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Swing Schools

Couples' Retreats

A long weekend at a luxury resort can be the perfect romantic getaway . . . and an excellent chance to improve your golf game. There are plenty of destinations that can meet both of these desires in high style.


One hardly needs an excuse to go to Pebble Beach, whether it's for the golf or the scenery of the Monterey Peninsula. But it happens that Laird Small's academy is as relaxing as one of the exquisite treatments in the spa here. The school is tucked away on the ranges of Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. Deer stop by to graze, and the barking of sea lions carries up from the ocean below.

Philosophy: In their effort to collect swing tips from a variety of sources, most golfers have a "skipped gradient," as Small puts it, a missing piece in their development. He and his staff try to pinpoint these gaps and suggest ways to address them.

Method: Classes consist of three to five students and two instructors. The academy uses launch monitors, video and a wireless vest designed to measure the body's degrees of speed and rotation. Small keeps in touch with students after they get home to discuss their progress.

Cost: Two-day academy, $3,780, based on double occupancy, including three nights lodging at the Inn at Spanish Bay and tee times at Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay. 831-622-8650, pebblebeach.com.

Other Good Choices

Jim McLean Golf School McLean's range, bristling with the latest in high-tech swing tools, is just part of the appeal at Doral Golf Resort & Spa. Three-day schools from $1,670; three-day Player's School featuring McLean himself, $3,950. Lodging not included. 800-723-6725, doralresort.com.

Kiawah Island Golf Academy Programs include three days of instruction at this spectacular South Carolina resort's Turtle Point course, plus romantic lodging at the oceanfront Sanctuary hotel. Three-day schools from $1,046. 800-576-1570, kiawahgolf.com.

Sea Island Golf Learning Center Instructors Jack Lumpkin, Todd Anderson and Gale Peterson oversee one of the best practice facilities in the world, including an elaborate short-game area and a high-tech video studio. Three-day programs: $3,300, lodging not included. 912-638-5119, seaisland.com.


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