Pinehurst Cradle Archive

Pinehurst Top 10 in 2017 – No. 1: Pinehurst Opens The Cradle, its New Short Course

Editor’s Note: As the year comes to a close, Pinehurst will reveal its Top 10 Stories from 2017. We’ll have one recap a day with links to the original stories if you would like to reflect more. We appreciate your engagement with each of these stories and several others from throughout the year, and we look forward to making more news in 2018.

And since we like numbers at Pinehurst, that’s exactly how we’ll count these down:

No. 10: Pinehurst No. 3 Brings It All Back – Charm, Strategy…and Wire Grass

No. 9: The Deuce is named Best New Restaurant in Golf

No. 8: Pinehurst Announces it will Open a Microbrewery

No. 7: U.S. Open Champion Calls North & South Runner-Up After Championship Match

No. 6: Isabella Fierro Makes History in Winning the Women’s North & South Amateur

No. 5: Teenagers win the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

No. 4: Pinehurst Moves and Expands Putting Course Thistle Dhu

No. 3: Gil Hanse Begins Redesign of Pinehurst No. 4

No. 2: Legendary Caddie Willie McRae Retires After 70-plus Years

No. 1: Pinehurst Opens The Cradle, its New Short Course

Even with nine courses, it’s not every day that Pinehurst builds a new golf course.

But that’s what Pinehurst did in 2017, and at the very end of September it opened The Cradle, a 789-yard, nine-hole short course that lies on the very same land of many of Dr. Leroy Culver’s first holes ever designed at Pinehurst in 1898.

Hailed by major media outlets and kids alike – Golf Channel called The Cradle the best golf design in America for 2017 – The Cradle could be considered the cornerstone of Pinehurst’s efforts to improve the golf experience here at The Cradle of American Golf.

Not only that, but there seems to be a fun new story coming off The Cradle every few weeks:

And finally, perhaps best of all, kids play The Cradle for free when with a paying adult. And all replay rounds on The Cradle are free.

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Kelly Mitchum’s Winter Solstice Numbers are Staggering

On Thursday, Dec. 21, Pinehurst golf professional Kelly Mitchum celebrated the winter solstice in a wonderfully unique way – he played Pinehurst’s shortest course, the 789-yard Cradle, on the year’s shortest day, hitting his first tee shot at sunrise at 7:22 a.m., and holing his last putt as the sun set at 5:08 p.m.

The numbers from his day are staggering.

It is fair to say that Mitchum is Pinehurst’s most accomplished player. He’s appeared in four PGA Championships, was a Walker Cup member, reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur, won the 1993 North & South Amateur, and has played in numerous PGA Tour events. Also, he did thisand this.

Still, Mitchum’s play on The Cradle was remarkable.

To wit:

  • Mitchum played a total of 26 full rounds on the 9-hole Cradle.
  • He played a total of 234 holes.
  • Mitchum had one hole-in-one, which came on the 3rd hole, also known as the Punchbowl.
  • He had 41 birdies;
  • 25 bogeys;
  • 3 double-bogeys (2 on the 9th hole);
  • 164 pars;
  • For the round, Mitchum shot 12-under-par.
  • Nine of Mitchum’s 26 rounds were bogey-free rounds.
  • His longest stretch without a bogey was 32 holes.
  • Mitchum walked about 16 miles on the day.
  • He averaged 2 1/2 minutes per hole.
  • Mitchum’s quickest round was played in just 12 minutes.
  • Mitchum’s lowest round was 4-under 23 (the course record is 21).
  • His highest round was 4-over 31 (his 5th round of the day).

Here’s how Mitchum played all nine holes:

1 – -2

2 – +4

3 – -5

4 – +1

5 – -6

6 – E

7 – E

8 – -5

9 – +1

Yes, remarkable.

“To me, The Cradle is the ideal blend of difficultly, yet it’s playable for pretty much everybody,” says Mitchum, who now must be considered the resident expert on Pinehurst’s short course. “It was certainly tricky in spots, especially depending on the hole location. But my last round was every bit as enjoyable as my first – even though I was hurting. I never got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore, and even with the same hole locations all day, I never once got bored.”

Mitchum admits to being very sore by the end of the round, and perhaps even moreso the next day. He was treated to a massage and cryotherapy at The Spa at Pinehurst, and says he felt much better after both treatments within another day.

“I was waaay better,” Mitchum says. “I was pretty close to back to normal.”

Mitchum’s day proved to be popular on social media and around Pinehurst Country Club. Many people came out to congratulate him at sunset. Mitchum plans to try the feat again next winter solstice, and Pinehurst plans to add a charitable aspect to the day.

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Playing the shortest course on the shortest day

Today being the Winter Solstice, Pinehurst pro Kelly Mitchum (yes, THAT guy) is celebrating by seeing how many holes he can play today on our shortest course, The Cradle. He started at sunrise and will play to sunset on the 789-yard course.

Here’s the final update from Kelly after the sun dipped below the horizon. What a day.

Here’s the afternoon update from Kelly, who would love to see people come out this evening to watch him finish at sunset, which is 5:08 p.m.

Scroll about 4 minutes in on the Facebook Live video below to see us slow Kelly down for a minute as he plays the 3rd hole.

Kelly started his day right at sunrise:

We’ll have more updates throughout the day to see how Kelly is doing – or if he’s still vertical. In the first two hours, he had already played eight rounds and had one hole-in-one.

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Golf Channel names The Cradle best in golf design for 2017

Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella ranked his top three golf architecture storylines for 2017, and you might like to know which course ranked No. 1:

Find out how you can play The Cradle here.

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The Perfect Holiday Gift in 8 Easy Steps

  1. You’re here, so Step 1 is already done (you’re online).
  2. Commit to the correct decision – Give the gift of golf this holiday season.
  3. Don’t overthink – Even if the family doesn’t include golfers, that’s fine, this gift is still perfect.
  4. Purchase one $50 Pinehurst Gift Card here.
  5. Include this phone number – (910) 235-8141, Ext. 4 – that’s the main golf shop.
  6. Include these instructions in a card: Happy Holidays! Call the Pinehurst Golf Shop and see about scheduling a tee time on The Cradle, Pinehurst’s new short course. This gift card covers you, but the kids can also play free with you, and all of you can play it as many times as you want that day.
  7. Encourage them to play Thistle Dhu, too. It’s free for everyone.
  8. Recipient enjoys golf with the kids, who just might fall in love with the game, too.

Your work here is done. Repeat if necessary.

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