Q. I’ve been thinking I’d like to go to a golf school, but I have no idea how to choose the one that’s right for me. Please help.
A. Suzy Whaley has the inside track on the presidency of the PGA of America in four years. Actually, unless she resigns or screws up, she’ll ascend from her current steppingstone of secretary in 2018.
Her game qualified her to play in a PGA Tour event, the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, but it’s her teaching reputation that has put her on all of those golf tip shows we see on sporting channels. So when it comes to shopping for a golf school for women, who better to give us advice?
“I’m a huge advocate of anyone that wants to improve their skills going to a golf school, because I think it’s really intensive and inclusive,” she said from the PGA Championship. “You’re going to get a full range of activities of golf.”
Why choose a golf school for women over a golf school in general? That’s partly to do with the left- and right-brain tendencies of the genders, partly to do with Venus and Mars language skills, and, mostly, marketing. Golf school teachers find their women’s schools have more appeal than even couples’ schools.
Tara Lipanovich, LPGA instructor at Silverado Golf Resort, says men tend not to consider attending a golf school; her colleague, PGA teaching professional Michelle Busam, observes, “A lot of women are still trying to learn, and they want it to be more social. We find it easier to find women who want to go to golf school for women. Women get nervous around men.”
But, which women’s golf school? Of course you have a budget of a certain amount of money and a specific window of time. Here’s more from Suzy Whaley:
- “You need to determine what you really want to do outside of the golf school. Do you want a spa? Do you want to be at a hotel where you don’t need to rent a car and the golf course is right at the facility? Do you want great restaurants? Do you want great shopping?”
- “Geography: Do you want it to be really hot? Do you not care about the weather?”
- “You want to learn from a PGA professional or an LPGA professional and one who does quite a few schools, so that you know the school will be seamless.”
- “The biggest thing I would look for in a golf school is that you have an on-course opportunity, every day. That you have a coach with you while you’re on the golf course… someone watching you who has worked with you in long game, short game, putting, strategy on the course, mental game, fitness.”
- “Finally, the most important thing is having fun with your friends, making new friends, being with people who are learning with you, enjoying the experience of getting better together.”