Give 'em a week and the folks at The Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale just might give you a golf game

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - There are golf schools, and then there's the new "Replacing Luck Golf Package" at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. If the program is as good as it sounds, guests who spend up to a week at the resort enrolled in the program could be in for a total golf makeover.

Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
Guests can play 27 Scott Miller-designed holes at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale.
Westin Kierland Resort and SpaWestin Kierland Resort and Spa - GymWestin Kierland Resort and Spa - Clubfitting
If you go

The package combines five elements into a compressed program to help golfers get the most out of their game. The "Replacing Luck Golf Package" includes top-notch instruction, golf-specific fitness, custom club fitting, massage and unlimited golf at the Westin Kierland's 27 holes.

The package begins with renowned teachers Mike and Sandy LaBauve, who have been named among the top 50 instructors in the country on several occasions. They have worked with numerous tour players as well as resort guests.

Each player gets 50 minutes of instruction, which is then reinforced through golf-specific exercises, strength training and stretches in the intense FORE-MAX Golf Training System. In addition to swing mechanics, players are prescribed specific drills, and each guest is given a customized instructional manual based on the findings of their lesson.

"What we do is work directly with Mike and Sandy," said the resort's fitness director, Steve Heller. "We know exactly which areas we need to work on with each guest based on what they tell us."

FORE-MAX at The Westin Kierland: Golf boot camp

It looks innocent enough as you watch some of the Heller's tour players go through the regimen, but the stretches and core-building exercises are grueling. They are all designed to maximize the power potential and accuracy of the golf swing, increasing strength, speed and balance.

A typical FORE-MAX training session is about 90 minutes. It includes work in the gym, specifically on the treadmills for high-intensity aerobic training, as well as stretching and core-strengthening exercises on the floor.

Each guest receives a customized workout manual that contains fitness routines that work to directly improve the weaknesses and limitations found during the instructional and fitting components.

In addition to dramatic distance gains, guests who go through FORE-MAX learn how to prevent and handle some of the most common golf-associated injuries.

Guests also receive a FORE-MAX DVD so they can practice at home. The DVD was some time in the making, Heller said.

"The FORE-MAX DVD is a great way for any athlete to get the FORE-MAX workout when they are away from home and on the road," he said. "It also allows guests who have tried the workout program and don't live here locally to take the program back home with them."

Since the program's inception in November 2002, Heller has worked with several tour pros, including Jeff Quinney and Nationwide Tour players Chris Cox, Jin Park and Warren Schute. LPGA players have included Pat Hurst, Grace Park and Marcy Heart.

The Westin Kierland's Agave Spa

The FORE-MAX training is intense and will almost surely cause sore muscles, no matter how high you think your fitness level is. Thank goodness massage therapy is part of the package.

The spa component of the "Replacing Luck" package includes a 50-minute FORE-MAX Golfer's Massage and access to Agave Spa facilities, which include both men's and women's steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools.

With relaxation and focus being key components of golf, this element is designed to prepare the body for peak performance. The massage should be both therapeutic and restorative.

During this session, the therapist works to help the muscles recover and release lactic acid from the body, helping it prepare for another round. Which is good, because the package includes as many holes as you can get in.

Designed by Scott Miller, formerly a senior designer for Jack Nicklaus, Kierland Golf Club provides three 18-hole combinations from which to choose. The three nines are named after indigenous plant life found on the course: Acacia, Ironwood and Mesquite.

Package participants will also be able to take advantage of Pro-Fit, a highly technical testing center located on Kierland Golf Club's outdoor practice tee. It uses computer, laser optics and camera technology and provides a full range of golf equipment guests can try before they buy.

Pro-Fit can also adjust clubs that might need a little tweak here and there. During this component guests can choose one of the two options that work to analyze their driver or putter, two of the most important clubs in the bag.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, 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 25 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 @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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