The USGA Museum has opened The Pynes Putting Course, a 16,000-square-foot putting green that will allow visitors to test their skills using replicas of antique putters and balls from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The course will be open to visitors during regular museum hours from early spring to late fall, weather permitting. The green fee is $5 with paid admission to the museum and includes a souvenir square-mesh golf ball. Visitors will be able to use replicas of four classic putters ‑‑ such as Bob Jones' famous Calamity Jane II ‑- to play the nine-hole course, which will be re-routed on a weekly basis.
Named for Evelyn and Percy Pyne, who lived on the grounds of the country estate that is now home to the USGA, the course was inspired by the world-renowned Himalayas putting green in St. Andrews, Scotland. That green, which has served as home to the Ladies' Putting Club of St. Andrews since 1867, has long welcomed visitors from all over the globe.
"We hope that the experience of playing the putting course will increase visitors' appreciation for golfers of the past and their skills," said Rand Jerris, director of the museum. "We hope there are some golfers who come and get hooked on the history of the game. It's a place where families are welcome, and it may be the first time some visitors ever get to putt on a grass green."
The green was designed by Philadelphia-based architect Gil Hanse, who also spent more than two days on a shaper to fashion the putting surface's dramatic mounds and swales. USGA Green Section staffers Jim Moore and Dave Oatis oversaw the agronomic details of the green, which utilizes Declaration, a creeping bentgrass strain developed at Rutgers University with the assistance of USGA Green Section funding.
Paul Ramina, GCSAA Class A director of grounds at nearby Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, and Hamilton Farm GCSAA superintendent member Pat Husby also offered their services in training the USGA grounds staff on cutting-edge green maintenance.
For more about creating the green, visit http://www.usga.org/news/2008/september/putting_green.html.