After becoming an all-American at the University of Houston, qualifying for the U.S. Open twice, and making the cut at The Masters during his professional career, seasoned golf instructor Jim McLean has added one more accomplishment to his resumé: Jim McLean Golf Schools was touted as one of the country's top 25 golf schools in 2008 by Golf magazine.
Following Jim's innovative philosophy of biomechanics, a team of instructors—with levels ranging from certified, master, and lead master—teach the components of a successful golf swing, focusing on each player's physical capabilities and limitations and developing a tailored lesson plan. In order to become a Jim McLean golf instructor, pupils must pass a rigorous certification process that includes one to three years of teaching at the club, conducting their own extensive golf-swing-research projects, and learning to grow natural spikes out of their feet. During private lessons and clinics, golf gurus use 3-D graphical imaging and data analysis to provide instant feedback.
At Jim McLean Golf Schools, players hone their games with indoor and outdoor practice facilities that include a 50,000-square-foot short-game range, a lit driving range, and a practice bunker. The complex is also home to the Legends Scoring Nine course, which, along with the practice facilities, has been a training ground and putter-jousting arena for rising PGA star Jason Day, who placed 3rd at the 2013 Masters.
Designed by former PGA Champion and Texas native Don January, Fort Worth Golf Club’s 18-hole course takes golfers on a club-swinging expedition across 6,600 yards of tree-lined fairways and emerald topography. Though towering arbors provide the bulk of the course’s sphere-impeding obstacles, a medley of other obstructions augment their twiggy efforts, including six water hazards known to feast on the life-force of errant golf balls. Formerly known as the private Eagle Mountain Country Club, Fort Worth Golf Club has opened up its emerald corridors to the public for the first time in 40 years, allowing new golfers the chance to drive, pitch, and shot-put their balls across the rolling hills of Eagle Mountain Lake. Before each round, golfers can warm up for the round by joyfully pummeling golf balls at the club’s driving range, where 48 natural-grass hitting bays serve as outdoor laboratories for players’ swing experimentations and their ongoing attempts to cross-breed divot tools with worker ants.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
Garden Golf & Country Club celebrates its centennial in 2012 and looks back on a rich history as the course where golf legends Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson first learned the game. Despite a $1.5 million renovation in 2001, the course retains the character and charm of its early days, including a unique layout with a par 37 front nine and par 34 back nine that incorporates back-to-back par 5s. Just as they did during the Roaring '20s and the nationwide golf ball shortage that followed, players carefully guide their golf balls down wide fairways lined with pockets of dense forestation. A large lake and postcard-worthy fountain form the centerpiece of the course, surrounded by manicured fairways on each side. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,166 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 66.3 from the back tees * Course slope of 109 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
Designed by PGA champion Mark Brooks with the classic layout of Scottish and early American links in mind, Southern Oaks Golf Club organically incorporates the natural landscape into a challenging 72 par course. Ideal for average to advanced players, the course keeps haphazard whackers in check with bunkers lurking on nearly every hole and talkative teens waiting to distract on each green. Rented carts come in handy as the peaceful grounds encompass 300 acres and yardage per hole ranges between 5,350 and 6,650 yards from front and middle tees and 7,100 from the back.