I had the opportunity to attend the Faldo golf institute in Orlando Florida. There are two locations for the golf school; Marriot's Grande Vista Resort, Orlando, Florida, and Marriott's Shadow Ridge Resort, Palm Desert, California. The school offers several levels of instruction, from a simple hour of instruction, to their five day player performance workshop. I chose their two day school which included eight hours of personal instruction, complete video swing analysis, daily breakfast, daily lunch with your instructor, unlimited use of the practice facility on each day of instruction, The Faldo Fundamentals workbook, a gift amenity, and 2 rounds of championship golf.
I picked Florida because of its close proximity to Chicago. I evaluated several schools in the Florida area, and picked the Faldo School because of their reputation, a recommendation from my friends at Golf Vacation Insider, and finally the kicker: their free lodging promotion. It was the only school offered that included the lodging in the school price which ended up being roughly half price compared to anyone else. The fact that the golf school is owned by Marriott gives them the ability to include the lodging. Most golf schools rent space at the course they teach at and can offer reduced room costs, but rarely include lodging like Marriott. We stayed in a one bedroom villa which was quite spacious including a full kitchen, dining room, living room, and laundry facilities. It had a nice screened in porch area outside of sliding glass doors. Given the location near Disney, this would be a great choice for families, and still allow Dad a treat like the Faldo golf school.
The school can adjust from new players to low handicap players and can be fine tuned based on the client's preferences. So, how did I like it? I really enjoyed our instructor, David Dolengowski, who ended up working together one on one with me and my wife Susan. David often told us there was no magic pill that would transform us into scratch golfers, but if we continued to work on the proper fundamentals, improvement would be apparent. I especially liked the video analysis which showed exactly what my swing needed and the progression over two days to correct it.
We stayed on a day or two and visited Epcot while we were there along with a day at the pool. This is a great choice for a vacation if you are a golfer and are interested in some worthwhile instruction. I've taken several one hour lessons from time to time, but the school helped considerably to grasp all the different aspects of the game there is to learn. As I mentioned earlier, I picked the Florida school for its location near Chicago. Keep in mind that being so close to Disney, this location draws a large family crowd. If you are planning a school with a foursome of avid golfers and are interested in a more adult location, the Palm Desert School may be a better choice.
Photos courtesy of Marriott Vacation Club International
About the Authors
Sue and Charlie Shimkus are owners of Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise established in 1974. Sue has served on the travel advisory board for Alaska, Hawaii, & Ireland and executive board of the local chapter American Society of Travel Agents. Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise is a member of the Signature Travel Network. Visit Lake Zurich Travel for Expert Travel Advice and resources finding the Right Vacation for you!
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