Alright, play time is over! It's time to put away the toys. No more staying up late and sleeping in. Summer break is over, and you need to get back to studying and getting that homework done. It's back to school for you Mr. ... or Mrs. or Ms. as the case may be.
Now that you've had the entire summer to play, you most likely have a good idea where your golf game most needs improvement. You should know by now whether it's your driving, putting, bunker play or the six inches between your ears that is keeping you from graduating to a higher level on the links.
When summer ends, most of us breathe a sigh of relief. The kids are headed back to school and we no longer have to find things to keep them busy 25 hours each day. Since the kids are off to study and improve themselves, what's to keep us from joining them on the road to betterment?
We are fortunate enough to live in a place where learning the game of golf is front and center. From your favorite local club professional, to the PGA Learning Center there is a school or lesson series available for every golfer, whether you are just a beginner, a single-digit handicapper or an advanced player on a mini tour.
With all the courses and practice facilities around, it shouldn't be difficult to find one close to home. Unlike the kids, we don't have to be bussed half-way across the world to attend our classes.
The PGA of America has one of the best campuses on the planet for golfers to learn the game. I'm speaking of the PGA Learning Center at the PGA Village (www.pgavillage.com or (772) 468-7686) in Port St. Lucie. In the coming months, the Learning Center will offer several golf schools, one of which will fit the study plan you need to fix those faults that hampered you all summer long.
The beginners school is a great refresher course. You will learn how the most basic fundamentals could quickly improve my game. If you've played for years without proper instruction, chances are you have developed numerous bad habits. Here, you will quickly find out what those are and how to correct them very simply. It's a great start to re-familiarize yourself with the game.
The Academy of Golf at Duran Golf Club (www.durangolf.com or (321) 504-7776) in Viera has a tremendous instructional and coaching program. The academy offers every kind of lessons from one-on-one, to group, to clinics, to multi-day schools. If you stop by the website, you can sign-up for their newsletter and find out just when a clinic that best suits you comes up.
In the Daytona Beach area, Summit Golf Academy (www.summitgolfacademy.com or (888) 563-5132) offers affordable golf schools and instruction. In addition to schooling, students may also include accommodations on the ocean, continental breakfast and lunch, golf with your instructor, and more.
Classes are kept small, with no more than seven students per class. Students work on every aspect of the game with PGA and LPGA instructors and even bring home their own video analysis.
If you prefer a road trip or a weekend away from the family, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort (www.grandcypress.com (800) 790-7377) in Orlando offers a variety of schools ranging from one to three days of play and instruction. There is also a weekend Florida resident's school. Most packages include lodging, meals, a round of golf each day on one of the state's best courses, and, of course, award-winning expert instruction. There is nothing like getting away from it all, relaxing and working on your golf game.
Some of us need more help with our mental game than our swings. For us, there is the Pro Mental Coach (www.promentalcoach.com (877) 996-3682.) This one-of-a-kind program is designed for golfers of all skill levels. The program helps you tune your mind to eliminate those moments when you simply 'choke" on a shot.
Pro Mental Coach takes just three 20-minute sessions a week to work. Since you use the program on your own on your computer, you decide when is best to use the program.
Every club or practice facility in the area offers instruction of some sort. Contact your favorite professional or practice facility and inquire about a series of lessons. Tell him or her just what it is that you want to work on and how much time you have to dedicate to your studies.
Now, hit the stores for those needed "back-to-golf-school" items such as balls, tees, new gloves and so on. Then hit the links and hit those books. There will be a pop quiz!
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday Night Golf Show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at email@example.com.