Standing right alongside Pinehurst’s famed No. 2 Course, and noted for its unusual mix of small pot bunkers and large sandy waste areas, the No. 4 course is a Tom Fazio layout built directly atop an old Donald Ross course that had supposedly become old, tired and fallen beyond repair or restoration. Hard to know whether the Ross layout was better than what is there now, but the current No. 4 is a reasonably good course on a pleasant sandhills site that features a touch more undulation than No. 2 and a number of greens built to mimic those famous Ross creations next door. It does lack subtlety and in parts is anti-strategic in its hazard arrangement, but the dramatic cross waste bunker tee shots are fun to play. While most of the greens are well conceived and suit the type of shot required from back in the fairway, a number don’t and the chief frustration with the course is not how bad it is, but rather how much better it could have been with a more consistent and original set of targets.
For those unable to play Pinehurst No. 2 on every day of their stay in this golfing Mecca, Nos. 4, 7 and 8 are not bad back-ups – although no matter the length of stay a daily round on No. 2 is a much better option.