The 17th hole at Pinehurst No. 2.
Pinehurst Resort
Friday, April 16, 2010

Ask golfers to describe America's greatest courses and they'll weep about "Wow!" holes like the seventh at Pebble Beach. Pinehurst No. 2 has no signature hole and no breathtaking aesthetics, but it proves that a course can be much greater than its individual holes.

You can land a jumbo jet on the generous fairways without dislodging a pinecone, but No. 2 is the toughest course on the planet from within 50 yards of the greens, which are tougher to hold than a nervous turkey on Thanksgiving. It takes only one chip shot rolling back to your feet to have confidence replaced by doubt and despair.

So what if it lacks the scenic splendor of other top courses? No. 2 might be the finest test of championship golf anywhere, a course that defends itself through greens that gently draw blood in 18 different ways, and not by having to bastardize the fundamental design every time the pros come to town. - Eamon Lynch Course Finder: See the complete profile

Have you been to Pinehurst? Have you played No. 2? Tell us about your experience in the comments field at the bottom of this page.\n

From the SI Vault
In 1999, Payne Stewart became the first golfer to win the U.S. Open with two different personalities. Those who know and love him say the 42-year-old Missourian used to be "rude" (his mother), "arrogant" (his wife), "impatient and not very self-confident" (his caddie), "anxious and hyper" (his sports shrink) and an all-around Payne in the ass (Stewart himself). That describes the fellow who won the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine. He bore no resemblance at all to the chap who won the Open on Sunday, slipping past his playing partner, Phil Mickelson, by a stroke in a Father's Day scramblefest on the famed and treacherous Pinehurst No. 2 course.
Read all of John Garrity's story from June 28, 1999
Read every Pinehurst article ever written for Sports Illustrated

In 2005, Michael Campbell became a major championship winner with a harmless bogey on the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2, but he was formally welcomed into the exclusive club of Grand Slam tournament victors a few minutes later in the men's room of the Pinehurst clubhouse. Campbell had retreated to the locker room moments after the final putt to make an emotional phone call to his wife, Julie, who was at home in England with their two young sons. After hanging up, Campbell ducked into a deserted bathroom to gather himself for the trophy presentation. He reached the sink, splashed water on his face for a while, and upon straightening up he got a jolt at the sight of the man standing next to him. This dude, wearing Nike running shoes and a cap jauntily pushed back on his forehead, was gargling mouthwash with gusto. After spitting it out, Tiger Woods turned to Campbell and said, "Hey, Michael, how ya doin'?"
Read all of Alan Shipnuck's story from June 27, 2005
Read every Pinehurst article ever written for Sports Illustrated

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