Pine­hurst No 4: Evo­lu­tion of a Clas­sic

Evo­lu­tion of a Clas­sic

Golf Vacations - - News - pho­tos by Jaeger Kovich

The Cra­dle of Amer­i­can Golf. The St. An­drews of Amer­ica. Which­ever ti­tle is be­stowed upon Pine­hurst Re­sort, one thing is cer­tain. The golf is as good as any­where in the world. The prop­erty con­tin­ues to de­velop, in­clud­ing open­ing of The Cra­dle, a 789-yard short course aimed at the ca­sual golfer look­ing to play a quick round, whether it’s be­fore, af­ter or sans a full 18 on one of Pine­hurst’s nine golf cour­ses.

VIL­LAGE OF PINE­HURST, NC – The Cra­dle of Amer­i­can Golf. The St. An­drews of Amer­ica. Which­ever ti­tle is be­stowed upon Pine­hurst Re­sort, one thing is cer­tain. The golf is as good as any­where in the world. Pres­i­dent Tom Pash­ley and com­pany rec­og­nize the Pine­hurst stan­dard is not one to be ne­glected. The prop­erty con­tin­ues to de­velop, in­clud­ing open­ing of The Cra­dle, a 789-yard short course aimed at the ca­sual golfer look­ing to play a quick round, whether it’s be­fore, af­ter or sans a full 18 on one of Pine­hurst’s nine golf cour­ses. Yes, Pine­hurst has NINE golf cour­ses, five of which play right off the main club­house.

En­hance­ments to Don­ald Ross’ No. 2 by Bill Coore and Ben Cren­shaw re­stored the golf course to Ross’ orig­i­nal in­tended de­sign. Cour­ses No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 have also un­der­gone sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in re­cent years, as­sur­ing that Pine­hurst is not a one-trick pony.

Per­haps Pine­hurst’s most im­por­tant project, which will re­open to the pub­lic in Septem­ber 2018, is the re­cre­ation of the once-ac­claimed No. 4 course. Gil Hanse, one of the lead­ing golf course ar­chi­tects of to­day, was hired to lead what he calls a “reimag­i­na­tion” of the track.

Af­ter re­open­ing in 1999 fol­low­ing a re­make by Tom Fazio, No. 4 was widely re­garded as one of the best cour­ses in the United States, let alone the Caroli­nas. Own­er­ship charged Hanse with bring­ing back No. 4’s orig­i­nal Sand­hill aes­thetic and au­then­tic Don­ald Ross de­sign el­e­ments.

Hanse, de­signer of the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Jane­rio, en­vi­sioned No. 4 as a “com­pan­ion course” to its famed sib­ling, No. 2. The USGA rec­og­nized the seam­less con­nec­tion as the two cour­ses will host the U.S. Am­a­teur in 2019. Hanse knew it, now the golf world is tak­ing no­tice.

Although No. 4 will be a nat­u­ral com­pan­ion to No. 2, it will not be a du­pli­cate. In fact, Hanse be­lieves No. 4 fea­tures the most in­ter­est­ing to­pog­ra­phy on the en­tire prop­erty.

“It is a com­pan­ion in the land­scape, but it is not a trib­ute 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,” says Hanse.

Hanse equated re-de­sign­ing No. 4 as a chance to “play in the sand” as noth­ing in golf com­pares to the Sand­hills re­gion of North Carolina and its un­der­ly­ing soil. They re­stored No. 4 back to its orig­i­nal land­forms by recre­at­ing the hole cor­ri­dors and re­con­nect­ing the el­e­va­tions and nat­u­ral fea­tures.

“The high­est com­pli­ment we re­ceived was from Bill Coore; he was very im­pressed with how we man­aged the ma­te­rial on­site,” Hanse says. “And our abil­ity to re-es­tab­lish a land­scape that looked like it had been there for­ever.”

With a shim­mer­ing lake as a cen­ter­piece and nat­u­ral ridge­lines defin­ing cor­ri­dors, golfers are treated to a brazen blend of sand, na­tive wire grasses and shim­mer­ing wa­ter. With its vast cross­ing bunkers and scrubby edges, No. 4 will em­body the essence of the Sand­hills re­gion of the Caroli­nas.

Pine­hurst of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of golf pack­ages, in­clud­ing the Sum­mer Tee Pack­age, which allows golfers to re­ceive their third night and fourth round of golf com­pletely free when they stay for two nights. For all golf pack­ages, fol­low the link here.

Pine­hurst is a very easy trip for most. It’s just over an hour from Raleigh-Durham In­ter­na­tional Air­port, and within a half-day’s jour­ney from many East Coast cities. With the fun and unique ad­di­tions men­tioned above, now more than ever it’s a golf oa­sis wor­thy of an an­nual pil­grim­age.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.pine­hurst.com.

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