Bill Ranson held his first golf club at age 3 and defeated his father by the time he turned 13. This milestone would mark the beginning of a journey that led Bill from working as a cart attendant at a resort to caddying on the PGA Tour and, finally, teaching and playing as a PGA apprentice. Between lessons, he sharpens his own swinging skills with the ambition of earning his Class A PGA membership and all the free pizza that it entails.
The percussive clacking of club and ball welcomes club-toting compatriots to City Golf of America's indoor training facility, a golfer’s haven with more than 23,000 square feet of swing-honing amenities. Inside the vast facility, students of golf can gain valuable reps at 1 of the 18 hitting bays of the indoor driving range, plant spiked shoes into the soft grains of a real sand bunker, and inoculate themselves against outbreaks of the yips on two nine-hole putting greens. The immense screens of high-tech golf simulators channel the lush landscapes of 60 of the world’s most renowned courses, whisking golfers to the famed greens of Amen Corner of Augusta National, the windswept heathers of St. Andrews, or near the loudmouth porpoises of Pebble Beach. The facilities are rounded out by a fitness area and members' lounge, where golfers can sink into divot-free leather furniture while noshing on snacks from the café, surfing free WiFi, or watching flat-screen TVs. A staff of teaching professionals and PGA pros leads students through private lessons. The staff makes use of JC video-analysis technology to deftly diagnose swings and proffer both onsite corrective tips and longer-term practice strategies to streamline swing mechanics.
Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s experienced personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
Narrow fairways and small greens shape the layout at Airways Municipal Golf Course, an 18-hole course carved in the shadows of Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Tree lines and sand traps add scenic impediments to errant shots, and slick putting surfaces make for testy putts once golfers make it to the green. Before rounds, golfers can rehearse their swing at the on-site driving range.
Since 1958, players have migrated to Cordova Golf Course in order to try their hands, woods, and putters at the public course's 18 holes and to calibrate their swings at the driving range or with lessons. PGA professional Jacob Marta tailors swing instruction to an individual's needs and physical limitations, helping golfers attain their own natural, repeatable swing motion. Creating a comfortable, encouraging atmosphere, Jacob also takes his instruction onto the course, where he helps players knock strokes off their scorecards.
Spanning about 4,832 yards, the course challenges golfers of all skill levels with well placed trees and three lakes boasting the combined gravitational pull of a small planet. A smooth cart path allows players to ferry their clubs swiftly from hole to hole, or head over to the clubhouse to catch a drink or meal at Stu's Bar & Grill. Cordova Golf Course also houses an illuminated driving range where golfers can launch Srixon range balls or calcified tangerines off of grass and mat hitting areas.
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