The unfriendly greens. Sand and clumps of native grass where the rough used to be.
Conditions at the 2014 U.S. Open seem to suit Martin Kaymer just fine.
The German golfer finished the second round on Friday with a 10-under 130, an Open record for the first 36 holes. Walking off the course, he had gone 29 holes without a bogey.
Kaymer held an eight-stroke lead with the afternoon groupings teeing off.
"So obviously he's making a lot of putts, and to make putts you have to be hitting good shots," said Dustin Johnson, one of seven golfers tied for second at 2-under. "So I think obviously 10-under, his score speaks for it, he's doing everything very well."
There had been much discussion about the putting surfaces at Pinehurst No. 2 and about revisions that returned the course to a more natural setting. After Thursday's first round, Kaymer expressed satisfaction with the course.
"I thought it was very playable," he said.
Overnight rains further softened the greens.