Industry News

Independent study: Cleats improve shot distance from downhill lies

Study was conducted at Pinehurst Resort by instructor Eric Alpenfels and Bob Christina, an emeritus professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., March 9, 2019 – An independent study conducted at Pinehurst Golf Resort found that the average carry distance of shots from a downhill lie increased when the golfers in the study were wearing replaceable cleats. Additionally, 90 percent of the golfers who participated in the testing said they felt better swinging on a downhill lie in cleated footwear.

The study was conducted by GOLF Top 100 instructor Eric Alpenfels, PGA and Dr. Bob Christina, Emeritus Professor of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“This is the second scientific study to demonstrate the advantages of wearing cleated footwear instead of spikeless shoes,” said John Hohman, senior vice president of marketing for PrideSports. “Both low and high handicap golfers were able to produce more distance from a difficult lie with cleated footwear, and 75 percent of those who participated in the study had a greater level of comfort in cleated footwear for downhill lie shots.”

The study utilized 20 adult male golfers divided into two groups, 10 with handicaps over 12 and 10 with handicaps under nine. Each participant hit 20 measurable shots with a six-iron along a target line, five on flat ground without cleats, five on flat ground with cleats, five on an 8-10 degree slope without cleats and five on an 8-10 degree slope with cleats.

Additional findings were as follows:

· The golfers’ average carry distance decreased from wearing to not wearing spikes on a level lie and decreased even more from wearing to not wearing spikes on a downhill lie.

· The golfers’ average smash factor was appreciably better when wearing spikes on a downhill lie than not wearing spikes on either a downhill lie or a level lie.

The study also surveyed the participants after participating in the test, with 60 percent of high handicap and 90 percent of low handicap golfers preferring the cleated shoes for shots from a downhill lie.

This is the second independent study conducted by Alpenfels and Christina at Pinehurst. The first study focused solely on cleated footwear vs. spikeless for drives on flat ground. It found that driving distance, ball speed, shot dispersion and smash factor all improved when golfers wore replaceable cleats instead of spikeless footwear.

About PrideSports
Headquartered in Brentwood, TN with offices across America, Europe and Asia, PrideSports provides traction elements and retention systems to athletic footwear manufacturers around the globe as well providing its CHAMP and Softspikes branded products to retail channels worldwide - maintaining a preeminent position within golf, soccer, baseball, football and other sports. In addition, the company provides a full line of golf accessories and is the largest producer and distributor of golf tees in the world, with brands including Pride Golf Tee®, Pride Professional Tee System® (PTS) and Zarma Fly Tee®.

About Pinehurst
Established in 1895 in the Sandhills of North Carolina, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club is a 2,200-acre property featuring nine outstanding golf courses, a 9-hole par-3 course, 16 clay tennis courts, an award-winning spa, other recreation and social activities for families, and elegant accommodations across one hotel, two inns and condos. Widely known as the Cradle of American Golf, Pinehurst hosted more single golf championships – including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and PGA TOUR Championship – than any other site in North America. In 2024, it will again welcome the U.S. Open. The resort is slightly more than an hour from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 90 minutes from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and only a half-day drive from many east coast cities. To book tee times and golf packages:, 855-235-8507.

Mike Alday
Alday Communications, Inc.
615-791-1535 ext. 22