Saddlebrook Golf Academy — Professional Tampa Golf Lessons

Saddlebrook Golf Academy is one of the leading Florida golf schools, and prides itself on offering comprehensive player development and instructional programs to golfers of all abilities. Our professional instructors offer various programs and private Tampa golf lessons tailored to accomplish each player's individual goals and identify areas for improvement while promoting a winning attitude. Performance coaching sessions, private lessons, group clinics, Junior Camps and 'Play With a Pro' lessons are just the beginning. You can also perfect your swing at the Saddlebrook Golf Training Center and Range, and practice what you learn on Saddlebrook's two Arnold Palmer championship courses.

Improve Your Game at Our Tampa Golf Training Center

Designed by Mike Angus, golf architect for the Phil Mickelson Golf Course Design Company, the 16-acre Saddlebrook Golf Training Center and Range encompasses every element of the game as well as state-of-the-art TrackMan, SamBalanceLab, and SamPuttLab technology. Resort guests, visitors, club members, students and touring professionals find challenging and valuable golf play in this multi-faceted training facility. Golfers can train with one of our professionals or score themselves while rotating through the practice stations.

Covering over 70,000 square feet, the Super (East) Tee is across from our Digital Golf Learning Studio, featuring an indoor hitting bay and the most advanced video swing analysis software available. TrackMan™ uses sophisticated data on moment of impact; Sam BalanceLab, measures motion and weight transfer with a high caliber sensor; and Sam PuttLab, diagnoses the ball’s roll after contact with an ultrasound radar tracking system. From the back of the Super Tee, you can drive the ball to target greens a distance of over 300 yards (max. 360), while specially designed mounds help players practice every type of uphill and downhill shot. You can also step up your short game on the Scoring Zone, an over 10,000-square-foot green with a bunker and multiple chipping areas.

The 12,000-square-foot Lesson Tee is designed to improve each player's complete game with practice shots on multiple target greens. Here you’ll find a 14,000-square-foot Tif-Eagle putting green as well as a 5,000-square-foot Wedge Green, designed to practice shots from all types of lies from 100 to 20 yards in. Rounding out the area is the 7,000-square-foot Chipping Green featuring Mini-Verde ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass.

View our current Golf Specials & Packages

Golf Coaches Bios

Andrew Dawes

Director of Adult Instruction

Congratulations to Andrew Dawes on his selection as One of the Best Young Teachers in America by Golf Digest magazine. Click Here

  • Recognized by Golf Digest as one of their Best Young Teachers (2010-2017)
  • Member, British PGA since 1999
  • Certified TPI Fitness, Professional, Golf Coach and Junior Certified
  • Certified TOMI Instructor
  • Participated in Big Break series on The Golf Channel
  • Produced a series of golf tips for the CNN Airport Network
  • Appeared numerous times in Golf Digest, which included a special instructional series in 2004
  • Turned pro at 19, played various mini-tours including the MasterCard, TearDrop, Europro and Challenge Tour
  • Taught at golf schools in Arizona, California, Nevada, Virginia, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Florida
  • Director of Instruction for Golf Digest Schools in 2003 at Mirasol Country Club and PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • Director of Instruction for The Greenbrier from 2004 – 2008
  • Director of Instruction at Adios Golf Club in Florida from 2005 – 2008
  • Director of Instruction at Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania from 2008 – 2013
  • Owner and Operator of the DawesGolf Academies 2013
  • Named one of the "Top 40 Instructors Under Age 40" by Golf Digest six years in a row
  • Joined Saddelbrook Golf Academy, July 2014

Mark Hirschey

Class A PGA Member

Mark is a Class A PGA Professional elected to membership in 1988 by the Professional Golfers Association of America. He is recertified during each certification period by attending continuing education classes from the PGA. He served as an apprentice at Summit Chase Country Club, and later as Head Professional at Metropolitan Golf and Tennis Club and Cross Creek Golf Club for 10 years. In 1998, he came to Saddlebrook Resort and became a certified Arnold Palmer Instructor teaching juniors and adult classes. In 2004, he was appointed as the Director of the Saddlebrook Prep Junior program. He has developed numerous nationally ranked players, including Martin Ureta, who was the number two ranked junior player in the country by Golfweek (2003), went on to graduate from the University North Carolina, and now plays on the Nationwide Tour. Mark has had many players go on and play at the Division 1 level and obtain scholarships.

Mike Tali

Certified Instructor

Michael has been a golf professional since 1988 and has been employed at Saddlebrook Resort since 1990. He was a certified Arnold Palmer Instructor at the World Headquarters for eighteen years    and three years as a Master Instructor with Bann Lynch Golf.  Mike started his teaching career at the age of twenty when he became a professional ski instructor in southeast Michigan. Mike was born in Flint Michigan and grew up in the Detroit area where after playing in junior high and four years in high school, he attended Northwood University. Mike started playing competitive golf at the age of twelve and still is very competitive today, finishing runner up in his playing ability test for the P.G.A. while spending over ten years in the organization. In addition to providing adult instruction at Saddlebrook Golf Academy, Mike has coached multiple district and regional champions in both the boys and girls divisions, along with nationally ranked juniors who have made the top 10 in the AJGA rankings, along with multiple collegiate players. Mike is very proud to have instructed and coached students who have choose to become golf professionals in their own right, with some that have gone on to play at a tour level. Mike really enjoys teaching golfers of all skill levels and has over twenty five thousand hours of golf instruction from the beginner to the professional golfer.

Nicholas Dunn

Certified Instructor

Nicholas is currently a level 3 PGA apprentice and will soon to be elected to membership by the Professional Golfers Association of America. Prior to arriving at Saddlebrook Golf Academy, Nicholas served as an assistant golf professional at the Longue Vue Golf Club in Verona, Pennsylvania. He has also worked at the Ace Club in Lafayette Hills, Pennsylvania, and PineCrest Country Club in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Over the course of his career, Dunn has been involved with professional golf teaching and coaching, administrative functions and college recruiting. He has developed expertise in course management, club fittings and supervising tournaments through his past roles.

Nicholas began his head coaching tenure with the Carnegie Mellon University men's golf team in 2014-15, he also served as the assistant women's golf coach. In Dunn's first two season, he led the  men’s team to six tournament victories, a second-place finish at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships and set four school team scoring records.
Dunn also mentored four All-UAA honorees including the program's first individual medalist six years along with six PING Mid-Atlantic Region award winners.

Here at Saddlebrook Golf Academy, Nicholas is a lead instructor with a multitude of responsibilities within the golf organization. Nicholas currently teaches adults and coaches a dynamic team of male and female junior athletes.

A 2011 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, Dunn received a Bachelor of Science degree in sport management, specializing in professional golf management.  He also earned a minor in business administration.

Doug Fisher


Doug has been intricately involved with the Saddlebrook Resort for the past five years. Doug currently coaches students in our full-time golf academy as well as the summer camp and adult golf programs. Doug helps all of his players set and reach their goals and objectives. In 2016, Doug completed the Saddlebrook Coaching Certification Program. Doug is an apprentice and enrolled in the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) PGM program. Doug is an outstanding member of the North Florida PGA Section.

Doug is a native of Ohio where he played competitive golf for several years. As a freshman he qualified for Ohio State High School State Championship. Doug took a break from his golfing passion to proudly serve his country in the United States Navy for seven years. Doug routinely participates in golf tournaments in the Tampa Bay area. Doug currently coaches both junior and adult players at all levels.