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Wie West Reveals Secret to Winning at Pinehurst No. 2

Last Updated: July, 8 2024
Wie West Reveals Secret to Winning at Pinehurst No. 2

Former U.S. Women's Open champion Michelle Wie West recently offered insight on conquering the challenging layout of Pinehurst Resort's famous No. 2 course. As the only player under par after capturing the 2014 title at Pinehurst, Wie West's win made her the lone expert on finding victory at the testing Donald Ross design.


Michelle Wie West won the 2014 U.S. Women's Open contested at Pinehurst No. 2.


Pinehurst No. 2 is renowned for its baked-out Bermuda grass, treacherous crosswinds and undulating greens protected by deep swales of sandy soil. These features combined with its subtleties have left a lasting mark - in three previous U.S. Opens, only four men have left under par.


Wie West concurs that taming Pinehurst requires an intensely complete performance. She said it's definitely one of the tougher golf courses she's played. Golfers really need to be on their game with every aspect of their game.


When asked for the key to winning, Wie West was unequivocal - emphasis must be placed on ending up on the proper side of each green. "Be on the right sides of the greens. Sometimes missing the greens is easier than being on the wrong side of the green," she explained.


While minor alterations have been made in the decade since, Wie West reports Pinehurst has only gotten more punitive. Increased wire grass and native area means accuracy is paramount. 


“I went back a few months ago and I was surprised at how grown in everything was,” Wie West said. “I feel like accuracy this year is going to be extremely important.”


With this year's U.S. Open men's championship teeing off, players would be wise to heed the counsel of Pinehurst's foremost authority on conquering this stern test.



Read more: Scheffler Reveals Keys to Hitting Draw at U.S. Open


What changes have been made to Pinehurst No. 2 since Michelle Wie West's win



Increased wire grass and native areas off the fairways, as mentioned by Wie West. This tightens the margins of error and punishes missed shots more.


Potential lengthening of the course over 10 years to challenge modern players. Pinehurst was already lengthy at over 7,000 yards when Wie West played.


Changes to specific greens or holes to introduce new pin placements or alter challenges presented. Ross' designs are notoriously manipulable.


Maturation of existing trees or addition of new strategic trees could influence play on certain holes.


Bunker renovations are common at classic courses, so some bunkers may have been altered or new ones added near the greens.


Subtle modifications to tees, fairways or greenside rough to tweak difficulty or strategy as the course ages.


Irrigation or drainage improvements to help control course conditions during major championship weeks.


General efforts to restore original strategic shot values or preserve the classic Monteith design elements over time.


Potential upgrading of maintenance facilities or operations to handle larger crowds at premier events.






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With a background in digital media and a passion for golf culture, Emily scours the internet and PGA/LPGA tour circuits for the most entertaining, shocking, and bizarre stories about professional golfers. She is skilled at curating viral golf content, from Instagram antics to tournament controversies, and turning them into shareable, humorous articles. Her readers appreciate her ability to find the fun and humor in the world of elite golf.

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