Pinehurst News

Phil’s ready for 2016…clearly

Today was Phil Mickelson’s first TOUR round of 2016.

He’s ready:

The dap, though, is NOT in midseason form…

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Alberta Travis – In Your Words

It was only a short while ago we posted our story about the incomparable Alberta Travis, who the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association will recognize for her accomplishments when she is honored as the 2016 Front Line Employee of the Year.

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Immediately, there was an outpouring of praise and support from many of you, those who are past guests of Pinehurst, but also from Alberta’s friends, family and co-workers. It is clearly apparent the impact Alberta has made not only on our guests over the years, but for everyone who comes in even a short moment’s contact with her.

Please take a second to read what others have said about one very special person:

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You’re right, Jeff. We are very blessed.

Congratulations, Alberta, from all of us.

*Please feel free to add your congratulations and notes to Alberta in the comments below.

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Welcome to Bert’s Place

Alberta Travis poses outside The Holly Inn, which has affectionately been dubbed "Bert's Place." Alberta Travis is as much of a fixture at The Holly Inn as the signature heart of pine floors and the Tiffany lamps that gives the hotel a warm glow.

Often the first person you see upon entering the 121-year-old establishment, she’s quick to offer an upbeat “Hello.”  In fact, Alberta is so synonymous with The Holly, its nickname is “Bert’s Place.”

When Alberta was hired as a housekeeper back in 1996, her supervisor sensed she wouldn’t be behind the scenes for long. She is, after all, a self-proclaimed people person.

Her work at The Manor Inn led to a friendship with the front desk clerk who offered to share a few tricks of the trade. Alberta would sneak down for a quick lesson whenever she had a free moment. When the clerk was out sick for an extended period of time, it was Alberta who offered to fill in.

After a few weeks, it was clear she had found her niche. When The Holly reopened after renovations in 1999, Alberta was tasked with manning the front desk. A year later, she was promoted to front desk supervisor, a role she’s held ever since.

Alberta’s wide smile and cheerful personality are hard to forget. She’s constantly recognized by guests for her ability to make The Holly Inn feel like home.

“You kind of accumulate family members over time. You get to know people and you really care about them.” – Alberta Travis

“The Pinehurst experience is not complete without having the chance to interact and meet Alberta,” said Rooms Division Director Matt Chriscoe.

For Alberta, the joy of working the front desk is meeting new people and seeing familiar faces.

“It’s never felt like work,” she said. “My husband always tells people ‘My wife wakes up every morning with that smile on her face, so I know she enjoys her job.’”

After nearly 17 years at The Holly, Alberta has come to know and love quite a few repeat guests.

“You kind of accumulate family members over time,” she said. “You get to know people and you really care about them.”

As a training supervisor, Alberta helped initiate the Red Star Repeat Guest Program.  Developed in 2014, the goal of the program is to recognize and retain first-time guests by creating a positive first impression.

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Alberta receives a hug from Kellie Slade, Director of Social Sales, after receiving word she’s been named the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Front Line Employee of the Year.

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association will recognize Alberta for her accomplishments later this month when she receives the award for Front Line Employee of the Year. Matt recently surprised her with the news during a senior staff meeting.

“She leaves an impression with her kind smile, genuine desire to assist and overall knowledge and skill,” Matt said.

Alberta and her husband, Andre, are avid bowlers, so when she isn’t at work you’ll find her perfecting her strike. She’s a member of two local leagues and often competes in regional tournaments.

She also enjoys whipping up Southern delicacies like collards, pintos and cornbread.

“I love to cook and watch everyone eat,” she said. “My fun comes from the enjoyment.”

Alberta and Andre have four adult children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“Almost everyone in my family has worked here at some point,” she said. “For us, Pinehurst is family.”

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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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PINEHURST GOLF ACADEMY

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):

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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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