The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: February 23 – 26, 2017. The 4th at PGA National (Champion), Home of The Honda Classic.

Tournament: The Honda Classic – PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Hole: 4th – Par 4, 395 Yards
Architect(s): George and Tom Fazio – 1981
Jack Nicklaus (redesign) – 2001

Architectural Summary:

The fourth hole at PGA National’s Champion Course is a dogleg left short par 4 with overhanging trees protecting the inside of the dogleg. Measuring 395 yards, the hole will emphasize finding the fairway as the green is narrow to the line of play and holding the green from the Bermuda grass rough is difficult. From the tee, competitors will look to play a right-to-left shot to the 23-yard-wide fairway, which features two left fairway bunkers and one right fairway bunker that is essentially “through” the fairway. Club selection from the tee will likely be a fairway wood or hybrid due to the hole’s length and width of fairway. The left side of the fairway will offer the best angle of approach into the elevated green as it is angled front-left to back-right. The approach shot is relatively straight forward from the fairway, but difficult from the rough as the shot must carry the deep front bunker and also have enough spin to hold the green. Distance control and spin will be key to holding the often firm putting surface, which slopes from back-to-front. Any shots landing on the rear of the green will likely roll down into the swale behind the green, requiring a difficult recovery off a closely mown lie. Overall, despite the hole’s length, the fourth hole will present a challenging test for competitors especially those who miss the fairway or the green long.

Statistical Analysis:

During the 2016 tournament, the 4th played to a scoring average of 4.05 (79 birdies, 268 pars, 83 bogeys, 8 doubles, and 1 “other”).

Fun Facts:

  • During the past three editions of The Honda Classic, the tournament winners have ranked in the top two for par 4 scoring. Adam Scott (2016), Padraig Harrington (2015), and Russell Henley (2014) each played the 4th hole to par in their win.
  • The Champion Course at PGA National has been home to The Honda Classic since 2007. Prior to Jack Nicklaus’ course renovation in 2001, the course also hosted the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship, and the Senior PGA Championship from 1982-2000.
  • Since redesigning the course in 2001, Nicklaus continues to make tweaks to the design, which recently included removing a greenside bunker on the 4th hole and adding a small fairway bunker to the right of the fairway.