Jim McLean Golf Center Texas: Golf school supreme in Fort Worth

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas -- If you're looking for a serious place to improve your golf game, you need not look any further than the Jim McLean Golf Center Texas.

Jim McLean - Keegan Bradley
Jim McLean working with PGA Tour player Keegan Bradley at the Jim McLean Golf Center Texas in Fort Worth.
Jim McLean - Keegan BradleyJim McLean Golf Center Texas - fitnessJim McLean Golf Center Texas - practice courseJim McLean Golf Center Texas - range
If you go

This is where some of the top juniors in the country train full time -- with some of the top golf instructors in the country at a facility that can recreate practice like few other places.

Not only does the school provide all the technical instruction of the golf swing, but students can simulate any shot in golf at the center's extensive practice course, they can get physical fitness training designed specifically for golf, and there's even mental training for helping golfers manage their way around a course and through a round.

But you don't have to be a junior to train here. Anyone can book a lesson or enroll in a short golf school, receiving many of the benefits that the juniors who come here to train throughout the school year get.

And since it's a Jim McLean school, there is a system but not necessarily a method, said Justin Poynter, who leads the instructional program at the Jim McLean Golf Center Texas.

"My system is unique in that I have a lot of room for individual differences and allow all my teachers to use all their creativity," said Poynter, who has a reputation as one of the best teachers in America as well. "We don't believe, as some other schools and instructors do, that everybody is going to fit into the same golf swing. Everybody is built differently, so there are a lot of different ways to make a golf swing and play golf and do it well."

Fundamentals are still crucial

Poynter pointed out, however, that basic fundamentals, how the body and club move, are still crucial building blocks.

"We keep in mind basic fundamentals: body motion and club action," he said. "In our teaching method, you can do it your own way as long as you stay within the parameters or limits where we find good players who have been able to do it very well.

He calls those parameters the "corridors of success."

"This is a huge part of our teaching success," Poynter said. "Once outside those corridors, virtually nobody in the history of the game has succeeded. I recommend an immediate change for super-poor body positioning or an off-plane downswing."

Still, the system is the system. Each teacher at the Jim McLean schools -- just as it would be under David Leadbetter, for example -- teaches the same system.

"I worked a lot with Ken Venturi over the years, and probably the most important thing I learned from him was consistency," Poynter said. "In other words, if you go to one of our teachers, you're going to get the same fundamentals, the same concepts, year in and year out.

"The way we break down and analyze the swing is different from the way most instructors do it. We look for specific things. We look at fundamental positioning of the body and fundamental positioning of the club. We also look for the 'death moves,' actions or positions that are so far outside the corridors that they will cause you to hit poor shots forever. These are the faults we change right away in our students."

They thought of everything

At Jim McLean Golf Center Texas, you can learn to test what you learned under any condition, thanks to its extensive facilities.

For example, the 14,000-square-foot performance center includes five indoor bays, a putting studio, a 3,500-square-foot fitness facility, a lighted range, different types of practice greens with different types of grasses, a 50,000-square-foot short-game area, a full swing simulator and "The Legends Scoring Nine."

The Legends Scoring Nine isn't just any old practice course. It was created by architect Tom Fazio and renowned instructor McLean for full flexibility. While it can be played as nine-hole par 3, additional tees can be set up to make par-4 holes, and the course provides all kinds of lies for practice -- downhill, side hill, uphill -- you name it.

There are all sorts of options for students to fit time schedules and budgets. Everything from one-day and two-day schools to three-day and five-day schools are available. And from time to time, McLean, who is based in Miami, even teaches at the Fort Worth center from time to time.

For more information on the lesson programs and facilities at the Jim McLean Golf Center Texas, click here.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.


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