The Best Florida Golf Schools to Improve Your Game

By Todd Mrowice

Chairs at golf teaching facility

If you’re serious about improving your golf game, a golf school is an ultimate step to lower your handicap. The state of Florida is home to some of the most renowned golf schools in the country. Let’s take a look at some of the best options in the Sunshine State along with different programs and costs.

Arnold Palmer Golf Academy at Bay Hill (Orlando)

Arnold Palmer statue at Bay Hill

Until he passed in 2016, Arnold Palmer was known to still tinker with golf equipment and offer his expertise to players of all levels. Today, the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy at Bay Hill continues The King’s legacy and offers some of the best golf instruction in Florida. From the basic fundamentals to course management, this academy is on the bucket list of places for golf instruction.

The program is said to mimic Palmer’s philosophy for the game of golf in every possible aspect, a constant which has been in place since Palmer started his first academy back in the late 1960s. The extra special aspect to Bay Hill is that it was Arnold Palmer’s home and you can’t help but feel his presence throughout the property. From the beautiful lodging to the championship course which hosts the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational each March, this is a unique experience, and part of the reason we think Bay Hill is among the very best golf courses in Orlando.

The academy is led by Director of Instruction, John O’Leary III. According to the academy’s website, he has been with the company since 1995. Bay Hill offers a multitude of different options for instruction at different price points.

  • 5-Day Academy ($1,599): The most complete package includes four hours of instruction each day and covers its classes: Mastering the Fundamentals, The Scoring Zone, Course Strategy, Practice Like A Pro, and Course Strategy II.
  • 3-Day Academy ($1,039): A shorter version of the above which still includes four hours each day of instruction. Includes classes: Mastering the Fundamentals, The Scoring Zone and Course Strategy.
  • 2-Day Academy ($845): The perfect session for those on an Orlando vacation. Includes four hours of instruction both days and covers Mastering the Fundamentals and The Scoring Zone.

The Arnold Palmer Golf Academy also offers instruction strictly for new players, half-day sessions, and even on-course playing lessons.

Golfzon Leadbetter Academy (Kissimmee)

David Leadbetter teaching group of students

Perhaps no other name in golf is as synonymous with golf instruction as David Leadbetter. Originally from Susex, England, Leadbetter is one of the pillars of professional and amateur golf instruction with his iconic wide-brim golf hats and unmistakable voice. David Leadbetter has instructed some of the top players in the world including Greg Norman, Lydia Ko, Ernie Els, Nick Price, Nick Faldo, and many more.
The Golfzon Leadbetter Academy has its world headquarters at Reunion Golf Resort in Kissimmee and it’s as top-tier as it gets. The sheer size of the academy is unbelievable, and you’ll understand why there’s no limit on the size of groups the academy can accommodate. Along with Leadbetter himself, the academy offers the services of other master instructors, senior instructors, clubfitters, sports psychologists, mental coaches, fitness instructors, and many other professionals.

In addition to individual lessons, the Golfzon Leadbetter Academy also offers different schools.

  • 3-Day School ($2,640): A program designed to dive into every aspect of your game. Includes: full-swing video assessment and instruction, short game assessment and instruction, group fitness, mental performance session, on-course instruction, and an equipment check.
  • 2-Day School ($1,870): An abbreviated version of the 3-day with no on-course instruction.
  • Full Swing School ($335): A three-hour instruction in a small group setting that analyzes all aspects of your full-swing.
  • Short Game School ($335): A three-hour instruction in a small group setting that analyzes all aspects of your putting, chipping, and bunker play.

Bird Golf Schools (Multiple Locations)

Bird Golf Schools are located throughout the country and provide multi-day classes that are all-encompassing for the golfer, no matter what age. In Florida alone, there are five outstanding Bird Golf School options for you to choose from. They are also located at some of the best golf courses in Florida.

  • Palm Coast at Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa
  • Orlando at Mission Inn Golf & Tennis Resort
  • South Florida at The Club at Boca Pointe
  • Southwest Florida at Old Corkscrew Golf Club
  • Jacksonville Golf School

No matter which Bird Golf School location you choose, you’ll have several instruction options to choose from.

  • The Eagle ($3,350-$7,495): Your choice of a 3, 4, or 5-day school which includes 6 hours of instruction each day. The format is one-on-one with an instructor and includes unlimited practice and play time along with lodging.
  • The Champion ($2,775-$5800): Another 3, 4, or 5-day school option but this one is shared with another student. This is a great option if you and your spouse would like to attend the school or perhaps a golf buddy. Each day includes 8 hours of instruction with unlimited practice and play, along with lodging.
  • The Buddy ($2,375-$5,475): Similar to The Champion format, only this 3, 4, or 5-day school includes 6 hours of instruction each day along with all of the amenities.

Jim McLean Golf School at The Biltmore Hotel (Coral Gables)

Jim McLean speaks to a large group

Along with David Leadbetter, Jim McLean is up there with the most renowned golf instructors in the world. McLean began opening golf academies in 1991 and has since been a part of many winning careers on both the PGA and LPGA Tours. He has worked with Tom Kite, Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland, Sergio Garcia, and many more.

McLean’s proven system is taught to players of all levels out of the Jim McLean School at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Along with the school, the property is the epitome of a luxury golf experience. The golf course, hotel, and all amenities are top-notch across the board. If you want world-class golf instruction and only the best in surroundings, this is the place for you.

In addition to private lessons and clinics, the school offers several options for people looking to sharpen their skills over multiple days. The school features Jim McLean’s iconic services including: The Slot Swing, Elimination Theory, The Grind, Safety Zones, 8-Step Swing, X-Factor, Y-Factor, Power Line, and The Super Station. There are several options to choose from.

  • 3-Day School with Jim McLean (pricing varies): Over your three days, McLean will personally teach 10 of the 17 instruction hours. It includes full swing analysis and instruction and McLean’s Workbook.
  • 3-Day School ($2,995): This 3:1 student to instructor ratio includes 20 total hours of instruction with a Master or Lead Master Instructor.
  • 2-Day School ($1,995): This is a more compressed version of the 3-Day School and includes 13 total hours of instruction with a Master or Lead Master Instructor.


You’ll find many other golf schools throughout Florida, but these are the top-rated and most proven options that you can invest with. If you’re serious about learning or improving your game to get to the next level, consider one of these Florida golf schools to get you there and beyond.

About the Author

Todd Mrowice is a Staff Writer for GolfLink. His experience spans over 15 years and he has covered all aspects of the game including travel, products, business, and professional tours. Todd has also put his deep knowledge of golf equipment to work as a club fitter and in several marketing roles in the golf industry. He has a hole-in-one on his playing resume and appropriately gave his son the middle name “Ace.”