The revitalization of the Pinehurst Resort continues with the opening of Gil Hanse’s redesign of Pinehurst No. 4, which is now slated to open Sept. 20.
Hanse, who also designed the well-received Cradle short course, took No. 4 down to the studs to reimagine the property with a topographic profile more reminiscent of the original version of the course. He replaced numerous pot bunkers and traditional bunkers with exposed sandy areas, large cross bunkers and added in the native wire grass which was also a key component in the Coore-Crenshaw No. 2 restoration. The green complexes have been lowered to fit the reshaped landscape.
“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 lineup and elevates the entire golf experience.”
The par-5 ninth is a cited example of Hanse’s transformation, removing 25 pot-style bunkers and replacing them with native sandy areas and a fairway-wide crossbunker to connect with other holes on the course.
At first blush, lots of golfers will want to compare Hanse’s No. 4 to No. 2, but Hanse believes he had a better, more compelling piece of property on which to rebuild No. 4.
“No. 4 is a companion in the landscape, but it is not a tribute to No. 2 in the features,” Hanse said. “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.”
The unveiling of No. 4 completes a two-year on-site process at Pinehurst with his team, including partner Jim Wagner. Hanse spent time living in the Dornoch Cottage, which was Donald Ross’ Pinehurst home off the third hole on No. 2.
The new No. 4 and The Cradle add to the restoration of No. 2, acquiring the No. 9 course and expanding the 18-hole Thistle Dhu putting course. The Pinehurst Brewing Company will open in the fall.
The USGA is bringing the 2019 US Amateur to Pinehurst, playing out on the No. 2 and No. 4 courses, marking the third time the North Carolina resort has hosted the national amateur championship.