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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Take a Lesson on Pebble Beach at Ashford Golf Academy

I've played Pebble Beach and I've taken a few (not enough) golf lessons, but I'd never done both at the same time until I visited the Billy Ashford Golf Academy at Bilancio. In case you're wondering, that's in Purchase, NY, not California. The Pebble Beach experience occurs on the About Golf simulator in Ashford's studio, which may not have sea breezes but does come complete with the sounds of shore birds and surf.

Billy Ashford
Billy Ashford
There are other places where you can play golf on simulators, but Ashford is the only PGA pro I know who incorporates the simulator into his teaching plan. I have to say it's a heck of a lot more interesting to try to work on a swing change using the pin on Pebble's eighth hole as a target than the usual driving range flag. Not only do you have some spectacular scenery to look at, but I have to believe it makes it easier to take the lesson from the range to the course for real when the time comes.

Another big advantage is that your swings are recorded on the simulator software so that you and Ashford have solid data about swing speed, efficiency, ball spin, and more to work with. This also means you can empirically track your progress from session to session.  Ashford also adds video of your swing to the lesson so that you get a really, really complete look at why your ball ends up in the Pacific instead of the fairway. He takes an extra step and emails the video to you with his analysis after the lesson, too, so you can work on it on your own.

Tired of playing Pebble Beach (don't you wish!)--there are dozens of other fabulous courses to choose from. The simulator and studio, which is located in the Bilancio personal fitness center, is available for a weekly round with your buddies, too. Ashford will also give group lessons and even arrange refreshments. It's all at Bilancio, 4 Manhattanville Road, Purchase, NY. For more information, email Billy Ashford or call him at (845) 222-9056. He also gives lessons to both members and non-members of Mahopac Golf Club during the regular season.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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