Pinehurst Golf News Archive

The long-lost Michelle Wie Sports Illustrated cover

If you were paying any attention to Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, you may have come across the story about Sports Illustrated’s cover predicting the eventual World Champion Houston Astros of 2017. The only catch was that, despite spitting in the face of the long history of the SI Cover Jinx, that Astros cover was actually from 2014.

In fact, it was the June 30, 2014 issue of SI. And, as writer Alan Shipnuck now explains three years later, HE was supposed to have been the author of the cover story, and that cover story was SUPPOSED to be about Michelle Wie’s fulfilled promise in winning the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst.

Alas, a late editorial decision went against Shipnuck, who harbors absolutely no hard feelings (yeah, right). But now, here it is: the long lost Michelle Wie SI Cover from Pinehurst:

Always good to see a fist-pump after a big putt at Pinehurst. The cover shot – well, would-be cover shot – is from Wie’s tournament-slamming 25-foot birdie down the hill on the 17th green.

Leave a comment

How can you hit more fairways with more power? It has to do with your aim


Eric Alpenfels, director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy, has a way to help you hit your driver with more accuracy AND more power.

It has to do with your aim – and perhaps a little with your head.

Alpenfels, in his most recent study with Dr. Bob Christina, took on the “Aim Small, Miss Small” philosophy. The idea being that if you aim at a precise target, you’ll be more accurate. It seems to work in sports like archery, so why not golf?

But that’s not at all what Alpenfels found. You can read about the driver part of the study above (click the photo to enlarge it), which was published in the October issue of Golf Magazine. But the gist is this:

When aimed at a wide target – the entire width of the fairway – players found the fairway far more often – 60 percent of the time – AND carried the ball longer for an average distance gain of more than 6 yards. But when aiming at a small target, the players only hit the fairway 50 percent of the time without the distance gain.

So, instead of aiming small in the hopes to miss small, aim big to hit big – and hit paydirt more often.

Leave a comment

Perfect for Halloween: How the Putter Boy costume came together

The best golf-related #Halloween costume EVER. #pinehurst #pinehurstresort

A post shared by Pinehurst Resort (@pinehurstresort) on

A little over a year ago, Joe Morris started his first day of work at U.S. Kids Golf. It was a day or so before Halloween.

Just a few months out of college, Morris, 23, was told that the employees have a costume contest on Halloween. Not sure how to take that and being the new guy, Morris kept things simple – he showed up as a golfer struck by lightning. A few holes in a golf shirt and he was done.

“I really didn’t think anything of it,” Morris says. “Thing is, everybody went all out. I knew if I wanted any chance of winning, I’d have to step it up.”

Sitting in an office cubicle as a sales rep, one thing would always catch Morris’ eye across the room. There, in another office, stood a replica statuette of Pinehurst’s Putter Boy, likely from one of the annual U.S. Kids World Golf Championships’ visits to the resort.

“I knew I wanted to do something golf-related,” Morris says. “Now I had an idea.”

That idea blossomed into a trip to Goodwill to find the shirt, pants and hat. Shoes were a bit of a problem there – “I couldn’t really find anything that worked for men’s shoes, so I went with some women’s shoes,” Morris says. The next purchase was spray paint – a lot of spray paint.

But there was still some engineering to be done.

“At first I figured I’d just put myself on some sort of platform and take the stance,” Morris says. “But the Putter Boy is just that – he’s a boy. And he’s a statue. So, I needed to be smaller.”

That’s when Morris got the idea to fully replicate the Putter Boy statue, and thanks to a stepmother who’s also a teacher – “My handwriting is SO bad,” says Morris – the full effect with the pedestal for displaying Lucy Richards’ famed 1912 statue began to come together.

Morris cut away the back of the box to give his legs some room, and then cut the pants to shorts’ length to bring the illusion together. But whenever he solved one issue, another would seem to pop up.

“I had to get into there a little closer to make it look right,” he says. “So, I realized I needed to cut the backs out of the shoes to make everything fit. I was kind of freaking out.”

It was also Monday night. Halloween was Tuesday.

Morris managed to pull it all off, though admittedly remained pretty light-headed from the spray paint. He took his costume to work in pieces, leaving much to be desired once he got to the office.

“People thought I was some sort of green witch because I just had this stuff all over me,” he says. “And I reeked of spray paint.”

But when it came time for the costume parade, Morris put each piece together. He grabbed a toddler U.S. Kids putter for the last effect.

“It was a pretty big reveal,” Morris says.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do to top it next year, but if there’s a request, I’m happy to do it.”

Pinehurst had one such request: How about the Payne Stewart statue next year?

“Hmmm, I think I can make that happen,” Morris says.

And while it was a no-doubt winner at the office, once Pinehurst got ahold of it, things really took off.

“I started seeing it all over social media,” Morris says. “One guy told me, ‘You got over 1,000 Likes on Pinehurst’s Instagram.’ I was like, ‘I’ve never gotten 1,000 Likes on Instagram in my life.’”

A photo of the costume was shared throughout the day and evening on social media and on golf sites such as and It was featured on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Wednesday morning. Golf Digest declared Morris as Golf Halloween’s winner.

“I had no idea any of this would happen,” Morris says. “I wanted to stand out, but the response has been amazing. I don’t know what I’m going to do to top it next year, but if there’s a request, I’m happy to do it.”

Pinehurst had one such request: How about the Payne Stewart statue next year?

“Hmmm, I think I can make that happen,” Morris says.

Leave a comment

How The Cradle was Built – A Timelapse

Gil Hanse broke ground on The Cradle, Pinehurst’s new 789-yard short course, in early May. On September 30, The Cradle enjoyed its grand opening, and has been the buzz around Pinehurst ever since. Guests can play The Cradle for a $50 daily fee – replays are free – and kids 17 and under play The Cradle free when with a paying adult.

While it took about five months to build The Cradle, we’ve condensed that down to about 2 minutes here. A few things to look for:

:00-7 seconds We open with one of the very first moments of construction. As you can see, the grass for what were the 1st and 2nd holes of Courses 3 and 5 is still evident. In the first second, you can see the stake marking what would become The Cradle’s 6th tee. (You have to be quick on the trigger to see it in the lower right corner of the frame.)

:08-30 seconds – At about 8 seconds, we shift a bit to the right with the camera and the clubhouse is the center of the frame. This is still the general area of where the 6th hole of The Cradle is – near what was the first green of Course 3. Hanse called the area for The Cradle “a pretty great little piece of land,” and seeing its elevation and undulation through some of the building here is interesting.

:32-45 seconds – You begin to see some shaping and carving here. No mules needed, though.

:46-54 seconds –  A note: anytime you see a bulldozer or some large equipment – in any of the 54 seconds to this point – there’s a good chance it’s actually Hanse driving it.

:55 seconds – We move the camera one last time – just a bit more to the right – and can watch as one of Hanse’s featured sandscapes and greens come together.

:56 seconds-1:41 – Through this stretch, you can see a lot of the bunker carving, grass sod being incorporated, and over time, the bermudagrass green being shaped, top-dressed and sprigged. As the bunker work continues to become more refined – note the shadows as the sun sets – you can see how the green grows in over the span of about 7-8 weeks. Also, the course itself begins to mature before your eyes.

1:42 – Wire grass.

1:50 – Finishing touches, including the tee marker signs.

1:52 – Play begins.

1:53 – Beautiful, glorious days in Pinehurst.

2:03 – The end, but like The Cradle, not really. Go ahead…play it again.



Leave a comment

The Cradle, like you’ve never seen it before

We’re really proud of The Cradle, and we’ve certainly had a few stories to tell since it opened just four weeks ago.

But as much fun as we’ve already had with it – and that truly is the point, FUN – this look of The Cradle by Lie + Loft is unlike anything we’ve seen of it before.

We hope you enjoy.

Leave a comment