I’ve always been led to believe time goes faster as you get older, but should it really pass by this quickly? In 2017 I have already completed the New Year week in Portugal, a Golf and Coaching event back at my old haunt of La Quinta, Marbella and the traditional season opening Golf Week also on the Costa del Sol.
By the time you read this my bags will be re packed for the annual South African Tour, where I shall be be chased by Jennie (quite rightly) for the March Newsletter text as I don’t return until March 3rd. I shall probably be looking at Lions and wondering which I fear most, them or Jennie looking for the copy!!
Talking of old haunts, I have recently played Santana, on the Costa del Sol, for the first time in 8 or 9 years. I often mention it as my favourite in that area, but then wonder if it is as good as my memory. Well, I’m pleased to say it is, every bit of it, in fact even better I think. Golf is not cheap out there but it really is a gem and I would highly recommend it. Not only a superb layout, but unusually for courses built in this quite mountainous area following the earlier builds, it is undulating rather than hilly and quite walkable. So maybe, what you save on the buggy hire you can contribute towards the green fee? Personally I would rather play 3 or 4 rounds on quality courses than 5 or 6 on many of the later ones built.
I have the same thoughts regarding Woodhall Spa and I know I’m going to enjoy that along with some of you later in the summer. Do remember we have put on an extra week, 7th August, due to its popularity. That of course is well in the future, however, certain events are booking up quickly. The San Lorenzo weeks sold out very quickly, but there is one place available on the 1st April week,
Arizona in November has also been well supported and is looking like being sold out soon. Iain’s text below will give you more up to date information of these and other events.The Easter Golf & Coaching Barney and I run together is full and if that is anything to go by and you want to get your game in shape this season maybe it is time to look at the coaching events we have abroad this spring and Barney’s UK based Academy’s and Golf and Coaching events at Staverton Park.
Last winter we had a spate of Holes in One at DSG. David Hirst and Barney in the same week in Madeira and shortly afterwards Jennie in the UK. I’m now pleased to report my 12th hole in one, on the 15th at Vila Sol during our New Year tour. 200 yards with my new Ping Crossover 4 iron! They are always a surprise, but not wishing to sound blaze, there is nothing remotely like the first one! It’s a sobering thought that my first was 52 years ago! My proudest one though is not mine, but my Father’s. His first one came in his fiftieth year of playing, 10 days before his 90th birthday. So never give up!
It would be great to hear from any of you, especially accompanied by a picture, if you achieve a hole in one or any other notable feat. I have never had an Albatross (a hole in one on a par 4 or a 2 on a par 5). With courses getting longer and my golf shots getting shorter I don’t think I have until almost 90 to achieve that one do you?
We are of course gearing up towards the Majors on the PGA and European Tours. Another highly talented young American, Jordan Thomas, is hot out of the blocks in the USA, with back to back wins in Hawaii including a 59. Could he do a Spieth? It was good to see Rory competing in South Africa in aid of the Ernie Els Foundation for (in his world) not very much money, and to see that his and Sergio Garcia’s foundations are to be part of the new 8 tournament Rolex Series on the European Tour. Each event offers in the region of a 7 million dollar prize fund which will match the PGA Tour. It seems like a world tour is almost upon us. Lets hope Rory recovers from his latest injury set back in time to make a full challenge at The Masters. But I digress. While I don’t know the facts to quote figures, I do know that the professional golfers around the world are raising millions of pounds for charitable bodies, way in excess I understand, than other sporting bodies. I know sponsorship deals make them very rich men, but in essence, unlike many other sports, these young men only get paid by performance. They truly seem to appreciate the good fortune their talent and hard work has given them and willingly give back. Maybe that’s what makes our sport different?
I look forward to seeing many of you over the next few months and to everyone, I hope the winter is short and if not able to get abroad, the UK is kind to early season golf.
Picking up on David’s theme on time, there is no doubt winter is a great deal shorter when you inject some sun into it! I really enjoyed our New Year trip to Vilamoura, where we were blessed with fabulous weather and some great courses. Highlights were revisiting the Old Course which is absolutely charming and the welcome and service fantastic. New Years day at Quinta South in the sun was simply a perfect way to start 2017.
The subsequent games I have had this year have been conducted in 70 degree farenheit plus temperatures (strangely decided against playing on my two weeks back in the UK). I would also like to thank David, Liz and the group for my few days with them over Christmas, such fun. Christmas Day at Monte Rei followed by the eye watering festive spread at Robinsons was terrific.
Good fortune and family brings Jennie and I to Florida at this time of year and pleased to report the weather is in top form. We attended the mind blowing PGA golf trade show in Orlando, where everything you can think of pertaining to golf and some you didn’t was put on display. We particularly enjoyed Colin Montgomerie and Bubba Watson being interviewed live on stage.
Highlight of this came when two delightful girls aged 9 and 7 came up to talk about their golf and participation in the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship where juniors compete in these three areas. When they were both asked the question “what is the best part of your game?” they both looked quizzically and said “well all of it!” The great man raised his eyebrows as did the adult audience and we all thought! I wish ours were!”
Moving on to Spring, I am really looking forward to our Eastern Algarve Golf Week and our new venue in Olhao, the Real Marina Hotel and Spa. On the golf front we are visiting old favourites Quinta da Ria and Cima plus the Seve designed Castro Marin and Cotton designed Benamor. I stay in the area to make my first visit of the year to Robinson’s Club for a Golf and Coaching week. Both of these have a few spaces. so if you fancy a ‘Swing into Spring’ then feel free to sign up!
Enjoy your golf
It seems that a moment ago we were welcoming in the New Year, and yet here we are already in February. The good news I suppose is that spring must be rushing towards us too! The two January events have already been completed and the first wave of South African bound clients set off this weekend. If February is an escape to South Africa, then March is an escape to Portugal, and our trips throughout March have proved extremely popular, and especially the two weeks at the Dona Filipa Resort.
We do however, still have a few places available on Barney’s Eastern Algarve Golf Tour week at the beginning of March and a couple of places on the Golf & Coaching week at the Robinson Club that follows on a week later. April too has begun to tick over, with clients booking for both the Gran Canaria Golf Week and the ever popular La Cala week. The Easter weekend back at home sold out very quickly, but if you do wish to start fine-tuning your game in readiness for the summer season, we do have vacancies for the late April Golf & Coaching Weekend. We also have two Golf Academies in May, which both have availability at the moment.
Moving into the summer period, the annual tour of Italy is now available, and has already drawn a number of bookings, and likewise the Dorset tour, the Lincolnshire tour and the Hereford tour have all attracted interest and bookings. There are also two Golf & Coaching and two Golf Academy events over the summer period.
For the autumn, the Cork tour is already beginning to attract bookings, and we would certainty ask that you give both Bulgaria and Prague some thought, as they are both fantastic destinations. The Porto Golf & Coaching week and Porto Golf week in October are also both now available on the web-site. It seems strange to be talking about November and December in February, but the Arizona tour is virtually now full in November; hence if you are interested please let us know as soon as possible, and the Tenerife Golf & Coaching week likewise, is filling up quite fast. Coming more or less full circle, David has his annual Christmas tour at the Robinson Club and for the New Year week, David has a tour to Vilamoura and Barney one based at the Dona Filipa resort playing San Lorenzo and the Vale do Lobo courses.
The time does whizz by at an alarming rate of knots at times, but we would not be busy if it were not for your interest and your bookings. The aim always is for you our client, to enjoy the events, be rewarded by them and to create memories that you can look back fondly upon. Thank you and the aim I assure you, is never forgotten.
From the wild and windy south western tip of Cornwall
From a weather perspective I think I have had the best as I have been in Florida since November! Barney arrived in Mid January so I have now managed to get a few rounds of golf in. As Barney mentioned we visited the PGA Golf Show and I met this great lady who recognised that I was wearing one of her range of polo shirts. We have another couple of weeks here, so planning to play as much as I can before returning to “blighty”.
Hope you are all enjoying your golf wherever you are.
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