When Does A Driveable Par 4 Become Just A Long Par 3?

I love TPC Boston's short par-4 fourth because a Deutsche Bank spectator can still hang out there, see a variety of shots, and every few groups witness some special shotmaking. But with modern distances surging in the five years since Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon unveiled this replacement hole on the site of the old fourth hole, the character has changed due to forces out of the architect's control.

Because the hole plays so short (it's that core work the flatbellies have all been doing!), there really is only one option and therefore little tension is created by players facing a risk-reward dilemma. The only real issue now is a choice between driver or 3-wood, or, in the case of the insanely long Gary Woodland's of the world, a decision between 3-wood and 2-iron.

Check out the ShotLink scatter shot most of the way through round 2:

(Click image to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge this close-up of TPC Boston's 4th)

Currently the hole is playing to a 3.671 scoring average, playing as the second easiest hole. But that's not the issue. Easy is fine, but easy because equipment renders the options meaningless, that's lousy!