Going Deep At The Pebble Beach Golf Academy

Longtime Teacher Laird Small Puts Complete Learning First
pebble beach golf academy

First Class Facilities

pebble beach golf academy range
The practice range is state-of-the-art.

That seems like pretty standard stuff for any golf school, until you remember that you’re standing on hallowed ground in the Del Monte Forest, with perhaps the most famous public-access course in America not 500 yards down the hill. Everything’s gotta be first-class in the Pebble mode. People show up with big budgets and even bigger expectations, and Small and company deliver, making sure every even the most common detail is a cut above the average, right down to the putting green just behind the range. And yet, nothing is over-the-top in scale or attitude.

“We built this with the idea of showing people how to read greens,” Small continued, waving his hand toward the gently rolling surface. “We use the Aimpoint system. We can give them Aimpoint Express, which is a quick and easy way for them to read greens. We have a bunker, pitching area — it’s not a huge facility, but it’s good enough to meet the needs of the clients who then go out and play golf.”

That’s right — like all full-service golf academies, Pebble’s program isn’t limited to beating balls on the range and doing drills. Small wastes no time translating all that practice into real, live playing conditions, which usually starts at the lovely little circuit next door, especially if Small is facing first-timers.

“We have a great tie-in with our par-3 golf course, Peter Hay. We get people who are brand new to golf. They’re here with a significant other who does play, so while that customer is out playing Pebble, we teach the significant other for three and a half hours. A half hour of intro — why the golf ball does the funny things it does, concepts, what makes club head speed, how can they be more consistent in their striking. They come up with all these great questions about repetitiveness, consistency and hitting the ball straight, and we become a myth-buster.

“We do an hour full swing, an hour short game, then we go play Peter Hay to put those two skills together. We talk about etiquette. Then they have points of conversation with their significant other at the end of the day, and they can take that home with them.”

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