Pinehurst Golf News Archive

The Story Behind Kelly Mitchum’s Amazing 3-Putt

By Lee Pace

Enter the phrase “Kelly Mitchum Pinehurst 3 putt” in a Google search box and in 0.93 seconds you’ll get 3,140 results. PGA.com anointed Mitchum a “magician.” He’s been fêted on CBSSports.com and on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program and given a cyber pat-on-the-back by noted golf blogger Geoff Shackelford.

“It’s been pretty amazing,” says Mitchum, a longtime instructor in the Pinehurst Golf Academy.

They say everyone has his 15 minutes of fame. Mitchum’s had a dose of golf fame in qualifying four times for the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four “majors,” while holding down a full-time job at Pinehurst.

Now his fame is taking a wholly different presence with a 20-second, self-produced video posted July 10 on Pinehurst.com that shows Mitchum executing a “trick shot” on a practice putting green — three putts struck within one second of each other, traveling on different paths and reaching the bottom of the same hole in rapid-fire succession.

What makes the feat so awe-inspiring is that the third putt hits the hole first, followed by the second, followed by the first.

“A lot of conversations are getting started these days, ‘Hey, I saw your three-putt,’” says Mitchum. “It’s been interesting. I got an email from a guy in India who’d been to our golf school a while back and had seen it. It’s pretty amazing.”

The Numbers

It’s the product of some imagination and skill on the part of Mitchum, 44, a former N.C. State golfer and winner of the 1993 North and South Amateur. And it’s a product as well of today’s social-media conscious world that gobbles up short and sweet bits of content like M&Ms.

By late August, the Mitchum clip on YouTube had more than 115,000 views. A Vine posting had registered more than 920,000 “loops,” as they’re known on the site comprised of 6-second video clips, and conceivably could reach 1 million. The “news” page of the Pinehurst website where the Mitchum video is housed has generated some 75,000 views. … Continue Reading

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Mona Jackson hits 4 Pinehurst courses on her quest to play 50 this year

We recently caught up with Mona Jackson, a North Carolina native who is on a quest to play 50 golf courses before her 50th birthday in December.

Mona played a little golf growing up, tagging along with her father for a few holes here and there, but caught the fever about 25 years ago.

Lucky for us, Mona chose to play four Pinehurst courses earlier this month. Here’s a quick Q & A about her journey.

Q: Where did the idea for #50CoursesFor50Years come from?

A: I am going to be 50 years old Dec. 16, 2015 and I had been thinking about doing something golf-related for some time. Golf has been a big part of my life the past 25 years and in some way I wanted to give something back to the game while celebrating this milestone birthday. A friend of mine had just completed a 40 year milestone of trying 40 breweries in her 40th year, so I thought, why not golf courses. My goal is to play 50 different golf courses between my 49th and 50th birthdays.

Q: How did you decide which courses you’ll play?

A: “There were a number of factors involved: My work schedule, travel involved, expense, course favorites. I picked some of my favorites and then some I had not played before. I started Dec. 15, 2014 at Doral – great course, but very hard.”

Q: What made you want to include Pinehurst? 

A: First of all, I am from North Carolina, so playing at Pinehurst was a no brainer. Secondly, I love the Pinehurst area – the charm, the history, the people – spending a week there was an amazing vacation experience.

… Continue Reading

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#WeAreUSKidsGolf

U.S. Kids Golf has quickly become a big part of Pinehurst history, and just this summer, U.S. Kids celebrated 10 years of holding its World Championships at Pinehurst.

The experience of visiting with these tremendous kids and their families for two weeks every summer makes for one of our best moments in golf, and we’re fortunate to enjoy it on an annual basis. Few things can match walking through the Pinehurst clubhouse during U.S. Kids and hearing 5-10 different languages just by walking from one end of the hall to the other.

We look forward to the years to come.

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Four members of the 2015 Solheim Cup team are Pinehurst champions

SolheimCup

A third of the 2015 Solheim Cup team have claimed victories at Pinehurst.  

Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel and Alison Lee won the Women’s North & South Amateur Championship in 2003, 2004 and 2014, respectively. And it’s impossible to forget Michelle Wie’s first major win at the 2014 U.S. Open. 

Congratulations, ladies! Cheer on the team Sept. 18-20.

Click here to meet the entire team. Learn more about the elite group of women who have won at Pinehurst over at PinehurstStories.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amateur legend Paul Simson makes more history at Pinehurst

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Paul Simson, one of the most decorated amateur golfers in history, stands with his record seventh Putter Boy trophy after winning the 64th Senior Men’s North & South Amateur. (Photo by Sarah Campbell)

With fifth Senior North & South title, Simson shares most championships in Pinehurst history

MEN’S SCORES

WOMEN’S SCORES

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Over twenty years ago, before he won his first North & South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst, Paul Simson couldn’t bring himself to even look at the wall of names of past champions in the resort’s famed clubhouse.

Oh, he knew the names. Knew them well. But even for the man who seems to have won every amateur title imaginable, it was the thought of having his name emblazoned in bronze at Pinehurst that sent the chill through him.

“I wouldn’t even go by the wall,” Simson said. “I just wanted my name to go up there so much, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at it.”

Just 20 years after winning the 1995 North & South Amateur, Simson played his way deeper into Pinehurst lore on Thursday after firing a final-round 69 to win the 64th Senior Men’s North & South Amateur Championship. It is Simson’s fifth Senior Amateur title, and with his two North & South championships, now puts his name on the North & South wall a total of seven times, the most in Pinehurst history. It is an honor he now shares with 7-time North & South Amateur Champion George Dunlap, 7-time Women’s North & South Amateur Champion Estelle Lawson Page and Carolyn Cudone, who won six Senior Women’s North & Souths and one Women’s North & South Amateur.

“I wouldn’t even go by the wall. I just wanted my name to go up there so much, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at it.” -Paul Simson

“It’s incredible to think about,” Simson said. “People 100 years from now may go by that wall, see my name and think, ‘What funny clubs did they use back then?’

“It’s something of a legacy, I guess. I know a lot of people who come here to visit and they stop by that wall. They tell me they’ve seen my name. It’s always a thrill to win at Pinehurst.”

Simson, a Raleigh native, came into the final round a shot behind Don Reycroft, of Norfolk, Massachusetts. But Simson and Reycroft were even after the 12th hole on Pinehurst No. 5, and when Reycroft opened the door with a bogey at 16, Simson capped his bogey-free round with a birdie at the 18th for a clear 4-shot victory at 10-under 204.

Birmingham, Alabama’s Steve Hudson was third after a final-round 67 for a three-day total of 5-under 209.

Simson, 64, is a legend in amateur golf, having won more than 200 titles. In 2010, he won the British Amateur, the Canadian Amateur and the U.S. Senior Amateur in a span of 55 days. In 2008, Simson played in the U.S. Senior Open, the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst and the U.S. Senior Amateur.

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Judith Kyrinis stands with the Putter Boy trophy after winning the 58th Senior Women’s North & South Amateur. (photo by Sarah Campbell)

Judith Kyrinis, playing in her first Senior Women’s North & South, began the final round three shots back of Pat Brogden, but rallied with a 2-over-par 72 on Pinehurst No. 1 while Brogden shot 77 to capture the 58th playing of the championship by two shots.

While Brogden faltered, Kyrinis, who was the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up in 2014, had a string of nine straight pars in the middle of her round to keep the pressure on, allowing her to prevail with a 7-over 221.

“This is unbelievable,” said Kyrinis, who hails from Ontario, Canada. “It’s amazing to think my name will be next to all of those incredible golfers. It’s just really, really special.”

Pinehurst’s Spike Smith won the Super Senior division of the Senior Men’s North & South by two shots over Frank Costanzo, of Savannah, Georgia. Pinehurst’s Tony Smarrelli was third.

Ginny Burkey, of Eugene, Oregon, won the Women’s Super Senior division in a playoff against Beatriz Arenas, of Guatemala. Greenville’s Angela Stewart was third.

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