Almost 25 million Americans play golf; the fraction who attend golf schools invariably shave strokes off their game.
School philosophies vary almost as much as prices. Some operations expect students to hit hundreds of balls. Others emphasize computer and video analyses of swings, while some instructors like to teach on the course itself.
A sampling of U.S. golf schools:
--John Jacobs Practical Golf Schools, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., with schools in Arizona, California (Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage), Colorado, Hawaii, Atlantic City and Long Island (starting in June). Call (800) 472-5007. A five-day midweek plan at the Marriott Mountain Shadows resort in Scottsdale is $1,350 per person, double, in March and April, dropping to $1,250 in May.
It includes instruction, six nights' accommodations, breakfast and lunch daily and all greens fees and carts if you elect to play the luscious Camelback courses after school. Weekend schools also available.
--Golf University at San Diego, 2001 Old Highway 395, Fallbrook, Calif. 92028, (800) 426-0966 or (619) 723-9077. Three- and four-day classes offered year-round, Sunday through Wednesday or Thursday. Rates are $975-$1,250. Pupil-teacher ratio of 6-1.
--The Golf Clinic, P.O. Box 2945, Carmel, Calif. 93921, (800) 821-1585. Five-day clinics offered February through December at Pebble Beach--Pebble Beach, Poppy Hills and Spyglass Hill courses. Tuition, which includes double or single occupancy, most meals, videotape and books, is $3,575.
--Pinehurst Golf Advantage, Pinehurst, N.C., (800) 634-9297. Choose from weekend school, Thursday to Sunday, with 2 1/2 days of instruction, or midweek, Sunday to Thursday, with four days of instruction. Per-person, double-occupancy rate from March through October is $1,095 weekends, $1,500 midweek, which includes accommodations, all meals and unlimited golf.
--Jack Nicklaus-Grand Cypress Academy of Golf, Orlando, Fla., (800) 835-7377. Many three- and four-day courses are available year-round. Rates through April start at $1,800 for three days, $2,332 for four days, lower rest of the year. Separate accommodations are available at the Villas of Grand Cypress or the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. Meals are extra.
For more information: Contact the National Golf Foundation, 1150 S. U.S. Highway 1, Jupiter, Fla. 33477, (407) 744-6006.