August 12, 2019 — “None of us are bigger than Pinehurst.”
That was the message Gil Hanse felt when he was offered the opportunity to create the third version of Pinehurst No. 4, the golf course next door to the famous Pinehurst No. 2.
After its grand reopening in 2018, his work takes center stage for the 2019 U.S. Amateur August 12-18. Hanse totally rebuilt No. 4 and was also entrusted with the creation of the brand new Cradle short course, located right next to the clubhouse. In the latest episode of the Golf Advisor Podcast, we have a behind-the-scenes peek into Gil Hanse and Matt Ginella’s conversation from the Dornoch Cottage, where Donald Ross lived during his years here.
Some highlights in the discussion:
Hanse talks about what it was like being told that he’d be staying in the Ross house during his work at Pinehurst, and how it felt to become a part of the Pinehurst family.
They take a tour through the cottage and onto the balcony where you can see the 3rd green, 5th green, 4th tee and 6th green. Ross was known to spend a lot of time tweaking these surfaces.
“It may be local lore why the 5th is the most severe on the golf course,” said Hanse.
They spend some time discussing The Cradle and its impact it has had on golf development. Hanse says of the Cradle, “It may be the most successful thing we’ve ever built.”
And said Ginella on Pinehurst’s commitment to The Cradle: “Once Pinehurst went [with a ] short course, knowing the eyeballs and traffic that comes through here and what it means to golf in America, that to me was that revolutionary moment in which it was full-tilt towards more short [courses]. if you’re a resort and you don’t have one, you’re going to pay the price.”
Hanse also mentions a few upcoming projects he’s working on, many of which feature a short course. You can read more about the Pinehurst No. 4 “retrovation” by Brad Klein here.