Pinehurst Golf Tips Archive

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

BY LEE PACE

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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Video: Get your round started…in a positive way

Pinehurst Golf Academy PGA Master Professional Eric Apenfels offers three tips on how to properly begin your round. Love the insight on how to prepare on the practice range before you step to the first tee.

(H/T to PGA.com.)

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6 simple steps to improve your golf grip in seconds

Eric 1

Photo by Shecter Lee

Eric Alpenfels knows golf.

As the Director of Golf Instruction here at Pinehurst, he shares his knowledge with golfers of all skill levels looking to improve their game.

Alpenfels, who has been recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Teachers in America,” recently shared with the publication his advice about how to improve golf grip.

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Alpenfels writes: “In a recent poll of Top 100 Teachers, 81 percent acknowledged that the grip is one of the first things they work on with new students. I’m not suprised. Most golfers see the grip as simple — grab the handle and squeeze. But there’s a lot more to it, and making even the slightest error can have serious ramifications in your swing. (By the way, the 19 percent who said their students’ grips don’t need work admitted to coaching only pro players. See a pattern?)

“If you’re concerned about your grip, then follow these simple steps. This is the method we teach at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, and it’s sequenced to set your hands in the correct positions and avoid the most common grip errors. It’s a 5-second procedure that will give you the power and control you’ve been missing.”

Here’s a look at the piece titled “New Way to Take Your Golf Grip.”

Give it a try.

… Continue Reading

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