April flew by again this year. I spent the first week at the Dona Filipa Hotel and San Lorenzo Golf, Easter at Staverton Park running a most enjoyable joint Golf & Coaching programme with Barney and lastly at a new venue for us, the Melanores Golf Resort in Gran Canaria. It’s a great find too! We will be adding reports on each in the blog section of the website.
I haven’t yet spoken to one person who isn’t delighted with Sergio’s long overdue Major win at the Masters. I would love to have seen Justin Rose add a Green Jacket to his US Open win, but on reflection a just result. It was great to watch two Europeans battle it out with such fine sportsmanship that exemplifies our game and I’m sure even Justin is very happy that his friend Sergio has finally captured that elusive Major. And while I’m not much of one for fate, on what would have been Seve’s 60th birthday too! Makes you think sometimes doesn’t it!? Without doubt one of the games best ball strikers, like Langer, Garcia seems to have found a way of getting the ball in the hole. Don’t be surprised, if like Harrington, with one under his belt, a couple more Majors follow.
As many of you know my favourite destination is South Africa and we have just released the February 2018 Tour. While there are many areas to visit, for a golfing holiday, the Fancourt Estate at George is right up there with the best and an hour down the road in the centre of the Garden Route, is Knysna and a little further east, Plettenburg Bay, with numerous courses in the region offering great variety, splendid scenery and an ambience all of their own. The welcome is always friendly, golf and restaurants are as good as they get and at reasonable prices too!
You can’t go to South Africa without a visit to Cape Town and the Winelands. For the 2018 tour, we will have a two centre week in the Western Cape. The first part to visit Cape Town itself and play the areas only true Links course at Milnerton, along with everyone’s favourite, Clovelly. The second half of the week we move a short distance to World Cup and South African Open venue, Erinvale, for a couple of rounds. From here we can wander into the heart of the Winelands, enjoy a game of golf and excellent meal in Stellenbosch, no doubt finding time for a wine tasting lunch or two!
I am often asked about security in South Africa. Whilst we should always be concerned of our safety when travelling, South Africa’s tourist areas are as safe as anywhere else that we travel to. Please don’t let that issue put you off visiting this truly spectacular part of the world. I have spent several weeks there every year since 2002 and not once have I seen a single cause for concern.
Now that May is here the season at home has well and truly started. Club competitions and matches are in full swing which offer a great social scene too. I do think many modern golfers miss out on that side of things and don’t appreciate what can be gained from being a member of a club. While there are still a few clubs with stick in the mud members, most are trying to encourage new blood and are not as old fashioned in their thinking as some believe. I hear people saying how time consuming golf is, but as a member of a club you can pop out and play 6 or 9 holes in an evening or even early morning, whereby green fee payers don’t usually have that option. As a member and with an official handicap, you can also enter various events at other clubs and participate in matches at a far lesser price than a green fee. I know there are pros and cons to the argument but I strongly believe club membership is the best option.
Wherever you play your golf, do have a most enjoyable season.
April is without doubt one of my favourite months as the first week usually finds me in Portugal, and this year I had a brilliant week at the Robinsons Club with a keen group who were excellent value on and off the course. It is also Masters month and sure enough this great tournament once again became the gift that keeps giving. Sergio proved his Major winning credentials and it has been well documented how his love life has given him great stability and happiness which has shown on the course.
Myself and David will concur on that point, and it was lovely to have Liz and Jennie at our recent Easter Golf & Coaching weekend. It is always fun for me to spend time with David and pick up some super tips too!
Our Staverton Park, Daventry Golf & Coaching and Golf Academy programme is underway now and it is a joy to play the ever improving golf course, and their new green keeper is on a real mission to make them the best greens in Northamptonshire. The Hotel is being revamped too, with the new entrance and bar area looking fabulous, so I am looking forward to the events that we have there this spring and summer. It is also worth mentioning that we have tweaked the dates of the events this year to avoid some of particularly busy weekends, which in turn will make for a more relaxed and enjoyable time in the restaurant and bar in the evenings. As David mentioned, the competition season is in full swing, so if you would like to tune up your game please come along to one of our Golf & Coaching or Academy events. I am also looking forward to our tour of Herefordshire, with some excellent courses on our rota , it will, as some President chap is want to say, “be great!”
Looking further ahead, I am counting the weeks and months down until we head off to Asia, Phuket, Bangkok and Hua Hin in Thailand to be exact. All of the courses that we are playing have an excellent reputation, and David will vouch for that having taken groups out there on a number of occasions. Add in the wonderful Thai culture, the weather, the food, the sightseeing that we will be doing, and we have the makings of a truly wonderful tour. David has always raved about touring the Country and Iain loves it so much, that he lives there and we are looking forward to meeting up! We have a real contrast on offer too, with the island life of Phuket, the unique hustle and bustle of Bangkok and then a week in Hua Hin, which is a super resort town with some fabulous golf courses.
One final thought as we get more into playing mode, don’t forget to trust what you have learned and let the swing happen. This amazing sequence of Fred Astaire clipping some shots away with his inimitable dancing is worth looking at, and perhaps not exactly copying, but take the freedom of movement when next on the links.
Good luck with your golf
May already, goodness me! I do hope that you enjoyed the Masters, and it isn’t that long before The Open will be upon us. As with each month, I am writing to let you know of the availability for the forthcoming events, as well as advising of the new events that have been launched.
For the coming few months, we have places available on all of the Golf & Coaching and Golf Academy weekends, at Staverton Park, Daventry although the 14th May Golf Academy is beginning to fill up.
As Barney has mentioned, there are improvements this season at the Staverton Park Hotel, which have both enhanced the golf experience and the quality of staying in the hotel. In terms of the UK golf tour events, we have places available on the Dorset tour and the Herefordshire tour, but just one place each left on the two Lincolnshire golf tours.
For the autumn period, there are places still available for Cork, Bulgaria, Prague and the Porto Golf Week, and we have also now launched a Tavira Golf & Coaching week at the Robinson Club in the Algarve for the week of the 14th October. Moving into November, David’s Arizona tour is virtually full, but we can accommodate one or two more clients depending on the required duration of stay. Barney’s Tenerife Golf & Coaching week too is beginning to fill up, so you may wish to book that one soon, if it is of interest. There is plenty of availability at the moment though on the Tenerife Golf Week.
The Festive tours are also now beginning to book up, although we still have half a dozen or so places available on each trip.
For 2018, the two January events, one being the ‘Almenara Golf & Coaching Week’ and the other the ‘Spain Golf Week’ are both live on the web-site, as are the two long-haul tours in February. As illustrated in both David and Barney’s newsletter entries, David heads to South Africa and Barney to Thailand in south-east Asia. Both super venues from which to escape the British winter. We are also now rolling out the March, April and May 2018 programme, which features the usual favourites of the Robinson Club, the Dona Filipa Resort, an Eastern Algarve tour and a very interesting trip to Lisbon, but the southern side of the city, which we have not explored before. And a potential note for the diary for November 2018, a return to Mauritius.
Keep well, enjoy the new season and we hope to hear from you soon.
With best regards
I really enjoyed attending the Easter Golf and Coaching as it is lovely to catch up with those of you I have met on previous trips and new clients as well.
For those of you with eagle eyes on the website you will note that we have updated the testimonial section. Thank you to those of you who have submitted your comments and we look forward to more to add to this very important part of the website.
Summer is coming and I am a very happy bunny as I am back at my lovely Golf Club (long story) and as David was saying you really can’t beat being a member of a club, when you have great courses and super people to spend time with!
Hope you are all enjoying your golf wherever you are.