PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Pinehurst's No. 2 course will be set up the same way for both U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open this year.
U.S. Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis said Saturday that the par-70 course will play at about 7,500 yards for the men's and about 6,700 yards for the women.
"On a given hole, if the men are hitting drivers, we want to see the women hit drivers," he said during the USGA's annual meeting. "If the men are hitting 6- to 8-irons for approach shots, that's what we want to see the women do."
The USGA is roughly four months away from its first-of-its-kind doubleheader: The men's event is June 12-15 with the women's tournament the following week.
"While we want to test the same things for both championships, there are differences in how men and women play the game," Davis said.
Davis says the USGA's reason for going back-to-back was to bring more attention to the women's game.
"This was never about trying to make it operationally easier or save money," Davis said. "This was all about comparing the world's best men with the world's best women."
He says the women are playing the second week — and not the first — because of agronomics.
"We had a much better chance of getting the golf course right for both championships" with the women playing second, he said.
"It really gets down to the putting greens. The first week, if Mother Nature is cooperative, they're going to be slightly firmer. ... Very firm greens to slightly — underscore, slightly — less firm greens that second week. And agronomically, it was much easier to do the second week than the first."