GREENSBORO, Ga. -- You've heard of fantasy baseball camp, so why not fantasy golf? At Reynolds Plantation, they call it the TaylorMade Tour Experience, conducted at the Kingdom near the Reynolds Plantation Golf Academy.
Reynolds Plantation is the eastern location for the Kingdom, which serves TaylorMade's playing and club-professional staff. Sergio Garcia and Natalie Gulbis, among others, have stopped here for club fittings, to get their current clubs tweaked or simply to spend time adjusting. The original Kingdom facility, at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., serves many pros in the West.
So how much would the same experience benefit an amateur? Or better yet, what if you were not only treated like pro, but an actual tour pro from the TaylorMade staff hosted your stay, offering tips, sharing a meal or two and even some time on the golf course with your group?
It happened last year as Loren Roberts offered his time to a group of TaylorMade Tour Experience guests. They even got a putting lesson.
The packages range from $6,500 to $8,500 and include all kinds of perks -- balls, apparel, a hat and a complete set of custom clubs, as well as accommodations at the Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation.
"It's basically the same price you would pay to play in a pro-am (at a tour event) with a pro who may or may not talk to you," said Jason Werner, master clubfitter at the Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation.
Basically, two options exist, the two- and three-day packages. The three-day package includes a nine-hole playing lesson, plus full- and short-game instruction from renowned teacher Charlie King.
The Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation opened in the fall of 2007. Named for the book by Michael Murphy, the game-enhancement facility represents a partnership between Reynolds Plantation and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf.
The TaylorMade Tour Experience, depending on the length of stay, works for corporate groups of four or six players. Upon arrival, guests receive PGA Tour-like lockers stuffed full of goodies in the main building.
To ensure proper fitting, they undergo extensive analysis, which starts with the nine-camera Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade. This sophisticated club-fitting tool combines high-speed cameras and a launch monitor in addition to computer sensors on the golfer and the club to determine every swing nuance.
The data creates a three-dimensional image of the golfer's swing, which then helps produce specs that allow that player maximize his or her swing. All of it requires further verification at a separate launch monitor on an outdoor driving range. The process also extends to the putter, a service Werner prefers over even the other club fittings.
And with a tour trailer at the Kingdom, once a player is fitted, his or her new clubs -- and a new TaylorMade golf bag -- are ready the next morning.
Guests may want to extend their stay a bit if visiting for the TaylorMade Tour Experience. The 10,000-acre resort, a drive of slightly more than an hour east of Atlanta, features six excellent golf courses. Five are open to resort guests and designed by some of the biggest names in the business.
And don't miss the excellent accommodations, including the Ritz-Carlton. Condominium and villa options are also available on the golf courses.
"The opening of the Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation further validates us as a premier golf destination," said Bob Mauragas, vice president of golf operations at Reynolds Plantation. "Now golfers can visit not only to enjoy our great courses, but they can also engage in an incomparable Kingdom experience that can change their games dramatically for the better."
For more information, check out www.thekingdomatreynolds.com.
May 21, 2010