Hands-on golf instruction at Marriott Golf Academy is one of many reasons why it is so well-regarded among traveling golfers. (Marriott Golf Academy)

Marriott Golf Academy: Lower Your Scores On Your Next Golf Vacation

This article originally appeared on GolfVacationInsider.com

Not to generalize, but pretty much every single Golf Vacation Insider reader has two main things in common:

  1. They love to get away for a few days and play golf in an exotic place.
  2. They, like all golfers, want to get better.

So why not combine the two?

Many of the world's top golf destinations understand this desire, which is why you'll find golf schools attached to many great golf resorts.

One of our favorites is the Marriott Golf Academy, which offers some of the most comprehensive and varied golf instruction offerings we have encountered anywhere.

Hands-on golf instruction is one of many reasons why Marriott Golf Academy is so well-regarded among traveling golfers. (Marriott Golf Academy)

Built For Any Schedule and Any Handicap

Where most golf schools have a very limited menu of services, Marriott Golf Academy prides itself on being able to tailor its offerings to the desires and priorities of the student.

Yes, you can immerse yourself in a 2- or 3-day school where, no matter whether you're a beginner or accomplished amateur player, you will emerge with both a deeper understanding of your unique golf abilities and a clear path toward improvement.

As Intense Or Relaxed As You Want

But if you're looking for something a little less intensive, Marriott Golf Academy will be able to accommodate you. One-day programs are available in four-hour sessions that cover the full swing or short-game, and the student-to-instructor ration will never exceed 4-to-1. If you want to slim that ratio down even further, you can schedule a 2-hour playing lesson for you or you and a partner.

Finally, if you're looking for a one-hour private lesson - again, for you or you and a partner - Marriott Golf Academy's instructors will be happy to help cure what ails your golf game.

Two Terrific Locations

Best of all, Marriott Golf Academy boasts two locations in easy-to-reach golf travel hotbeds.


The first, Marriott's Grande Vista in Orlando, Florida, sits practically in the center of the Orlando area's beehive of golf activity. Grande Vista's own golf offerings are geared toward game improvement and relaxation, with a 2,300-yard, 9-hole golf course designed by Ron Garl wrapped around a pristine, 35-acre practice facility where you can hone your skills for absolutely any situation you will encounter on the course. And if you want some big-course practice, you can visit the nearby Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grande Lakes and Hawk's Landing Golf Club at the Marriott World Center. In short, it's a golf vacation instruction paradise where visitors are perfectly placed to take their new-and-improved golf games to one of dozens of area courses.


For those who want to go West to improve their golf games, Marriott Golf Academy is located at Marriott's Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, California. At Shadow Ridge, Marriott offers a practice facility no less comprehensive than at its Orlando outpost, and adds 18 holes of golf designed by six-time major champion Nick Faldo, and which Golfweek has included on its "Best Resort Courses" list for 2016.

Decades Of Staff Experience

Whereas many golf schools suffer from high staff turnover, the three-man team of instructors at Grande Vista have each called it home for more than a decade. Senior Instructor Dave Dolengowski and Certified Instructor David Graham have been at Grande Vista since 1997, and their colleague Donald Moyer has been on staff since 2003. Not only do these teachers know the golf swing inside and out, their deep familiarity with their home base and the Orlando area in general gives them a level of expertise not found at many other golf schools.

As with the Orlando-based Marriott Golf Academy staff, experience is a hallmark of Shadow Ridge's dynamic duo of Senior Instructor Mike Ellis and Certified Instructor Ben Nicholas, who arrived at their posts in 2000 and 2003, respectively. In addition to countless recreational and amateur players, Ellis has worked with former LPGA top-ranked player Yani Tseng.

More Than Just Instruction

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that Marriott Golf Academy is not just a place to fine-tune your game. They do a great job of custom-fitting, as well, having been listed among "America's 100 Best Clubfitters" by Golf Digest.

After all, as different as golfers' swings are, their equipment needs run the gamut as well. If you're looking to add new clubs to your golf makeover, you can benefit from TrackMan-aided analysis from Marriott Golf Academy's Master Club Fitters as well as its Certified Instructors.

Bottom line: if you want to experience both expert instruction and top-quality clubfitting, with a side of awesome golf in prime destination locations, the three magic words are "Marriott Golf Academy."

Apr 19, 2016

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Tim Gavrich

Senior Writer

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.