(Pronghorn Academy | Photo courtesy of Pronghorn Resort)
Pronghorn Resort in Bend has been attracting plenty of national attention lately. In addition to golfers flocking to experience the two award-winning courses and the new Huntington Lodge, Pronghorn Resort recently updated and renovated its golf academy into a stunning teaching studio that is now rated among the very best in the country. The updated Pronghorn Academy created by renowned coach Jeff Ritter was recently named by Golf Digest as an Editor’s Choice: Best Academies In The West.
In addition to the Golf Digest distinction, the program has also partnered with Golf Channel as part of the Golf Channel Academy network which recognizes the premier coaches and facilities in the game. Ritter, founder of a popular program and curriculum known as MAKE THE TURN, is excited about providing a next level experience to golfers who visit Pronghorn Academy.
“MAKE THE TURN is an integrated approach to player development,” said Ritter. “The program is comprised of four pillars of engagement which include: Technical Skill Building, Mindset, Fitness and Nutrition. Everything in life we do is a behavior. From how we swing, to how we think, what we eat and how we care for our bodies, or not — are all behaviors. Collectively, these behaviors define who we are on and off the course.”
MAKE THE TURN curriculum at Pronghorn Academy helps golfers develop awareness for current behavioral patterns and then offers creative alternatives to adjust and upgrade to a higher level of performance in-line with a player’s authentic desires.
Ritter, who is also National Director of NIKE Junior Golf Camps and ranked by Golf Tips Magazine as one of the Top 25 Coaches in America, began developing the program in Phoenix, Ariz. a decade ago. An accomplished television personality, author and motivational speaker, Ritter has always lived from a passion for helping people think big when it comes to personal and game development.
“To me, golf is a vehicle for something much bigger,” added Ritter. “In addition to shooting lower scores, there are many valuable lessons inherent within the game that positively impact your life. The journey is all about using the game of golf to have life be the way you want it to be.”
Both Ritter and his programs have gained some serious traction. Ritter has also appeared on Golf Channel over 30 times, even hosting an entire day of live television from Golf Channel studios in Orlando. Some of the world’s biggest companies have utilized his curriculum to inspire and activate their workforce. Ritter has also delivered countless presentations throughout Asia, Australia, United States and United Kingdom, inspiring people to live more powerfully through the game of golf.
Pronghorn Academy has also partnered with True Spec Golf, a high-end, brand agnostic, club-fitting operation that allows players to experience literally every available brand on the market with up to 30,000 different club head and shaft combinations. Together Ritter and True Spec spent the winter renovating the academy’s indoor/outdoor training facility with modern upgrades and the most current state-of-the-art technology including advanced video, radar tracking and 3D motion capture.
Pronghorn Resort Director of Golf Jerrel Grow believes the program is a game changer.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with what Jeff and his team have brought to Pronghorn,” said Grow. “We truly feel that with the new renovations and the level of instruction, the Pronghorn Academy is the best teaching facility in the Pacific Northwest.”
Also, on the Pronghorn Academy team is standout coach and player Erica Stoner. A two-time Florida State Champion, IMG Tour World Champion and Academic All-American at the University of Central Florida, Stoner brings a wealth of experience to support aspiring young players looking to follow a similar path in competitive golf.
Perhaps most exciting for golfers in Bend who struggle with a short golf season is that the Pronghorn Academy facility is now open for lessons year round allowing serious players to stay on top of their game regardless of season. In addition to daily private coaching, the academy also offers stay and play packages, golf schools and clinics along with an Advanced Player Junior Academy concept which will be launching in the near future.