I suppose having spent two weeks in my home county of Lincolnshire at Woodhall Spa I’m in a mood to reminisce this month. I have said plenty of my love of the Hotchkin course, so other than saying thank you to those who attended the Golf Tours, allowing me to play it four times, I will say very little here other than as Bruce used to say, “you’re still my favourite”.
Two of the other courses we played, Canwick Park and Blankney, brought back memories of my formative years in golf. Many courses in my area were owned by large estates and still are. In those days sheep and cattle were grazed on the courses creating hazards of a different kind along with not always the most pleasant of shoe cleaning duties. Wooden posts and barbed wire kept them from the greens and surrounding area, later modernised with electric fencing and one had to be rather careful if taking a short cut by stepping over it! That of course has long changed and Blankney, a few miles south east of Lincoln is now a fine rural parkland course, and bears no resemblance to the course I knew.
Canwick Park, situated on the southern hillside, overlooking Lincoln and its iconic Cathedral atop the hill on the northern side of the city, on the other hand didn’t exist. A 14 hole course on common land with alternate tees for four holes to complete the 18, called Southcliffe, was the forerunner, and in the seventies this closed and Canwick Park came into being a mile or two to the east. Having struggled to break the 80 barrier for weeks I played a match at Southcliffe and later toting up the score realised I had shot 76. My next game at my home club, Stoke Rochford, resulted in a 77 and while I would love to say I’ve never shot in the 80’s again it became a rare occurrence and only goes to show what a psychological game it is. Being common land, we had to be careful when playing Southcliffe of walkers and the occasional impromptu football match, but it caused some alarm when a father and his two boys set up their cricket stumps in the middle of the eighth green as we approached!
Anyway, to the present day, and the last of this years majors has been completed with another young American putting in a fine performance. I believe that it was Justin Thomas’s fourth win this year and while we are seeing more first time winners of majors I’m quite certain it won’t be his last. There is a crop of these twenty something’s who like Palmer, Player and Nicklaus before them, compete fiercely, but are great friends. While at present Spieth seems to have the edge, it will be an interesting few years. Will he be able to dominate, is there someone else in the wings, will we ever see another domination like Woods or Nicklaus again?
Personally, I still marvel at McIlroy. Yes he’s having a poor year, missed too many cuts and looked a bit out of sorts with the putter and by no means consistent, but playing poorly he creeps into the top ten and I really hope he is just going through a trough in his career that most suffer. He is surely far too talented not to add to his haul of majors. I love the statistic that only five men have ever won the grand slam whilst twelve have walked on the moon! Step forward Rory.
Finally, what about the Solheim Cup? The whitewash in the first afternoon four balls more or less sealed Europe’s fate; they fought bravely, didn’t buckle, but just couldn’t climb the mountain they had created. The quality of golf was quite something too. Whilst we were told by the commentators how difficult the greens were, I seemed to keep seeing a succession of putts holed from considerable distances, while a few nervy ones were missed. The distance off the tee and quality of iron shots in the ladies professional game seems to have improved and kept pace with the men’s game too. Lexi Thompson’s back nine on Sunday was simply stunning, 8-under for seven holes, a staggering run, and for Anna nordqvist to hang on and produce that final shot to the 18th to force a half, quite magnificent!
My next Tours in September take me to Cork and Prague both new venues for me and then my final Golf & Coaching week in the Algarve commencing 17 October, before Porto at the wonderful Vidago Palace in Northern Portugal. There are a number of places available for this trip and if you are looking for a last minute break I can highly recommend this excellent five star resort, very much enjoyed by last years participants on our inaugural tour.
Keep well and I will be in touch soon.
Having just returned from a really good golf tour to Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, it made me reflect on how fortunate we are in this country to have such terrific golf courses in amazing countryside. The rolling hills in this part of the country lead to some interesting golf holes and tired limbs at the end of the days play. Our group enjoyed all the venues with probably the tree lined and billiard table like putting greens of Ross on Wye coming out favourite followed by the aptly named Rolls of Monmouth.
Since our last newsletter I have also had an excellent Golf & Coaching event at Staverton Park, Daventry with twelve keen clients and I have had some great feedback on their games since!
Like David I was absorbed by the PGA Championship and the Solheim Cup, where we watched the final singles in the bar at Hotel in Hereford. Sadly we needed some comfort from the bar afterwards, however a brilliant performance by the Americans and for me most importantly the Cup played for in the right spirit. I thought tee to green the teams were even, however it was on the putting surfaces that the Solheim Cup was won and lost. So whenever you find a spare 15 minutes practice a few putts on the carpet with the “prayer drill” on this YouTube clip. I hope this helps to improve your putting. Putting is a mix of art and science and some days they go in and some they don’t so patience is another strong card to play when walking on to the green.
Jennie and I are visiting her mum and dad in Florida in October so starting our winter sunshine early. I am really looking forward to Tenerife in November as it was great last year and this year we have Las Americas on the Golf Week roster. Our playing week has a few spots on it, so if you fancy a pre Xmas bust of golf in the sun, this is the place.
Good luck with your golf
I trust that you are well and have had a good August.
Thank you to everyone who has attended the tours and events this year, and I do hope that they have proved enjoyable and fruitful. The UK tours seem to have been particularly well received, and a different portfolio of events will be launched soon for 2018, with the Kent coast and North Devon coast already inked in. In terms of long-haul trips for next year, apart from the already launched South African and Thailand tours, please keep an eye out for Bermuda in June (28th June x 10 nights to be precise) and New Zealand in November.
We will also be making a return to Lake Como in September next year. One other item of positive news, the Fairplay Resort in Benalup, Spain, has reopened again and we will be returning to the Resort in October 2018 with a Golf & Coaching week. We are working on the full programme for 2018 now, and we will aim to launch all of the tours as soon as possible, to provide the maximum time for advance planning.
For the remainder of this season, the Tenerife Golf & Coaching Week in November is now full, but we do have one place still available for the 7th October Tavira Golf & Coaching week. With regards to the golf tour weeks, we do still have places available on the Porto Golf Week and the Tenerife Golf Week, as well as the Algarve Xmas Week and the New Years Golf Weeks in Vilamoura or San Lorenzo. If you require further details on any of these events, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I will provide a much more detailed report on the 2018 portfolio of events in Octobers’ newsletter, once the programme is fully in place.
For now, let’s hope (again!) for an Indian summer and a postponement of autumn.
Thanks again for the interest, enquiries and bookings.
I really enjoyed my few days on the Monmouthshire end of the golf tour and socialising (I’m scratch at this) with everyone.
The website is settling down, although we are still trying to improve the contact forms to make them easier for you to use. Please remember to let us have any photos you have taken either by email or upload them at the bottom of David or Barney’s blog of the event.
If you are into social media you can follow us on twitter @DSGolfHolidays and Facebook is DavidShortGolf.
Enjoy your golf wherever you are.
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