The sport of golf is becoming more and more popular these days, unfortunately, not all of us are as talented as Tiger Woods. If you’ve never laid a hand on a golf club before, and if you don’t know the difference between a hole-in-one and a birdie, you should try to stay in these places. They’re not just excellent golf resorts but the best “schools” for the sport as well.

Oregon: The Bandon Dunes Academy (Grant Rogers)

Have you ever thought of going to Oregon this spring? Two of the best schools of golf today is the Bandon Dunes Academy. If you’re in the southern coast of Oregon, you’ll spot the Bandon Dunes Academy easily. With this school, you don’t have to pay for expensive airfares anymore just to go to Great Britain. You can now play pure links golf right in Oregon.

Not only do their facilities match those you’ll find overseas—most people who have been to these other countries testify that the Bandon Dunes has enough putting greens and a vast practice center (about 30-acres). These are all made from fescue turf, and you can practice all the shots you’ll need to play well in a real golf course in here.

The school is for people who want a less technical approach to golf, though. The director of this school, Grant Rogers, has a mental approach in teaching golf. In other words, you’ll be learning creative, out-of-the-box golf, here, with Rogers playing with the students and the instructors as he shows you a totally different golfing experience.

For your final exam, you’ll be teeing off the Pacific Dunes. This will test your mastery, as well as creativity, in making wind shots work to your favor. Watch out for bunkers because there are a lot in this course.

Make sure that you visit the school’s website at for the rates and the schedules for private and group lessons.

Mexico: El Camaleon Golf Club (Jim McLean Golf Schools)

If you’ve been meaning to learn golf for quite a while now, then Jim McLean’s name shouldn’t be new to you. There are numerous Jim McLean schools across the states, but the newest addition, stationed in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, will teach you nothing less than McLean “Super Stations” through an impressive instructional video.

The golf school is sponsored by the only PGA tour stop you’ll find in Mexico, which is the El Camaleon Golf Club. Those who sign up will be staying at the Fairmont Mayakoba, or a similar space equivalent to this exotic resort. When you get to the Fairmont Mayakoba, you’ll probably be lured into their spa, especially after a hard day’s work of banging golf balls. The resort is also very near the beach and the canals.

It’s best if you book group lessons with fellow golf aficionados such as yourself. Just make sure that you’re more or less in the same skill level so you can take the courses together.  The proximity to the beach and the canal is a plus point for groups, too, because you can simply bring a cooler of beer and relax with your peers around a bonfire once the sun sets.

For your final exam, you’ll be playing through a challenging golf course built across a dense forest of mangroves. The coastal winds of Mexico will be the most challenging factor in this terrain.

Pinehurst Resort Golf Academy (Eric Alpenfels)

Instruction director Eric Alpenfels doesn’t just teach golf like a formula. He actually formed a team to research on what works well for most of his students. This means that if you’ll be signing up here, you’ll have a greater possibility of actually being good at the sport.

With a 4:1 student : teacher ratio, you’re also bound to have one of the most focused golf instruction in the country. Most gold schools only make you watch videos before you tee off on your own. Some have more than five students-to-an-instructor.

While you’re here, Alpenfel’s team will try to bring up your efficiency, and also train you to play short games. For the final exam, you’ll be using the Pinehurst No. 2 golf course right next door. Work on short games and approach shots to pass this one. For the rates and the lesson’s dates, visit      

Scotland: St. Andrews Links Trust Academy

If you’re planning to enroll in St. Andrews, you must know that the academy specializes in Links Trust and the Old Course. However, should you be a beginner, breathe easy. The practice facilities here are also pretty impressive.

For those who are just starting out, the Himalayas, Balgove, and Strathytyrum are the best terrains to explore. More advanced players, though, would probably prefer the Old, Jubilee, New, and Castle at St. Andrews golf courses.

The hardest course in this academy is the Old course. You would want to practice your swing and do well in the more basic golf courses before attempting this one. It’s also considered the “final exam” for people who are looking to master the sport.

You can choose to sign up for a one-day, three-day, or five-day lesson from this academy. The rates and lesson schedules for this year are posted on their website.

Spain: Nicklaus Academy of Golf

Sitting inside the Finca Cortesin Resort, the best way to enjoy your vacation holistically is to enroll yourself in the Nicklaus Academy of Golf. Here, you’ll also be surrounded with beaches, tapas bars, and water sports by the Mediterranean coast in between your golf lessons. In fact, the only danger here is that you’ll be too distracted with the hustle of activities inside the luxury hotel to actually learn the game.

A place that’s more suitable for more advanced golf players, Nicklaus Academy in Spain is equipped with golf courses which are tour-worthy. Word has it that the Finca Cortesin Resort is currently hosting the Volvo Match Play Championships 2009-2011. Their hotel rooms, for people who are a bit claustrophobic, are impressively spacious. After a hard day’s work in the golf course, you can indulge yourself in the resort’s spa.

To test your newly-polished golf skills, take a swing at the Ryder cup host Valderrama Golfclub. This is just beside the resort, and it has challenging, narrow fairways built through a dense cork forest. The small greens are also pretty difficult to reach.

This school offers general playing lessons, long game, short game, and a 14-hour golf course which includes two rounds of nine-hole.



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