Anthony Bourdain on the 2024 US Open at Pinehurst

Abandon all hope ye who push a tee shot.

Joe Bee
The Haven

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Pinehurst is a place of contradiction.

The glory of Payne Stewart clutching Mickelson’s bewildered face, reminding him that fatherhood far outweighs the fleeting laurels of a major win.

The collective anguish when a humble champion boards an ill-fated flight, never to stare down the diabolical layout again, and leaving an echo we still hear twenty-five years later.

It’s the mental hellscape a player enters when a crisp nine iron drifting right at the pin ends up forty yards down a hill, buried in wire grass that looks more like it belongs on a windswept Mongolian steppe than North Carolina.

Perhaps the grass, a descendant of those blood-soaked plants upon which Genghis Khan rode, is a testament to Pinehurst’s gleeful devotion to carnage and its affinity to vanquish those foolhardy enough to play.

Greens that defy logic, built on burial mounds and fertilized with powdered bone. Waste bunkers like post-apocalyptic hellscapes. Irradiated barrens where once civilized men hunt wanderers for sport.

It’s long and lean, fast, dry, and lures you in with false promises of a solid round. It will betray you because it’s in Pinehurt’s nature to deceive…

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