Not long after nearly making an ace on The Cradle while Golf Channel’s cameras were rolling, Gil Hanse took a quick minute to provide an update on his redesign of Pinehurst No. 4. The comment came at the end of Morning Drive’s live broadcast from The Cradle.
Pinehurst Cradle Archive
During the Golf Channel’s Wednesday broadcast of Morning Drive, Gil Hanse joined a group to play The Cradle, Pinehurst’s short course, live on television. The round was streamed in full on Facebook, and at the 8th hole, Hanse, who designed The Cradle, came AGONIZINGLY close to making an ace in front of about 200 spectators – and with Golf Channel’s cameras rolling.
Golf Channel, though, didn’t get nearly as good of an angle as we did. You HAVE to see just how close Hanse came to acing the 8th hole.
It reminds us of a brilliant old story about another great golf architect – Donald Ross:
A Life Lesson
Old Tom Morris was against gambling in golf and advised Ross to never bet on the golf course beyond a small wager. “Why make a horse race out of a game like golf?” Morris posited. Ross took Old Tom’s words to heart and for the rest of his life rarely played for stakes beyond a quarter Nassau. Ross said that Calcutta pools “don’t belong in such a fine, clean game.”
Once at Pinehurst, a young man who didn’t know Ross asked him for a game and a $25 Nassau.
“Let’s just play for the fun of the game,” Ross countered.
The young man insisted, so Ross relented, played the visitor and beat him soundly.
“I built the course,” Ross told his opponent. “Let this be a lesson to you: Don’t play for high stakes with a stranger.”
Here’s how Gil’s shot looked on Instagram when it happened:
We are excited to announce that the Golf Channel’s popular show Morning Drive will broadcast live from The Cradle at Pinehurst on Wednesday. From 7-9 a.m., Morning Drive will provide live look-ins at a round played by the Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella, John Cook and Alexandra O’Laughlin, who will be joined by Cradle designer Gil Hanse.
The Golf Channel will feature bonus coverage from Pinehurst on its social media platforms as well.
Nearly 120 years after golf arrived here, we present The Cradle, a nine-hole short course that even the newest to the game can enjoy. The Golf Channel already calls The Cradle, “the most fun 10 acres in all of golf.” Mere steps from the Resort Clubhouse, it is the same area where, in 1898, Dr. Leroy Culver carved our first nine holes out of the sand. Over the next century, Pinehurst came to be referred to as the Cradle of American Golf.
Greens fees for The Cradle are $50 this fall and replay rounds are free. Rates will vary seasonally. Guests are welcome to play the course more than one time in a day.
Kids 17 and under play free when accompanied by a paying adult, and resort guests may book tee times in advance. Public tee times are available 24 hours in advance. Replays will be booked at the conclusion of each round.
Congratulations Ella June Hannant — our Girls 7-9 Champion!🏆 pic.twitter.com/HZjFkb1ovx
— Drive, Chip & Putt (@DriveChipPutt) April 1, 2018
When we watched Ella June Hannant win the 7-9-year-old girls’ age group at the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals, we can’t say we were all that surprised.
After all, we’ve known for quite some time that Ella could play – and that she has a terrific short game. After all, she’s the youngest golfer ever to have a hole-in-one on our short course, The Cradle.
You can revisit her story below. Congrats, Ella!
— Ella June (@EllaHannant) December 10, 2017
ELLA JUNE HANNANT DIDN’T NEED to be told to check the hole.
Already an accomplished golfer at the tender age of 8 – she has the trophies and medals to prove it – Hannant does admit to having two thoughts when she couldn’t find her ball Sunday on the punch bowl green of the third hole of Pinehurst’s short course, The Cradle.
“Well, the greens were really fast, so I thought maybe it was in the hole or that it might’ve rolled back off the green,” Hannant recalls. “After all, they are Pinehurst greens.”
Most telling is that Hannant, of Pikeville, North Carolina, thought to check the hole first. And even though she was playing with her dad, Steve, and younger sister, Zada, Hannant put the pieces together on her own.
“I looked in the hole, and my ball was there,” she said. “I just walked up and looked for it.”
And so, with a sand wedge from 56 yards, Ella Hannant, at 8 years old, became the youngest player to make an ace on The Cradle. It is her first hole-in-one, and the 18th on The Cradle, which opened in late September.
“I’ve been wanting one since I was about 2,” Hannant says.
— Ella June (@EllaHannant) December 10, 2017
She has the game to have backed up that goal. Hannant is one of the top-ranked junior golfers, and she recently won her age division at the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional at Pinehurst. The week before the Masters, Hannant will compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National.
She’s won countless other tournaments – she’s been competing since she was 5 – and it was one of those tournaments that led her to The Cradle on Sunday. After winning a U.S. Kids Golf tournament on Saturday at Pinehurst No. 8, Hannant’s tournament on Sunday in Raleigh was canceled. Her dad gave her the option: play one of the courses she will have future tournaments on, or take a shot at The Cradle, Pinehurst’s 789-yard short course.
“The Cradle is fun. I think it would be really fun for kids to play a quick nine holes.” -Ella Hannant, 8
Hannant chose The Cradle – kids 17 and under play The Cradle free with a paying adult – with the goal of shooting par.
And she did – an even-par 27.
“Ella keeps a goal book,” says her mother, Regan, “and that was her goal – to shoot par. Of course, we didn’t think that would include a hole-in-one.”
Ella used a total of five clubs in her round on the course, which features holes that range in yardage from 56 yards to 127 yards. She used her putter, 5 iron, 7 iron, 8 iron – and that fateful sand wedge.
“The Cradle is fun,” Ella says. “I think it would be really fun for kids to play a quick nine holes.”
As we like to say in the South, bless him.
Bless you, Mike Golic. And bless you, Trey Wingo, for putting Golic in his place.
It’s all good fun here, and we’ll admit we’re playing this with our tongue planted firmly in cheek. Still, we enjoyed it immensely this week on ESPN’s Golic & Wingo when Golic tried to call BS on golfers who like to walk when they play. Wingo agreed, but only to a point, mentioning that when he gets the opportunity to play historic courses, he’s always going to walk. “I would always rather walk on Pinehurst No. 2,” Wingo says.
Here, though, is where Golic thinks he sees an opening.
“I will not lie,” Golic starts, his face beginning to light up. “I like to walk on Pinehurst 6.”
But Wingo knows he has him, and cuts the former NFL defensive tackle with a chop block.
“That is a course, by the way,” Wingo says completely deadpan, knowing he’s got him.
“Is it really?” Golic responds. “Dammit.”
Then Wingo lets him have it for a few seconds.
Golic, though, can’t leave it alone, and tries to save it.
“But I heard Pinehurst 6 is a par-3,” Golic tries, in vain.
Wingo has him again. Bless him.
“No, it’s not a par-3. That would be The Cradle, the new situation (at Pinehurst).”
Golic now, though, seems excited.
“Oh, now that’s what I would like,” Golic says, before getting even more info from Wingo, who continues to preach the Pinehurst gospel.
Truly, fellas, thanks for the kind words. And Golic, you’re welcome any time to try The Cradle.
As for you, Trey? The tee is yours.