Pinehurst Returning to Normal After US Open


Three weeks ago, business executives sat in the exclusive tent village watching the U.S. Open on flat-screen television. Now, dead trees and chunks of brick stand in their place.
The work on returning Pinehurst No. 2 to its everyday form is well underway and ahead of schedule, said Reg Jones, championship director for the 2005. He has turned to planning for the U.S. Women's Open at nearby Pine Needles Resort in 2007.
Crews have removed the grandstands, and most of the tent villages and television towers are gone.
Some of the U.S. Open's signature white rocking chairs and other pieces of furniture have been sold, and interns have spent their final week at Pinehurst boxing up the 5,500 uniforms worn by volunteers during the tournament.
Cleaning up is more difficult than setting up, Jones said. The excitement from a month ago is gone, and most of the championship staff has left.
'I think there is a hangover,' Jones said. 'After the championship is sort of a letdown. Then you realize you have just as much work to do as you had before.'
Pinehurst's tennis courts should reopen this week, Jones said. Pinehurst No. 1, which was partially paved over for the championship, should be ready for play in August.
The U.S. Open attracted about 45,000 golf fans and volunteers to Pinehurst from June 13-19. The championship course has been booked solid since the Open ended.
On Thursday, amateurs from golf resorts across the country held a tournament at Pinehurst. Vince Colorito said he had an easier time playing the course than he expected.
The golf course also has attracted some curious tourists, such as Ron Lee, who came from Virginia Beach, Va. One of the first things he did was reach down and touch the grass.
'This was what's on TV,' Lee told his wife, Carolyn.
The resort has even received inquiries from people in New Zealand, home of U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell.
Tourists have also visited the Pinehurst Village, keeping local shops busier than normal. Since the tournament, Pinehurst residents say, they have seen more out-of-towners visiting the village.