This resort has grown on me over the years and it was good to be back for our annual Golf Week with Clinics. To be greeted in such a genuine, friendly way by Antonio and staff at reception and looked after so well by Maria and team in the restaurant creates a relaxing atmosphere immediately upon arrival. The hotel rooms are very comfortable and most offer far reaching views over the quite spectacular course layout.
The golf too was well organised as ever. With three courses all requiring buggies, it is quite an operation and once you get the hang of their check in system it runs very smoothly. The Asia course was being prepared for a Challenge Tour event and it was interesting talking to a couple of guys who were measuring and marking the course including measuring each green in fine detail by laser to hand minute details to the players. No wonder these guys read putts so well these days!
When you are surrounded by hills and you have not been handed a chart detailing every nook and cranny there is quite an art and much experience in finding the lines. Watching balls as they roll onto the green and opponents putts is often the best guide and I’m surprised how little notice people take of it, especially their own ball as it approaches the hole or runs past it. I find feeling the slope through my feet very effective on new courses. It rarely lets me down and while judging the exact amount of borrow to allow is not always easy, at least you see your ball tracking towards the hole instead of turning away from it, as well as giving you a good idea as to whether it is up or downhill.
Raining when we arrived, I opened the curtains with trepidation on Sunday morning to see a fabulous sunrise and clear blue skies! We enjoyed lovely weather all week and with only a light breeze most days the courses were, pleasingly, quite benign in that respect. Our first days play was on my favourite of the three courses, America, and the all male team of Mark, Andy and Tony pipped Ann, Ali and John by one point on 72.
The Asia course, probably the quirkiest of the three, saw Alister, Tony and Rita clear winners on 79 points. it will be interesting watching highlights of the Challenge Tour on Sky TV to see how they tackle it. If you don’t know the course, the TV will make it look very much flatter than it actually is!
We played a 4 BBB on the Europa, the course that seems to bring in the best scores, for our third round and the scoring was quite spectacular. I think Mark & Rita were quietly confident with 43 and Tony & Ann more so on 46. However, I marked the card of Jane and Andy who made 48 points look quite simple!!
Following a well earned rest day, albeit most people spent a couple of hours with me at the Academy, our penultimate round on Thursday saw us back on the America course where Liz, Mark and myself, managed a rather pleasing 86!
An individual stableford over the Europe to finish off the week saw Ann, following up on a few tips at the clinics, score an excellent 38 to win, while John, who despite struggling a bit earlier in the week, stuck manfully to working at a couple of pointers on the range to be leading man and runner up with 36.
A fine week with a smaller than usual turnout, but all agreed, great value for money as it included a half package with dinner selected from the A la Carte menu and buggies each day. I’m sure next year will see it back to its full, but limited numbers.
Hope to see you soon.