Golf lessons that travel

New Sea Island State-of-the-Art Performance Center Beckons

When you break daily routines and reduce distractions, heightened productivity and focus are the likely results. That’s precisely why corporate groups hold off-site meetings or why a novelist might travel to a remote cabin to create an optimal writing environment. This is a concept with which many golf instructors also can relate, which is why you might see their students join them at a destination that’s set up for serious golf lessons and training.

This was the original concept behind the PGA Golf Club in Florida, which offers visiting PGA professionals and their clients with access to its multiple courses and 35-acre learning center. Proponent Group, golf’s largest member organization serving full-time instructors, operates a visiting coach’s program with host facilities located in eight U.S. states, plus Bermuda. On a less formal basis, many veteran teaching professionals team up with colleagues for “home and away” golf-school sessions, which also provide their students with the opportunity to visit somewhere special to work on their game. Sea Island, the landmark golf resort in the Golden Isles region of Georgia, has come up with the Sea Island Pro Program, which invites golf professionals to team up with its new Golf Performance Center staff to provide an unparalleled experience.

Any golf professional with plans for a group excursion of this type should look first to Sea Island. With a heritage of world-class golf and brilliant instruction that complements its natural beauty and sophisticated luxury, Sea Island’s 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Golf Performance Center is a gleaming citadel of game-improvement.

The Sea Island Pro Program is a multi-win concept, rewarding the “have-student-will-travel” golf professional handsomely. Any golf professional who participates will receive a $50 Sea Island resort credit for every paid room-night housing a student. This applies to all of the resort’s stellar overnight options: The Lodge, The Cloister, The Cottages, and The Inn.

In addition, the professional’s room and golf will be complimentary in every instance where he or she is accompanied by a traveling party of seven or more. At the end of the year, a Sea Island gift card is sent to the professional, which can be redeemed for room nights, food, beverage, resort activities or to purchase merchandise from the Sea Island website.

Sea Island is home to the PGA TOUR’s RSM Classic, hosted by Sea Island’s own Davis Love III. It has three championship courses, including the fully renovated and soon-to-reopen Plantation Course. The resort community is a primary residence for more than 20 touring professionals, which was a factor in the drive to design and build the new training facility.

Partly due to the timeless beauty of the region, and partly owing to how much golf soul is embedded here, Sea Island can continually add sophisticated, luxurious amenities and never lose pure-golf ambience. It’s the only resort in the world to receive four Forbes Five-Star awards for 11 consecutive years. As for the new GPC – Golf Performance Center – the manager of the facility never gets tired of hearing people rave about it.

“My office is right by the front door,” says Craig Allan, “and I can’t count how many times each day I hear ‘this is awesome’ or ‘it’s unbelievable.’ The new GPC has been an overwhelming success and we expect it to be the go-to place for world-class instruction.”

There’s been a trend toward adding high-tech game-improvement centers at top resorts – Pebble Beach included – but this one sets itself apart via its “heritage, diverse offerings and spectacular views,” according to Allan. As visiting golfers make their way through the GPC, what they notice most is the vast array of options, including six hitting bays loaded with technology, a fully outfitted gym and a state-of-the-art putting studio – all to improve their game. “The facility is laid out in such a way that students can flow from one area to another as they work through the various components,” says Allan. “The putting studio, spectacular gym, and our fun group bay with its Trackman Simulator have been especially big hits.”

Golf instruction has become oriented away from “one-off” lessons toward longer-term relationships between coach and student. That mindset proves best for skill development, plus it’s the most satisfying way for an instructor to build his or her practice.

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