2.
And get this: The USGA also announced during a media conference on Monday that the rough will be non-existent, or at least as golf fans have come to expect rough to be at one of the sports marquee events. Typically, the rough is one of the trademarks of any U.S. Open, placing a premium on hitting it long and straight.
Not this year. The USGA wants the famed turtleback greens at No. 2 to be the star of the show, as well as the natural landscape of the course, which has been restored to its original design by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore.
“For the first time in the history of the U.S. Open, which goes back to 1895, we’re going to be playing a U.S. Open with no rough to speak of, at least the way most of us think of rough as grass,” said Mike Davis, the Executive Director of the USGA at a news conference on Monday. “It is going to be very unique. It is going to be great for television. There are only two mowing heights out there. There will be the height the cut the fairways and the height they cut the greens. We’ve never encountered something like that for a U.S. Open.”
The men will tee it up at No. 2 from June 12-15, and the women will follow the next week. The course will play 7,562 yards for the men and 6,649 for the women with par being 70 for both.
“It’s certainly an unprecedented event,” Davis said. “The course has been restored back to its origins and we are looking forward to the events.”
It will be the third time No. 2 has hosted the U.S. Open for men and the first for the women. Payne Stewart famously held off Phil Mickelson to win the championship in 1999, and Michael Campbell turned back Tiger Woods to win in 2005.