Monday, May 11, 2015

Play Like the Pros in Scottsdale

play like the pros

Each year, thousands of golfers grab their clubs, hop a flight to Scottsdale, and tee it up at the city’s many golf courses – 51 courses to be exact. But one often overlooked factor is the city’s variety of heralded golf instructors and performance-enhancing programs and services.

Improve Your Game
Scottsdale is home to six of the “Best Teachers in America,” according to Golf Digest (2013-14) as well as five of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America (2014).

The highest ranked on the Golf Digest list is Jim McLean (No. 3, Golf Digest), who recently opened Arizona’s only Jim McLean Golf School at SunRidge Canyon Golf Club ( McLean and his staff offer innovative individual and group lessons in addition to two- and three-day golf schools.

Short-game guru Stan Utley (No. 14, Golf Digest) offers a wide variety of individual lessons, classes and clinics at Grayhawk Golf Club ( He teaches alongside Peter Kostis (No. 31, Golf Digest; GOLF Magazine Top 100) and Grayhawk Learning Center Director of Instruction Paul Trittler (Golf Digest Best in Your State).

The instruction team at Talking Stick Golf Club ( is just as flush with talent. The club is home to a Troon Golf Academy, where golfers not only benefit from one of Arizona’s most expansive practice facilities and top-notch teaching programs, but they also have access to celebrated teachers such as Pia Nilsson (No. 17, Golf Digest), Lynn Marriott (No 25, Golf Digest) and Tim Mahoney (GOLF Magazine Top 100). Students can opt for individual instruction or choose from two- or three-day golf school packages.

Another prime location for elite-level golf instruction is Kierland Golf Club ( Husband and wife team Mike LaBauve (No. 35, Golf Digest; GOLF Magazine Top 100) and Sandy LaBauve (Golf Digest Best in Your State) lead the instruction, which offers a wide variety of programs for players of all abilities and experience levels. In fact, Kierland Golf Club’s use of the innovative SNAG Golf program makes it one of the Southwest’s leaders for introducing youngsters to the game.

Other acclaimed instructors include:  Donald Crawley (GOLF Magazine Top 100) of The Boulders Golf Club (, Jeff Ritter (Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in your State & Best Young Teachers in America) of Jeff Ritter Golf at Raven Golf Club Phoenix (, and Scott Sackett (Golf Digest Best Teachers in Your State) of McCormick Ranch Golf Club (

Of course no list would be complete without mention of the award-winning TOUR Academy at TPC Scottsdale ( with its schedule of one- to five-day golf schools, private lessons and comprehensive player development programs for golfers of every skill level. The academy leverages state-of-the-art technology coupled with highly personalized learning sessions where instructors address each player’s individual needs, skills and goals within the game, all while featuring a maximum 4-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

The Perfect Fit
Improved performance on the golf course often depends on the right balance between one’s swing and their clubs. That’s where Cool Clubs ( – one of Scottsdale’s preeminent experts on the equipment side of performance enhancement – comes in. Through their skillful use of cutting-edge technology, independent research and development, real-world experience, proprietary software, and Doppler radar technology (among other James Bond-style gadgets), the staff at Cool Clubs is able to identify, recommend, and custom-build the right equipment for any given golf swing or putting stroke. This all leads to better performance and confidence on the golf course, and also saves money because players buy the right clubs the first time around.

Another excellent option for custom club fitting lies with the partnership between Troon North Golf Club ( and Callaway Golf.  The Callaway Golf Performance Center at Troon North is one of only 10 facilities nationwide that employs the same technology relied on by the world’s top touring professionals (think Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Morgan Pressel) for the amateur golfer’s game. Their professional custom club fitters are experts at leveraging vital data gained through computerized analysis, high-speed cameras, and ball-flight simulators while a computer monitor displays a breakdown of each golfer’s launch conditions. This includes ball speed, launch angle and spin rates. The system also measures the golfer’s angle of approach to the ball, utilizing 3D imagery and precision software.

Lastly, Raven Golf Club offers the Perfect Fit, custom club fitting that takes place outdoors on a top-rated, all grass academy tee. Equipment is available from a variety of top brands including Titleist, TaylorMade, PING, Cleveland Golf, Nike Golf, allowing golfers to pick the brand that feels the most comfortable. Led by Al Murdock, 30 year PGA member with over 25 years of club fitting experience, Perfect Fit’s no obligation fittings are performed using state-of-the-art technology and Foresight Launch monitors.

Shape Up
In recent years, physical training became a part of the golf performance enhancing process, especially at the highest level of competition. The FORE-MAX Golf Training System at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa ( simply applies these successful principles to the amateur game by improving flexibility, strength, aerobic conditioning and nutritional intake as they specifically relate to the game. Fitness Director Steve Heller created a program that combines the best of exercise physiology with top golf instruction to produce a personalized workout regime that is virtually guaranteed to increase driving distance and stamina on the golf course. Plus, FORE-MAX empowers students to generalize these same fitness concepts to their everyday lifestyle. From tee to green, the right club and perfect swing must come together harmoniously for a golfer to feel in the “zone.”


Laura McMurchie, Vice President of Communications
Tel: 480-429-2253

Stephanie Pressler, Communications Communicator
Tel: 480-889-2719
Visit us at

Jerry Rose, Vice President of Communication Links
Tel: 480-348-7540

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

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