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Sharpen Your Swing at Six Top Golf Schools

PGA Tour organizers hope Tiger Woods' return to competitive golf will provide an economic jolt to the game. Clearly, all is not well on the links.

If you're a golfer who has managed to weather the recession with money to spare or if you just need a break, maybe it's time to go back to school. After a few days at one of the country's top golf schools, you might shave strokes off your handicap and return to work refreshed.

Choosing a school: There are hundreds of golf schools in the U.S., mostly in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Choosing the right one is a matter of budget, location and teaching style.

Programs usually last two to five days. A three-day stay can cost $600 to $6,000, including lodging, lessons and use of the course.

When evaluating programs, consider how you want to spend your time. Demanding programs might seem like a working vacation, with day-long sessions on the practice range. Others are more leisurely, with lessons taught during casual games. There are also specialty schools that focus on chipping and putting.

Figure out how much you're willing to spend. If you travel, you might have to pay for your airfare, lodging and meals. Local schools might offer cheaper rates for commuters.

Once you've set your budget, evaluate the programs. Some only provide driving ranges, while others offer multiple golf courses on their campuses. Are you looking for group instruction or one-on-one lessons?

To help you narrow the search, here are six schools that offer personalized instruction. Each is affiliated with a well-regarded teacher or organization, and at least one well-known course:

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