I am writing these few words from the Knysna Quays Hotel, overlooking the Knysna Lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route in glorious South Africa. If you haven’t been to this region of South Africa, I urge you to do so; it is simply sublime!
This current trip, which has been over three and a half weeks in duration, has gone in a blink of an eye
Thoughts therefore turn to 12 months’ time and I believe that Iain has almost completed next years schedule already, which includes a week at South Africa’s leading golf resort Fancourt, at the beginning and end of the tour, together with a week in the middle of the tour in Cape Town and a week at the Arabella Golf Resort, playing a combination of Arabella and Hermanus. If this year is anything to go by, I would suggest booking in quickly for 2018. The golf is simply superb, the scenery stunning and the atmosphere so friendly and vibrant. South Africa’s tourist industry seems to be booming, so the limited rooms we have allocated, once sold, are most unlikely to be increased. I will be updating the blog for a report on this years tour very soon, so keep an eye out.
APRIL IN THE SUN
South Africa of course is eleven months away but we already have quite a few weeks sold out between now and then. March is completely full but we do have places available on Barney’s 1st April Golf & Coaching at the Robinson Club on the Algarve, a perfect location for the coaching weeks. My first tour to Gran Canaria for a Golf Week commencing the 22nd April and an old favourite, a Golf Week with Clinics at the La Cala Resort in Spain, commencing on the 29th April, both still have a few vacancies.
This is the time of year to be thinking of getting your game into shape for the new season. If the overseas weeks don’t fit into your diary, perhaps the UK Academies or UK Golf & Coaching events will. Please have a look at the dates of Barney’s long weekends at Staverton Park, which commence in April and progress through the spring and summer, to take advantage of one of the most experienced and respected coaches in the business who is now well and truly established with DSG.
UK GOLF BREAKS
If coaching is not your thing, but you would like a few days of friendly golf with informal competitions, take a look at this seasons upcoming events at several venues throughout the UK and Ireland. We doubled up on the Woodhall Spa trip in August and both weeks only have a few places left. However, the ever popular Dorset Tour commencing on the June 4th has availability and includes a couple of new courses we have not visited before, Knighton Heath, one of the lovely older clubs in the Bournemouth area and the much heralded newest, Remedy Oaks Golf Club. Barney will be hosting Herefordshire and Monmouthshire tour which commences on the 20th August, and we hope as many as possible will join us both at the reunion event at Staverton Park, early in September.
Still looking at the summer months we must not forget Italy. This tour has become a firm favourite of mine over the years and this years’ 10 day tour from the 24th June, is based in the Piedmont area near Turin and promises to be one of the best yet. Please see full details on the website.
Occasionally it seems various convenient regional airport flights don’t tie in with our arrival and departure dates. If this is the case, please do not be too concerned, as we can arrange for you to arrive or depart a day or two earlier or later if necessary. Simply let us know your requirements.
A FEW TIPS
Now I am going to jump on my high horse and yet again remind you that the key to consistent scoring is your short game. I know I have harped on about it many times, but quite honestly it saddens me, especially overseas, watching so many turning 3 shots into 4,5 or even 6 from less than 50 yards!!
We can get away with murder on the older courses in the UK, landing the ball short and letting it bounce forward, or bumping it along the ground with a 7 iron or even a putter, but on the different grasses or raised greens of Africa, Spain and Portugal it rarely works. And so many are terrified of bunkers. Fear not, they are not that difficult! In almost all instances, hit anywhere between one and four inches behind the ball, with a big enough swing and it will come out easily. Three inches of error and the ball is only 1.68 inches in size!
Yes, reasonable technique is required for all short game, but so often keeping it simple is the answer. Feel and rhythm are of course important elements, and I fully appreciate that this comes and goes, but pay lots of attention to it; concentrate on a few basic elements, both technical and general shot selection, and the rewards will quickly be forthcoming. A little dose of the right application, can work wonders, whereas too much information can be detrimental. If time allows, I would highly recommend that you spend a few days with Barney concentrating on your short game at one of his Staverton Clinics or Coaching breaks; he really is the master of making the game that little bit more simple, with the rewards to boot!
Keep well and may spring be upon us all soon.
All the very best,
I always like March as it signals the beginning of summer, with the clocks going forward later this month. Admittedly, it is difficult to hear the first cuckoo above the howling gale that seemed to have developed in the UK for the past few weeks. The other reason I enjoy March is that it usually finds me in my favourite country (after the UK), Portugal. Home of great fish dishes, super Douro wine and those funky little custard tarts. Oh and the golf is excellent too!
Spring time always fills the mind with new beginnings and I though I would include this terrific golf swing from a young man called Carter who is at the beginning of his golfing journey. I love the suppleness of his swing and although those of us of double digit age (i am informed that Carter is 7) may not be able to fully copy this move, we can all aspire to it.
On the other part of golf, David is quite right in his thoughts on focusing on the short game. We can all take our lead from the latest World Number 1, Dustin Johnson. He has been known for years for his prodigious hitting, however last season he started to become serious about his wedge play. With some work with his coach Claude Harmon (son of Butch) and their attention to the distances he was carrying the ball, he started to dial in these shots much closer. In fact, he now averages 15ft inside 100yards. Start practicing your 15 – 20ft putts (he holes 25% of them on average) and voila you too can become World Number 1. The only problem with this supposition is that the shots under a 100 yards for us are usually our third on the hole rather than the second as in Dustin’s case!
So some work on your wedges and putter over the next few months will pay dividends, better yet come and join us on a Golf and Coaching or Academy weekend this Spring / Summer and we can hone your game in person.
Good luck with your golf
I trust that you are well. March is upon us already, the Easter Eggs are on the shelves, and just occasionally we get a hint of spring too! The Masters is just around the corner and with it a new season.
Thank you to everyone who has travelled and enquired over the last few months.
The weeks and months just seem to go so quickly. It seems like yesterday that we were emailing out the Travel Packs for the January events, South Africa has come and gone, and a very full March will be underway from this Saturday.
David has covered much of the availability for the coming few months, but I thought that I would add a few specifics, so that you can see where there are still vacancies. The details for the coming three months are as follows:
1st April: Tavira Golf & Coaching Week with Barney: 9 places available
22nd April: Gran Canaria Golf Week with David: 8 places available
29th April: La Cala Golf Week with Golf Clinics, with David: 12 places available
29th April: UK Golf & Coaching Weekend, Staverton Park, with Barney: 9 places available
6th May: Tavira Golf & Coaching Week with David: 5 places available
The availability for all of the other events is illustrated on the web-site. Can I highlight both Bulgaria and Prague though in September; both unique and fascinating weeks, and well worth considering.
Please note that the tour details for South Africa 2018 and Thailand 2018 (both in February) will be launched over the coming weeks.
As ever, thank you for your interest in our events, it is for you that we provide them, and our aim always is for you to enjoy and benefit from them.
All the best
I have returned to a wind swept and wet UK which is not very jolly, but it is lovely to be back. I have managed to play 9 holes carrying a few times and eighteen holes around three times since I have been back and David and Barney are right (curses!). 100 yards and in, the answer to my woes on the golf course, so I am going to action what they have both been telling me for the past xx years! Watch this space.
Hope you are all enjoying your golf wherever you are.
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