April 28, 2022

Whether you’re a kid who has never stepped on a golf course, a woman looking to learn the sport or a golfing veteran ready for the best club fit you’ve ever had, there’s a reason to stop by the GreatLIFE Golf Academy.

“We’ve had an incredible year so far,” said Drew Trautman, director of player development. “Winter is the time of year to really hone your game so you’re ready for spring and summer, and we’ve had great turnout so far, so we’re hoping the momentum continues into the season.”

But if you’re one of those people who doesn’t really think golf until the weather encourages it, there still are plenty of ways to hone your game starting now:

Little Linksters

The newly named Little Linksters program is already proving popular with kids age 5 through 12, so here’s what you need to know:

If you have a 9- through 12-year-old, there are a few spots left for the first four-week session, which starts Saturday, April 30.

“This is a very introductory program,” Trautman said. “It’s for kids who haven’t even touched a golf club, and we use a lot of sport-specific activities to build skills, so it’s a fun, light program to get that young golfer introduced to the game.”

The hourlong sessions are held four consecutive Saturdays, with kids age 5 to 8 at 11 a.m. and those 9 to 12 at noon at Willow Run Golf Course. Sessions run:

  • April 30-May 21
  • June 4-25
  • July 9-30
  • Aug. 6-27

“We cover everything from what a golf club is to how to hold it; the basics of swinging, putting, the short game; we talk about the parts of the course a little bit; and then the program resets every four weeks,” Trautman said. “But if a student wants to join for a second session, they’re welcome to.”

The cost is $100 per session, and the program is open to GreatLIFE members and nonmembers. Email drew.trautman@joingreatlife.com to sign up.

Golf Fore Women

If you’re a woman looking to feel more comfortable on the course, Golf Fore Women is for you.

“This is a great curriculum for a woman who has never played golf before or hasn’t done it in a long time and is interested in learning a sport that will last you a lifetime,” Trautman said.

New this year, Golf Fore Women 2.0 builds on the program that debuted last year and is geared toward players “who have graduated out and want to continue to progress and hone skills at an intermediate level,” Trautman said.

Golf FORE Women 1.0 is held at 5 p.m. Tuesdays, and Golf FORE Women 2.0 is at 6 p.m. Tuesdays.

Sessions run every four weeks and started this week. The next session starts June 7. The cost is $200, and the program is open to GreatLIFE members and nonmembers. Email drew.trautman@joingreatlife.com to sign up.

NextGENERATION Junior Golf Academy, Junior Golf Tour

For the more competitive young golfer, “Next Gen has really been taking off over the winter and into 2022,” Trautman said.

The NextGen students are generally in middle school and high school and “looking to elevate their game,” he continued. “It includes individual and group instruction and uses the full force of the Golf Academy.”

NextGen students receive:

  • Two 60-minute group practice sessions per week.
  • Three 30-minute individual sessions per month.
  • Access to Flightscope and SAM PuttLAB.
  • V1 Sports High Speed Video Capture.
  • Willow Run driving range access.
  • Speed and power training.
  • Game management instruction.

The cost is $250 per month, and it’s open to GreatLIFE members and nonmembers. Email drew.trautman@joingreatlife.com to sign up.

Competitive young golfers also should consider the Junior Golf Tour, which offers a summer opportunity to play regardless of your competitive experience.

“We really pride ourselves on setting it up so a junior who has never played in a tournament can come out and have a good experience, learn how to properly check in, get some range balls and be instructed in rules and etiquette,” Trautman said. “It’s a cool introductory option while also providing a great competitive atmosphere for those who are more experienced.”

Click here to learn more and get signed up.

Club fittings

Don’t forget the GreatLIFE Golf Academy at Willow Run when it comes to your clubs – no matter what your ability level.

“We can do the highest end club fitting for full swing clubs and putters,” Trautman said. “Most amateur players use their putter for 40 percent of the shots, so if there is a club that should be custom fit for them, it probably should be putter.”

The Golf Academy’s range of technology allows for a custom fitting experience unlike anything in the area, he added.

“We have master fitters coming from five major manufacturers in the next few weeks, providing free club fittings for members and nonmembers alike, so this is the perfect chance to come out, get a free fitting and check out everything the Golf Academy has to offer.”

Here’s what’s coming up for fittings:

  • Titleist: May 3 from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Mizuno: May 5 from noon to 4 p.m.
  • PING: May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Taylormade: May 10 from 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Callaway: May 18 from noon to 4 p.m.

Golfers of all ages, abilities: GreatLIFE Golf Academy has something for you

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