By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Seeking to be more in tune with the course’s original design and less concerned with how green and well-conditioned a course appears on television, Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina went back to what is looking like the future for many courses.
Less water is used to keep fairways in perfect, emerald condition coupled with less maintenance needed to keep up areas of the course.
This appears to be where golf courses are going to be taken as droughts worsen, particularly in the Southwest United States.
A more in-depth story on the changes to Pinehurst No. 2 and what that means for next year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay near Tacoma, is found on Page B3.
Defending U.S. Open champion Justin Rose and 155 fellow competitors will try to get the better of the challenging layout in the Sandhills area of south-central North Carolina beginning Thursday.
Next week, in the U.S. Women’s Open, defending champion Inbee Park and her 155 fellow competitors will be tested on the layout designed by famed course architect Donald Ross.
Pinehurst No. 2 is no stranger to majors, having hosted six, including the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens won by the late Payne Stewart and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell.
The obvious concern is wear and tear on the course damaging the playability of the course for the women’s event.
The field will create ample divots in the fairways, and galleries that are expected to reach 30,000 per day may trample some sections.
United States Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis feels the worrying is for naught.
He feels the differences in setup between the two tournaments, with the ladies playing from a different set of tee boxes and reaching lesser-used portions of the fairways, will keep play out of areas of the course stressed by players and fans the week before.
“We do not think divots will be a part of the story [during the U.S. Women’s Open],” Davis said.
“We realize the risks, but there is so much upside [to hosting two majors in a row],” Davis said.
U.S. Open at Disco Bay
Discovery Bay Golf Course near Port Townsend will offer up a firm and fast test of golf for area players this weekend, in line with the tough task ahead of U.S. Open athletes.
“We will be double mowing and rolling the greens to make them true and fast, but we will skip the long rough that makes even the pros go crazy,” course manager Randy White said.
“The weather has cooperated, and, after all, it is the U.S. Open week.
“So we are doing our best to present a challenging layout that everyone can play.”
Green fees are set for $10 Saturday. Since the course is 89 years old this month, the 89-cent anniversary hot dog special will continue on Saturday (while supplies last).
To honor dads on Fathers Day on Sunday, dads can play free with their child, or dads can enjoy a two-for-one special with their significant other.
White said the grounds crew will have the course in excellent condition on both days.
I would say even more excellent condition since things are pretty stellar out there right now.
White suggests calling in for a tee time as soon as possible if you would like to use a cart.
Phone the course at 360-385-0704.
Pirate tourney a hit
The team of Terry Miwongtunm, Malone Aumocalogue, Brian Early, Brian Saxwwold and Mike Kerns shot a 22-under-par 50 to win the 2014 Peninsula College Golf Tournament, held recently at Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course.
“A tip of the cap to tournament directors Mitch Freeman and Fred Harrison for putting together the most successful golf tournament in Peninsula College’s history,” said college director of athletics Rick Ross.
“Jerry Allen and his team at 7 Cedars Casino underwrote the whole thing, the community came out in force, and we were able to raise a bunch of cash for athletic scholarships.”
The field of 130 golfers included two professionals, and one area celebrity — Bernie Fryer, who was visiting the Peninsula from his home in Arizona.
Fryer, who has enjoyed a very successful career as an NBA official, was recently inducted into the Peninsula College and the NWAACC Hall of Fame along with his 1970 Pirate basketball team.
Second place in the scramble-format tournament was the team of Tim Adams, Kris Adams, Paul Reed and Bill Evans with a 54.
The top co-ed team with a 61 was made up of Janet Gray, Jon Gray, Art Green and Erin Green.
“A lot of volunteers and some very generous sponsors made this tournament a success,” Ross said.
“We raised about $10,000 for scholarships. I couldn’t be happier.
“We are very blessed to work in a community that truly embraces community college athletics. Our championship trophies are a direct result of that support.”
Sponsors included Barhop Brewing, Drake’s Pizza and Subs, Gordy’s Pizza, Next Door Gastropub, Sequim Health and Rehabilitation, Swain’s General Store and Windermere Real Estate, as well as individual sponsors Dave Brasher, Jim Jones and Bill Peterson.
Cedars at Dungeness will recognize Fathers Day with $15 green fees and $15 cart rentals on Sunday.
Players also can pick up a Cedars logo hat for $15 — or get all three for the reduced rate of $40.
Stymie’s Bar and Grill at the course will have a Fathers Day brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner service from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Save the date
The second annual Friends of Olympic Christian School (FOCS) Charity Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, July 19, at Cedars at Dungeness.
A total of $40,000 in prizes, including shots at two big hole-in-one prizes, are available.
The cost is $90, which includes green fees, cart, range balls and lunch.
A scramble format with a 9 a.m. shotgun start planned.
There will be two divisions: a low gross and an OCS Eagle flight.
Register online at www.olympicchristian.org, or phone 360-808-7355.
Port Townsend golf
Port Townsend Golf Club will host the Port Townsend High School Alumni Association’s four-person scramble tourney this Saturday.
Cost is $40 per player and $25 for recent grads and high school students.
There’s no need to be a PTHS graduate to play in the event, which raises funds for student scholarships.
Port Townsend Golf Club also will celebrate the summer solstice on June 21 with nine holes of golf for $9.17, or play as many holes as you wish for $16.51 plus tax.
Nine-hole skins games are available all day on Thursdays and Saturdays for $10, plus reduced green fees for nonmembers.
Phone the course at 360-385-4547 for more info.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.