World Class Golf Academy in Kissimmee, FL

Instruction for Golfers of All Ages and Ability

In our golf academy we teach our students how to make a good golf swing but more importantly we give them a formula on how to repeat it. Whether we know it or not, what we are all striving to do is to hit our best shots more often, and when we do we become more free which allows us to experience more efficient motion.

Who We Are

Rick McCord has been golf professional for 42 years and is a member of the North Florida section of the Professional Golfer's Association of America. Rick has been Orange Lake's Golf Director and the Director of The McCord Golf Academy at Orange Lake since its inception in 1982.

What We Believe

The golf swing is a very intricate movement of the joints and muscles of the body which happens in a very short period of time. When someone plays well their experience is a very free effortless motion that is devoid of swing thoughts, and happens at a pace that feels as if they are not being rushed to the conclusion. The opposite is true when we play bad, the swing lacks rhythm, coordination and is experienced as being too quick.


Meet our Instructors


Rick McCord, PGA

Director of Instruction
Rick McCord has been golf professional for 42 years and is a member of the North Florida section of the Professional Golfer's Association of America. Rick has been Orange Lake's Golf Director and the Director of The McCord Golf Academy at Orange Lake since its inception in 1982. In that time, he has conducted a number of private lessons, clinics, and golf schools for the owners and guests of Orange Lake. He was hired by Holiday Inn and Orange Lake founder Kemmons Wilson to coordinate and build the original 27-hole resort golf course and direct the golf operation; which has presently grown to a 54-hole golf destination resort.

McCord is widely recognized for his reputation as a golf instructor. In 1991, he was recognized on Golf Magazine's original "Top 100" Teacher in America list and has been a fixture on that list for 25 years. Rick was recently inducted in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and Golf Digest magazine also recognizes him on their best teachers list. He has also been distinguished as North Florida PGA's Teacher of the Year three times. Rick has directed and recorded numerous instructional videos, appeared on the Golf Channel Academy Live show and has been featured in a weekly instructional series by the Japanese television network NHK reaching over a million Japanese households.

The Swing's the Thing golf show, hosted by Rick McCord is an entertaining exhibition with an instructional theme performed by the McCord Golf Academy instructional staff. Rick has been recruited to teach, conduct golf schools and lecture on his teaching philosophy throughout the world. During the summer season, for the past 19 years, he has served as the Director of Instruction at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio.

Michael McMillan

Head Teaching Professional
Michael will be leading the partnership between The McCord Golf Academy and Junior Golf of America as the Director of Junior Golf Development. Michael McMillan was born in Jacksonville, Florida where he started playing golf at the age of 3. He played on AJGA, FCWT, IJGT and many local tours since age 11 where he earned a Division 1 scholarship to Florida Atlantic University. During his college career he earned many playing accolades including:

All freshman team Sun Belt Conference
Florida Times Union Player of the Year 2004

Michael trained under Travis Fulton for 2 years. Tom Burnett 1 year. Mike Lamana 1 year. He instructs all ages for 4 years, specializing in the growth of junior golf. He caddied and instructed advanced juniors since 2014. He has played in many mini tour events since 2008 with 2 wins and a second. He graduated from The Golf Academy of America in 2014, specializing in Advanced Teaching methods, Club Fitting & Repair and Rules of Golf.
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Danny Mapes

Certified Instructor
The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development is pleased to announce their new G.O.A.L.S. Program Director, Danny Mapes. "I am so excited to have Danny aboard in this role as he is a true inspiration to all and at many levels, can truly relate to the students he is teaching through G.O.A.L.S."

Danny is originally from North Dakota, and is a 2004 graduate of West Fargo High School. After graduation, Danny attended Minnesota State University-Moorhead, majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. Danny is also a December 2016 graduate of the Golf Academy of America-Orlando.

Danny was born with Spina Bifida and has relied on a wheelchair for mobility since birth. While his disability has presented him with several challenges throughout his life, he has always stayed very active and has always found ways to adapt and accomplish his goals. He has a very positive attitude, and hopes to inspire others to overcome any challenges they may face through positivity and perseverance.

Marcus Manley

Marcus Manley has been teaching at The McCord Golf Academy since 2014 after a long and successful playing career. He is originally from Washington D.C. where he learned to play golf at the age of 4 years old from his grandfather. Ever since then, playing and teaching has been his passion. Marcus plays an integral role in our golf operations here at Orange Lake Resort as well as teaching a variety of players here at the Academy. Marcus was well on his way to the PGA Tour before being sidelined by injury. During his playing career, he qualified for and played in multiple Tour and PGA Tour Events. He qualified for and was fully exempt for the 2011-2012 Latin America PGA Tour Season as well as amassing close to 40 professional wins in Central Florida Mini Tour Events from 2006-2013. Marcus is available for lessons year round in Orlando.

Gordon Leffel

Certified Instructor
Veterans Affairs Liaison
Gordon Leffel is originally from Anderson Indiana where he started playing golf at the age of six learning the game from his Grandfather (Leo Conwell) and Great Grandfather ( Lou Chiodo)at Killbuck Golf Course. While in Indiana Gordon played in JUNIOR PGA events and other youth programs winning a total of 15 events and Placed first Indiana JR PGA 1992 . In 1997 at the age of seventeen Gordon moved with his family to Fredericksburg, Virginia where he continued to learn and play and grow his passion for the game even more . While attending Chancellor High School Gordon worked part time at two Golf Courses (Somerset Golf Course) and (Fredericksburg Country Club). While working at the golf courseʼs the love and passion for the industry really blossomed and a new passion was born teaching and coaching. Gordon was a player, coach and instructor for the golf club and baseball club at Germanna Community College as well . After the attackʼs on our nation Gordon left behind college, baseball and golf and joined the U.S Coast Guard. Gordonʼs passion for teaching continued on in the military as Recruit Range Instructor, Certified Small Arms Instructor for the whole Coast Guard and Boarding Officer . Gordon spent over a decade defending the country until Sept 11, 2013 where he was crushed between a cargo ship and the Coast Guard Cutter doing a counter terrorism boarding. It took three additional years and ten major surgeries and lots of physical rehab to over come a injury where doctors told him “ You will never walk ,run or play golf again.” He over came and beat the odds.

Gordon moved to Orlando and attended and graduated from The Golf Academy of America after his ordeal. He graduated in 2018 with a degree in Complex Course Management and Operations. Specializing in Advanced Teaching, Course Design and Architecture, Club building and Repair.

Kaitlin McDonald

Tournament Director Public Relations
Certified Instructor
Kaitlin McDonald was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She began playing golf at the age of 15, where she played 3 years for Arlington High School. After high-school, she decided to pursue a different path and attended the University of Tennessee at Martin for 3 years studying Kinesiology and Health and Human Performance. While at UTM, she became involved in the Intramural Golf League and was champion in 2013. After her junior year, she decided to move to Orlando. From Fall of 2014 to Winter of 2015, she attended CORE Golf Education, were she graduated with her Professional Golf Management Degree, specializing in Tournament Operations for Premier Junior Tour and Advanced Teaching.
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Dick Farley, PGA

Certified Instructor
Dick has been involved in providing golf instruction for more than 50 years. He was instrumental in the creation of Orange Lake Golf Resort in 1982 with Rick McCord and Kemmons Wilson.

In 1952, Dick Farley organized and founded one of the first major golf schools in the U.S. - "Swings the Thing Golf Schools". The first location of the school was at the Americana Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Subsequently, that school was also conducted by Dick at Shawnee Inn & Country Club, Shawnee-on-the Delaware, Pennsylvania.

In following years, Dick provided instruction under the Swings-the-Thing banner at a variety of resort locations, including Pinehurst Golf Resort, Pinehurst, North Carolina; Sawgrass Golf Resort, Florida; Amelia Island Golf Resort, Georga and numerous other golf facilities, including TPC Stadium Course in Scottsdale, Arizona and La Quinta Golf Resort, Palm Springs, California.

Dick co-authored a highly-regarded golf instruction book, "Six Days to Better Golf", with Harry Obitz. An indication of Dick's standing is that the introduction in the book was provided by Jackie Gleason (a student) and the forward by United States Open Champion Ken Venturi. Dick authored in excess of 50 articles for prominent golf magazines published in the U.S.
Dick currently resides in Davenport, Florida and Stroudsburg, PA and still frequents the golf academy daily.




We are happy to announce that we are now offering FlightScope® technology at The McCord Golf Academy.

FlightScope's 3D motion tracking devices can help with your golf swing analysis by measuring 27 variables related to your Ball, Club or Swing.

The ball's entire trajectory after it has been launched is also tracked, which means you have exceptionally comprehensive ball measurement information instantly available, helping you to improve your golf swing.

Whether you are a weekend golfer looking to improve, or a competitive golfer looking to improve and make fine adjustments to your swing, FlightScope technology can make a big difference!





V1 Pro Analysis

V1 Pro is the most powerful video analysis and golf teaching software on the market for live video capture, swing analysis, and lesson creation and delivery. The V1 game improvement platform connects golf professionals and golfers to improve performance. V1 is recognized as the pioneer in delivering seamless video lessons with integrated telestration and voiceover. TheV1 Pro desktop software and V1 Pro mobile app empowers instructors to capture, review, and analyze swing video for students both in person and digitally. Our V1 Golf app provides powerful video capture and analysis tools for golfers to work on their own game and connect to their pro.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time does Rick spend with the class during a clinic or golf school?

Rick works with students in our regular clinic offerings throughout the week. Additionally, Rick works heavily with students in our VIP schools, and makes himself available for private instruction.

What level of ability does the average student who attends golf instruction at the golf school possess?

Our students have a wide range of handicaps from scratch players to beginners. The average student handicaps for our VIP schools with Rick McCord ranges from scratch to mid double-digits. Please keep in mind that students of all skill levels are welcome to attend any school or class, but be mindful that we have designed specific courses for students of varying abilities The staff professionals will ensure that we allow all students to progress at their own rate.

Will I really improve my game by attending one of your classes?

We believe that our schools are highly informative providing knowledge and skills about the golf swing and scoring shots that are not readily available via other instructional mediums. We will educate players about his or her game and enable students to manage their game and improve in the areas that are most needed.

What is your student-to-teacher ratio?

All of our VIP clinics maintain a 4-to-1 teacher to student ratio. Regardless of class sizes, this ratio is maintained to ensure the highest quality experience for all students.

Can I attend the Academy without staying at Orange Lake Resort and Country Club?

Yes, commuter students are welcomed to The McCord Golf Academy. Our Instructional Staff regularly instructs students who are not staying at Orange Lake Resort and Country Club.

Do you still conduct lessons and clinics in inclement weather?

Florida's tropical climate can occasionally throw a loop in golf plans. However, our world-class facilities are well suited for inclement weather. With our spacious classroom, video bay and awning covering a portion of our lesson tee, we are able to provide instruction, rain or shine!

Should I take a private lesson or register for a golf clinic?

The individual student best answers this question based on the following criteria: The student must evaluate whether they feel more comfortable in a group or individual setting. Clinics and golf schools are in a group setting, and have a specific agenda and format to follow. Our private instruction garners more personalized attention and is geared toward goals and ambitions of the individual student.

I need accommodations while attending The McCord Academy. Who can I contact?

Orange Lake Resort and Country Club is the largest single site timeshare resort in the world. Presently, our spacious resort has in excess of 2500 units from 1 room hotel accommodations to 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms villas available for guests of the McCord Golf Academy. To inquire about special packages for accommodations during your stay, please contact our reservations department at Orange Lake by calling 407.239.0000 ext. 6075. Please visit for additional amenity information on Orange Lake.

Is there a minimum age to attend the McCord Golf Academy?

There is no minimum age to participate in any of the instructional opportunities at The McCord Golf Academy. Our staff has developed specialized instructional opportunities to introduce or enhance the games of the youth of our sport. Our junior instructional camps, clinics and private lessons are highly revered.

Do I receive any discount on golf at Orange Lake if I attend the McCord Golf Academy?

Participation in any clinic or golf school at The McCord Golf Academy enables students to receive a 30% discount on green fees for any of the four golf courses at Orange Lake Resort.

What are the temperatures in Orlando during the winter?
What if I dont have golf clubs?

The McCord Golf Academy has a wide variety of clubs available for students use at no charge. Our Instructional Staff will select equipment that fits the needs of the particular student.

What airports should we fly into to get to The McCord Golf Academy?

We recommend travel into the Orlando International Airport or Sanford International Airport.

Can I request a specific instructor?

All of our instructors are accredited by the PGA and are certified to teach any skill level of golfer. If you have a specific instructor in mind, please mention his or her name upon reservation to check availability.

Do I need to rent a car?