Pinehurst News

Putt like Jordan Spieth

Should you look at the hole while putting? It works for Jordan Spieth. Could it work for you?

A DECADE AGO, ERIC ALPENFELS AND THE PINEHURST GOLF ACADEMY studied whether looking at the hole while putting could lead to better results on the greens.


Ten years later, we’re now wondering whether a 12-year-old Jordan Spieth read that article.

Alpenfels’ original study concluded that test subjects who watched the hole on long putts (28-to-43 feet) rolled the ball 24 percent closer than those who putted conventionally. This is significant; it’s the difference between having a 4-foot putt for par or a 3-footer.

In the video above, Alpenfels, the director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy and one of the few Master PGA Professionals, explains why looking at the hole – instead of the traditional manner of looking at the ball while making the putting stroke – works for Spieth. He also explains how the amateur player could determine whether this technique might lead to a better performance on the greens.

Alpenfels’ original study (conducted with Bob Christina, the dean emeritus of Health and Human Sciences at UNC-Greensboro) concluded that test subjects who watched the hole on long putts (28-to-43 feet) rolled the ball 24 percent closer than those who putted conventionally. This is significant; it’s the difference between having a 4-foot putt for par or a 3-footer.

It also worked on short putts (3-to-8 feet), which is where Spieth uses the technique. The results of the study, published in GOLF Magazine in 2005 and revisited in November 2014 (see below), earned the magazine a National Magazine Award, making GOLF the only golf publication to receive magazine publishing’s highest honor.

From GOLF MAGAZINE (Click to enlarge):

SpiethPutting1 Thumb

SpiethPutting2 Thumb

For more Pinehurst Golf Academy Tips, go here.

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Fix your slice…Inside?

Even if you’re stuck inside for the winter, you can still work on your golf game

THINK THAT SLICE OF YOURS is just in hibernation for the winter, only to make its unseemly return in the spring when you return to the golf course?

Well, maybe not. Maybe you can begin to cure that slice this winter. All you need is a club and… a wall.

In the above video, the Pinehurst Golf Academy’s Eric Alpenfels explains.

Maybe you can begin to cure that slice this winter. All you need is a club and… a wall.

THE PROBLEM: A common problem for slicers is pulling the club too far inside on the takeaway. But even if you’re stuck inside for the winter, you can still work on your golf game.

THE DRILL: The Wall Drill provides something other anti-slice drills don’t: immediate and effective feedback. Bumping the wall lets the golfer know right away that his club is too far inside. It’s a single objective – don’t hit the wall. After doing it a while, it’s easy to recall a mental picture of the wall, which helps correct the shape of the backswing. It’s a simple, memorable and effective image.

THE RESULTS: This should reduce the inside path angle of backswing significantly. It also may help with distance. The Pinehurst Golf Academy’s original study found that test subjects even added an average of 13.72 yards of carry with a 6-iron.

For more Pinehurst Golf Academy Tips, go here.

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The Spa to roll out new facials, Swe-Thai Massage this spring

Spa Facial Training Jan 2016 1

Heather Paxton practices the new Fluid Performance Facial.

Earlier this week, The Spa at Pinehurst was been closed for upgrades, so our team used that time to sharpen their skills.

Charlett Albert, an educator for the European skincare line BABOR, was on site teaching our estheticians how to perform a variety of new facials. Throughout the past year, The Spa has switched to using BABOR products for almost all of its facials.

The products consist of powerful natural ingredients that provide targeted solutions to skin problems like aging and blemishes, so no matter what your skin concerns our team can address them.

Margie Meshew was also at Pinehurst to give our massage therapists a tutorial on how to perform  a Swe-Thai Massage. The unique style of massage blends the ancient eastern knowledge of a highly revered form of medical massage with advanced soft tissue therapies.

Check out the new services that will be offered at The Spa this spring.

Detox Facial  (50 minutes)

What it does: BABOR’s exclusive detoxifying complex contains a high dose of vitamins A, C and E, minerals and anti-oxidants that treat and pamper the skin while neutralizing the harmful substances that induce aging. The resulting detoxification will supercharge nutrient revitalization to the skin and instantly enhance radiance.

Sandhills Classic Facial (50 minutes)

What it does: With the use of BABOR products, we’ve put a new spin on our Sandhills Classic facial. This innovative and power-packed treatment, customized to your skin’s needs, will protect your cells’ DNA with Alpine stems cells and specific massage manual techniques that stimulates skin regeneration. The skin is left refreshed and radiant.

Vital Aktiv Boosting Facial (50 minutes)

What it does: Customized exclusively to the needs of a man’s skin and his daily rituals, this treatment cleanses and clarifies to provide increased vitality while soothing irritation from shaving and moisturizing the skin for long lasting results.

Collagen Booster Facial (80 minutes)

Spa Facial Training Jan 2016 4

Charlett Albert, an educator for BABOR, shows Stephanie Michaelis the proper technique.

What it does: Using ultra-potent hyaluronic acid and collagen to boost skin from the inside out, this treatment plumps the skin and smooth’s fine lines and wrinkles.

The treatment ends with a thermos-sculpting mask that lifts and reshapes the facial contours without the need of injections.

Fluid Performance Facial (25 minutes)

What it does: BABOR’s personalized fluids saturate the skin with moisture and nutrients leaving it feeling softer and smooth in just minutes.

Note: BABOR products are free of PEGs (polyethylene glycols), synthetic silicon oils, skin-irritating mineral oils, paraffins and paraffin derivatives, parabens and materials derived from animals.

Swe-Thai Massage

What it does: Swe-Thai has successfully been proven to alleviate pain and muscle tension, induce deep relaxation, help to balance the nervous system and increase flexibility. It also promotes a sense of calmness to refresh the mind.

Swe-Thai was created to address many conditions throughout the entire body while specifically treating any general neck and back disorders.

Spa Massage Training Jan 2016 3

Erin Clewis and her fellow massage therapists practice performing the new Swe-Thai Massage.


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You have to see this 6-year-old’s golf swing

What would John Daly’s golf swing look like on a 6-year-old?

Christian Bennett shows us.


Hold on, we’ve got to watch that again.


As if you couldn’t tell already, Christian can really, really play. He’s been playing golf since he got a plastic golf club at 18 months old, and broke his first window playing inside when he was about 2. Christian just turned 6 on Dec. 4, but last year played in 13 tournaments, winning three of them. He has a schedule of 24 tournaments in the Delaware and Pennsylvania area lined up for 2016.

One tournament on his schedule? The U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst. We can’t wait to see that awesome swing in person.

Hit ‘em straight, Christian. See you in July.


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Bennett wins 4th straight Pinehurst Caddie Tournament

Eric Bennett_CaddieTourney

Eric Bennett won his fourth straight Fletcher Gaines Caddie Tournament at Pinehurst.

For two days in January, there were no bags to carry, only scores to settle.*

This week, Pinehurst conducted its annual Fletcher Gaines Caddie Tournament, a two-day event pitting the Pinehurst caddies against themselves. The first round was played on Pinehurst No. 8 while the tournament concluded with the final round on Pinehurst No. 2.

Eric Bennett was again the runaway champion. Winning for the fourth straight year and for the fifth time overall, Bennett can now officially say he has the man for whom the tournament is named after in sight. Gaines, a Pinehurst Hall of Fame caddie, won the most Pinehurst caddie tournaments with seven titles.


Click to enlarge

Bennett is on his heels, though. He shot an even-par 72 on No. 8 in the first round to carry a one-shot lead over Joe Crnko into play on No. 2. Bennett, though was even better on Donald Ross’s famed layout, lapping the field with a 1-under 71 to win by 10 shots over the second-place Crnko. Kevin Krysty, with rounds of 75 and 79, was alone in third.

For full field scores, go here.

*Apologies to The Fayetteville Observer’s Stephen Schramm for borrowing one of his better lines from his 2013 column about the Fletcher Gaines Caddie Tournament. It’s too good of a line not to use again. Please read his piece; it’s well worth your time.

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