Rick Smith opening academy at Trump National Doral as Jim McLean is set to move after 26 years
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Rick Smith, whose students have included Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Greg Norman, John Daly, Lee Janzen and Rocco Mediate, will become the new head instructor at Trump National Doral Miami.
Beginning in November, the Rick Smith Golf Academy will move into the current site of the Jim McLean Golf School, located at the back of Doral’s practice range. McLean, whose facility has been located at the Doral facility for 26 years, announced on Wednesday that he is moving his golf school down the road to the Biltmore Hotel and Golf Resort in Coral Gables, Fla., starting on Jan. 1. “It’s been a great run at Trump Doral,” McLean said, “and I’m so grateful to everyone connected with this world class resort.”
Besides his work with touring professionals, Smith, 59, is a course designer and television commentator. “In my career, I have been fortunate to travel and teach around the world,” Smith said. “The opportunity to call Trump National Doral the home of my flagship academy moving forward is an honor.”
Eric Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions of the Trump Organization, said “Rick is an exceptional talent, who coaches the most elite and well-known players in the world, and I am truly honored to welcome him to this world-class property.”
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For years, Smith has consistently been ranked among Golf Digest top instructors in the world. He will continue to operate two academies in Michigan—one at Oakland University in Rochester and another at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon—but said he is looking forward to being headquartered South Florida, where many top players live and work on their games.
“I’ve always wanted something like this,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to being around so many of the guys who play the tours.”