Sean P. Kicker's long career on the links has included 20 years as a Class-A PGA member and six professional tournament victories. His golf virtuosity began to flourish at an early age—as a kid he was named Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County—and today he gives lessons that grant amateurs the benefit of his hard-earned course savvy. As students play rounds with Sean, he punctuates play with detailed advice on how to straighten errant swings, avoid bunkers, and stare down the ground squirrels that frequently steal golf balls.
Sean's instructional expertise also encompasses off-the-links education that uses computerized video equipment for swing analytics and a full-swing golf simulator. After a few half-hour sessions with the seasoned pro, students often feel an increased level of confidence and renewed gusto for their game. Currently, Sean is in the process of attaining PGA Master Professional status, a title bestowed only upon elite players.
Shots of all caliber soar above a landscape of well-kept fairways lined with palm trees, cypress trees, and australian pine trees at Magnolia Valley Golf Club’s 18-hole, 6,600-yard course. The par 72 layout challenges golfers and evokes an appreciation for nature with sweeping views and flagsticks that recite transcendentalist poems. Before taking to the course, golfers can warm up swing muscles at the driving range, hone putting strokes at the practice green, or fuel up with food and drinks at the bar and grill. In addition to its championship layout, Magnolia Valley features a par 33 executive course for players looking to squeeze in a round before the sun sets and their golf bag turns back into a pumpkin.
The one-hour, two-person lessons focus heavily on swing improvement. During the lessons, golfers will learn how to successfully decrease strokes. Check out this video for a 60-second preview of what to expect during a lesson. Establishing a natural swing almost takes the golfer out of the game by removing the human element known as over-thinking. This Groupon includes necessary balls, but you should bring your own clubs to re-familiarize yourself with them; part of successfully forging that no-think stroke is using a consistent club of choice. Sign up with a friend, or alone to be placed into a session by Mike.
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 certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
At Tampa Bay Downs, thoroughbred horses burst through the starting gates, and spectators cheer for their picks and spend an afternoon basking in the amenity-rich premises. Visitors can wager on live and simulcast races, or wander into The Silks Poker Room and hunker down for a game of Texas Hold’em. The racetrack features numerous restaurants, grills, and bars as well as a fully lit, 22-acre golf-practice facility with all-Bermuda-grass hitting stations, chipping greens, and a covered range.
With a successful career as a golfer and a coach that earned him a 2011 induction into the U.S. Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, Mike Stevens draws from a lifetime of experience to foster golf-game improvement in his clients. Mike’s custom, six-week golf training program—the flagship curriculum for his On Target Golf Schools—uses a biomechanics-based understanding of the golf swing to help students hit the ball farther and straighter without having to sell their soul for a corked 3-wood. Mike enhances lessons with the competitive insight gleaned from his continued success in tournaments, including a 2011 victory at the Copperhead Cup in Tarpon Springs. In addition to his six-week course, Mike offers clinics designed for kids and one-on-one lessons for those who want more private counseling.