Golf Schools vs. Golf Academies

Relax! Relax and pay ($$) attention.

Okay, so you haven’t had much success with your old golf instructor after another series of lessons. One of your playing partners suggests that you should sign up for one of these golf schools or golf academies that will slice, dice and pick your swing apart and magically put it all back together without so many of your swing flaws.
Sounds great. Sounds like this could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Now you have to think about and answer some questions to help you decide on just what you want to do. For example, should you take a 1-day program, a 2-day program or even a 3-day program? What instructor should I go to for help? Who has the best facilities to suit what I’m looking for? How large are the class sizes? How much money is this going to cost? All basic and necessary questions you need to ask before making a decision.

Over the years, I have known and met many people that have attend more then 1 golf school or academies. Each has come away with a slightly different slant on their overall experience which is comprised of several factors such as the location of the school, the qualities of the teachers and, of course, the end result. Most have told me while they enjoyed for the most part doing the school, they would not do it again. They felt that for the expense of the experience, the end result did not justify the means. Their golf swing and golf game did not get appreciably better. Is this really a surprise? After all, it took years to develop a bad golf swing and it sure as hell takes more then a 3-day school to undo it despite what anyone tells you.

Again, from my observations and my own experience attending golf schools, all of them are pretty much the same in their programs. Each covers various parts of the game. Each will have an instructor walk you through your swing showing you what you need to correct and the things you need to do to get it corrected. They even reinforce this with video…a good thing. Schools or academies will then typically get into discussions about physical conditioning and some will even explore the area of nutrition…also a good thing. My problem with this is that operations like this seem to want to almost overwhelm you with information, most of which is just good common sense things that you already know. The intention is good. Now you just have to become a believer.

Here are some basic questions you have to ask yourself, I think, before you make both the time and financial commitment to a golf school or academy: How much of a better player will I be after I leave if I don’t practice and commit to the new things I have learned? Am I really going to stick to a daily workout or stretching routine that will help my game? Am I going to start eating healthier as was suggested? Will I change my practice routine and really work harder on the weaker parts of my game or my swing as was pointed out? Am I really going to stay in touch with my instructor to let him/her know about how I am doing? Let’s be honest here folks. You already know the answers so I won’t go there!

I don’t care what you call these operations, call them a school, call them an academy, call them anything you’d like…but don’t call them unique. They all pretty much run the same way. Some have a few more trapping then others, but that doesn’t matter. A golf school, golf academy, golf camp, golf retreat, call it what you want, just make sure you’ll be able to answer the questions above with a “yes.” Otherwise think long an hard about going back to school.

Dennis Silvers

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