The game of golf is rich in history and full of numerous stories. But golf can also be one of the more difficult sports, and without help, it can be intimidating to learn. Golf schools are great ways to get familiar with golf while also being shown how to properly play the game. But is the best way to get to know golf through a golf school?
Are golf schools worth it? If you are trying to improve your golf game in a short period, then yes. But, if you work best in a one-on-one situation, or are trying to improve specific aspects of your golf game, then private lessons are your best option.
When people think of golf schools, the images of a group of people talking to a local pro during an all-day session may not be appealing. But with the variety of options available, there are definitely options for people to take advantage of and improve their game at their own pace.
Researching Golf Schools
For most people who are looking into golf schools, it means that they have either just begun to take up golf or are getting back into it after long layaway. Either way, golf schools offer a quick jump-start to getting people going.
Most schools can take place over one day, to as long as a full weekend. For the full weekend experiences, some of the more reputable or well-known golf schools will offer lodging, meals, practice rounds, and playing rounds along with the lessons as a package deal.
Finding one close by can be difficult, though, depending on where you live. Golf is a very seasonal sport, with the best golf times of the year happening between March and September. If you live in the more southern parts of the United States, then the time to play is greatly increased because of the warmer weather beginning earlier in the year and extending later into the later parts of the year.
But, if you live in the more northern parts of the U.S., finding time to play outside of the months of late April-early September may require a little bit of travel. In the case of golf schools, most are going to stay in pattern with the rest of the golf world’s schedule.
Finding which golf school is the best for you will come down to a few different options. First and foremost is the cost. Factors that can influence the cost include:
- How long you want to stay: a single day, a three-day weekend, a five-day week
- How intense the lessons are: simple swing lessons, full-on swing calculations, multiple practice sessions
- Where you go: different locations offer seasonal discounts depending on the time of year and location
Golf School Price Ranges
For the price ranges of golf schools, you’re going to have to search based on your preferences. Are you trying to go to a destination golf course, learn from the best teachers (and sometimes professional golfers), and make it an all-inclusive ordeal? Or is this more of a hobby you want to improve slightly, so your boss does not keep embarrassing you once a month?
For the most part, the high-end package deals can vary, with a few 3-Day camp examples in the following list put together by Golf Digest:
- $3,500 (Vision54 3-Day camp)
- $3,500 (TPC Sawgrass Golf School, 3-Day camp)
- $2,995 (Jim McClean Golf School, 3-Day camp)
- $2,750 (Dave Pelz Golf School, 3-Day camp)
- $2,700 (Butch Harmon Golf School, 3-Day camp)
- $2,562 (Kingsmill Resort, 3-Day camp)
- $1,995 (Tour Striker Golf Academy, 3-Day camp)
- $1,850 (Aviara Golf Academy, 3-Day camp)
- $1,295 (The Academy of Golf Dynamics, 3-Day camp)
- $1,228 (Kholer Golf Academy, 3-Day camp)
- $554 (Mt. Snow, Vermont, 3-Day camp)
These prices are mostly on the high-end of the scale, and all take place over a long weekend. The fewer the number of days, the less the price is. Along with that, if the golf course/resort is not as well-known, then the price is going to be lower as well.
What to Expect from Golf Schools
Golf schools are run at local golf courses around the country. Most of the destination schools have lessons that last for a weekend or even a five-day course. These destination schools are hosted at some of the more well-known golf courses like Pinehurst, TPC Sawgrass, Kingsmill Resort, TPC of Myrtle Beach, and many others. Golf schools generally take place at resorts, with lodging and restaurants nearby.
Every golf school has its individual plan on what they do to help golfers that are there to learn. But for the most part, people can expect one-on-one lessons with teachers, practicing the different hitting variations (putting, chipping, driving, etc.), pinpointing weaknesses and how to fix them, and of course, playing rounds of golf.
Most golf schools also offer a team of instructors that will help throughout classes. Usually, each golf school will have one former professional golfer/caddie as their top instructor and then include a variety of other former golfers/caddies and instructors. This allows for most golf schools to have a 4:1 golfer-to-instructor ratio as the highest ratio, with most being three or even 2:1.
As mentioned before, most of the destination golf schools that last an entire weekend or longer, also include lodging and meals as a package deal. This can be a big money saver as well. Golf schools can do this because most double as resorts, so restaurants and hotels are right on the courses themselves. This allows the package deals to take place all in one location and therefore lessen the prices.
Golf Schools vs. Private Lessons
Now that you have a general understanding of what golf school is, how much they cost, and what they offer, you now have to weigh these factors against simple private lessons. While golf schools serve their purpose and can be a quick jump-start to get people going in the game of golf, if you are a player who is serious about the game, perhaps private lessons are the way to go.
For the most part, private lessons are more prevalent; this is because almost every golf course has its pros. This means a person can schedule private lessons with the pro golfer whenever the pro has time in their schedule.
Private lessons are also generally taken over a longer period, anywhere from six weeks to six months or longer. This allows the instructor to get a really good picture of how a golfer is improving and how the instructor can improve the golfer.
The biggest pitfalls for golf schools are the fact that they only last for one weekend. For most golfers, this means the instruction they get only lasts with them for a short time before they either forget it or go back to playing the game improperly. Private lessons, meanwhile, are taken over a longer period, therefore giving the golfer more in-depth learning of mistakes and how to fix them.
Another difference between private lessons versus golf schools is the general skill level of the golfer. For someone going to a golf school, they generally have some golf knowledge but maybe want to gain more insight into the game. Private lessons, meanwhile, are for golfers who generally are trying to improve the tiniest of details in their game and improve marginally.
For those golfers who are trying to get a jump-start in their game, golf schools are a great option. They’re generally a weekend trip, and usually include instruction from great golfers. They also give golfers a chance to see improvement in their game in a short amount of time.