From their home base at Frank House Municipal Golf Course, the PGA pros at the Harper Miller School of Golf help golfers fix broken swings and patch up holes in strategic thinking. Lessons zero in on the fundamentals of grip, posture, and alignment—key components of a winning swing and textbook ice-cream-cone devouring. Short-game clinics help to develop confidence around the green with practice on the putting stroke, chipping accuracy, and bunker play. The pros also follow students out onto the course for playing lessons, which focus on such course-management tactics as how to choose the right club, when to lay up, and when to lie down and take a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature around you.
The 18 holes at Frank House Municipal Golf Course embroil golfers in a test of skills and mental toughness as they guide orbs over a lush, emerald carpet. After completing the relatively straight front nine, players must adjust aim for shots on the back nine, where all but three of the holes make severe dogleg turns. One of these doglegs, the 18th, forces players to lay up short of a lake, and then approach over its width or try to freeze it over with an icy glare.
Course at a Glance:
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.
Golf instructor Jon Oliver has given over 5,000 lessons to wobbly neophytes and tour pros alike, using video motion analysis and close instruction to reduce convoluted swings to clean, simple strokes. After using video motion analysis to record the plaid-trousered ghosts jovially nudging golfers' arms out of alignment, Oliver dispels them by teaching repeatable swing strategies and short game techniques. Following a score-dropping 60-minute session, both confident drivers and insecure putters will walk taller over the bentgrass greens of Eagle Point Golf Club’s 18-hole, par 71 course. Impress jaded fairway squirrels by learning the proper setup and backswing for your club's formal introduction to the ball, topping your swing with an elegant follow-through worthy of European ballet. Oliver’s blog gives helpful tips on trajectory control and when to plant your old golf balls to grow a garden of springtime sand wedges and nine irons.
Bama Mini Golf challenges families with a pair of 18-hole miniature-golf courses in an all-ages environment fit for toddlers, grandparents, and everyone in between. Considered an intermediate challenge, the facility's first course features plenty of lighting to illuminate putts during evening rounds. The advanced course weaves through the property's wooded surroundings and transforms into a glow-in-the-dark adventure after nightfall. Concession stands dole out sodas, ice cream, and fresh snow cones to fuel more fun and games, which Bama Mini Golf plans on expanding to include go-karts, an arcade, and laser tag.
Ranked second in Alabama on Golfweek's list of Best Courses You Can Play in 2010, the Capstone Club of Alabama offers golf lessons with PGA pro Jason Hofius to elevate the game of any golfer from beginner to 18-hole ace. Hofius brings 20 years of teaching experience to each of his lessons, doling out tips about improving swing strategy and repurposing clubs into lovely iron wreaths. Students can head out to the driving range to work with Hofius on straightening out their drive or increasing distance on fairway shots. Augment your short game with one-on-one instruction on tempering putts, adding height to chip shots, and using bear traps to scare away sand traps.