We spent a very hot June afternoon on The Cradle, our first course in Pinehurst. What did we learn? Making contact with the ball is good. Carrying water in your purse is bad. And drinks are always a great idea.
Here’s a timeline of our outing.
Friday, 3:23 p.m.: As we’re getting ready, we start becoming more nervous. Is this T-shirt OK? Is it dumb to wear jeans on the course? Will these Nike shorts really do? Should we get there early to get a golf costume?
4 p.m.: We arrive at the Pinehurst Resort Clubhouse about 10 minutes late for our Tee Time and 45 minutes too late to pick up something respectable to wear. But unlike the receptionist at our doctor’s office, the check-in attendant doesn’t give us a hard time. Take note, Tammy.
4:10 p.m.: We walk down to get our equipment through a little window. It’s just like Putt-Putt, except you can’t just ask for the Red Club. Thankfully, one of us knows enough to request a wedge and a putter — and at the suggestion of the attendant, Curt, we add an 8 iron into the mix.
4:17 p.m.: There’s no turning back now. We’re told by our group’s expert, who has played the Cradle all of two times, that the higher the iron, the less distance it goes — and that an 8 iron is perfect for the Cradle’s distances. She tells us the longest hole is 127 yards, and two holes are just under 60. We nod and smile.
4:26ish p.m.: Those times we missed the ball? Practice swings. Yes, all four of them. The first in our group makes contact, and a group of men waiting to play through let up a cheer.
4:33? p.m.: We all manage to hit the ball toward the hole and locate where it landed. We decide to move our balls next to the one that made it the farthest and play from there. The name of that game? It’s called pity. For us and the hype boys waiting to play through.
4:50-something: We pause to take in this iconic view, becoming one of the 45,000 people to do so in the 1.5 years The Cradle has been open.
5, maybe: One of us actually comes within putting distance in the first try. The group behind us cheers loudly (again) while another one of us loses her ball in a sand trap. The hunt is on.
Nine minutes later: Yeah, that ball is gone.
After Five: You know what time it is. Time to hit up the Pinecone, The Cradle’s mobile, fully-stocked bar. We get something with vodka. Lots of it. We also start singing to the 90s country music pumping from the course’s 16 speakers. We don’t have to say don’t judge, because no one does.
5:22 ish: You would think it would be hard to lose a fluorescent orange ball. You would be wrong, because ours is somewhere in that grass.
5:32 (just guessing here): Another ball almost escapes. We are aware that this is not the intended use of the wedge.
One of us realizes her water has spilled out of her Yeti and into her purse. We take a moment to empty her bag near a tree and lift up prayers for her iPhone.
Back to play. Did we mention we’re getting hella tan? After re-fueling at the Pinecone (this time, with rum), we take on the last hole.
5:48 (we checked the time): We are literally saved by the sand rake. We also don’t know if that’s what you call it.
5:53: Success! We laugh nervously when Curt asks us what happened to our extra balls — and one that was not extra.
6:05: Time to celebrate a successful round — because, again, our version of success is making contact with the ball; and having an hour and a half of fun. Spiked milkshakes, tater tots and nachos at The Deuce will just have to do. Gotta replace those calories we lost on the course.
Oh, and the iPhone? Thanks for asking, but it’s working just fine. We chalk it up to a little bit of Pinehurst magic.
This post was produced in partnership with the Pinehurst Resort.