A very happy new year to you all. I do hope your festive season was as enjoyable as ours on the Algarve, and a big thank you to those that joined us to make it so pleasurable.
The Robinson Quinta da Ria Club at Tavira is my traditional Christmas week venue. They looked after us splendidly once again, with the week complemented by two fine golf courses.
I’m already looking forward to both the Christmas Week and for the first time, New Year Week their at the end of this year. Our New Year week at the Tivoli Marina Hotel in Vilamoura, for our third successive year, also proved most enjoyable. With constant blue sky’s, 17 to 20 degree temperatures; the weather for both weeks provided its usual mid winter cheer as well! Please see the website blog for a full report.
Barney and Jennie had a full festive program too and you will see Barney’s comments and blog elsewhere. With their New Year tour filled to capacity, I appreciate how hard they worked over that period, and my sincere thanks to them. It would be remiss of me not mentioning Iain and his tireless work as well to offer a variety of options over this period, and between us, we will be doing so again next year.
Before then of course we have many months of exciting golf coming up in 2019, most of which is already in place and indeed the 2020 planning is also well underway. Meanwhile, as I continue to hand over the reins to Barney and introduce Graham Bradley to a small number of events, I believe we have a really good balance of tried and tested venues, and a revisit or two that are overdue. Marrakech in March and the Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus during May spring to mind, and there are exciting new venues such as Biarritz in June and Greece in September.
While my personal number of events will be reducing over the coming 18 months, I do not intend to disappear altogether, rather, from time to time, either jointly running a coaching event alongside Barney and Graham or in attending in a social capacity on tour events. I will look forward to catching up to reminisce, giving a tip or two (no doubt an often repeated reminder in some cases) and meeting new clients.
As with so many sports, golf is as much mental as physical, probably more so once a certain standard has been reached. A balance of the correct practice, a simple, effective routine to follow and an acceptance of where one is physically and mentally should find one playing at their best, whatever that might be. We must also always remember, that golf is sport that we love, and first and foremost, we must enjoy it!
A great challenge of golf is accepting the adversity and the vagaries of playing percentages, whether that comes from misfortune on the course or within ones head. A much repeated phrase, often chuckled about between my father and myself, came from an elderly, experienced lady not long after he had started playing. Finding his ball unplayable in tree roots my father pointed to it and bemoaned his misfortune. Looking him in the eye she said, “And who put it there”!
As 2019 truly gets underway, my New Years resolution is to play with a smile on my face, aided by the fact that there is always a glass of red wine waiting in the 19th.
Have a super 2019 and I look forward to seeing you soon.
And as David mentioned we had super weather over our respective festive breaks and had some brilliant golfing and gastronomic experiences along the way. It’s always nice when a prediction comes true and playing golf on the Royal Couse at Vale do Lobo in shorts on Xmas Day came to pass!
The New Year bash at Dona Filipa with the 007 theme was brilliantly done. Our group was in top form on and off the course and dance floor too!
The UK winter is starting to crank up, so I am looking forward to some family time in Florida followed by our DSG trip to California. By the time we come back in March the snow may have gone.
In the news recently there has been a lot of activity in Parliament and a bit of chit chat around the “B” word. However on a lighter (and I would say more important) note Westminster hosted the International Congress on Golf and Health and the medically proven physical and mental health benefits. MPs, representatives from the golfing bodies and health experts met to discuss the findings and the way forwards. The Golf and Health Ambassador, Annika Sorenstam said “Golf is great for the health of all ages and even for spectators too. We need to work together to make the game more accessible”. Hear Hear. I am very hopeful that the game of golf is now aware that it needs to bring the game to a new generation of all ages and this discovery of the benefits of our wonderful game will help immensely.
On the new rules front, certainly the most eye catching one is that of leaving the flagstick in when we putt. Certainly in our DSG trip on the first game of 2019 several of our number took up the option. It’s funny when I was playing with people doing it, it looked quite normal and then when I watched some golf on tv it looked a bit odd. I must say although the camera work at televised tournaments is tremendous with longer putts it is a real benefit when watching as there is no need to squint at the screen, trying to see where the hole is. So far the data suggests that on a slow putt, there was no difference in what you do with the flag stick, but it was an advantage on a putt that was going faster at the hole. Essentially the flag acts as a back stop and slows the ball down and allows gravity to pull it into the hole better. Interestingly, golf scientist in chief the wonderful Bryson De Chambeau embraced the new rule, whilst many of his colleagues were feeling a tad self conscious about it. He finished leader in the tournament in Hawaii on the strokes gained in putting category, so maybe we need to follow suit? Certainly in a team event, if your partner issues that favourite instruction of “Don’t leave it short” you can be confident in the knowledge the flag will help you.
Hopefully those of you with golf coming up will manage to get out and play. If snow does come there is always putting on the carpet, but you will have to find a flagstick….
Enjoy your golf wherever you are.
All the best
I trust that you are well and that you have had a fine start to the New Year. It seems extraordinary that February is just two weeks’ away!
As David mentioned, we had a full Festive programme, complimented by super weather, as so often seems to be the case in December and January in the Algarve. Indeed, David is embarking on another Algarve double header now, with David and Barney heading to Gran Canaria and the States respectively in February.
For the spring period we still have a few places available on Graham’s March Morocco Golf Week, Barney’s Tavaria Golf & Coaching week in Portugal and David’s two weeks at the Dona Filipa Resort in the Algarve at the end of March and beginning of April. Easter is then quick on the heels of these events, and if you do wish to attend the Easter event this year (the weather just has to be better than last year, as it couldn’t possibly be worse!), please let me know fairly soon, as traditionally the Easter weekend fills up very quickly from here on in.
There are two overseas events after Easter, a week at the Aphrodite Hills Resort with David in May, and a week in Biarritz with Barney in June. We have nine places left available for the Cyprus week and eight for the Biarritz week; hence if they are of interest, please do let me know.
For the UK season, we have places available on the three UK tours, to Somerset, Scotland and Yorkshire, although the number of places for the Scottish trip are beginning to diminish. The UK Golf & Coaching weekends are also booking up quite far in advance this year, and if you are interested in the 25th May and / or 6th July events, please let me know, as these two events in particular are already quite busy.
I’ll focus on the autumn events in future newsletters, except to say, please consider the Costa Navarino Resort in Greece in September; it is fabulous! And also, for any clients tempted by the two weeks immersed in 5-star Indian Ocean luxury in Mauritius, please book your places sooner rather than later, as we only have four rooms left available on the tour.
Within the coming weeks, the remaining events for the year, the November Golf Week and the Festive tour programme, will be launched; hence please keep an eye open for those. And for long-term planners, there will only be one long-haul tour next February, which will be a two-week tour to South Africa, staying at the Pezula Resort in Knysna and then the Commodore Hotel in Cape Town.
For now though, may spring soon be on the horizon, with a super season of golf to follow.
If you have any queries, require further information or indeed wish to book a place on a trip, please do not hesitate to contact me.