Monday, January 1, 2007
Choosing A Golf School
It's time to go back to schoolSome people remember school days as the best days of their lives. If you’re one of them—and you love golf—you might want to consider a destination golf school for your next getaway.
Know The Faculty. Golf schools are big business, and top golf instructors have become well-known brands. Hank Haney, Butch Harmon, Rick Smith, Dave Pelz, Jim McLean. You know what they did for your favorite professionals, and you know they could help you. Well, maybe they could, but do your homework before you expect to queue up behind Tiger or Phil for a lesson with the world’s top teachers. Most schools are led by teaching assistants, usually highly qualified PGA professionals in their own right, who follow a method developed and prescribed by the name on the letterhead. You’ll pony up more than a few extra bucks for quality time with the teachers of the stars.
Select A Campus. A campus needs to meet your educational and extracurricular standards. The on-campus facilities are important—does the school relegate students to a runway tee at the back of the range, or has it gone the extra mile and built a quality learning area that tests and develops shotmaking and short game skills? Is the learning method high-tech, high-touch or a little of both? What are the extracurricular activities? If you want to enjoy nightlife as part of your educational experience, look to Las Vegas or Miami. If it’s seclusion you seek, consider a mountain or desert hideaway. There’s something for every type of student.
Know Your Needs. What’s your major, and what do you plan to do when you graduate? Education today is all about specialization. Speak with a representative of the school, and be as specific as you can about what you expect to gain from the experience and how much time you intend to put into independent study once you return to the real world. Some schools offer special short-game programs. Others focus on driving or iron play. You can get a liberal arts-like full-game overview at some schools. When you know what you want, you have a much better chance of getting it.
Outside The Classroom. All golf schools must eventually face the fact that students play golf on the course, not at the learning center. What courses does the school offer access to? Are daily rounds included in the price, or will they hit you for hundreds more dollars? Do instructors accompany students on the course, or is the golf on your own? All work and no play make school a chore.