The famous Pinehurst resort in North Carolina has announced it is converting the greens on Pinehurst No. 1 to MiniVerde ultradwarf Bermuda grass, with the aim of enhancing conditions in the summer.
The project, which began in July and is scheduled to be finished in September, also includes construction of a new par three, which will become the course's ninth hole, and a minor rerouting that will make the par five seventeenth the new finishing hole. The existing par three eighteenth will be taken out of play.
The new ninth was recommended and designed by Bill Coore, who, along with design partner Ben Crenshaw, handled the recent restoration of Pinehurst No. 2. To accommodate the new ninth, which will measure 109-148 yards, the old par three eighteenth hole been eliminated.
“We’re always looking for ways to deliver the best experience possible for our guests and members,’’ said Pinehurst president Don Padgett II. “This conversion will allow them to play the firm and fast conditions they expect, even during summer’s extreme heat.”
Pinehurst arrived at the decision following considerable research and evaluation of different turf strains, as well as how other southeast courses have fared in the adoption of heat-tolerant grasses. What sets Bermuda apart from bentgrass, particularly in the North Carolina Sandhills, is a heartier root structure that stands up better to disease, moisture and extreme heat – delivering firm and fast conditions during longer portions of the year.
This strain handles foot traffic better, recovers from injury better and shows remarkably few ball marks. The greens conditions on No. 1 will be better than they’ve ever been,” said Bob Farren, Pinehurst’s director of grounds and golf course maintenance. “