Don't gamble with your swing in Las Vegas: Top golf instruction is just a call away

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- If you're like many other golfers (okay, everyone from Tiger on down), you've had your share of troubles with the golf swing. There are many golf gurus -- some self-proclaimed, others with a resume to die for -- and even in Las Vegas, there's no shortage of great academies and instructors to help fine-tune your game.

Desert Pines Golf Club - driving range
Desert Pines Golf Club, home of the Walters Golf Academy, features one of Las Vegas' top practice facilities.
Desert Pines Golf Club - driving rangeTPC Las Vegas golf courseButch Harmon School of Golf

Whether it's a half-hour lesson to iron out a minor detail or a full-blown, five-day camp to get your game in tip-top shape, here are a few Las Vegas sites that fit the bill. So get ready to tee it up and watch those scores go down.

Butch Harmon School of Golf

If he's good enough for some of the best players in the world -- Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Natalie Gulbis, Adam Scott, just to name a few -- he can probably help your game.

The Butch Harmon School of Golf, located at Rio Secco Golf Club with Butch Harmon at the helm, provides two- and three-day camps for students (some with Butch and some without, so make sure to check the dates you're planning to attend) that cover the gamut of the golf swing.

Harmon, rated the top instructor for the past 10 years by Golf Digest, and his staff provide a VIP experience that will make every player feel like he's the most important person in camp. And that's because with the smaller size of the camps, each player receives more one-on-one training, and when that training comes from the world's top instructor, it's a priceless feeling.

As an example, a three-day camp with Butch and his staff costs $5,900 per person. But that also includes quite an array of extras.

Players will receive four nights at Caesars Palace, transportation to and from the hotel to the golf school, three days of instruction along with computerized video analysis. There's also a nine-hole playing lesson with staff at Rio Secco and an 18-hole playing lesson with staff at Cascata.

So if you're looking for world-class results, getting instruction from the world's best (in many eyes) is a great step to improving your golf swing.

TOUR Academy at TPC Las Vegas

You know the names: Rickie Fowler, Alex Cejka, Bill Lunde, John Mallinger. All of these PGA Tour guys, and many more, hit the practice facility at TPC Las Vegas to work on their game when they are not out on tour. So should you.

The TOUR Academy at TPC Las Vegas offers state-of-the-art instruction that runs the gamut -- from two-day schools to five-day schools. There's something for everyone here, whether it's working on the full swing, your short game or on-course instruction. You name, they will work with you to improve your golf swing from top to bottom.

And instruction is geared to individual needs and every skill level. It's that simple. They will also help out with club-fitting, fitness and mental conditioning.

Their main focus is to help players form a detailed plan to help players improve their swing and gain confidence with each shot.

From start to finish, you'll see a marked improvement, and sessions will be recorded and put onto a CD so players can quickly check out the instruction tips given during the sessions.

Like the TOUR Academy web site says: "There is one thing to know for sure when you come to the TOUR Academy TPC Las Vegas and that is you won't need any luck to improve your golf game."

Walters Golf Academy

Headed by Mike Davis, the Walters Golf Academy, with instruction at Desert Pines Golf Club and Royal Links Golf Club, is committed to providing top-notch instruction for all aspects of the golf swing.

Davis -- one of GOLF Magazine's top 100 instructors and Golf Digest's No. 2 instructor in Nevada since 2002 -- has a simple philosophy: find out where a student wants to go with their game and help him or her get there. Davis has taught more than 90 students who have gone on to play college golf, and his work includes video instruction. He's also developed a program that helps PGA members and apprentices become better in the art of golf instruction.

Whether it's a half-hour lesson or an on-course playing lesson, there's an instruction package to fit every price-range. Instructors at the Walters Golf Academy will work closely with students (no more than a 5:1 student-instructor ratio, and individual sessions/packages are also available) to help players take their game to new -- and improved -- heights.

There you have it: four places in stunning Las Vegas to work on your golf swing, your mind-set and your physical fitness. And there are plenty more. The fact is, most of the top golf courses in Las Vegas offer highly rated golf instruction to help you work out any kinks from sitting at the gaming tables the night before. You just need to take a few minutes to scope out the choices.

And, as we all know, Vegas is all about choices.

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

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