HOW TO CHOOSE A GOLF SCHOOL

* Choosing a golf school is similar to choosing a college. There is no best school, but there are many schools with areas of specialization. "It's tough for people to figure out," says Jim McLean, director of the Doral Golf Learning Center at the Doral Resort and Country Club in Miami, Fla. "It's not that the highest price is best or the lowest price the worst."

Factors such as the type of accommodations, geographic setting, and the length of the school depend on personal taste. There are, however, certain things to look for in any school. They include:

* A low student-to-teacher ratio. Anything more than 5 to 1 is probably too high.

* Specialized practice and teaching facilities. Separate facilities for the golf school are ideal. Be wary of schools that share facilities with regular resort or course guests.

* Qualified instructors. Don't necessarily look for big-name teachers. Most schools provide biographies of teachers on request.

* Personal references. These are invaluable, perhaps the best barometer of whether a school is right for you. Most schools provide these on request.

The most comprehensive guide is "The Guide To Golf Schools & Camps" (ShawGuides, 625 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, FL 33134, $16.95 plus $3 shipping and handling). The book describes 137 schools and camps for adults and juniors in 41 states and 10 countries.

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