The Takeaway: The third installment of No.4, Gil Hanse’s renovation strips the course back to its roots with sandy waste areas, natural looking bunkers, and creative greens. The best risk/reward course at Pinehurst, No.4 is much more fun than its famous older brother and has quickly become No.2’s biggest rival. Grade B+
Designer: Donald Ross in 1919 - Remodel by Tom Fazio in 2000 - Renovation by Gil Hanse in 2018
Cost: $169.00 - $219.00 Click for current rates
Phone Number: (910) 295-6811
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Pinehurst Resort No.4's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1 Carolina Vista, Pinehurst, North Carolina 28374 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: The Gil Hanse renovation of Tom Fazio’s work on No.4 at Pinecrest had a similar effect to what Coore & Crenshaw did to No.2. The rough was stripped out and the sand underneath exposed to give a more natural look throughout the routing. While No.2 has all the history and difficulty, No.4 counters with more fun in the layout and several risk/reward opportunities; particularly down the stretch where you can make or break your round. There is great variety throughout the course and plenty of movement in the terrain that adds character and intrigue. Unlike No.2 where walking is required, No.4 allows players to take a cart if they don’t feel like hoofing it which can be nice if you are trying to play multiple rounds in a day. No.2 is one of the most famous courses in the world and will always reign as the king of Pinehurst, but Hanse’s work on No.4 has created the most legitimate rivalry the resort has ever known and instantly becomes a must-play course when coming to the Sandhills of North Carolina.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 13th Hole – 529 Yard Par 5 – A classic risk/reward hole that begins a dramatic stretch of holes, the 13th is a reachable par five that demands a tee shot in the fairway if you are going to go for it in two. A bunker sits on the right side of the driving zone while the left side is flanked by water before the fairway capes around the water to the greensite. The hole plays downhill which makes it more reachable but the fairway slopes towards the water and can create some lies that draw the ball and bring the hazard into play. The greensite is bunkerless which encourages players to be aggressive, but there are more balls in the water than there are divots around the green so know your game before pulling the trigger.
Best Par 3: 14th Hole – 216 Yards – Water runs the full length of the left side of this par three with a steep slope on that side of the green which is quick to kick balls into the agua. While a pair of bunkers are found on the right side, a sideboard is located between the green and the sand which can help kick balls onto the green while staying safely away from the water.
Best Par 4: 3rd Hole – 431 Yards – An uphill tee shot to a partially blind fairway awaits on the 3rd hole. The bunkers on the left side of the driving zone need to be driven over or avoided to the right to set up a decent look on the approach shot. The square shaped green sits at a high point and plays a solid ½ club longer than the yardage, but the wide opening to the putting surface can encourage a shot played in low and skipped up. The waste areas on either side of the fairway offer additional consideration to contend with, but the elevation climb on this hole is the primary factor to consider.
Best Par 5: 17th Hole – 590 Yards – The final par five on No. 4 is a true three-shotter that is all about the bunkering. The bunker on the left half of the fairway in the driving zone is the first pit that needs to be avoided to find any level of success on this hole. Throughout the hole players will find bunkers pinching in at various distances and often causing trouble for players looking to hit their favorite yardage. It isn't dramatic from a visual perspective but it requires strategy from tee to green which is a common theme throughout Pinehurst.
Birdie Time: 16th Hole – 321 Yard Par 4 – A driveable par four is offered late in the round for a chance to take a stroke back from Old Man Par. The generous fairway begs players to get out their driver and give a rip at reaching the green, but at a minimum, get past the bunker that is in the layup zone. The edges of the green dome off in No. 2 fashion so if you don't reach the green with your tee shot you have to make sure to reach the center of the green with your approach so as to yield a birdie putt rather than be facing a short chip from a tight lie after being repelled by the green's edge. With such a generous fairway though, step up and give your best swing at reaching this green with your driver.
Bogey Beware: 5th Hole – 489 Yard Par 4 – Tipping out at nearly 500 yards and playing uphill, this is the strongest two-shotter on the course to conquer. The fairways tilts from left-to-right and the angle to the green is best from the left side, so the further you can skirt your tee shot towards the tree line on the left the better off you are. With bunkering and a waste area right of the green, the theme to stay left continues on the approach shot and leaves you with a reasonable chip if you miss the green in regulation. The scope of this hole and terrain it occupies makes it one of the finer offerings at No. 4.