I am sitting at home in Dublin, and whilst peering out at the garden, I am gathering my thoughts on the events of the last month, the approaching ones, and what is going on in the world golf.
In last months edition I commented on the Solheim Cup and it was good to see Catrina Mathew awarded the captaincy for the next match. A sterling performance after stepping in as a replacement at the eleventh hour this year made her the perfect choice.
The final of the Fed Ex Cup, produced a thrilling finish, and arguably the most in form player of the moment Justin Thomas took the cool $10 million bonus prize. His caddy must also be elated as he pocketed 10%, so a very jolly weeks work for the pair. Some commentators felt that up until this year Justin had under achieved in his career thus far, however there can be no doubting Thomas’ now ! (sorry couldn’t resist). It was a shame Paul Casey continued his last round woes, and another possible victory slipped away. Hopefully he can find the key to this, as his majestic golf is putting him in position to win on a regular basis.
Our trip to Prague was very well received. The trip was my first visit to this picture postcard city, and the golf courses were really very good; a high standard of design and condition (see Prague blog for more details). It won’t be our last visit – put it on your bucket list!
The previous week we were in Cork and what a vibrant crazy place that town is. Every night was like a Saturday night, restaurants fully booked, pubs packed to the gunnels and as usual in Ireland a few hidden gems of golf courses. Whilst Fota Island would be the best known amongst them and an excellent test, Lee Valley is a super undulating Christy O’Connor Jnr. layout. He is sadly no longer with us but has left us a real gem. In fact I’ve played several of his designs and maybe he is not as well recognised as he should be in that field. However, the stand out course to me was Cork Golf Club, known as ‘Little Island.’ Why I have never heard of it is a mystery to me. An old Mackenzie design, it is a mixture of links and old fashion parkland, with of course, his famed two tier greens. The course makes its way down to the waters edge and the par 5 fifth hole hugging the river is a real classic. The greens and bunkering have been extensively and sympathetically redesigned to give this old master a modern touch. Congratulations to Jenny and Tony, who were our individual winners on the Cork Tour.
October signals a return to Portugal, and firstly for a ‘Golf & Coaching’ week at the Robinson Club near Tavira, and then following that, on to Porto and the quite splendid 5-star Vidago Palace Hotel. A lovely golf course and a splendid hotel from yesteryear, beautifully restored and with two great restaurants with dinner and wine included for the evenings. We will also enjoy a day out on the links course of Estalla, which is played on the Silver Coast. It was very much enjoyed last year. An optional boat tour along the Douro Valley including lunch, wine and Port tasting is also available; I missed it last year, but am told it is not to be missed again by those who did partake. There are still places available for this tour and I can highly recommend it to you.
Of course winter is just around the corner and frighteningly there are less than a hundred days left of 2017. I believe there are a few places available for our Festive tours and booking now should ensure flights are still at an acceptable price. I know regional airports don’t always match our dates so please be in touch with Iain if it suits to travel a day or two earlier or later. The same would apply to South Africa where Fancourt, SA’s No. 1 golf resort again features highly on the Tour. Along with Cape Town, Erinvale and the Garden Route, the 2018 tour offers the very best of South Africa.
Keep well and enjoy the remaining weeks of the season,
Having just completed our last UK event of the year at Staverton, I was reflecting on a busy and fun August and September. We had a great G&C session in what was a sunny Northamptonshire at the beginning of August and later in the month I hosted an equally sunny trip to Herefordshire. We played some splendid courses and it was a part of the country I had never really visited before and I have to say it was a real treat (see event blog). I am sure DSG will revisit this area and my personal favourite Ross on Wye in the future. Also hoping when we play the Rolls of Monmouth next time it will be easier to find, as it was right up there with trying to locate Atlantis.
On a personal front September was a busy month for me with coaching and I had the great fortune to work with a couple of super Pro’s from the European Senior Tour. The Argentinian Cesar Monasterio wanted a little tuning on his putting (don’t we all!) and I spent some time with him at Hanbury Manor. The following week I popped up to the senior event at Woburn and spent a lovely day there with him and got to meet Italian legend Constantino Rocca, who was charming and still as they say “got game”. Pedro Linhart a very elegant swinger of the club was also in the market for a few thoughts on his game and to be fair he required the finest of fine tuning, as you can see here from this video.
The leaves are now beginning to turn and not long until they drop and my thoughts are turning to Tenerife in November. The Golf and Coaching week at The Buenavista Golf Club is full but our tour week based in Adeje playing Las Americas plus other local courses this year still has a few places available. So if you fancy a pre Xmas burst of sun and an opportunity to keep the summer golfing gear out, contact Iain soonest.
Good luck with your golf
Good luck with your golf
I trust that you are well and enjoying what good weather can still be squeezed out of the summer.
It seems surreal that October is upon us, the Festive tours are on the horizon and that we are already in the midst of planning events that will take place in 2019! Where oh where, does the time go?!.
As we enter into the final phase of the 2017 season, may I firstly thank everyone who has embarked on one or more of the events this year, or indeed enquired about doing so. I very much hope that the experience lived up to expectations. For the 2018 season, we have four long-haul trips, South Africa, Thailand, Bermuda and New Zealand. The first two are on the web-site, with Bermuda and New Zealand to appear very shortly. During 2018 there will also be a tour to the Sesimbra region of Lisbon, a long awaited return to Lake Como next September, and David will spend the Christmas and New Year next year in the Canary Islands, whilst Barney will be hosting a New Year tour in the Algarve. We are rolling out the programme for 2018 as fast as we can in order to help your planning for the 2018 season. All of the event dates are now illustrated on the web-site, with the itinerary and price content to follow over the coming weeks / months. Please also note our UK golf tour destinations next year, which are Kent, Cornwall, Lincolnshire and Shropshire. I will focus more on the spring, summer and autumn 2018 programme in next months’ newsletter.
With regards to the remainder of this year and for the early part of 2018, we do still have places available on the Porto Golf Week, the Tenerife Golf Week, the Christmas Golf Tour and both of the New Year Golf Tours. We have four to five places available on each of these trips; hence if you are interested in them, please let me know, as it often amazes me how we go on a ‘run of bookings’ and five available places, can quickly become none!
May I also bring to your attention a rescheduling of the events in January. The two events that we initially had lined up in Spain, did not seem to strike a chord. As such, we have now changed the ‘Golf & Coaching’ week to the El Rompido Resort on the Costa de la Lux, which provides much better value for money. And we have reverted back to the old favourite of Tavira for the traditional January Golf Week, with two rounds to be played at Quinta da Ria and Quinta da Cima, one at Benamor, and with the option of playing Monte Rei Golf Club as well. With the plethora of super restaurants in Tavira, and the quality of the golf, we very much hope that the return to the region will be well received.
Although South Africa and Thailand still seem some way off, believe it or not, we have to soon start finalising numbers with the hotels, or at least give them a very good idea of the likely number of clients in the party. If you are interested in either of these tours, but have not yet booked, please let me know of your interest, so that I can at least earmark places for you.
Thanks again for your interest and your bookings for the events that we provide. We wouldn’t exist without you, and I assure you, we never forget it. At all times our aim is to provide a first-class experience for you, that will live long in the memory.
It has been a busy period for me on the golfing front as I have joined two of the trips over the past couple of months and really enjoyed meeting up with some of you that I know and new clients as well. I have also played New Zealand (golf course in Surrey) and if I don’t see heather again for a while I won’t be unhappy! I also played the Marquess at Woburn last week which was excellent.
Anyway, back to the computer now to get the events on the website!
Enjoy your golf wherever you are.