Pinehurst does not need much introduction for most golfers. I have visited Pinehurst several times and the last time was when the redesign of the course by Gil Hanse was in progress. The course got great reviews after the redesign so it has been my plan to come back and play Pinehurst #4. It was during the month of February where the weather can be challenging which was the case for the day of my arrival where I was suppose to play The Country Club of North Carolina. It was heavy rain and very cold so we decided to skip golf. I have played there before which you can see here.
The next day the weather was perfect and I was all set to play Pinehurst #4. I was on the second tee time in the morning and got there early to hit a few balls, chip and putt.
DONALD ROSS / GIL HANSE
The first hole is a dogleg left to right par 4 with several bunkers on the corner. From the tee the safe shot is of course straight down the middle of the fairway and a good tee shot will leave you with a short club to the green if you go straight.
My plan was to go straight with a driver. I hit a draw that luckily carried the bunkers and left me with a lob wedge to the green. My approach shot was poor and resulted in a bogey on the first hole.
The second hole is a reachable par 5. I hit a good drive down the middle of the fairway and had just under 200m left to the green. My approach towards the green rolled down to the runoff area on the lefthand side of the green. The hole is very well designed and getting your second shot to reach and stay on the green requires a very good shot. There is a bunker in front of the green and the run off areas also protects the green well. The pin was located close to the lefthand side of the green and my first chip shot came up short and rolled back down again. Poor course management and resulted in a bogey.
The third hole is a fairly straight par 4 with bunkers on the left hand side of the fairway. I managed to get my first par on this hole after a good scramble from the edge of the green.
Hole 4 is the first par 3 on Pinehurst #4. It was playing 140m into the wind and I hit a 7 iron which missed the green into the bunker left of the green. I did not managed to get up and down from the bunker so another bogey added to the scorecard.
The 5th hole is a par 4 that has a severe front edge run off on the green. I hit a really good drive and what I thought was a nice approach shot straight towards the pin. It spun back down the front edge of the green and as you can see from above picture my ball ended up off the green. I took my putter from there but my first putt was not close enough to save par. Another bogey after what I felt was a well played first couple of shots, but also illustrates some of the good challenges Pinehurst #4 has to offer.
HOLE 6, long par 3 on Pinehurst #4
The 6th hole is the longest par 3 hole on the course and you do not want to miss the shot right. It was playing 172m and I hit a 5 iron with a draw that rolled down in the right hand bunker. Above shows my view from the bunker and I could barely see the pin. I hit the best bunker shot of the day and made a hole out birdie. Unfortunately I did not get to see it myself but a well needed birdie on the card.
8th hole is a par 4 with well placed bunkers that covers 3/4 of the fairway from the right hand side. Above shows my tee shot in the fairway just over 150 yards out from the green.
I missed my approach shot short in the bunker in front of the green and made bogey.
The 9th hole is a par 5 which requires a couple of good shots to reach in 2. I hit my drive into the right hand pines and was blocked out to the green but also too far back to reach it. I played a 3 wood up the left hand side and left myself a short pitch shot to the green. My pitch shot missed short of the green after a very poor strike and I made another bogey.
BACK NINE ON PINEHURST #4
11th hole is the shortest par 3 on the course and it was playing just under 100m. I hit a gap wedge which I missed into the right bunker. Another poor shot and a bogey.
The 13th hole is a blind tee shot and slight dogleg left to right. My drive ended up in the right hand rough but I had a decent lie and could get the ball on the green to make par. Nice view of some of the house located close to the course.
HOLE 13 - BEST PAR 5 ON PINEHURST #4
The 13th hole is the best par 5 on the course. There is water all the way up the left hand side and in front of the green. It is downhill so a good drive will enable you to reach the green in 2. My drive just rolled into the right hand bunker and made the decision easy because I could not reach the green. I hit a 6 iron over the water and left a 80m approach shot. My approach shot was really good and setup a birdie opportunity. Unfortunately my birdie putt lipped out of the hole and I had to settle for a par.
The 14th hole is a good looking par 3 with water in front of the green. I hit a really good 8 iron just right of the green that on summer day would have rolled down the hill but due to wet conditions just stayed up there. My putt was really close to going in but I was happy to make par.
The 15th hole is a blind tee shot uphill. I was playing with a local member which could give directions but it is a fairly straight drive to a wide fairway. I had 140m to the pin and I came up short with my approach shot.
The 16th hole is all about the approach shot. It is a short par 4 but the green has some good elevations and run off areas. My drive was down the middle of the fairway and I had 75m to the pin. I managed to hit a good approach shot to left of the pin to setup a 2 putt par.
The 18th hole is a good finishing par 4. It is a dogleg right to left and the approach shot is uphill to the green. My tee shot was perfect down the middle of fairway and I still had a long way to the green. I hit a hybrid pin high but left of the green and as a result a finishing bogey.
Pinehurst #4 definitely lived up to my expectations. The course was in great shape for the month of February and the greens where rolling well. I have not played the course before the redesign so I can not comment on that. The course is fair, challenging and I can only imagine how great it would be to play it on a summer day with firm & fast greens. I suppose it will be close to how #2 plays is and please check out my review of Pinehurst #2.
My score of was 81 and I had a better back nine overall. More greens in regulation but too many putts. Overall a great experience and will be back again to visit Pinehurst.
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