Pinehurst (No.4) - North Carolina - USA

Pinehurst Resort,
1 Carolina Vista Drive,
Village of Pinehurst,
North Carolina (NC) 28374,

  • +1 910 295 6811

  • Ben Bridgers

  • Donald Ross, Gil Hanse

  • Matt Barksdale

James Walker Tufts, the businessman who founded the Pinehurst Resort at the end of the 19th century, enlisted Donald Ross to develop the golfing element on his enormous Sandhills property and the architect ultimately designed five 18-hole layouts, three of which are still in use today.

One of these tracks is the No.4 course, originally completed in 1919 and subsequently renovated by Robert Trent Jones Snr in 1973, with Rees Jones carrying out a further upgrade a decade later. All of the work done by the father and son’s design teams was rendered obsolete in 1999 when Tom Fazio conducted a complete rebuild of the layout.

In 2007, the course co-hosted the US Amateur Championship and was due to hold the third edition of US Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2017, an event that has recently replaced the US Amateur Public Links tournament on the USGA calendar. However, in November 2016, Bob Dedman, Pinehurst Owner and CEO, announced that Gil Hanse would redesign No.4 and build a short course (The Cradle), consequently the 2017 Four-Ball Championship moved to the No.2 course.

“There’s a unique character at Pinehurst because of the landscape Donald Ross found when he arrived in 1900,” said Bob Dedman. “Back then, he may have been a minimalist by necessity, but we’re making a choice to present our historic golf courses in a natural state similar to that era. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from the work on Pinehurst No. 2 encouraged us to explore options that are a continuation of that effort. We think this is a thoughtful approach to the evolution of golf at Pinehurst, and we think Gil Hanse, with his timeless and natural design philosophy, is the right person for the project.”

The No.4 project began in autumn 2017 and completed twelve months later. Our knowledgeable contributor, Paul Rudovsky, played the revamped No.4 course soon after it reopened:

"I had a number of reactions to the redesign. It is very bold… opening up sweeping vistas by removing or thinning tree stands and replacing many small pot bunkers with bold and large waste and regular bunkers… akin to those installed on #2 by Coore and Crenshaw. However, this is in no way a copy of #2…the greens generally sit low against the ground (as opposed to #2’s famous crowned greens)… and while Pinehurst #2 is relatively flat (with the exception of #5, #13 and #18), #4 has always been blessed by more dramatic land movement.

The basic routing of #4 is essentially the same as before… but the greens are very different. Prior to Hanse’s efforts, they were fairly flat… today they are bold and feature strong slopes, mounds, and ridges. I thought the best holes were #2, #5, #7-10, #16 and #18. On the negative side, I thought some of the greens might be too extreme.”

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Reviews for Pinehurst (No.4)

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Description: Venue of the 2008 US Amateur Championship, Donald Ross’s No.4 course at the Pinehurst Resort was completely renovated by Gil Hanse in 2018, completely eradicating Tom Fazio's 1999 redesign. Rating: 4.7 out of 6 Reviews: 3

I thought the course was good, but slightly overrated by other online reviews. The pothole bunkers don't fit the style of the course well and I am looking forward to the restoration.

4 / 6
Pinehurst (No.4)
June 23, 2017

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On my recent trip to Pinehurst I naturally gravitated to #2. For my other two courses I chose to play #1 with my wife and then #4 on the day we left. #1 is a lovely course that is short yet challenging, and was the perfect course to play for my wife and I to play as a couple. #4 is an interesting track. This is a Fazio redesign over an original Ross routing. The course has several challenging holes around a lake, and the course has gentle but significant elevation changes and undulations. Many of the greens are raised with runoffs that can make for challenging chipping. There are several interesting par 5's that I really enjoyed, inlcuding # 13 which plays around the lake mentioned above. #9 and 17 offer great strategic options on the second shot and are great fun. On the downside I wasn't too impressed with the use of small pot bunkers clustered together as fairway bunker hazards. It appeared too contrived and unnatural for my taste. Overall this is fun course to play. I would categorize is a good, but not great. I look forward to playing some of the other courses at Pinehurst and perhaps returning to #4 at some point in the future. Richard Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee
4 / 6
Pinehurst (No.4)
March 07, 2016

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It was a 2 nights and 2 days site visit, invited by the Resort to know the place and experience the full of it. I arrived a Tuesday night after 2 practice rounds at The Masters, which made my adrenaline higher.Pinehurst (No 4) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer I player first #4 and then #2, but these short lines will be about #4. During the morning I visited every part of the Resort, Spa, Restaurants, different accommodations and the practice facilities (top of the tops!), before experiencing the very challenging putting green close to the #4 1st tee. I had a great round and although the course was updated by Fazio, It has a lot of Ross details and the most challenging part of the layout is the difficulty of the greens. I was -2 on 10th tee and missed a wedge shot just long left which led to a triple bogey. Some more bogeys and no more birdies led to a +5 77 which is disappointing but a great lesson: you have to be careful and miss to the correct side, if not you are in serious trouble! Loved the course, very challenging, not very long but gree complexes are tough, creative and where you need your most accurate chipping if you want to save pars. Reading putts is also a very difficult task, caddies are a very good help. The entire experience is truly maybe the best in US, 9 courses, pure golf, quality accommodations and the staff gives it the higher service. One last note: #4, as well as #2, are 2 fantastic courses for match play format. You might look lost in one hole but just one bad shot can make you win a lost hole or the other way round. Bring 3 more friends and play a match, 19th hole will be a great place to share the fantastic experience of playing at Pinehurst.
6 / 6
Pinehurst (No.4)
December 15, 2015

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