This is the time of year where golf clubs are put away or less used in the northern hemisphere. However, some fortunate golfers begin travelling further afield in search of golf and some warm sunshine. During November Barney and I will be amongst them, Barney to Tenerife and myself to Arizona. I am very much looking forward to the experience and will attempt to keep those Twitter users amongst you updated throughout the tour and no doubt I will report in the December newsletter.
After returning from the States, it is then not long until the 2017 season is brought to a close with the Christmas and New Year golf tours in the Algarve.
The recent tour to the lovely Vidago Palace in Northern Portugal was again much enjoyed. Monday however, produced the most eerie round I have ever had on a golf course. Forest fires 10 kilometres away cut out the light, and in a half lit, still and smoky atmosphere, we played in the strangest conditions I have ever experienced. The best that I can describe it, is like playing in the midst of an eclipse. A little over night rain dampened the fires, cleared the air and we were back to normal for the rest of the week, which included a round at the highly rated links course of Estella, on the Silver Coast and a lovely tour of the Douro Valley, the highlight of which was an excellent lunch with specific wines at a Michelin starred restaurant.
Looking forward into 2018, we have rearranged the traditional January programme to the Algarve, as the events in Spain did not seem to be causing the necessary enthusiasm! I will never complain about being in Tavira though, with its olde worde Algarve charm and it will be good to be back there. Before we stay in Tavira though, we venture to El Rompido for the first ‘Golf & Coaching’ week of the new season, and bookings are already healthy for this week.
From Portugal to South Africa for the month of February and two weeks featuring Cape Town, Erinvale and Knysna, book ended by the weeks in South Africa’s number one golf resort, Fancourt. This will gratefully shorten my winter and I look forward to sharing that with some of you!
Whilst talking of golf being limited in the winter, I for one would play very little if I were not able to follow the sun. During the winter period at home, keep your hand in at the range with short, regular visits, practising the following routine and prepare yourself for next summer to hit the ground running a more consistent golfer. You will have been told by Barney and I, and constantly one hears on TV of how important a routine is. The winter is a great chance to install one, as well as making practice more enjoyable. Secondly, when playing, rhythm and balance is more important than technique and so make that a priority too.
So, the suggested routine: Firstly establish a routine! Not everyone’s will be the same, but the important elements are:
- Approach each shot as a new one from behind the ball,
- Take aim at small targets (you should still have alignment and ball position guides in place),
- Concentrate on rhythm and holding a good finish until the ball lands.
This helps enormously to encourage the rhythm and balance required in a consistent swing.
- Hit 3 half wedges, 3 three-quarter wedges and 3 full ones.
- Follow this with 3 seven irons and then 3 drivers.
- Now take 9 balls and hit a Driver, followed by a 7 iron and then a wedge.
Do this 3 times in rotation; 1st wedge a full one, second three quarters, 3rd a half wedge. Remember, each and every shot is a new one starting from behind the ball! Practice this regularly on its own during the winter, and use it each time before play as a warm up, if you have the opportunity to do so, and likewise each time to finish a practice session. It only requires 24 balls and takes no more than 15 / 20 minutes. This is practising to play and completely separate from practising technique.
Good luck and if you have any questions on setting a routine drop me or Barney an email.
Like David I am feeling very blessed to be escaping the gathering gloom of winter and popping off to Tenerife. Really looking forward to our Golf and Coaching week at Buenavista GC, designed by one of my golfing hero’s, Seve.
The following week we have an escorted golf tour taking in the highly rated Las Americas and one of my favourites Costa Adeje, home of quick greens and amazing views. Add in the excellent Golf del Sur with its eye catching black sand, then onto Amarilla where this year I have promised to myself (and more importantly on the way to the course to the clients) not to hum / sing “Is this the way to Amarillo”. Interestingly, I did meet a Marie there last year, so I wonder, as in the song, “she waits for me”. Although Mrs P will be with me, so that will cramp my style!
Mentioning golfing heros, the big talk in the golf world is of Tiger woods return to golf and showing his new swing here. He will, as last year make a competition come back in his own tournament the Hero World Challenge in Bermuda. It is a fairly low key event and hopefully will provide him with a springboard to start playing in 2018. How interesting would the Majors be if he can compete in them? Like many in the golf industry, I don’t think he can become World Number 1 or even crack the top 10, however if his health improves it is not without possibility that he could win a Major in his 40s.
I really like Davids’ playing / practice routine that he outlined above and I shall be trying that out myself when I get back from points west. As David mentioned do feel free to send thoughts and questions on your game as it is always great to hear from our keen students of this wonderful game.
Good luck with your golf
It is not often that David, Barney, Jennie and I are in the same Country, let alone County or town. However, we managed to converge from the Americas, Asia and Dublin last month and met at the Headland Hotel in Newquay for our annual day-long convention, which in more realistic terms means a very good lunch, tea, coffee and a good chat about how the David Short Golf programme can be enhanced over the coming year. Even 25 years on, we are all still learning and adapting and always aiming to improve the quality and variety of what we offer. And we hope that this will become apparent over the coming 12 months.
Since our lunch overlooking Fistral Beach, David has headed to Arizona, Barney to Tenerife and I am back at my desk in Bangkok. Jennie is at home in Hertfordshire, but she too is soon to be packing her case and heading off to meet Barney for the Tenerife Golf Week. Many of you too of course are also in either Arizona or Tenerife at the moment!
The year has flown by and it is staggering to think that the Christmas carols will soon be on the airwaves once more. The Festive tours will therefore be upon us before we know it as well. If you are thinking about one of these tours, Christmas or one of the two New Year tours, please let me know as soon as possible, as all three hotels want to know final numbers by mid-November and claw back from us any unsold rooms. The change to the Algarve in January has also worked well, with the El Rompido Golf & Coaching week beginning to tick with bookings and likewise the ever popular Tavira based Algarve Golf Week.
As we head into the early spring, David is hosting the South African tour and Barney the tour to Thailand. These trips are now very much on the horizon and again the hotels that we are using are starting to ask us about final numbers. If you haven’t yet booked either of these tours, but are thinking of doing so, please let me know, as I will be able to earmark places for you pending a formal decision to proceed or not.
The four weeks that we have in the Algarve in April are also beginning to fill up. David is running three ‘Golf Weeks with Clinics‘ at the Dona Filipa Resort and Barney a ‘Golf & Coaching‘ week at the Robinson Club in Tavira. Please keep an eye on the availability of these if they are of interest. A word too about the Easter Golf and Coaching event. Although there are plenty of places available at the moment, given the popularity of the weekend over recent years, and the limited the number of spaces that we have available, I would recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.
In May we have an exciting week in Sesimbra, Lisbon, which is the south side of the City, a new location for us. And then in June, the tour to Bermuda, which has already generated a number of bookings.
Now that the rather frenetic start to November has been overcome with the admin for the Arizona and Tenerife events, my attention will turn to finalising the web-content and brochures for the events for the rest of the 2018 season. I will ensure that the programme for New Zealand is launched soon, in order to give clients as much time as possible to consider this long-haul trip.
I’ll finish where I started. The key question that David, Barney, Jennie and I ask ourselves, over our good lunch, tea and coffee, is what is it that you, our client, wants? What are the key ingredients to a successful event or tour? We will keep asking the question year after year, and do our best to ensure that we meet your requirements and expectations. We make a bit of play on where we all are at times, but always at the core of our thinking, is you the client, and always but always, you are our priority.
Have a good build up to the Festive season and we will be in touch in a months’ time, as the carols truly get going!
As Iain has said we would love to get feedback from you on the trips. You can add testimonials or comments on the website or you can just email us and we will add it for you. I have David and Barney ‘honing’ their Twitter skills to let us know how the events are going in real time and if you would like to ‘get social’ please follow us on our Twitter and Facebook pages, the links are also on the website.
I am also looking forward to joining some of you for the Tenerife Golf Week and playing in the sunshine!
Enjoy your golf wherever you are.