Director of Golf Instruction Eric Alpenfels joined the Pinehurst family in 1985. Named Carolinas PGA Teacher of the Year in 1995 and 2012, Eric has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 50 Greatest Teachers”, named one of the “Top 50 Master Teachers for Kids” by U.S. Kids Golf, and one of the "Top 100 Teachers in America by Golf Magazine. In 2013, Eric became one of the first graduates of the PGA of America Master Professional Program. His innovative research on the best practices in golf instruction has been published in Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and the European Sports Journal.
A lead instructor and Class A member of the PGA of America, Kelly Mitchum has played professionally on the Nike Tour, the Canadian Tour and various mini-tours. He is no stranger to competing on a large scale. He has played in four PGA Championships, four PGA Tour events in the last two years, and recently won his sixth Carolinas PGA Championship. In 2012, Mitchum finished tied for second in the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship to record his fourth top-10 performance in six appearances. Mitchum was a four-time All-American at N.C. State, won the 1991 ACC Championship and the 1993 North & South Amateur, and was a semifinalist in the 1992 U.S. Amateur.
With more than 20 years of experience, Paul McRae is a Class A member of the PGA of America and a lead instructor at Pinehurst. He’s taught LPGA tour players, mini-tour players, U.S. Senior Open qualifiers, U.S. Women’s Open qualifiers and collegiate players at top universities. Paul has also appeared on The Golf Channel and written instruction articles for Golf Magazine.
Geoff’s professional career began in 1991 in Pinehurst’s Tournament Operations department. He later served as assistant golf professional at Pinehurst No. 6 before advancing to the instructional staff at the Golf Academy. He became a Class A professional and a lead instructor during his seven-year tenure. After a brief return to the golf professional staff at both No. 6 & No. 8, he was promoted to manager of the Donald Padgett Learning Center in early 2007. He continues to teach in addition to managing the club fitting and golf equipment operations.
Both a Class A LPGA and PGA member, Nicole Weller competed in national youth and women’s golf before earning a golf scholarship to Wake Forest University Women’s (’94). Her undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Sport Psychology (University of Tennessee) led to published research and numerous articles on pre-shot routines, motor skill learning and mental / emotional focus aspects of the game. Her passion for teaching new golfers, women golfers and youth golfers (especially ages 2-3, 4-5) has earned her various national speaking engagements and recognitions such as National 2013 LPGA and PGA Youth Golf Leader Awards (only professional to ever win both awards in the same year), U.S. Kids Golf Master Kids Teacher, GRAA Elite Growth of the Game Professional, LPGA Top 50 Teacher, Golf Digest Best Young Teacher and various LPGA/PGA Section and Chapter Awards. A former Director of Instruction at The Landings Club in Savannah, Georgia, Nicole has published a children’s book and flashcard matching game for youngsters.
Ryan began his career in the golf Industry after obtaining his degree in Finance. Ryan began at Pinehurst with a strong understanding of Club fitting and repairs. Throughout his time here he has continued to enhance his skills in club fitting. After spending more time in the Golf Academy he has been able to learn about the golf swing and expand his role here as a teaching professional. Ryan has used his analytical skills and natural feel for golf to become a more well-rounded golf professional. He is currently pursuing his PGA Class A status with an emphasis on teaching and coaching.
Robert is an associate instructor and lead club fitter at the Golf Academy. Robert has been a resident of the Pinehurst area since 1997. A collegiate golfer at UNCG, he was elected a Class A member of the PGA in 2016. During his tenure Robert helps lead the club fitting operation while also being an instructor in a golf school and private lesson setting. He effectively uses Trackman and JC video in his club fitting and lesson sessions respectively.
Brian is an Associate Instructor and Lead Club Fitter at the Golf Academy. A graduate of the PGA Golf Management Program at NC State. Brian joined Pinehurst first as an Intern in 2006, and joined the Pinehurst teaching staff full time in 2011. Brian is a Class A PGA Professional as well as Level 1 Certified with K-Vest.
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