The Leadbetter Golf Academy’s world headquarters is planning a move across Interstate 4 south of Orlando, having announced Thursday it is leaving ChampionsGate Golf Club to set up new residence at Reunion Resort this year.
Leadbetter Golf Academy was acquired in 2018 by Golfzon, a South Korean company best known for its indoor golf simulators. The company is now officially known as Golfzon Leadbetter and operates 38 academies in 15 countries. Leadbetter Academies was founded in 1983 by instructor David Leadbetter, who has worked with numerous tour professionals and 26 major championship winners, with perhaps his most famous student being Nick Faldo.
Reunion Resort is home to three golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. It is the former home of the ANNIKA Academy, which closed in 2016. Kingwood International Resorts bought Reunion in 2019.
David Leadbetter on the range at Reunion Resort near Orlando (Courtesy of Golfzon Leadbetter)
“I have taught golf all over the world and there are few places as well suited for golfers to learn and play as the Reunion Resort and Golf Club,” Leadbetter said in a media release announcing the move. “We share Kingwood International Resorts’ vision for offering the very best golf experience at Reunion. Reunion already has three great golf courses; now they’ll have a golf academy to match. I can’t wait to give the first lesson from the new facility.”
The new academy at Reunion will feature plenty of technology, including lesson studios with launch monitors, 3D swing analysis, radar-based tracking of shots on the range, club fitting, fitness and biomechanics. The facility also will include a Golfzon TwoVision simulator studio to host virtual tournaments, the release said. The coaching staff plans to host a wide range of players from beginners to tour stars.
“Reunion Resort and Golf Club gives us the perfect location to expand the Golfzon Leadbetter business as well as offering golfers a unique facility to work on every aspect of their game, whatever their level of play,” Benedict Riches, CEO of Golfzon Leadbetter, said in the release.
“This new partnership is a natural fit, bringing yet another legend to our resort with the Golfzon Leadbetter World Headquarters,” said Anthony Carll, general manager of Reunion Resort. “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer this experience this fall with such a respected legend in the golf community.”