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Swing Schools

Special Skills

We live in an age of specialization, and golf schools are no exception. There are academies that focus on just the short game; ones that teach the distinct set of skills required to play links golf; and others that address the mental and social elements of golf.


Former NASA engineer Dave Pelz analyzed reams of data about the short game, and based on his conclusions he founded these schools. The figures don't lie: 60 to 65 percent of one's score comes from a hundred yards and in, which is why you need to bring only five clubs or fewer to a Pelz school—up to four wedges and a putter.

Philosophy: Golfers must know what they need to learn, how to learn it, and how to internalize and use it.

Method: Pelz pioneered the design of multifaceted short-game practice areas. At Cordillera there's an entire course designed for this purpose.

Cost: Three-day schools from $2,820 to $3,740. Locations include Reynolds Plantation in Georgia and the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Colorado. 800-833-7370, pelzgolf.com.

Other Good Choices

Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy Want to learn how to hit a knockdown shot or escape from a pot bunker?Sign up for the "Full Monty," a three-hour lesson followed by a nine-hole playing lesson with one of Montgomerie's staff instructors at Scotland's Westin Turnberry Resort. From $55 to $450, lodging not included. 011-44/1655-334-190, turnberry.co.uk.

Golf Academy at Bandon Dunes Mellow maestro Grant Rogers runs a similar links school at the mecca on the gorse-studded southern Oregon coast, the best place to play links golf on this side of the pond. Three-day schools from $1,325 to $1,595, double occupancy. 888-345-6008, bandondunesgolf.com.


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