An Inspiring Story of Revivalism, Ecology and Sustainability


Pinehurst No. 2 is one of the most famous golf courses in the world. Designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1907, its storied history includes hosting many championship tournaments.

The historic restoration of Pinehurst No. 2

Restoring an Original Design


In 2011, Pinehurst embarked on an ambitious restoration project aimed at returning the course to its original intended design circa 1948, complete with indigenous native grasses, fewer acres of turf under intensive management, and sustainable pest management techniques. Following the naturally inspired design, concrete paths throughout the course were replaced with gravel and sand.

The historic restoration of Pinehurst No. 2

To help them achieve this undertaking, Pinehurst solicited support from North Carolina State University (NCSU) ecologists to better understand the diversity of plant species in reclaimed native areas and the implications for course management. Working with Bayer, its industry partner, the Bayer-sponsored NCSU team helped Pinehurst develop a seasonal plan that included educational tools and recommended agronomic practices to ensure the identification and appropriate management of native plant species while maintaining the degree of difficulty in play desired.

The historic restoration of Pinehurst No. 2

Sustainability in Mind


In addition to returning Pinehurst No. 2 to its traditional design, the restoration has also served as a model for golf course sustainability, illustrating the complexity of managing not just turf but also an entire course ecosystem. This management includes selecting the right portfolio of native species that will weather seasonal changes and identifying best practices for optimizing the health of natural areas and turf alike. At a time when America’s golf course superintendents are increasingly being asked to manage courses in a way that reduces playing time to accommodate busy members, conserves and protects natural resources, and lowers operating costs – all without sacrificing playability, Pinehurst No. 2 serves as a valuable example of progress and innovation in the golf industry.

The historic restoration of Pinehurst No. 2

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