Welcome to our June newsletter.
It is with much sadness, that I must commence the newsletter announcing the passing of both Diane Wilkes and Kate Deegan.
Diane travelled with us for years and was a well known member of the ‘DSG family’. Diane bravely fought her illness for three years. She enjoyed the finer things in life and did so with gusto, including her last trip with us, seeing in 2017 on the Portugal New Year Tour. I shall always remember her introducing me to a day of White Water Rafting in Whistler on our last Canadian Tour. Post rafting, she forwent her penchant for smoke salmon and fine wine and we spent an hour or two downing several pints of cool beer and two Canadian size stacks of onion rings on the street corner at a Whistler village pub! She was a true character and will be sorely missed. Similarly, clients who attended the 2016 La Cala Week will remember Kate and her Irish girl friends being the life and soul of the party. Unfortunately, Kate was unexpectedly taken ill shortly after her return, which only goes to show how fragile and precious our time on this earth is.
The domestic golf season is now upon us of course and seems to be passing at quite a pace! Many of you will be well into your Club events and matches by now, while on the PGA tour the second major (US Open) is only two weeks away. Who is it going to be this year? I’m going for another European winner in Shane Lowry. Back on form again after seeming to lose his way for many months following last years fiasco over the Dustin Johnson ball moving incident. But he’s a proven winner of big events and if his putter is working (and it usually does), I think he has a great chance. He might well have won at Wentworth in May if not for a couple of loose drives towards the end. Talking of which, Noren’s 62 was a pretty spectacular way to win The PGA at Wentworth wasn’t it? Five wins in his last 13 events on the European Tour could make him a good bet too.
Lowry and Noren play the game differently and my very first viewing of top professional golf was at Wentworth in 1965, at what was then the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship. It was probably one of the most defining moments in my teaching life. The very first hole I saw played was the 6th in the match between Arnold Palmer and five times Open Champion, Peter Thompson. If there was ever a contrast in styles and an illustration of different ways of playing the game this one hole exemplified it and has ever since been indelibly imprinted in my brain. A life long lesson for sure.
Palmer teed up his ball, reached for his driver, took a couple of brisk, hard practice swings and thrashed the ball with a faster and harder swing than I’d ever seen before, right down the middle. Thompson hit a gentle fade with a 3 wood, some 50 yards behind. He followed that with another gently fading 5 iron which ran up some 15 feet short of the flag. Palmer marched up to his ball, grabbed a sand iron from Tip Anderson his caddy, smashed the ball taking a divot the size of which I’m not sure I’ve ever seen since, and pitched it 15 feet past the hole screwing back to about 8 feet. Thompson surveyed his putt and rolled it up to the front edge to just topple in for his birdie 3. Palmer, hunched over his ball with that famous, knock kneed stance, rammed the ball at the back of the hole, watched it jump several inches in the air and disappear in the hole for a half. I have no idea who won the match, but the memory of two such contrasting ways of making birdie threes taught me a lesson for life. Of course Arnie’s was more exciting, but Thompson won five Opens to his two!
Play the game your way this summer, don’t let others influence or intimidate. In competition do what you do best to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes. Try and improve your weaknesses for sure, but that is practice ground stuff, not for experimenting with during a competitive round. And, by the way, if you do want to improve, it is your weaknesses you must practice most. It’s no good only practicing what you can already do well, that will simply keep your game where it is!!
The start of the summer is normally announced by flaming June, however at the moment it is definitely raining June! I am sure by the middle of the month we can venture on to the golf course thinking more about “have I put sun cream on” rather than whether I have water proofs and a spare towel in the bag.
The professional game is as ever providing some amazing golf for us all to aspire to and this year’s Open will be really fascinating with hopefully all the main contenders fully fit. This assumes that Dustin Johnson can negotiate the stairs okay and Rory doesn’t decide to go sky diving or white water rafting a day or two beforehand!
Like David I would love a European winner and having watched Alex Noren at Wentworth, would be plumping for him to make a strong showing. Another man I think could pop up is the wonderful Andrew “Beef” Johnson, who qualified at Walton Heath and perhaps follow Michael Campbell who did that in 2005 and went on to win the event. I will also be focussing on a young professional, Matt Wallace from Moor Park, who I know from when I was involved in Herts County Coaching and he was the Herts Boys Captain in 2009. He has plugged away on the mini tours over the past few years and now has elevated himself on the European Tour, via winning the Portuguese Open. Matt also qualified at Walton Heath with a very impressive 9 under par for 36 holes. However, my main thought on a winner is Ricky Fowler, who is as the say now “trending” and he has all the credentials to win a Major.
Thanks to so many of you who keep us up to date on your golf. Always great to hear from members of our DSG “family” and one of our regulars Lisbet has cut her handicap as did one of our newcomers, Simon. The main thing is to enjoy the challenges this amazing game throws at us, even when we finish in some unusual places. I thought you might find this amazing shot by Corey Pavin interesting and certainly gives us hope that wherever we are there is a chance of recovery.
Below are also a couple of pictures of Philip, one of regular DSG clients, finding his drive in a challenging situation on the lovely Quinta da Ria course. Having discovered his Pro V literally between the sap and the bark, he took a drop, popped it near the green, chipped on and I pictured the excellent putt for 2 points!
Good luck with your golf
I trust that you are well and looking forward to summer ..it’s got to be on the horizon surely!
I am writing to advise of the forthcoming availability for the events, as well as advising about new destinations in the months ahead.
For the summer period (if we say ‘summer’ enough, it might arrive!), we have places available on Barney’s 1st July Golf & Coaching weekend, and also a couple of places available on both of David’s Lincolnshire tours (30th July and 7th August). Barney’s 5th August Golf & Coaching weekend is full, although David has three places available at the time of writing for his 26th August Golf & Coaching weekend. Barney also has three places left on his Herefordshire & Monmouthshire Golf Tour, which commences on the 20th August.
Moving into September, we have places available on the Reunion weekend at the De Vere Staverton Park Resort for the weekend of the 1st September, and also places available for the tours to Cork, Prague and Bulgaria. The October trips to Porto and Tavira in Portugal are also available.
For the start of the winter period, we have four places available on the Tenerife Golf & Coaching week and a healthy number of places on the Tenerife Golf Week. Likewise for the Christmas and New Year tours, there are places available on all three trips that we are running.
Thinking further ahead, the tours for both South Africa and Thailand have been launched for the February / March period next year, which provide a welcome escape from the British winter.
The events for the spring of next year will also now start to appear on the web-site over the next week or two. We are also now giving thought to the UK tours for 2018, which have proved very popular this year. A tour to North Cornwall is likely, perhaps too Shropshire and it is about time that we returned to Scotland, with the Gullane and North Berwick region a distinct possibility. If there are any areas of the UK that you think are worthy of a tour, please do let me know, with all suggestions going into the ‘thinking pot’.
I wish you an excellent month ahead, with both the US Open and British Open to enjoy within the coming weeks.
If you have any queries, require further information or indeed wish to book places on any of the events, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With best regards
Like most of you I have been changing on the golf course between wet gear, thermals, guy ropes, cut off’s and it is June!
We have experienced some issues with the enquiry forms on the website, but we do hope they are resolved now, but if you are still having problems please let us know via email or telephone.
We do hope the inclusion of the pdf’s on the majority of the events allow you to download and print the details. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to make the website better for you.
Hope you are all enjoying your golf wherever you are.