Editors' Choice: Travel & Golf ServicesApril 12, 2017

Best Golf Schools and Academies

The best golf academies offer something for the destination traveler and local lesson-taker. Other common threads: Staff teachers who rank highly on our Best Teachers lists, well-appointed teaching studios and access to great golf and accommodations. Our list is broken down by region, and with extra emphasis on the most popular golf travel markets—like Florida, California and Arizona. You can even find some great options in the cold-weather states.

It's no surprise that some of the most prominent teachers in the business have built terrific academies. Instructors like Butch Harmon, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean, Michael Breed and Mike Bender have spent years training their staff members to provide a first-class lesson experience to tour players and weekend hackers alike.

Harmon's schools outside Las Vegas remain the only way an average player can get personal access to the world's most famous teacher, and schools like Martin Chuck's Tour Striker Golf Academy and Bender's Florida facility offer immersive on-course and range programs. The selections from 50 Best Teachers Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott at VISION54 in Scottsdale and from Fred Shoemaker at Extraordinary Golf in Northern California put an emphasis on coaching and the mental game to go with improving your technique.

The most exclusive programs at any of these schools can run into five figures, but students with a day and a few hundred dollars can transform their short game at gorgeous Mount Snow and its Original Golf School in Vermont, or focus on adding power at the Kohler Golf Academy in Wisconsin. And it doesn't hurt to have the five-star American Club down the street for dinner and relaxation after a hard day at the practice range.


Vision54 Golf, Scottsdale
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Chris McEniry

Tour Striker Golf Academy, Gilbert
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Kip Puterbaugh’s Aviara Golf Academy

Aviara Golf Academy, Carlsbad
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Extraordinary Productions LLC.

Extraordinary Golf, Carmel
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Pebble Beach Golf Academy
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Mike Bender Golf Academy, Lake Mary
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Leadbetter Golf Academy, ChampionsGate, Orlando
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Jim McLean Golf School

credit: Jim McLean Golf School

Jim McLean Golf School at Trump National Doral, Miami
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Kapalua Golf Academy
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Pinehurst Resort

Pinehurst (N.C.) Golf Academy
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Kohler Company

Kohler (Wis.) Golf Academy
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Michael Breed Golf Academy, Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, Bronx, N.Y.
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Mt. Snow

Original Golf School at Mount Snow, Wilmington, Vt.
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Jim McLean Golf School, Fort Worth
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Dave Pelz Golf School, Austin
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Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The Tommy Cuthbert Golf Learning Center, Kiawah Island, S.C.
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Butch Harmon School of Golf, Henderson, Nev.
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