So you love to play golf, but maybe you don’t have time to play 18 holes. Or maybe you aren’t particularly good at golf, but enjoy playing anyway. Or maybe you don’t play golf but your spouse does, and you don’t want to spend all afternoon waiting for him/her to finish a round so you can move on to your favorite activity. No worries. There is a course at Pinehurst Resort suited for all of these scenarios.
Opened in 2017, The Cradle is Pinehurst Resort’s nine-hole 3-par course that golfers of all levels can play in a shorter amount of time. Designed by golf architect Gil Hanse, the course is located near the Resort Clubhouse and features holes ranging from 56 to 127 yards. Its friendly, casual appeal is immediately evident.
Hanse’s design incorporates the native sandscape and wiregrass common to the original courses of Pinehurst. With holes that meander along the rolling terrain, The Cradle’s greens subtly blend into the surrounding landscape and are protected by rough-hewn bunkers, all features that have long been hallmarks of Pinehurst golf.
"The beauty of golf at Pinehurst is that it is very natural, traditional and classic, especially architecturally,” says Hanse. “That Pinehurst character, we believe, permeates through The Cradle. These nine little golf holes are on a historic piece of land, and we feel like each hole has its own identity that fosters the creativity golfers have enjoyed here for more than a century.”
Soon The Cradle will have a new addition -- a new pavilion area and open-air bar called “the Cradle Crossing” that will be located on the ridge overlooking the course behind the third green and fourth tee. The Cradle Crossing will feature several areas of seating, two fire pits, and restrooms.
Construction on the Cradle Crossing has begun and is expected to continue throughout the summer, with the area scheduled to open sometime in Fall 2021.
Those who have played The Cradle, and even many people who haven’t, are familiar with the Pinecone, a wood-paneled drinks trailer that has been an iconic fixture where the Cradle Crossing is now being constructed. The Pinecone isn’t going away, however. In fact, when the Cradle Crossing opens this fall, golfers just might get to see the Pinecone a bit more throughout Pinehurst.
With a history that stretches over 125 years and nine courses in addition to The Cradle, Pinehurst has earned the nickname “Cradle of American Golf.” The resort has continued to evolve and improve in recent years, from the renovation of its popular No. 2 and No. 4 courses, the opening of its Thistle Dhu putting course, The Deuce restaurant, and the nearby Pinehurst Brewery. But Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley said The Cradle is the addition he’s most proud of during his tenure.
“The Cradle is my happy place right now,” Pashley said. “My office is in the clubhouse, so it takes me 30 seconds to walk from my office to the steps overlooking The Cradle. Anytime I have spare time, I’ll do that. I can’t even begin to explain how much energy and fun that’s added to the overall Pinehurst experience.”
(Original articles by Erik Matuszewski, Forbes; and Pinehurst Resort. The Cradle Crossing rendering from Pinehurst Resort)