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Rick Smith Golf Academy Comes to Forest Dunes

Roscommon, MI – IThe Rick Smith Golf Academy, one of the Top 25 golf academies in the country, has moved to a new home in Northern Michigan at the highly acclaimed golf resort destination – Forest Dunes.

Rick Smith, one of the premier golf instructors in the world, and Henry Young, his long-time associate and award-winning director of instruction for the Rick Smith Golf Academy, will begin providing world-class instruction for golfers of all abilities this month.

“I could not be more pleased to establish a Rick Smith Golf Academy at Forest Dunes,” Smith said. “I have been all over the world as an instructor and course designer experiencing many of the top golf destinations. I believe Forest Dunes, with its three unique world-class courses and practice facility, will be the most talked about golf destination in the country over the next 5-10 years. This is a tremendous opportunity for me and the academy staff.”

Smith has been synonymous with Northern Michigan golf for over 30-years. He helped launch it as a golf destination on the national scene through his long-time affiliation with Treetops Resort where his award winning academy had served golfers from all over the country.

“It is a great time in my career to have this opportunity to move our successful and top-ranked golf academy to a nationally acclaimed resort like Forest Dunes,” Smith said. “We look forward to serving our national clientele, the Forest Dunes membership, and establishing new customers benefitting the resort and our academy.”

Over the years, Rick Smith has earned the reputation as one of the the leading swing gurus and instructors on the PGA Tour, as well as an ongoing contributor to Golf Digest. He has coached winners of nine major golf championships including the recent Senior PGA Championship winner Rocco Mediate and some of the iconic stars of the game like “Golfer of the Century” Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, and Lee Janzen to name a few.

The Rick Smith Golf Academy at Forest Dunes will offer a variety of award-winning golf instruction programs and schools, including its popular Premier Session with full swing instruction by Henry Young and Rick Smith. The program is limited to four students, and includes 3.5 hours of instruction with personalized video analysis. The premier sessions are a 2-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

Forest Dunes has quickly become one of the leading golf destinations in the country thanks to the recent growth and vision for the future established by owners Lew Thompson from Huntsville, AR, and Sam Mathias of Fayetteville, AR, who acquired the 1,300-acre facility in 2012.

Its original Forest Dunes course, designed by Tom Weiskopf, continues to earn national accolades. Complimenting the original course is the new Tom Doak designed “Loop” that is scheduled to open June 27. The Loop, with its innovative reversible design concept is changing the conventional thinking of golf course architecture. The course features two distinct layouts using the same 18-greens and fairways playing clockwise (Black) one day and counterclockwise (Red) the next.

“Our vision is to create a national golf destination where everyone who comes to Forest Dunes leaves and says what a great experience they had from golf, food, lodging, service and teaching and can't wait to come back,” Thompson explained. “Adding the Rick Smith Golf Academy, with its award winning instruction, is a perfect fit and continues to help us achieve that vision.”

For more information on the Rick Smith Golf Academy and to book your next golf instruction program, visit Follow us on Twitter at @RickSmithGolf.

About Rick Smith

Rick has achieved resounding success in golf as a teacher and course designer, excelled in written and verbal communication with all audiences and is regarded as one of the PGA Tour’s best sounding boards for swing advice. He was ranked the No. 2 golf instructor in the world by the PGA Tour players in 2009, and since 2000 has been consistently ranked as one of the top golf instructors in the world by Golf Digest magazine.

Rick’s client list speaks for itself and includes several players with major championship credentials like the legendary Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Lee Janzen, Vijay Singh, David Duval, Paul Azinger, John Daly and Greg Norman, as well as PGA Tour winners and stars like Rory Sabbatini, Chris DiMarco, Rocco Mediate, Jerry Kelly, Billy Mayfair, Matt Kuchar, Billy Andrade, Brendan Steele, and Sang Moon Bae.

He has designed nine award-winning golf courses in the United States, and is currently working with Phil Mickelson on the design at National Golf Club in Calgary, Canada.

His service awards include being named the National Teacher of the Year, the National Golf Professional of the Year and the National Merchandiser of the Year.

A respected and noted author, Rick is currently a teaching editor for Golf Digest Magazine

In 2012 he was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame as well as the Michigan PGA Section Hall of Fame. Visit

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