Pinehurst Golf Tips Archive

5-year-old is too short to see his great shot

…That said, Isaac Riches, have we got a course for YOU:

This is tremendous. Hang around to watch Isaac’s reaction after being told of his shot.

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The Best Tips for Planning Your Buddy Trip

HERE ARE THE BEST TIPS to ensure you get the most out of your next buddy trip, with a little something extra off the tee for some.

9. R&D MAKES FOR THE BEST R&R It’s not how long you to plan, it’s how well you plan. If your dates are flexible, ask about specials. Many golf resorts have “shoulder seasons” such as March or November when the weather might still be great but high season rates haven’t yet kicked in. And sure, you might need an extra layer, but that extra layer might mean an extra day – and an extra 18 or 36 – as well.

Extra Club: Ask about shuttle service to and from the airport. Why drive if you don’t have to? Often airport shuttle rates are discounted depending on the number in your group. And some resorts like Pinehurst offer free shuttle service around the resort during your stay. Leave the keys – and the road rage – at home.

To plan your Pinehurst Buddy Trip, call (800) ITS-GOLF or begin with an email.

8. THE MICHAEL JORDAN RULE Play for something different. Yes, it could be a trophy. But make sure it’s interesting. Michael Jordan always had an answer when someone asked how much they’d play for: “Whatever makes you nervous.” We’d paraphrase that to be, “Whatever makes you putt the 3-footer.”

Extra Club: It doesn’t have to be for cash. How about this? Loser babysits the kids so the victor can take his wife out for dinner when they get home. Ready to concede that 3-footer now? Didn’t think so.

7. THE THROWAWAY ROUND Too much competition might lead to some frayed nerves…and tempers. Make sure to incorporate a noncompetitive round in your trip – something just for fun where scores don’t matter. Just want to get in 9, or 14? Fine. Mulligans? Sure, just don’t hold up play. Have fun, play fast. Golf is a game, after all. Enjoy it.

Extra Club: Um, duh. Try The Cradle at Pinehurst, our new 789-yard short course. All kinds of games are at your fingertips (like these), and heck, there’s a chance your entire group might even get to play together.


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6. SHIP HAPPENS Don’t fly with your clubs. Use a club shipping service like Ship Sticks. It’s what they do, they do it well, and most resorts deal directly with them. Golf bags are always the last bags off the plane and are often sent to a different area of the baggage claim. Time is golf, people.

5. THE COMMITTEE OF ONEGolf Digest’s David Owen makes the best case for this: “Give one person the overall responsibility for managing the itinerary, keeping track of reservation deadlines, reminding laggards to make their deposits, and deciding which minor tasks can safely be delegated. Having a single, reliable leader makes it less likely that critical details (such as tee times) will be forgotten and creates a clear blame path if things go wrong.”

Extra Club: Same thing applies to rules decisions. Ask the club pro to make the final decision on a rules claim. Keep the boys – and their hurt feelings – out of it.

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4. TAKE A BREAK Yes, you are there to golf. But don’t be so blind that you miss the culture, too. Why go to Ireland or Scotland and not experience what the actual country – outside of the country club – has to offer? Time off from competition helps recharge the batteries, not to mention the sore muscles and egos. Speaking of sore muscles, try the resort’s spa (View our Gentlemen’s Menu here). A treatment could go a long way, and many resorts offer spa discounts – especially midweek.


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3. TAKE A BREAK…FROM EACH OTHER: Another great tip from David Owen. Don’t feel like you have to do everything as a group all the time. “We often split up for dinner, primarily to eliminate tedious arguments about who is willing to pay how much to eat what. Doing this also occasionally generates interesting demographic data, as it did when (as someone realized later) all the Democrats went to a sushi bar while all the Republicans went to Outback.”

Extra Club: Speaking of politics, just…don’t.

2. FUN AND GAMES Mix it up with different games and different pairings for each round. But don’t get too heavy on stroke play. Ever start a round with two doubles and a triple in the first four holes? You’re done, right? Not in match play, or in…

Extra Club: Modified Stableford. As Barbara Berwick told Golf Digest, “Our group uses a modified stableford format, where you get points for bogeys and better. I didn’t want everyone to be too worried about their score. Stableford scoring rewards you for risk, which is a fun element. And they like it because we now have a big scoreboard, but people can’t tell what they actually shot.”


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1. STICK AND STAY As Dave Walker explained to Golf Digest: “If you find a place you like, stick with it. The people at the resort or the golf course, they’ll go the extra mile if they know this is a yearly thing.”

Extra Club: Some resorts offer return guests special rates. Note the name of your reservationist and ask for him or her the next time. Most likely they’ll still have your guest record, which will make planning all the easier.

Also, the better you know a course, the better you’ll play.

And isn’t that the point?

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Hit your wedges closer to the pin

Kelly Mitchum, who leads the Pinehurst Golf Academy’s Short Game School, has a simple tip to help you hit your wedges closer to the pin.

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Hit it closer with this simple tip

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You’ve found the fairway off the tee (and probably farther, too). So, now, how can we maximize our chances of hitting a good approach shot into the green?

Eric Alpenfels, the director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy, has a tip:


Alpenfels, when studying whether the Aim Small, Miss Small philosophy works for golf (the study was featured in the October issue of Golf Magazine), found that golfers aiming at a 15-yard wide target of the green accomplished two things:

  1. When testing with a 6 iron, they hit shots nearly seven yards longer.
  2. Their average deviation from the center of the green was just 6.3 yards with a 6 iron, compared to 7.4 yards when aiming at a small target (like, say, the pin).

Alpenfels, to his credit, will say that, scientifically, that’s a minimal difference in accuracy.

But as a golfer, the chance to be 9-10 feet CLOSER on a putt is huge.

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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.

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