If Florida is the best place in America to play golf (in our humble opinion), it would make sense that Florida is the best place to learn the game too, right?
Golf Digest magazine, a respected authority on such matters, thinks so. Its 2013-14 list of the game’s Top 50 Teachers in the U.S. is out, and Florida-based instructors claim 14 of the 50 spots.
Fourteen! By comparison, Arizona and California have the next-best representation on the list, with six teachers each on the Top 50.
Casual golf fans will recognize some of the names below, such as Tiger Woods’ instructor Sean Foley, Golf Channel Academy personality Martin Hall and teaching pioneer David Leadbetter. Every person on the list has earned the distinction, as 1,200 golf instructors nationwide voted on the panel.
Even better, you can take lessons from any of these teachers. Granted, some are tough to catch (Foley is spoken for during big PGA Tour events) and some are quite pricey (three hours with Leadbetter will run you $3,500, according to the magazine), but every one of them spends countless hours every year helping amateurs.
Here are the 14 Florida-based teachers in the top 50, in order of appearance:
Sean Foley; Core Golf Junior Acad., Winter Garden
Jim McLean; Jim McLean Golf School at Trump National Doral, Miami
Mike Bender; Mike Bender Golf Academy, Lake Mary
David Leadbetter; David Leadbetter Golf Academy at ChampionsGate, Orlando
Martin Hall; Ibis Golf & C.C., West Palm Beach
Bob Toski; Toski-Battersby Golf Learning Ctr., Coconut Creek
Craig Shankland; LPGA International, Daytona Beach
Gary Wiren; Trump International G.C., West Palm Beach
Jimmy Ballard; Ballard Swing Connection, Key Largo
Gary Gilchrist; Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, Howey-In-The-Hills
Claude Harmon III; Butch Harmon Floridian, Palm City
Brian Mogg; Waldorf Learning Center, Orlando
Mike Bennett; Stack & Tilt Academy, Palm City
Grant Waite; Waite Mayo Golf, Orlando
For the full list of Florida’s best, click here.