Regarded by many as the leading golf instructor in the world, David Leadbetter will be on hand to officially open his new Leadbetter Golf Academy at Spain’s five-star La Manga Club resort in September.
Leadbetter, who is based in Florida, is set to fly in to perform the opening ceremony on Monday, September 15 at his latest academy, which provides the centrepiece of a €1million redevelopment of La Manga Club’s extensive teaching and practice centre.
Among the new facilities on offer, the new academy – the only such facility in mainland Spain – will have two tuition rooms, both equipped with the latest technology including Trackman, SAM PuttLab and K-VEST.
The first David Leadbetter Golf Academy was established in 1983 and the opening of the new La Manga Club facility means that there are now 28 full-time David Leadbetter Golf Academies spread across 13 countries.
Jose Asenjo, general manager at La Manga Club, said: “It’s a great honour and privilege for everyone at La Manga Club that David Leadbetter has interrupted his busy schedule to open the new academy.
“His reputation precedes him as one of the world’s foremost golf coaches and I can’t think of a better and more fitting way to officially open our new world-class teaching and practice facility.
“The significant investment that has taken place in the new state-of-the-art facilities here at La Manga Club will help to ensure that the resort is truly in a class of its own in terms of golf and sports coaching facilities, enhancing our reputation as the destination of choice for top amateurs and professionals.”
During a coaching career spanning more than three decades, Leadbetter, 62, has taught some of golf’s biggest stars including four former world number ones Sir Nick Faldo – who he famously helped to win six Majors after rebuilding his swing – Greg Norman, Nick Price and Lee Westwood.
His players have amassed more than 100 individual worldwide tournament victories and his current crop of stars include Rafael Cabrera Bello and ladies’ trio Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen, who are all ranked inside the world top ten.
As part of his visit to La Manga Club, Leadbetter will also give a series of one-to-one tuition sessions to a limited number of resort guests, local juniors and selected members of the media, where they can experience the award-winning venue’s outstanding new practice facilities.
Over the last nine months, La Manga Club’s practice centre has undergone a dramatic transformation and, as well as the new Leadbetter Academy, it also boasts four short game areas for bunkers and chipping, three large putting greens and four teaching classrooms which are ideal for visiting professionals on tuition breaks.
On the driving range, two 36-metre Huxley grass tees, three extra mat teeing areas and a 150-metre wide, 35-metre deep grass tee area have been installed for hitting to a number of new targets on the extended 300 metre-long range, while a number of trees and artificial bunkers have been added to give better definition to the range targets and its surroundings.
Gary Silcock, La Manga Club’s director of golf who designed its new practice centre, added: “This great new facility will allow the Leadbetter Golf Academy to be at the hub of the resort’s golf operation, and we have been very careful to design the facility with all business sectors in mind.
“The pro-group business during the winter period is very important to the whole business and, with this in mind, we have designed four class rooms so they can have their own ´office´ away from their club.
“The new Huxley grass teeing area will provide a lot of space through the winter period to allow us to manage the grass throughout the year. The outfield has been designed to give “real practice conditions” and the use of over-seeding and cutting partners will provide fairways and target greens to fine-tune practice and learning. I believe the new range is very similar to the one at Augusta, and the targets and fairways are very much in keeping with one of golf’s most iconic venues.”
Voted by readers of Today’s Golfer magazine as the best golf resort in Spain for the last three years, La Manga Club is regarded as one of the world’s top sports and leisure destinations and was most recently shortlisted for the 1st World Golf Awards in November and named as one of only five esteemed venues for the ‘Best Golf Resort in the World’ at the 2014 Telegraph Ultratravel 100 Awards.
Featuring outstanding facilities including three 18-hole championship golf courses, the resort has enhanced its reputation by hosting a number of high-profile golf events in 2014 including the Spanish Seniors Championship and Spanish Youth Championships, the 1st La Manga Club PGAs of Europe Pro-Am and the climax to the 2014 ECCO Tour Winter Series and 2014 Footballers’ Classic.
Set in an area three times the size of Monaco, La Manga Club boasts a proud sporting history including featuring South African star Gary Player as its first director of golf and European Tour legend Severiano Ballesteros as the complex’s touring professional between 1980-85, while the resort is also the official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association.
In addition, the resort offers the ideal place for budding sports stars of the future to hone their skills with a wide selection of academies for boys and girls of all ages including golf, tennis, cricket, rugby, athletics, football and dance, and a range of fun-packed activities in its junior club.
La Manga Club www.lamangaclub.com
Leadbetter Golf Academy www.davidleadbetter.com