Still basking in the success of hosting the U.S. Open and the Women’s Open in consecutive weeks last summer, Pinehurst Resort and Country Club landed another prestigious U.S. Golf Association event Tuesday night.
The USGA and Pinehurst announced that the resort will host the U.S. Amateur in 2019, using the No. 2 and No. 8 courses for stroke-play qualifying and the No. 2 course for match play, the Donald Ross track that was the venue for the U.S. Open in 1999, 2005 and 2014.
Pinehurst hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2008 using the No. 2 and No. 4 courses for stroke play and No. 2 for match play. It also hosted the event in 1962.
This is the second USGA event on the schedule for Pinehurst, which will host the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball in 2017, the third edition of that new tournament.
With the long-rumored U.S. Amateur officially headed to Pinehurst, attention now turns to the return of the U.S. Open. In June, outgoing Pinehurst president Don Padgett II said he expected it wouldn’t be long.
“Do we know exactly which year? No,” Padgett said. “But they’re coming back, and we’ll probably host an Amateur before we host an Open.”
The USGA has awarded Opens through 2021, with The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., expected to host in 2022 and Los Angeles Country Club in 2023.
Also on the Sandhills golf radar: The Women’s Open could return to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club for a fourth time at some point in that rough time frame, potentially as early as 2020.
DeCock: @LukeDeCock or 919-829-8947
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/golf/article20794515.html#storylink=cpy
February 5, 2016
FAR HILLS, N.J.
The United States Golf Association today announced Chicago Golf Club, in Wheaton, Ill., and Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, in Southern Pines, N.C., as the host sites of the inaugural 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship and 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, respectively.
“The USGA is proud to realize its vision of hosting national championships for players of all age demographics, and we are thrilled that the first two editions of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be contested at two of the most respected courses in the United States,” said USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., who announced the establishment of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in February 2015. “We hope this championship will inspire generations of female golfers to continue competing at the highest level long into their careers.”
The championship will be open to professional females, and amateur females with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4, who have reached their 50th birthday as of the first day of the championship. The field will include 120 players, who will earn entry into the championship via sectional qualifying at sites nationwide or through an exemption category, the details of which will be announced at a later date.
The format will mirror that of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open championships: a walking-only, 72-hole stroke play competition over four consecutive days with a 36-hole cut to the top 60 players, including ties. Prize money will be announced at a later date.
The first U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be contested July 12-15, 2018 at Chicago Golf Club, one of the five founding clubs of the USGA and the oldest golf club in the U.S. in continuous use at the same location. The club was founded in 1893 by Charles Blair Macdonald, who won the inaugural U.S. Amateur in 1895. The original 18-hole course was renovated in 1923 by Seth Raynor and remains largely unchanged today.
This will be Chicago Golf Club’s 12th USGA championship. The club hosted its first two USGA championships in 1897 – the U.S. Open, won by Joe Lloyd, and the U.S. Amateur, won by H.J. Whigham. It also hosted the 1900 U.S. Open, won by Harry Vardon, a six-time winner of the Open Championship, conducted by The R&A, and the 1911 U.S. Open, won by 19-year-old John J. McDermott, who survived a three-man playoff to become the championship’s first American winner. Additional USGA championships contested at the club include: the U.S. Amateur (1905, 1909 and 1912), U.S. Women’s Amateur (1903), U.S. Senior Amateur (1979), and two Walker Cup Matches, both won by the USA Team (1928 and 2005).
“As a founding member of the USGA, Chicago Golf Club is honored to support the USGA’s newest championship by hosting the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open,” said Brad Kinsey, president of Chicago Golf Club. “We look forward to making this, our 12th USGA championship, an exceptional event for players and spectators alike.”
The 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, the 61st USGA championship to be contested in Illinois, will be the state’s first Open championship since the 2003 U.S. Open, won by Jim Furyk at Olympia Fields Country Club. The 2015 U.S. Amateur, won by Bryson DeChambeau and also played at Olympia Fields, was the most recent USGA championship played in Illinois.
Pine Needles will host the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open from May 16-19. Designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1928, the course was most recently renovated in 2004 by John Fought, who oversaw the restoration of greens and bunkers to their original forms with the aid of vintage aerial photos.
This will be the sixth USGA championship contested at Pine Needles and the first since the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Cristie Kerr. The club, owned by women’s golf advocate, instructor and former LPGA Tour player Peggy Kirk Bell, also hosted the 1996 and 2001 U.S. Women’s Opens, won by Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb, respectively. Additionally, the 1989 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 1991 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championships were contested at Pine Needles.
“On behalf of the Bell family and our entire community, Pine Needles is thrilled the USGA has accepted our invitation to host the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship,” said Kelly Miller, president of Pine Needles. “Having hosted three previous U.S. Women’s Opens, we look forward to seeing some familiar faces and welcoming all competitors to this new USGA championship. I’m confident our Donald Ross-designed course will identify another great champion.”
This will be the 32nd USGA championship contested in North Carolina, which most recently hosted the historic back-to-back 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open championships at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, in the Village of Pinehurst. Upcoming USGA championships in the Tar Heel State include the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and the 2019 U.S. Amateur, both at Pinehurst, and the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Charlotte Country Club.
The U.S. Open keeps coming back to Pinehurst.
The U.S. Golf Association officially announced Wednesday that the 2024 U.S. Open would be played on the No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, marking the fourth time in 25 years that Pinehurst will host the major championship.
The announcement came barely a year after Pinehurst hosted both the 2014 U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open in back-to-back weeks, an unprecedented coupling. While the USGA does not have an official rotation of U.S. Open courses, Pinehurst No. 2 now has been the choice for the 1999, 2005, 2014 and 2024 Opens.
“It’s very important to continue to host a U.S. Open. It’s something that continues to make Pinehurst relevant to each new generation.”
Pashley said there had been no discussions with the USGA about hosting the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open in another Open doubleheader.
In the 1999 Open, the late Payne Stewart won with a par putt on the final hole, edging Phil Mickelson and striking a victory pose for the ages.
Pinehurst quickly was awarded the 2005 U.S. Open, won by Michael Campbell of New Zealand in a last-day duel with Tiger Woods. Martin Kaymer of Germany was a runaway winner in the U.S. Open last year, and Michelle Wie scored her breakthrough victory in a major championship by winning the U.S. Women’s Open seven days later.
“The thrill of hosting an Open never goes away,” Pashley said. “There are distinct memories from each Open. I remember last year feeling so proud of having so many people at Pinehurst, so many talking about Pinehurst. We’re in it and around it every day, but when the world sees it, it’s invigorating.
“Each Open carves out its own identity, its own memories. It should be that way in 2024.”
Pinehurst officials were expecting the USGA to break the news on the 2024 Open with its announcement this week. But the Pinehurst Village Council voted last week to approve a licensing agreement with the USGA for the 2024 championship. The agreement will include a payment of $350,000 by the USGA to the council.
“We are absolutely pleased to partner again with the USGA,” Pinehurst mayor Nancy Fiorillo said last week.
The USGA on Wednesday announced the sites for three U.S. Opens: The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. (2022, Los Angeles Country Club (2023) and Pinehurst. The 2024 Open will be played June 13-16.
“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places in golf in this country,” USGA president Thomas O’Toole said in a statement. “Some say it’s our St. Andrews — it’s certainly something special, and that’s why we’re going back there for the 2024 U.S. Open.”
Having the 2014 Opens in back-to-back weeks was an economic boon. There was $140 million in visitor spending, with an economic impact of more than $238 million over a 26-county region.
Pashley didn’t completely rule out a U.S. Open-U.S. Women’s Open repeat in 2024. He noted the USGA typically makes an announcement on a U.S. Women’s Open site about two years after its U.S. Open selection, but added, “We’ve had no conversations at this point.”
Pinehurst will host a pair of USGA events before the 2024 Open. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be played in 2017 and the U.S. Amateur will return in 2019.
Pinehurst No. 2, the Donald Ross masterpiece, underwent an extensive renovation before the 2014 Opens. The golf design team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore narrowed fairways and added more natural areas and native grasses to give No. 2 a more rustic look.
The bent-grass greens on No. 2 then were replaced by Champion bermuda grass soon after the championships.
“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places in golf in this country,” USGA president Thomas O’Toole said in a statement. “Some say it’s our St. Andrews — it’s certainly something special, and that’s why we’re going back there for the 2024 U.S. Open.”
Pressed to pick an early-line favorite for the 2024 U.S. Open, Pashley said Mickelson and Woods should have aged out but noted Jordan Spieth, this year’s U.S. Open champ, will be just 30.
“In theory he should be in his prime, and there’s no telling how many Opens he may have won by then,” Pashley said.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/other-sports/article28255210.html#storylink=cpy
July 22, 2015
FAR HILLS, N.J.
Three outstanding venues in three distinct regions of the U.S. were part of a landmark announcement today, as the USGA awarded the 2022, 2023 and 2024 U.S. Open Championships to The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Los Angeles (Calif.) Country Club and Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., respectively.
“We are elated to host our national championship at these three historic venues,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., president of the USGA. “Each one is located in an area where golf and sports are celebrated, and we have already felt tremendous community support. We look forward to the test of golf that each of these classic designs will present to the world’s best players.”
The 2022 U.S. Open, to be held June 16-19, will be the fourth U.S. Open at The Country Club, which most recently hosted the 2013 U.S. Amateur, won by Matthew Fitzpatrick, of England.
“We are thrilled to bring the 122nd U.S. Open Championship to such a storied golf course and a great club, one of the five clubs that founded the USGA in 1894,” said O’Toole. “Arguably the most significant event in American golf happened there in 1913, when the young local amateur Francis Ouimet defeated the top pros of the day, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, in the first U.S. Open played at The Country Club.”
The 2022 U.S. Open will be the 17th USGA championship hosted by The Country Club, second-most among U.S. clubs to Merion, with 18. The three previous U.S. Opens conducted at the club – all of which were decided in 18-hole playoffs – were in 1913 (won by Ouimet), 1963 (won by Julius Boros) and 1988 (won by Curtis Strange).
Other USGA championships played at the club include five U.S. Amateurs (1910, 1922, 1934, 1957 and 1982), as well as the 1902, 1941 and 1995 U.S. Women’s Amateurs, the 1932 and 1973 Walker Cup Matches, the 1953 U.S. Girls’ Junior and the 1968 U.S. Junior Amateur. It also hosted the 1999 Ryder Cup, won by the USA in a rousing final-day rally capped by Justin Leonard’s clinching putt.
“The Country Club has a long-standing, valued partnership with the United States Golf Association, so our membership is very excited and proud to have been chosen as the host site of the 2022 U.S. Open,” said Will Fulton, The Country Club’s general chairman for the 2022 U.S. Open. “We have been fortunate to have held 16 USGA events and to have witnessed some of golf’s great moments. Along with our gracious co-hosts, the Town of Brookline, we look forward to welcoming golf fans from New England and around the world.”
The 2023 U.S. Open will be held June 15-18, and Los Angeles Country Club will become just the third U.S. Open venue in Southern California, joining Riviera Country Club in nearby Pacific Palisades (1948) and Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego (2008, 2021).
“This George Thomas-designed gem, the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club, was recently restored by Gil Hanse, architect of the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro,” said O’Toole. “It’s a perfect opportunity to take the U.S. Open to Los Angeles.”
The 2023 U.S. Open will be the fourth USGA championship at the club, which hosted the 1930 U.S. Women’s Amateur (won by six-time champion Glenna Collett Vare over three-time winner Virginia Van Wie) and the 1954 U.S. Junior Amateur (won by Foster Bradley Jr. over Al Geiberger). It will also host the 2017 Walker Cup Match, which is scheduled for Sept. 9-10.
“The city loves to host major events,” said John Chulick, club president. “This region, not having hosted the U.S. Open for 75 years, will be ecstatic about this.”
The 2024 U.S. Open, to be held June 13-16 on Pinehurst’s Course No. 2, will mark the fourth U.S. Open and 11th USGA championship at the historic venue. In addition to the unprecedented back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in June 2014, won by Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie, the USGA has conducted these national championships at Pinehurst No. 2: the 1962 U.S. Amateur (won by Labron Harris Jr.); the 1989 U.S. Women’s Amateur (won by Vicki Goetze-Ackerman); the 1994 U.S. Senior Open (won by Simon Hobday); the 1999 U.S. Open (won by Payne Stewart); the 2005 U.S. Open (won by Michael Campbell) and the 2008 U.S. Amateur (won by Danny Lee).
“Pinehurst has elevated itself to one of the great and historic places in golf in this country,” said O’Toole. “Some say it’s our St. Andrews – it’s certainly something special, and that’s why we’re going back there for the 2024 U.S. Open.”
Prior to the 2024 U.S. Open, Pinehurst will host the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be named as the site for the 2024 U.S. Open,” said Tom Pashley, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club president. “We take great pride in our relationship with the USGA and feel fortunate they have chosen to bring the national championship back to Pinehurst for the fourth time in just 25 years.”
|2016 (June 16-19)||Oakmont Country Club||Oakmont, Pa.|
|2017 (June 15-18)||Erin Hills||Erin, Wis.|
|2018 (June 14-17)||Shinnecock Hills Golf Club||Southampton, N.Y.|
|2019 (June 13-16)||Pebble Beach Golf Links||Pebble Beach, Calif.|
|2020 (June 18-21)||Winged Foot Golf Club||Mamaroneck, N.Y.|
|2021 (June 17-20)||Torrey Pines Golf Course||San Diego, Calif.|
|2022 (June 16-19)||The Country Club||Brookline, Mass.|
|2023 (June 15-18)||Los Angeles Country Club||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|2024 (June 13-16)||Pinehurst Resort & Country Club||Village of Pinehurst, N.C.|
Until recently, only property owners of Mid South and Talamore could enjoy the club’s membership. Now, for the first time, a limited number of non-property owners will have access to one of the area’s premier club membership opportunities.
A limited number of “Magnolia Memberships” will be made available to non-property owners. Opening the membership to non-property owners is among a series of recent changes at the two clubs off Midland Road in Southern Pines.
For starters, there is the newly renamed “King’s Course” at Mid South, the only Arnold Palmer Signature course in the Sandhills. Palmer’s masterpiece has been high on everyone’s list of great courses in the area, including one Pinehurst magazine that gave it the ranking of “No. 1 Private Course in the Area.”
This summer, the King’s Course got new Champion Bermuda greens along with a host of other course renovations.
“The greens restoration is nothing short of a watershed event,” said General Manager Matt Hausser. “Some greens increased in size by as much as 40 percent, as the many years of Bermuda encroachment were removed and the greens have been restored to their original shape and size. It’s incredible. All of the greens had shrunken to oval shape because of the Bermuda encroachment. We now have fingers and approach areas that we never knew existed. The opportunity for many unique pin placements will make the course even more fun and challenging.”
Along with the green’s renovation is a Mid South clubhouse overhaul.
“Our membership has grown in a lot of new directions over the past several years and the Clubhouse needed to move with the times,” said Hausser.
The back porch has now been enclosed to include a new bar, which has indoor and outdoor seating and big screen TVs for sporting events.
The main floor receives a full cosmetic overhaul with new furniture, flooring and a few other surprise touches to give it a unique and updated feel. Also in store is a dedicated kids area for members, which will have PlayStations, Nintendo, comfortable beanbag seating and more. “Members will be able to visit the club and feel comfortable to enjoy their time while the kids can do their thing,” said Hausser.
A new deck with pergola covered seating, outdoor living spaces with fire-pits geared up for “S’mores Night” are also in store. Upstairs at Mid South is the adult’s only Crow’s Nest, which boasts the finest views and bartending in the area. Comfortable seating indoors and out make this the ultimate private club hangout out.
“The new Clubhouse features along with our renowned Crow’s Nest are in keeping with where private Clubs need to be,” said Hausser. “It’s all about quality time with friends and family. The Club is the center of their universe and needs to have the facilities to pull it off.”
At Talamore, the Rees Jones masterpiece is coming off its acclaimed course and greens renovation also with Champion Bermuda. The New Course at Talamore is being heralded as whole new playing experience.
“It has been an incredible year,” said Tag Leon, Talamore’s Manager. “I have been here for 15 years and in the golf business all my life and never seen anything like it. We removed 75 bunkers, enhanced cart path access to all holes, improved walk on and off to greens, and of course added our new signature sod wall bunkers. Members and guests are thrilled with the new experience.”
Talamore also received a major clubhouse renovation that included an expanded bar, enclosed rear patio, and comfortable seating with a unique new old time, rustic feel. It’s now a whole new game at Talamore.
Alongside the Palmer and Jones’ centerpieces are a plethora of club amenities including two clubhouses, pools at both properties, Jacuzzis, kiddie pool, tennis, basketball and even pickle ball. More than 50 member-only social and golf events adorn an active, year-round calendar at the clubs. Member Guests, Men’s and Ladies Day, the club’s famous Putt-Putt, Casino night, Pumpkin Painting, Guest Chefs, Chili cook off and more provide something for all ages and tastes.
Members can also enjoy seamless privileges with Talamore’s two highly renowned clubs in Pennsylvania — Talamore Country Club and Applecross Country Club by the Nicklaus Design group. Championship golf, exceptional private club dining, pools, fitness and great local accommodations make Talamore’s pair of Pennsylvania clubs a unique and fun experience for all members. Members have access to all club events so they can plan their trip around special events at all the Talamore clubs.
For more information, call Tag Leon at 910-692-5884 x 127 or email@example.com.
Review of: Mid South Club
Played on 10/18/2017
“After renovation, certainly one of the best in the Sandhills”
Reviewed on 10/20/2017
I expected Mid South to be pretty good, but quite honestly, this exceeded my expectations. First off, it’s in perfect shape following the reopening in September after new Champion Bermuda greens were installed. The new greens recovered lost greens surface, but more than that, they rolled and looked perfect. As for the rest of the course, it was flawless as well, but even more importantly, this is a really fun course to play. Each hole has its own identity, there’s plenty of water and bunkers that come into play, and the course has more than its share of signature holes. The par-4 16th, with water off the tee and the approach, is one of the best, but I also liked the preceding par 5 as well as the finishing holes on both nines that share a common green.
Review of: Talamore Golf Club
Played on 10/19/2017
“Don’t skip Talamore on your trip to the NC Sandhills”
Reviewed on 10/23/2017
No doubt Talamore is one of the Sandhills hidden gems and better values. Renovated in 2016, this Rees Jones layout is solid in every way and in excellent shape, including the year-old Champion Bermuda greens. With plenty of elevation change, doglegs and terrific bunkering (adding sod wall bunkers were part of the renovation), Talamore is a really nice championship level course that is truly playable by all levels of golfers. It’s also a great starting or ending point for any trip to this year. For those on somewhat of a budget, Talamore Golf Resort offers terrific packages that can also include Talamore’s sister course, the wonderful Mid South Club, as well as nearby gems like Mid Pines and Pine Needles, which have also been perfectly restored. In addition, those staying at the resort get free breakfast and barbecue pork dinner on Thursday evenings.
Take a look at some beautful shots at Applecross Country Club, located in Downingtown, PA…a part of the Talamore Family.
Want more info? www.applecrosscc.com • 484-692-1010 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By Brad King
Less than five miles from the Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina, the “Birthplace of American Golf,’ a longtime local favorite recently underwent some dramatic improvements and upgrades. Talamore Golf Resort, which first made headlines for its famed stable of llama caddies and unparalleled customer service, has become one of the ‘ premier golf getaways. More than 90 percent of its customers return or refer new business to the resort.
Last summer, a quarter century after it first opened, the green complexes at Talamore were converted from bent grass to Champion Bermuda and have received rave reviews. The Talamore green complexes were restored to their original 1991 Rees Jones design by recapturing the ‘ surrounds. Talamore’ latest line of upgrades also included a renovation of the clubhouse and golf course – now appropriately names, The New Course at Talamore.
Talamore’ partner property, just across the road at the Arnold Palmer-designed Mid South Club, is undergoing a similar golf course restoration and greens conversion along with many other club enhancements.
Southern Pines resorts join numerous other Southeast golf courses converting to bermuda grass greens
By BRAD KING
When he was contemplating converting the green complexes at historic Pine Needles resort in Southern Pines from bentgrass to an ultra-dwarf strand of bermudagrass, Kelly Miller didn’t have to look far for a good sampling — just across Midland Road, in fact, to the Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club.
Miller, the longtime president and CEO of the company that owns and operates Pines Needles and Mid Pines — both designed by Donald Ross — was able to witness the advantages of bermudagrass first hand after Mid Pines underwent an extensive 2013 renovation headed by architect Kyle Franz. The greens were resurfaced with a mini-verde grass that has proven not only more manageable, but also capable of being cut to lower and faster levels — and far more heat tolerant during the steamy Sandhiils summers.
By all accounts, the Mid Pines renovation debuted to wide acclaim.
But for Miller, an accomplished competitor and knowledgeable Ross devotee, his wheels began turning long ago while playing two other historic courses further south — Country Club of Charleston in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where Miller had competed through the years in the prestigious Azalea Invitational, and Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., one of Ross’s most renowned designs, where Miller is a member.
“The bermudagrass greens at Country Club of Charleston might have been the best greens I ever putted on,” said Miller, who won the Azalea Invitational in 1995. “And Seminole has some of the best bermudagrass greens anywhere. I have become infatuated with them through the years.
“The greens at Mid Pines have turned out terrific. It has been a big success for us. That’s what we want to bring across the street.”
The Pine Needles greens were originally bermudagrass when the golf course opened in 1928, but like many golf clubs across the Southeast, the resort transitioned to the superior bent grass in the 1960s, when that strain became the industry rage. Miller said Pine Needles has been testing bermudagrass strains on their practice greens for several years.
Miller said the Pine Needles staff, headed by golf course superintendent Dave Fruchte, who has been at the resort since 1990, will begin work in late June and expect to have the new greens ready for play by the beginning of September. Miller and Fruchte have not decided yet which of the new ultra-dwarfs to use — Champion, MiniVerdi or Tifdwarf — but will make that decision soon.
“We haven’t made any official decisions, but I would say if we are leaning one way it’s probably toward Champion,” Miller said. “The bermudagrass (greens) are so much better now. You can get faster greens than the bentgrass; you get the firmness so you don’t get ball marks. And obviously you don’t worry about the things you have to worry about in the summertime, when it is 100 degrees and you’re worried about losing your greens. So you either cover them when it’s really cold in the wintertime or you’d work like crazy during the summer trying to keep them alive. They’ve made bermudagrass heartier during the years. When you do the conversion, you just don’t have to worry about anything.”
Pine Needles isn’t the only big-name golf course in Southern Pines that will be converting its greens to bermudagrass in 2016. Just two miles up Midland Road, Talamore Golf Resort is also making the transition. The Talamore project will commence in early May and is expected to be complete by mid July — in time for the annual U.S. Kids World Golf Championship held throughout the Sandhills, and for which Talamore is a host golf and lodging facility.
Designed by architect Rees Jones, who helped fine-tune Pinehurst No. 2 for the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens, Talamore opened in 1991. A course renowned for being both visually striking and enjoyably playable, the 7,020-yard layout was also made famous by instituting the first llama caddie program. Like Pine Needles, the Talamore Resort includes a sister course, Mid South Club, located across Midland Road.
Talamore debuted with the Penncross strain of bentgrass on its greens. After a quarter-century, the club began reviewing different renewal concepts. Talamore’s owner, Bob Levy, made the decision to convert to bermudagrass in large part based on the overwhelming success enjoyed by Mid Pines and some of the other local courses that have already made the transition.
Matt Hausser, Talamore’s director of golf operations, said that following a thorough review of the different strains, Talamore elected Champion bermudagrass. “Along with the smooth consistency, bermudagrass greens fare far better than bentgrass during the hot summer months around the Sandhills,” Hausser said.
Both Talamore and Pine Needles — which has been the site of numerous USGA and regional competitions, most notably the U.S. Women’s Opens in 1996, 2001 and 2007 — are expected to receive a boost from the new greens at the cash register, as well. Having greens that are at their best during the summer months and healthy year round allows an increase in the seasonality of the two resorts.
“During the summer when the greens were bentgrass we really had to manage our rounds,” Miller said. “In other words, in August, when it was really hot, we wouldn’t take a big event that would bring lots of players because your staff couldn’t get out there to properly water. Now, at Mid Pines we are looking at an August 2017 event that I would never have looked at before. Now we are actively searching out business during that time of the year. With bermudagrass, July and August are when the greens are in their best shape.
“The winters can be a bit more challenging with bermudagrass greens when extended low temperatures require us to cover the greens at night,” Miller said. “But the benefits of having outstanding bermudagrass greens in the summer far outweigh this winter inconvenience.”
It looks like the investment is already paying off as in February of this year, the USGA announced Pine Needles will host the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.