Pinehurst unveils a fittingly awesome new halfway house dubbed the Cradle Crossing

The new halfway house at the Cradle.

Connor Federico

If Pinehurst is some of the most hallowed ground in all of golf, The Cradle earns double points.

That is because the ground that The Cradle rests upon is not only hallowed, but flat-out beloved. Pinehurst’s eminently enjoyable short course has become a fixture of the resort ever since opening in 2017, and for good reason — Gil Hanse’s whimsical design captures the attention and imagination of near all its players. And, for the very few holdouts, Pinehurst placed the knockout blow shortly before the round’s halfway point: the Pinecone.

The Pinecone, an old-school, wooden barcart (on wheels!) has been a fixture of the last three years at the Cradle. It is the go-to location for mid-round cocktails, and its attendant (a lovely woman named Sheila) is responsible for delivering the goods. Transfusions are the Pinecone specialty, but don’t miss out on the namesake cocktail, the Pine Cone, which features a southern twist on hard lemonade.

As I wrote in August, the Pinecone is a place of camaraderie. A place of togetherness. A place to dive out of the way of an errant tee shot that smashes into the cart’s oak siding.

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At any rate, visitors of the Cradle typically don’t get much beyond the fourth hole before admitting their own burgeoning love for the course, the resort, and golf altogether. And this fall, Pinehurst is taking that love to an all-new level with the Cradle Crossing, a brand-new halfway house that recently started operations for the first time.

Cradle Crossing is larger, newer, and decidedly safer from flying projectiles than its old wooden counterpart. It also features a television, a full(er) bar, and some well-deserved shade for Sheila — in addition to some much-deserved upgrades. Also included as part of the expansion: a handful of new Adirondack chairs, a firepit, and an outdoor seating area for guests and players.

The new halfway house replaces the Pinecone, yes, but fear not! It will not be entering entirely into retirement. The Pinecone will still be utilized for special outings and other events, and will keep a profile around the resort.

The opening marks just the latest in a series of strategic shifts for Pinehurst, which has invested heavily in its resort offerings over the last decade. In addition to the overwhelming success of the Cradle, the resort hired Gil Hanse to renovate course No. 4, provided a facelift to the Manor hotel, and as recently as last week announced a major renovation to the Carolina, which has been the resort’s flagship hotel for decades.

Those efforts, in lockstep with a partnership with the USGA, are all with the stated goal of turning Pinehurst into the “home of American golf” — a sort of North American counterpart to St. Andrews.

For now, this much is certain: one of golf’s most beloved locations just got even better. Cheers!

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.