Faldo Golf Institute – Learning to Golf in the Lap of Luxury
As long as I was in Orlando I decided to start my golf season with some practice at the Faldo Golf Institute. As part of Marriott Hotel’s Grande Vista, it was an opportunity to warm up my game for the coming season up north and to enjoy a beautiful golf course.
I did not take a formal lesson, so I will have to refer you to their website for more information. I will tell you that the facility serves the elite players (those with a single digit handicap), those with handicaps lower than 18, and — the rest of us, who are eager to improve.
The golf school has many lesson styles to choose from – 3 day advanced programs to 1 hour private lessons. They also have a club fitting workshop and a specialized fitting just for putters. (I was tempted to join that one!)
The amenities match your expectations of a Marriott Grande: beautifully appointed rooms, restaurants and with plenty for families to enjoy. This is a golf venue that encourages players of all abilities, so it is not unusual to see young golfers on the practice greens or the 9-hole par 32 golf course. The have a special Kids Learn & Play-4-Free Program as well as Military & Junior Discounts. The course is open to the public and I was easily able to book a tee time the day before. But don’t let the public access to the course deter you if you are a serious golfer in search of instruction. Those enrolled in golf schools and private lessons have special tee times dedicated to them.
I arrived at the course in plenty of time to hit a bucket of balls and practice a bit of putting. Time to get my body ready to play after three months of “off-season.” I was paired with a gentleman from Washington D.C., a corporate consultant who was at the Faldo course for a weekend of golf before attending a conference the following Monday. The course was in great condition and we had a good time. The course is a Ron Garl design and sits on the headwaters of the Florida Everglades ecosystem. Much of the course is surrounded by wildlife. The birds were incredible. (Only wish my golf was the same.) As it was a Saturday and the course very popular, play was slow and we only played nine holes. You have the option of going around again for a second nine and I was tempted. Playing a course for the second time gives you the advantage of knowing what to expect. But the afternoon sun was beginning to set and friends were waiting. But this is one course I want to play again. Next time, I will take a private lesson.
How do you warm up your “off season” golf? Have you ever played at the Faldo Golf Institute?