July 30, 2018 By: Richard Humphreys — PINEHURST RESORT, NC — Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina, USA, will unveil its redesigned No. 4 course in September 2018, following a two-year ‘reimagination’ by Gil Hanse.
“We’ve returned the original landscape to the course, and from there, we then created the features, slopes and green locations,” said Hanse. “We believe golfers are going to appreciate how No. 4 fits into the Pinehurst line-up and elevates the entire golf experience.”
The course now features exposed sand areas, vast cross bunkers and native wire grass which, according to the club: “meld with the site’s rolling topography and natural ridge lines to create dramatic vistas and strategic options on every hole”.
Speaking to GCA in 2016, Hanse has said that he planned to “borrow heavily from the look and feel of No. 2, which Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw so artfully returned to the spirit and philosophy of Donald Ross.”
Following completion of his work on No. 4, Hanse said: “No. 4 is a companion in the landscape, but it is not a tribute to No. 2 in the features. The greens are different, the approaches are different, and we wanted to take advantage of the landforms, which are much more dramatic than those on No. 2.”
Bob Dedman, Jr., from the family that owns the resort, said: “Among Pinehurst’s nine golf courses, No. 4 has always held a special place in the resort’s history. We entrusted Gil and his team to interpret and execute the vision of making No. 4 more natural and authentic to the sandhills of North Carolina. Gil, Jim [Wagner] and the team have been great to work with and have far exceeded our expectations.”
The par-five ninth hole has seen more than 25 pot bunkers replaced with sprawling, sandy native areas, as well as a cross bunker that spans the width of the fairway, connecting with nearby holes and tying together the natural landforms. Green complexes throughout the course have been lowered to fit the landscape and are complemented by Hanse’s bunker designs.
Over the past two years, Hanse, Wagner and the team have worked on both No. 4 and Pinehurst’s short course, The Cradle. Hanse describes living in the Dornoch Cottage – Donald Ross’s home in Pinehurst – as “one of the most meaningful things that has ever happened to me.”
Pinehurst Resort projects in recent years include the restoration of the No. 2 course, acquisition of the No. 9 course, opening of The Cradle short course, expansion of the 18-hole Thistle Dhu putting course and completed restorative work on No. 3.
Tom Pashley, president of Pinehurst Resort, said: “There’s never been a more exciting time to visit Pinehurst. All of the recent changes and enhancements have resulted in a new energy level and fun factor that’s contagious. I can’t wait for visitors to see the stunning transformation with the new Pinehurst No. 4.”
The USGA has named No. 4 and No. 2 as co-hosts for the 2019 US Amateur Championship. It marks the third time the event will be played at Pinehurst and the first since 2008.