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Pinehurst Resort converting greens back to Bermuda grass

Pinehurst No. 8
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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 12: Lexi Thompson of USA plays her approaching shot to the 18th hole during day three of the Sime Darby LPGA at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on October 12, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)  - 

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – More changes are coming to the historic Pinehurst No. 2

The famed Donald Ross design – which was completely restored by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2011 – will receive new Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda grass greens once the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open crown winners next June.

Purists shouldn’t worry about the course’s fantastic Ross greens being altered in any way. The turf will be planted using the “no-till” process and will not require excavation of the greens or any changes in the contours.

Pinehurst No. 2 is the fourth major tournament venue in the southeast to move away from bent grass greens, following the Atlanta Athletic Club and East Lake Golf Club, both in Georgia, and the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. Pinehurst has already converted the greens on three of its courses: No. 1, No. 3 and No. 8.

Last week, I got a sneak peek at the future by playing No. 8, which reopened in July after its conversion. As expected, the greens rolled pure and true. Like any northerner, I had trouble reading the putts into the grain, but overall, the new surfaces were a pleasure to putt.

Over the last decade, new strains of ultradwarf Bermuda grasses have been installed on more than 530 courses in 16 states, especially in the southeast where hot summers and cold winter nights can wreak havoc on bent grass. Bermuda stays durable by maintaining high density during extreme temperatures and at low mowing heights. That combination delivers smooth, consistent surfaces year round.

'We’re always looking to enhance the Pinehurst golf experience, and these conversions will allow our members and guests to experience championship conditions for even longer portions of the year and regardless of weather,' Pinehurst President Don Padgett II said in a statement.

Video: Ginella on golf in Pinehurst