The Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge Country Club: You and your game will improve

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

Golfers looking for better swings will find them at the Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge Country Club. The state-of-the-art facility - featuring equipment such as a Freemotion Vertex Whole Body Vibration System and a MotionGolf 3-D Imaging Studio - helps you work on all aspects of your game.

Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge Country Club
The Jack Nicklaus Academy team has the ability and knowledge to help you work on every aspect of your golf game.
Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge Country ClubJack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge C.C.Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf - imaging center

HENDERSON, Nev. - Ah, the game of golf. It's such a simple sport: Line up your shot, step up to the ball and swing the club. Nothing can possibly go wrong, right?

Well, if that was the case, golf ball manufacturers wouldn't produce and deliver millions and millions of golf balls every single day. Golf club makers wouldn't be fine-tuning the latest and greatest gear guaranteed to improve everything from distance to direction to ... well, you name it, they promise their gear will deliver.

That's all well and good if you've got a great golf swing. But the one thing many players fail to realize is it's often - if not always - the swing, not the equipment, that needs work.

That's where Director of Instruction Seth Glasco and the staff at the Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge Country Club come into play. They will show you every little detail about your game -- the good, the bad and the ugly. And best of all, they have the ability and knowledge to help you work on every aspect of your game to get the best results possible in the least amount of time.

So step up to this state-of-the-art facility, and get on the right track.

"We are the ultimate diagnostic center," Glasco said. "If you're going to spend time working on your game, you should spend that time working on the right things. You have to work on the correct things to get better, and we can pinpoint those for you."

Now the first thing many players need to realize is they don't possess that picture-perfect golf swing. But that's okay because Glasco will work with your swing to smooth it out. Not everyone swings like Tiger or Phil (although we certainly would love to), but the end result will be improvements you can see, feel and repeat.

You'll work precise data from the latest launch monitors, real-time 3D imaging and a computerized putting lab. You'll be introduced to custom ball and club fitting, a unique pressure and balance mat that displays what is going on in your feet and where your center of mass is at any point during your swing, and the latest teaching aids on the market.

When you're through, you'll have the knowledge of what happens during a golf swing and why. And that will give you the confidence to step up to the first tee and the confidence you'll hit a good shot.

Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf: Getting started

First, there's always the warm-up. There are a few players who might take 10-15 minutes to stretch out and get ready.

Well, maybe in the past, but it's not necessary anymore. At the Academy, players simply step on the Freemotion Vertex Whole Body Vibration System and 30-60 seconds later they are as loose as if they had stretched for those 10-15 minutes.

Now the lesson can go any number of ways. Concerns about your swing? There are plenty of options here. Step in front of the multiple high-speed video cameras, and you'll have a visual documentation of your strengths and weaknesses and know immediately what needs work.

Then there's the MotionGolf 3-D Imaging Studio. Have you seen the guys making video games using the funny suits with sensors attached to the player? Well, they work. And they will work from many different directions.

Whether it's head-on, from above, from behind or from below, you'll see your swing like never before along with data to refine the sequencing of your body and the ideal delivery of the club to the ball. And again, you'll be able to see the parts of your swing that can use a little fine tuning.

There's also a putting segment to the process. Dustin Simons, who works at the Academy, is a putting expert when it comes to the TOMI Computerized Putting Lab.

Simons, using a combination of TOMI and video analysis, will analyze your stroke, alignment, path of impact, shaft angle, impact spot (hopefully on the center of the clubface), speed at impact and stroke tempo. And it does it in five easy putts. It will show you if you're taking the club inside too far, if your speed is inconsistent, if your stroke tempo is too varied.

It's perfect for helping players achieve that perfect putting stroke. Now, if you read the putt correctly (they also have a special program to teach you how to read greens like the experts), you'll have a better chance of holing that next 20-footer.

The Academy also features a huge putting and chipping green to work on that all-important short game, a large bunker (big enough for three people to work in at the same time) in front of the two climate-controlled hitting bays and enough gadgets to impress any CIA operative.

"I use $60,000's worth of technology to diagnose a swing fault," Glasco said, "then I may use something as simple as a 99 cent stick from a hardware store to help fix that fault."

Taking your game to the next level

If you're serious about improving your game, the Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf at DragonRidge Country Club is the place to be. Glasco and Simons will give you every opportunity to take your game to the next level.

Glasco has the final word on the subject. "The one thing we promise is you will leave here less confused about what you need to do to get better than when you arrived."

Can you afford not to check it out?

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.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Nicklaus Academy

    scott wrote on: Apr 20, 2010

    I've been through the Nicklaus Academy program and there is nothing like it in the world. Period. Shaved strokes off my scorecard. Changed my mental focus. And helped me refine every stage of my game, from tee to green. Can't say enough good things about it.