Ventana Golf Academy
At the Ventana Canyon Golf Academy our goal is to provide the highest quality golf instruction in order to equip you with the skills needed to play better golf and get more enjoyment out of the game. Our staff of award winning PGA Professionals will use our first class golf courses and practice facility, digital video and launch monitor analysis, proven teaching methods, and innovative programs to give you an incomparable learning experience. Each of our instructional programs encourages students to develop both the physical and mental aspects of the game so that you can translate your instruction to lower scores on the course. Regardless of ability, every student is given the personalized attention and coaching they need to maximize their potential. All of our offerings can be enjoyed individually or in groups. Multiple day and custom programs can be designed to fit your specific needs.
The Half-Day School
Three hours of instruction separated into three main focus areas: full swing, short game, and putting. Discover your swing issues and corresponding fixes, learn how to get up and down from a variety of short game challenges, and make more putts with an improved stroke and green reading. Students will receive a video analysis and review to help carry on the improvement process.
The Full-Day School
For the ultimate educational experience, the full-day school offers the curriculum of the half-day school in the morning followed by lunch and nine holes of golf with your instructor in the afternoon. Learn to apply your new technique on the golf course while learning valuable skills in course management, strategy, and shot selection.
If there is a particular part of your game that needs specific attention, schedule an hour or half hour session with one of our PGA professionals to get you back on track.
Are you having trouble translating your skills into lower scores? Take a playing lesson and learn course management, shot selection, and mental techniques that can help shave off a few strokes. We will also take an opportunity to brush up on your rules and etiquette as well.
Similar to other aspects of our technological lives, golf equipment has changed dramatically over the past few years. Playing with poorly fit equipment can make the game a struggle. A properly fit set of clubs, however, can help you maximize your skill level and make the game more enjoyable. Any golfer, regardless of ability, can benefit from custom club fitting, whether you need a new set or tweaks to your existing ones. By using the FlightScope X2 launch monitor, the most advanced Doppler radar tracking for golf, we provide the most accurate data and thus, the best fit custom clubs. Our staff are certified fitters for TaylorMade, Ping, and Callaway equipment.
Meet Our Instructors
Brandon Smith, PGA - Director of Instruction
After completing his college career playing for the University of Arizona, Brandon competed professionally for three years on various developmental tours. He joined Ventana Canyon in 2002 and has been teaching since 2005. His playing success has continued since joining the PGA, qualifying for multiple PGA Professional National Championship, winning numerous PGA section events including the 2010 Southwest Section Championship and playing in the 2011 PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Brandon has trained under and studied many top teaching professionals and their methods and developed a simple philosophy; help each student understand his or her own swing, both faults and fixes, so that they can develop a predictable ball flight pattern. The goal is to create enhanced feel in each student through improved technique. To aid his students, Brandon uses a wide array of teaching aids, including video and FlightScope launch monitor technology to give the most comprehensive swing and game analysis. Stemming from his competitive playing background, each of his students are encouraged to develop a total golf game, from tee to green, not just a swing. His methods are based facts and simple science and applied in an effort to produce more consistent reliable results.
He also recognizes that playing the right equipment is crucial to aiding in the learning process and maximizing a player’s potential. By utilizing launch monitor technology, Brandon will provide you with the most accurate and advanced club fitting. He is a certified club fitter with multiple leading equipment manufacturers and sits on TaylorMade’s National Players Council.
John Basden, PGA - Academy Instructor
John Basden has been in the golf industry since 1987 and has been a member of the PGA for 12 years. He has coached high school and college golf teams and has had success at the state and national level. He was named the Southwest PGA Southern Chapter Teacher of the Year in 2006. He has extensive training in The Golfing Machine by Homer Kelly and M.O.R.A.D. by Mac O’Grady. John has personally worked with top golf instructors such as Hank Haney, Mac O’Grady, Jimmy Ballard, Mike Bender and Scott Sackett. John has written articles and/or been a contributing editor for Southern AZ Tee Time and Performance Management Magazines. He is a graduate of Arizona State University where he studied Educational Psychology and utilizes this background along with video technology to help his students learn and understand what they are doing in their golf swing.
Dave Simm, PGA - Academy Instructor
Dave Simm began teaching golf at Ventana Canyon as an assistant golf professional in 1988. He has been a member of the PGA for 15 years serving as President of the Southwest PGA Southern Chapter from 2003 – 2005 and twice named Teacher of the Year in 2004 and 2007. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Management and serves as a Lead Instructor for the Arizona Women’s Golf Association Ambassador Program. Dave has the ability to work with players at all levels, he has written numerous articles for the Southern Arizona Tee Time magazine, has been named as a PGA Junior Golf Leader and recognized as a Top 50 Junior Instructor by US Kids Golf.
Susie Meyers, PGA - Academy Instructor
Susie Meyers has been a golf instructor / coach at Ventana Canyon since 1993 and a member of the PGA for 15 years. She is a former All American at the University of Arizona, played on the LPGA Tour and has been named Golf for Women Magazine Top 50 Instructor. She has been a guest speaker for the Gateway PGA in St. Louis, the Golf Federation of Chile, the Italian PGA and at the PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit. Susie, along with Mike Hebron, co-created Neurogolf Learning; Brain Compatible Improvement, which is a brain-based approach for improving ones golf game. Susie provides and supports a learning and developing environment; she believes golfers are not broken in need of fixing but simply on a journey of development.
Patrick McNew, PGA Head Professional
Carl Allen, PGA Assistant Professional
JD Lindberg, PGA Assistant Professional
Aaron Aguilar, Assistant Professional
Jason Lucas, Assistant Professional
Kevin Christian, Assistant Professional