Evans residents Taylor and Ashlan Ramsey haven't had a true golf lesson in nearly a year.
That means what happens starting in January will be a significant change for the teen sisters. They hope it will be for the better.
The girls -- Taylor is 15 and Ashlan is 14 -- plan to enroll at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The school hones some of the best junior talent from throughout the country.
The Ramseys were in the process of packing last week. Al Ramsey, the girls' father, said the family had planned to be in Florida by Thursday, but pushed the timetable back slightly so that they could spend Christmas in the Augusta area.
"We're all excited, but nervous," Al said. "It's all new to us. We've really only spent three or four days down there ... and don't even know our way around except what we know from going down there to find a house."
The girls attracted the attention of Leadbetter instructors after stringing together solid rounds during the summer. The family visited Bradenton in September, and Taylor and Ashlan spent four days meeting with instructors and others enrolled in the academy.
A few weeks later, the girls were offered the chance to enroll full-time. The school will give Taylor and Ashlan the opportunity to practice and train with like-minded golfers and to receive instruction from one of the top staffs in the world.
Al and his wife, Carla, plan to move and have rented a house in Bradenton to be near their daughters, who will live at the academy. Al said he and Carla would continue their work with Augusta Junior Magazine , which they started with partners, and with the Augusta Junior Magazine Golf Tour, which launched this year.
Taylor and Ashlan are ranked in the top 100 of the National Junior Golf Scorecard and Golfweek Junior Golf rankings (Ashlan is 39th and 47th, respectively; Taylor is 79th and 88th).
The sisters' goal has been to play at the same Division I school and later on the LPGA Tour. Al Ramsey said his daughters had received interest from several schools and could play D-I golf with nothing further than what they currently do at West Lake Country Club. But the Leadbetter Academy will help shape their game to suit their aspirations to play professionally.
"It's so exciting. I started to cry when I found out about it," Taylor said earlier this month. "It's such a great opportunity and it's nice to know that all of our hard work has paid off."
The Ramseys were fixtures at their home course, West Lake, where they spent time every day.
They learned the game watching Al on the driving range near the Ramseys' former home at Reynolds Plantation.
They began taking lessons, then playing competitively and soon were traveling the country to compete.
The Augusta Chronicle's Joey Jones contributed to this story.
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