Through the partnership, the organizations could better understand the diversity of plant species in reclaimed native areas and the implications of course management.
Superintendents can view a video Bayer developed with NCSU and Pinehurst to share information from the restoration project.
The restoration of course No. 2 to its intended design called for a return to indigenous native grasses, fewer acres of turf under intensive management and sustainable pest management techniques.
Tom Rufty, a professor at NCSU, chose to support the research project as an educational opportunity for students and a way to help Pinehurst prepare for the U.S. Open.
Working in partnership with Bayer, NCSU helped Pinehurst develop a seasonal plan that included recommended agronomic practices and products to ensure the appropriate management of native plant species while maintaining the degree of difficulty in play desired.
Pinehurst eliminated from course No. 2 all rough and 35 acres of irrigated turf, which reintroduced natural areas of sand, wire grass, pine straw and a variety of native grasses.
More than 200,000 wire grass plants were added. Restoring the original irrigation design back to a single centerline layout eliminated 650 irrigation heads. This has helped reduce the annual course water consumption from 55 million gallons to 12 million gallons – a savings of more than 78 percent.