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You don’t need to be a pro to glean golf expertise from some of the top instructors in the sport.

There’s no golfer on planet Earth who doesn’t feel that his or her last round could have gone a little better. The encouraging word from David Leadbetter is that optimism is warranted: “The great thing about golf is that it’s the one game where you can continue to improve even as you get older.”

But in speaking to Leadbetter and four of the best golf instructors in the nation, one common theme emerged: It’s not easy taking your game from the practice range to the course.

“Actually, that’s the toughest thing,” says Leadbetter. “There’s so much technology available now to analyze a swing that it can become very complicated. I love learning about the swing — we use the TrackMan system, which is basically an MRI of what the golf ball does. But I still want to keep it simple so a player can understand where they’re heading.
Leadbetter (left) helps a golfer with his swing.

“We try to give students a blueprint for their golf games, until they become their own best instructors,” he says.

There are 24 David Leadbetter Golf Academy locations worldwide, and the namesake tries to visit each annually.

The newest opened last May at the Crystal Springs Resort in New Jersey, where Leadbetter will do a private 9-to-5 one-on-one for $10,000 ($15,000 for two; $20,000 for four).

Because despite professional clients like Michelle Wie, Trevor Immelman, Ian Poulter, Suzann Pettersen, and Nick Price, Leadbetter still gets a charge out of helping higher handicappers.

“It’s a challenge, and as a teacher you love a challenge. We claim we can help everyone, and 99 percent of the time that’s true.”

Leadbetter doesn’t hesitate when asked for a basic tip: “Good golf begins with a good grip. Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest fault in golf involves too much tension in the grip. And most golfers put the club too much in the palm of their hands, rather than more in the fingers.”