Shannon Kneisler told CruiseMates yesterday onboard the Crystal Symphony that together with Crystal she is working to put a full Golf Academy at Sea on the Crystal ships.
It's quite usual for top golf clubs on land to offer golf academies, where participants are immersed in golf lessons, discussions, and clinics for anywhere from 2 day to full week intense sessions with the goal of markedly improving participants understanding of the game, and ultimately their scores.
The program Shannon is working on will include a minimum of 40 hrs. of instruction onboard, from trained instructors and golf professionals at what in essence will be an onboard Golf School.
The ships will be equipped with the most modern golf simulators available, rather than the current equipment, where golfers hit balls into nets. The program will include lectures, class time, and professional instruction, as well as play at top golf courses on the particular itinerary.
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|Shannon Give Golf Tips||Shannon interviews Ken Venturi||Shannon on the follow-through|
Shannon is partnering with Virtuoso cruise specialist Robertson International Travel Consultants, and working with Club Corp, and Crystal Cruise Line. Ultimately they will have access to 167 off the top golf courses world-wide.
The first test run for this program will take place in Oct. 2011, on the Crystal Symphony. You can check with Robertson International Travel Consultants for booking information, and full details on pricing.
The full Crystal Golf School is scheduled to roll out on the Jan. 4, 2012 voyage of the Crystal Serenity.
Shannon Kneisler is an LPGA member, who told her father, when she was 15 years old, she was going to become a professional golfer. She worked her craft, and was judged one of the top high school players in the nation. She was recognized for her great swing and great confidence, and was awarded a golf scholarship in Tulsa, Okalahoma; an NCCA school.
Shannon will tell you when she joined the college team she ran into the "wrong coach". He wanted everyone on his team to have the same swing. Changing her swing so dramatically also changed her confidence. She had some difficulty coping with the coaches approach to the game, and her "mental game", a vital part of a golfer's game weakened.
For her a game she loved to play had suddenly gone "from something so good, to something miserable".
Getting to the LPGA and playing in sanctioned LPGA tournaments is incredibly difficult. The line between 1000's of great golfers, to those good enough to play on the tour is amazingly fine, and at the same time a huge gap. The percentage of those who think they are good enough, but actually make the tour is minimal.
Shannon was able to take that step, and played her first LPGA tour event in May 1999.
In 2005 a car accident - at 6 A.M. on rain soaked road, with minimum visibility caused her to collide with a 2000 LB. Longhorn Steer. The airbag in her vehicle did not deploy, and Shannon was left with severe thoracic injuries, including loss of sensitivity on her right side. After a lot of treatment, she was recovered, but was having difficulties with her game.
At a 2007 golf show she met Dr. Taras Kochno, who told her he could "fix her up". After 2 weeks of treatment she felt differently, once again gaining some confidence, and her love of the game was returning.
She spent 3 years studying with Dr. Kochono, and with a degree in Kinesiology already in hand, Shannon began to study Bio Mechanics in an online course from Oklahoma.
Along the way Shannon was approached by an agent, asking if she would be interested in helping audiences with sales and marketing and motivational talks for incentive groups with a connection to golf. And that has kept very busy traveling the country.
She has also acted as the onboard golf professional on several Crystal cruises. But, until now she was simply responsible for offering onboard golf clinics, private lessons, and escorting golf excursions. To this point, involved only in golf programs run by the shore excursion department.
When the Gold Academy at Sea debuts that will all change. On those cruises where it is offered, golfers will be immersed in golf; most likely enhancing their cruise experience, while improving their scores.