Pinehurst Golf Tips Archive

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:

AIM WIDE.

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

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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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This golf swing might break the Pinehurst Golf Academy

If somehow you haven’t yet seen the viral golf swing pro Steve Wheatcroft tweeted from his pro-am round this week, then take a moment and admire.

We’ll admit, we’re a bit worried about what this might do once the Pinehurst Golf Academy’s Eric Alpenfels and his team get a look at it because truly, it may blow their minds. (Then again, one of them has been known to do this AND this, so maybe not.)


Anyway, once we hear from them, we’ll let you know if they survived with their expertise intact.

After all, the result is really good.

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Pinehurst Golf Academy: Recover from a bad shot like Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth’s recovery mid-round to win The Open Championship will no doubt soon become the stuff of legend. As we have seen in the past – particularly with Retief Goosen and Jason Gore in the final pairing of the 2005 U.S. Open, and actually, from Spieth himself – when things start to go bad on the golf course, sometimes they snowball into disaster.

Spieth, though, found a way to completely turn everything around on Sunday, and he won his 3rd major championship in doing so.

But what about you? In your weekend game, if you find yourself in trouble, what’s the best way to quickly rectify the situation? Eric Alpenfels, the director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy, has a three-step process that will get you back on track – just like Jordan Spieth, and maybe, just maybe, like Kenny Perry in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

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