Soon after Gil Hanse redesigned the Blue Course at Doral, PGA tour professional Billy Horschel told him he didn’t like the changes. “Now I have to think on every hole,” was his reasoning. Chances are Billy wouldn’t like what Hanse has done at Pinehurst’s #4 course, either.
Time and again, the player stands on the tee confronted by the line of charm: how close to trouble to place one’s tee shot to get the most advantageous angle to the green. And the same challenge is found on the second shot on all four of the par 5’s. Strategic options abound on approach shots as well. Only one hole (the 2nd) requires an aerial approach. The challenge is not diminished once the player arrives at the putting surface either: Hanse’s trademark undulating greens are also present in abundance. They were quite slick in November 2019, in fact the entire course played firm and fast. This is no mean accomplishment on a public course—a testament to the fine work of superintendent Kevin Robinson and his staff.
Hanse also did a fine job restoring the course’s walkability. Long walks to the 5th, 11th and 13th tees have been eliminated……though the requirement that buggies stay on cart paths also helps to encourage walking.
Date: November 16, 2019