On August 21, 2012 The Range at Barefoot announced the grand opening of the Greg Norman's Champions Golf Academy. The 10,000-square-foot clubhouse is believed to be the second largest golf academy in the U.S. It houses a gym featuring Cybex equipment, two classrooms, one meeting room, boys and girls locker rooms, three covered indoor/outdoor hitting bays, six offices, and a club repair and storage room.
"We've been here for two years with the Greg Norman Academy and its going well, and we're so excited to move to Barefoot," said academy owner Juan Manuel Fernandez, who moved to the Grand Strand from Mexico a couple years ago. "I believe it will be a huge opportunity for the kids around here and overseas. Hopefully we can move it forward and get it in the shape Greg wants it."
The practice area includes a driving range that has a hitting area approximately 75 yards long and 25 yards deep, and 14 measured target greens. It also includes an 8,000-square-foot putting green, 1,000-square-foot flat putting green, 6,000-square-foot chipping green, and three practice bunkers with greens set up for 10-, 30-, 45- and 70-yard shots.
Scott Shobe is the director of instruction, as he has been for a few years at the Long Bay Club academy. Workers are still putting the finishing touches on some of the rooms, and Shobe’s staff will begin utilizing the building Monday.
Touring pro Sam Lyons, a graduate of North Myrtle Beach High and Coastal Carolina, has been receiving instruction at the academy at the Long Bay location since November. “I think they have a great future here with the new building. I’m very impressed with everything,” Lyons said. “I think they’ll draw a lot more students because it’s in a better place. … It’s a great building; a great place to get better.”
The academy has an agreement with Barefoot Golf Resort for student rounds on its four courses and student meals at either the Barefoot clubhouse or an incoming restaurant that is taking up the space vacated by the recently closed Barefoot Bar & Grill.
The academy will have hourly and day lessons for the general public, and has 15 full-time students this school year between the ages of 14 and 21 that are living in The Farm in Carolina Forest, as well as several touring pros who receive instruction. On-site housing may be built in the future.
For more information and pricing visit the Greg Normans Champions Golf Academy Website.