Location: Pinehurst, N.C.
Course architect: Gil Hanse
From the tips: 789 yards
Saturday Morning Green Fee: $$ ($50-$99. Juniors age 17-and-under play for free with paying adult.)
Caddie Service: No
Walker Friendly: Yes
Starter: The Cradle scorecard has a quote from famed architect Donald Ross saying, “Golf should be a pleasure, not a penance.” Pinehurst Resort's new short course delivers that motto in spades. Only three clubs are needed to attack this Gil Hanse gem, which was designed masterfully in tight quarters. Golfers have been begging for years for a shorter time frame on the links, and this is an answer, while still presenting a challenge on a unique scale.
Play because ... : One, it's Pinehurst. Two, it's fun. Then repeat.
Takeaway: You will either come away from a round bragging about your short game or knowing you’re in need of some serious work. Every golfer getting ready to play Pinehurst No. 2 should take a shot at The Cradle first to warm up your wedges. “We’ve been gazing at the beauty of it for three months with no people on it, and now it’s cool when The Cradle begins to have a heartbeat with laughter and high-fives,” said Tom Pashley, Pinehurst Resort president. “It has exceeded our expectations and it has only just begun.”
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 9.
Pro Shop: 10.
Course Difficulty: 7.
Pace of Play: 10.
THE COURSE | Scorecard
Best Par 3: No. 9, 112 yards. Actually, the task of choosing one is difficult. But limited to one, then the closing hole. The entire shape of the slightly downhill hole slopes right-to-left, with a narrow green from front-to-back, and guarded by a large waste area dotted with native grasses. This provides quite a visual intimidation factor. “And the cool thing out there as you make your way around the course is on every single hole you’re thinking “this could be it, I could get a hole-in-one,” Hanse said. “It’s not like you have to wait four or five holes for a par-3 to show up. The next shot could be the one.”
Rated by: David Droschak