Friday will be the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

And since the opening of our short course, The Cradle, and thanks to Pinehurst golf professional Kelly Mitchum, the Solstice has quickly become a fun day here. A year ago, Mitchum played The Cradle from sunrise to sunset to celebrate the Solstice, eventually finishing the day by playing 26 total rounds– a staggering 234 holes. (He also shot 12 under par!)

At the end of the round last year, Mitchum hoped he could try the Cradle Solstice again in 2018, but this time with a charitable component. And this year, he has done that.

Benefitting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and Young Life of the Sandhills, a total of nine players will take part in the 2018 Cradle Solstice, hoping to earn pledges throughout the day for any number of categories – one-time donations, for numbers of holes played, for number of birdies or holes-in-one made, etc. Donations can be made here by visiting this site and clicking the green Donate button.

We’ll have updates throughout the day Friday on how players are faring, how many holes they are playing, and a running tally of total holes, total birdies and total aces made during the Solstice. Spectators are encouraged to come and watch, to walk with players, to offer to carry bags for players, and nonperishable food item donations will also be accepted on site.

The first tee shot will be struck at sunrise at 7:21 a.m. Clubs – and hopefully a few last putts – will be dropped at sunset at 5:09 p.m.

We hope you’ll join us and watch, but we also hope you’ll take part by donating. Have a favorite player? You may donate on behalf of him or her and root for that golfer to play as many holes as possible.

Take a look at who will be playing Friday:

  • Kelly Mitchum, Pinehurst Golf Academy Lead Instructor
  • Matt Barksdale, Pinehurst Head Golf Professional
  • Ben Bridgers, Pinehurst Director of Golf
  • Lee Pace, Author
  • Justin Bode, Bode Chiropractic
  • Robyn Humphrey, Pinehurst Country Club Member 
  • Robbie Zalzneck, Championship Director of the 2019 U.S. Amateur
  • Robert Hoadley, Pinehurst Golf Professional
  • Eric Kuester, Vice President, Sales and Business Development