In 2000 Tom Fazio finished the replacement of Donald Ross’s original #4 course with a totally new course on the site of the old #4 design. This “tribute to Pinehurst” has all of the traditional look that people have come to expect in the sandhills of Pinehurst, strategic hole designs, crowned greens, bold contouring, and about 180 silver dollar pot bunkers littered about. This new course stands tall next to #2, #8, and #7 as another of the many seminal golf challenges this resort provides.
The course is built on the ground adjacent to #2 so it shares some of the feel of it’s favored sister, but the ground has much more topographical interest which gave Fazio lots of latitude to create stunningly visual holes with unique strategic character.
Many of the green settings have the fall off shoulders or steep fronts but they do not really have the turtle back appearance Ross used on #2. Fazio’s liberal use of small pot bunkers-especially around the greens-gives a real Scottish arbitrariness to the design that is visually delightful and strategically challenging.
He also used the large shouldering sand waste areas to delineate many of the holes giving the intimidating pine barren look to many of the driving areas. The routing of the holes are defined by the trees and the waste areas-similar to what he did on #8-so there is a premium for driving accuracy to set up aggressive plays into the greens.
What I like more than anything here is the variety of the holes and the sequence of the challenges. Both sides of the course start slowly but by the time you get to the third hole the difficulty factor is ramping up quickly. You see holes that turn both ways, holes that go up, holes that go down, small greens, big greens, the whole mishpucha-but more than anything you will see one uniquely different hole after another that will demand you pause for thoughtful planning on the tee before taking on the challenge before you.
To score well here you need to be tactically correct, have great execution of your intent, and a little bit of luck would not hurt either. There will be some blow up holes so being reasonably aggressive throughout makes the most sense.
PInehurst, North Carolina
Architect: Tom Fazio (Remake-2000)
Tees Par Yards Rating Slope
Blue 72 6658 71.7 129
White 72 6214 69.5 126