Pinehurst's charm? No condos, rubber birds

July 03, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Leave it to Lee Trevino to put Pinehurst No. 2 in its proper golf course perspective.

Reminded he had spoken glowingly of the Donald Ross creation earlier in the week, professional golf's resident jokester and chatterbox was asked what, in his mind, made it so special.

"No condominiums around it," Trevino declared. "When you look across the fairways you can see players on two, three other holes. You're not looking at some big dog going 'woof, woof,' over there. No swimming pools or fences, or all that stuff in somebody's yard.

"That is what makes this golf course so great. You go out there and it is quiet. All you can hear are the birds chirping. And you don't see any rubber flamingos in back yards."

Actually, little has changed since Ross, a native of Dornoch, Scotland, came to this country in 1899, and to Pinehurst in 1900, where he remained until his death in 1948.

Ross, generally considered the finest golf course designer, received his first lessons in the art from Old Tom Morris while a teen-ager working as a clubmaker at St. Andrews.

Later, he would incorporate what he had learned -- the sweeps and sudden changes in elevation, along with blending greens into the natural terrain -- into his own thoughts on the subject. The results were some of this country's finest courses; such traditional landmarks as Inverness, Oak Hill, Oakland Hills and Seminole.

Unquestionably, though, Pinehurst No. 2 is the crown jewel. Although he did the resort's No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 courses, too, it was to No. 2 that he devoted years of shaping and reshaping.

Today, nearly 50 years after his death, the course -- a blend of natural beauty and creative design -- remains a monument to his craftsmanship.

Keeping sharp

Although his start in last week's Senior Players Championship was Bruce Lehnhard's first PGA Senior Tour appearance of the season, it has still been a busy season for the former two-time Middle Atlantic PGA Player of the Year from Fairfax, Va.

"I've been trying the Monday qualifiers [for the tour events], and have played five of those Senior Series [a schedule of tournaments for the non-qualifiers and those getting ready for the fall qualifying school].

"I was seventh in each of the last two before Detroit [the Players Championship], and I've made about $7,500."

At the TPC of Michigan in Dearborn, Lehnhard tied for 39th on a 293 total that included a third-round 77. He collected $7,140.

A fine line

A statement by Mike McGinnis, head pro at Holly Hills CC in Ijamsville, summed up the different approaches to the two PGA tours.

"I don't mean it to sound cocky, but my goal is to win the Senior Open. When I played in the Kemper Open, my goal was to make the cut.

"I tried qualifying for some of the Senior Tour events in Florida last winter, and I honestly believe I'm as good as those guys."

That might not have been true in 1991, when McGinnis shot 81-78 at Oakland Hills in his only other Senior Open appearance, but for this week, at least, he showed he is capable of doing it by making the cut.

Preparing for 1995

A delegation from Congressional CC in Bethesda was on hand this week getting a firsthand look at the inner workings of this championship.

The Maryland club will be the site of next year's championship, June 29-July 2.

Miscellaneous

Alan Zimmerman, 20, of Walkersville has been named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American. He recently completed his second year at Frederick Community College and will attend Old Dominion University in the fall.

Former Orioles pitcher Dave McNally will be in the field for the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship, Thursday through next Sunday, at Lake Tahoe, Nev.

There will be 75 athletes and entertainers, including last year's winner, Rick Rhoden, competing at scratch in the 72-hole tournament.

This week's schedule

Today -- Maryland Amateur Stroke Play, Mount Pleasant, 7 a.m. Friday -- Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Bowie G&CC, 8 a.m.

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