Pinehurst Golf Tips Archive

Top 10 Tips for Planning a Golf Buddy Trip

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF TIPS FOR THE BEST GOLF BUDDY TRIP all over the web. We’ve combed them all so you don’t have to.

Here are the 10 best tips to ensure you get the most out of your next buddy trip, with a little something extra off the tee for some.

10. 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 (855) 441-2213 or begin with an email.

9. Let it Grow You don’t have to be too ambitious too fast. Our friend Matt Adams has a simple suggestion for the birth of your first buddy trip: Keep it small to start, then let it grow. It’s just like anything else: the more you do something, the better you will get at it. The planning, the itinerary, costs, dinners, games – everything.


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8. 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. … Continue Reading

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The Story Behind Kelly Mitchum’s Amazing 3-Putt

By Lee Pace

Enter the phrase “Kelly Mitchum Pinehurst 3 putt” in a Google search box and in 0.93 seconds you’ll get 3,140 results. anointed Mitchum a “magician.” He’s been fêted on and on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program and given a cyber pat-on-the-back by noted golf blogger Geoff Shackelford.

“It’s been pretty amazing,” says Mitchum, a longtime instructor in the Pinehurst Golf Academy.

They say everyone has his 15 minutes of fame. Mitchum’s had a dose of golf fame in qualifying four times for the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four “majors,” while holding down a full-time job at Pinehurst.

Now his fame is taking a wholly different presence with a 20-second, self-produced video posted July 10 on that shows Mitchum executing a “trick shot” on a practice putting green — three putts struck within one second of each other, traveling on different paths and reaching the bottom of the same hole in rapid-fire succession.

What makes the feat so awe-inspiring is that the third putt hits the hole first, followed by the second, followed by the first.

“A lot of conversations are getting started these days, ‘Hey, I saw your three-putt,’” says Mitchum. “It’s been interesting. I got an email from a guy in India who’d been to our golf school a while back and had seen it. It’s pretty amazing.”

The Numbers

It’s the product of some imagination and skill on the part of Mitchum, 44, a former N.C. State golfer and winner of the 1993 North and South Amateur. And it’s a product as well of today’s social-media conscious world that gobbles up short and sweet bits of content like M&Ms.

By December, the Mitchum clip on YouTube had nearly 700,000 views. A Vine posting had registered more than 1.2 million “loops,” as they’re known on the site comprised of 6-second video clips. The “news” page of the Pinehurst website where the Mitchum video is housed has generated some 800,000 views. … Continue Reading

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Don’t you wish we could all 3-putt like this?

OF COURSE, Kelly Mitchum would 3-putt like this. After all, he’s pretty good. (Make sure to note the order the balls drop into the cup.)

Mitchum, who performed this trick shot at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, has played in four PGA Championships, was a U.S. Amateur semifinalist, played on the U.S. Walker Cup team, won the North & South Amateur, the ACC Championship and was a four-time All-American. He’s also been the Carolinas Golf Association Player of the Year 767 times (number is approximate).


Mitchum is one of Pinehurst’s lead instructors at the Pinehurst Golf Academy. He’s also finding ways to make practice fun at

Imagine what he could teach you.

*UPDATE – Kelly Mitchum has an EVEN BETTER 3-putt. Read about it here now.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To see a Vine of the original trick shot and to read about the story behind it, go here.

For more Pinehurst Golf Academy Tips, go here.

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We fact-checked John Daly’s barefoot golf claim

When we had our chance to interview John Daly at Pinehurst recently, we got a lot of questions from our audience.

Perhaps the most common, though, was with regard to Daly’s playing Pinehurst No. 4 in bare feet.

Naturally, we had the same question, so when we had a few minutes with him, we asked him about it:

Daly’s answer seems to make sense, but, you know, it’s John Daly. Was he blowing smoke?

So we asked PGA Master Professional and Director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy Eric Alpenfels about it. Here is Eric’s response:

In my case, I have had students hit shots with their shoes off to create better footwork (not coming up on their toes) through impact. Overall, I would agree with Daly in the thought that it helps keep his balance as well.  

As a sidebar, I would be a little concerned about doing that on courses that are in the process of fertilizing. No need to end up with an extra toe. 

For more Pinehurst Golf Academy Tips, go here.

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The Minds of the Pinehurst Golf Academy

At the Pinehurst Golf Academy, students receive instruction from golf professionals who have called the range at Pinehurst home for several years: (from l-r) Eric Alpenfels, Kelly Mitchum, Geoff Lynch and Paul McRae.

At the Pinehurst Golf Academy, students receive instruction from golf professionals who have called the range at Pinehurst home for several years: (from l-r) Eric Alpenfels, Kelly Mitchum, Geoff Lynch and Paul McRae.

Meet the “Mount Rushmore” of the Pinehurst Golf Academy

Photos by John Gessner


They have stood on the practice tee collectively for more than a century, through the winds of March and searing sun of July. They’ve seen laid-off club shafts, banana balls, weak grips, strong grips, hunched-over postures, flying elbows and lateral slides. The engineers who’ve come to them for help with their golf swing want a tip delivered on a slide rule, the artists prefer a catch phrase in rhyme.

Their minds are like encyclopedias of golf instruction theory and drills. Their patience extends to the moon and back, their good humor worthy of an ice cream truck. Each has an amateur degree in psychology—how else to climb inside the brains of thousands of golfers over the years and figure out what makes them click?

Through it all, the Pinehurst Golf Academy staff of Eric Alpenfels, Paul McRae, Kelly Mitchum and Geoff Lynch have been Pinehurst’s Mount Rushmore—four instructors averaging 25 years on staff and giving the Academy the consistency and ballast to grow and thrive in a golf economy that’s weathered three recessions since 1990 and seen the gradual slide of the golf school business since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

“Our school has continued to grow while golf schools in general are passé,” says Don Padgett II, the Pinehurst president and COO from 2004-2014. “Their experience, their consistent delivery, the personal attention—these guys are the model to buck the trend. We get a lot of repeat business. We’ve got guys who’ve been coming for 20 years.” … Continue Reading

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