June 15, 2009

US Open Doubleheader in 2014 - Another Coup For North Carolina Golf

Here in Raleigh, NC we have a plethora of golf choices -- more public golf than one can swing a stick at, and a mere 40 minute drive from one of the true Meccas of the game: the Pinehurst/Southern Pines area. We've seen a number of US Opens lately here -- two men's and three women's Opens in the past fifteen years, not to mention Champions and Nationwide events besides. But we've never seen anything like this: Pinehurst #2 will likely host the Men's and the Women's US Open back-to-back in consecutive weeks in 2014.

Ron Sirak of Golfworld reports:

"Barring one hurdle expected to be resolved Monday morning, the 2014 men's and women's U.S. Open will be played on Pinehurst No. 2 on consecutive weeks, multiple sources told Golf World. The U.S. Open will be conducted June 12-15 and the U.S. Women's Open will be played June 19-22, marking the first time the two national championships will be contested on the same course in back-to-back weeks.

"The announcement is planned for Wednesday by the USGA at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black outside New York City, the sources said. Sources familiar with the situation said "there is one issue on a local level that needs to be resolved or it could all fall apart." The fact that the move would result in winners all around -- the USGA, the Pinehurst Resort, the community of Pinehurst as well and men's and women's golf -- suggests the local issues will be resolved."

If this comes to pass, and the 2014 U.S. Women's Open is held on the venerable Donald Ross design, Pinehurst No. 2 will become the first and only course to host the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur, along with the North and South Amateur, the Macgladry and numerous other events.

The Pinehurst resort iteself has eight championship-caliber courses, and is on the same street as Pine Needles Golf Club, home of three women's US Opens. If there is a Rodeo Drive of Golf, it is without doubt Midland Road -- a road one could spend a lifetime traveling up and down and playing some of the best golf courses in the world.

And people ask me why I rarely go to Myrtle Beach (which I can drive to in less than two hours) to play golf. Why bother? I would pass too many truly great courses on the way.

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