After the successful transformation of Pinehurst No. 2 by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw ahead of the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, Pinehurst No. 4 will get a similar facelift with the resort hiring Gil Hanse to restore the Donald Ross design, in addition to Hanse building a short course at the resort in 2017.
Pinehurst No. 4, which was ranked No. 59 on Golf Digest's latest ranking of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses, and No. 16 in North Carolina, will close in the fall of 2017, with the goal of re-opening the next fall.
Just as No. 2 saw a return to hard-pan sand and native wire grass and Donald Ross-signature domed greens, there's a similar plan to match that natural, minimalistic feel and look at No. 4.
Pinehurst No. 4 had previously been ranked as one of North Carolina's top-five courses in the 1990s, but it slipped to No. 16 in our last Best in State ranking. The course, which was designed by Donald Ross in 1919, had previously been remodeled by Tom Fazio -- who called the No. 4 restoration one of his proudest remodels to date.
“We think this approach will create a more authentic, visually interesting golf course and one that feels in tune with its unique surrounds,” Hanse said in a press release.
Hanse, who designed the Rio Olympic course, is one of the busiest architects in golf right now, opening his Mossy Oak in Mississippi this fall and Streamsong Black in 2017. Hanse is also currently restoring Winged Foot Golf Club's West course, Aronimink Golf Club and Sleepy Hollow Country Club, and he recently completed restorations at Merion Golf Club and Los Angeles Country Club among others. Hanse will also design Pinehurst's short course.
The short course will sit on 10 acres of property currently a part of courses No. 3 and No. 5, which the resort says will also have work done on them in the future. With the trend of shorter courses finding popularity at resorts -- like Bandon Dunes' Preserve -- and putting courses like Pinehurst's Thistle Dhu and Bandon's Punchbowl drawing more interest, the historic resort is hoping to keep appealing to the demand for a unique experience.
“Whether you’re an avid amateur, a beginning golfer, or on an outing with golf buddies or family, the short course will offer an experience that can be enjoyed by all,” said Pinehurst's president and COO Tom Pashley.