At The Cradle Solstice, Pinehurst celebrates the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, by playing our shortest course, The Cradle, from sunrise to sunset.

If you were following us on Twitter and Instagram on Monday, Dec. 21, you got a pretty good feel for the event, which began with the first tee shots at 7:22 a.m. and finished with the last shots being made when the horn sounded as the sun dipped below the horizon at 5:09 p.m.

In total, 16 players participated in the Cradle Solstice, raising money in a variety of ways – flat donations and sponsors, or donations based on number of holes played, birdies made and holes-in-one. You can still donate here.

We’ll take a look at some fun numbers in a moment, but the most important number is that we’re hopeful we’ll again raise more than $30,000 to benefit the Eastern and Central Food Bank of North Carolina, PGA Reach and Young Life of the Sandhills. We’ll know more in a couple of weeks as the donations continue in, and will share the final tally then.

Great thanks to the Cradle Solstice sponsors: Walmart, Golf Pride, Kuhn Dental Associates, White and Allen PA, Kinston and Huntley Design Build.

But yes, the actual numbers are staggering. Take a look:


Total Holes Played:


(We’re still counting for 2020; 3,297 in 2019)

Total Completed Rounds:


(363 in 2019)


Total Birdies:


(542 in 2019)


Total Aces:


(8 in 2019)


Scoring Average:


A few more individual numbers:

  • Robert Hoadley set the new record for most total holes in a single day, playing 48 total rounds and 432 holes. Kelly Mitchum topped his own previous record of 404 holes, set in 2019, with 414 holes in 2020, only to be beaten by Hoadley.

  • We know Kelly had about 54,000 steps in his round, totaling more than a marathon with 26.64 miles covered. We don’t have Robert’s total…because his watch gave up halfway through the day. We can’t blame the poor watch.

Aces were made by:

  • Kelly Mitchum had three hole-in-ones this year, which increased his record total to 10 all-time on The Cradle. He made aces on holes 2, 4 and 7 on Monday.
  • Rob Pilewski had two aces, coming on the 2nd and 8th holes. The one on the 8th – it was Rob’s second-to-last hole before sunset.
  • Amy Rich, Ben Bridgers and Gus Ulrich had one ace apiece.

Here were the birdies per hole:

  • 1- 73
  • 2- 88 plus 2 aces
  • 3- 112 plus 2 aces (lowest scoring average hole)
  • 4- 47 plus 1 ace (highest scoring average hole)
  • 5- 95
  • 6- 76 plus 1 ace
  • 7- 61 plus 1 ace
  • 8- 102 plus 1 ace
  • 9- 65