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.
The fastest way to improve your swing is to undergo a procedure involving robotic arm implants and energy harvested from the tidal force of foreign moons. Following in close second is an equally effective but slightly less invasive approach: six-weeks of golf lessons at On Target Golf Schools. With today's Groupon, $60 gets you six weeks of swing refinement from golf pro Mike Stevens or one of his talented instructors, a $165 value.
Terrace Hill Golf Club's par-30 executive course boasts 1,854 well-groomed yards of Bermuda grass around its nine holes, which well-situated lights keep playable day and night. Whether illuminated by the sun or elevated electric bulbs, the course's sloping fairways and greens challenge two players' swinging skills—or the putting aptitude of one player over two visits—as they traverse them in a cart or roll down them in sleeping bags. After visiting all nine holes, golfers may conclude their visit by heading to the driving range and forcefully smacking a small bucket of balls to impressive distances, or patiently hitting them one by one. Players must schedule a tee time at least 24 hours in advance.
Featuring more than 6,000 yards of immaculately manicured landscapes, The Claw at USF is a par-71 course that challenges club clenchers with narrow fairways lined by towering trunks of oak, cypress, and pine. The USF men's golf team and USF women's golf team call The Claw home, sharing it bunk-bed style with a population of alligators, deer, and spoonbills. Prepare for your 18 holes of terrain domination by taking to the grass-tee driving range ($5 for small bucket) or navigate your clubs to the putting and chipping green, where you can practice your precision stroke and pendulum swing.
Situated in the cool shadows of cypress trees and home to glistening ponds, Northdale Golf & Tennis Club's 6,824-yard course reflects architect Ron Garl's vision to sculpt a layout that capitalizes on natural beauty without spoiling it. A former dairy farm, the emerald expanse challenges golfers with tree-lined fairways, water hazards that appear on multiple holes, and white-sand bunkers, which greenskeepers procure in bulk by trimming Zeus's beard every spring.
Tennis instructors preside over the club's nine lighted tennis courts, grooming forehand strokes in lessons and ensuring an even-spread layer of dust over the clay surfaces. The Compass Grille awaits hungry visitors and tennis balls that have lost their bounce at the end of the day, serving up deli-style fare and drinks from a full-service bar with a variety of imported and domestic beers.
Course at a Glance:
Northdale Golf & Tennis Club's rates fluctuate throughout the day and week.
Boasting an expansive driving range and practice areas for both chipping and putting, Tampa Golf Range & Learning Center Inc. helps golfers foster improvement in all facets of their game. Within the range's 100-yard tee line, hitting mats allow duffers to hone swings off of immaculate lies, and all-grass hitting areas let trainees reap divot-tearing vengeance for a lifetime of traumatizing grass stains. Eighty range balls jockey for position in each medium-size bucket, each one an eager subject in golfers' elaborate swing experiments and useful eyeball facsimiles in golf-themed jack-o’-lanterns. Tampa Golf Range can facilitate further improvements with a variety of private and group lessons and a stable of customizable Mizuno equipment (instruction and merchandise not covered in the value of this Groupon).
Bloomingdale Golfers Club's 18-hole course stretches 7,165 yards into immaculate fairways hemmed by scenic waterways and trees draped in spanish moss. The layout features four long and memorable par 5s, including the 564-yard fourth hole, which bends left, then fades to the right, then doubles back left in a dizzying snake pattern that defies orthodox shot-making and golf carts prone to motion sickness. Each fairway serves as an emerald runway to the course's majestic greens, which sprout champion dwarf bermuda grass, a putting surface favored by seven prestigious PGA Tour venues.
Golfers can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a two-tiered driving range, half-acre practice green, and a short game area with a practice bunker. Famed PGA Tour pros Lee Janzen, Steve Stricker, and Michael Bradley have all refined their swings at Bloomingdale Golfers Club.
After rounds, golfers can relax at The Legends Grille, which serves up ham and turkey sandwiches, barbecue pulled chicken, and other casual fare. As they dine, guests can watch sports on seven big-screen TVs or enjoy the gallery of golfer-heckling birds soaring above the outdoor patio.
Course at a Glance: