The Olympics dominated my August TV viewing!! I found it fascinating watching, and marvelled at the various sports that we only watch every four years! How certain athletes can dominate and constantly win by split second margins in a way that can never happen in golf is surely a sign of unfathomable talent, dedication and determination.
Constantly in contention, top ten finishes and one or two wins per season is the sign of that type of talent in our game. Majors of course are our measure of that over used word, greatness. Very few win more than one and a few are won by journeymen, but four or five is arguably a sign of greatness. Only five golfers in almost a century have won all four of the annually played majors in a life time. Tiger on 14 is the only person to hold all four at once and of course Jack leads with 18, both well ahead of the rest, but nobody has won them in one season to achieve golfs holy grail, ‘The Grand Slam’.
We know the hours and hours of tortuous training these athletes put in for very little financial reward and I thought it a lovely moment in the studio, when several competitors of past and present, talking of the difference lottery funding has made to the various sports, were able to joke about gold medal winner, Justin Rose’s arrival in his own private jet! Privileged, yes, but I think we should all appreciate how very hard today’s golfers work to reach and stay at the top of their profession.
Talking about flying to golf events, I completed my last UK event of 2016 at Staverton over the August Bank Holiday weekend (a report is in the blog) and my overseas programme commences 10th September in Wexford, south east Ireland from where I fly directly to Gothenburg for our second Swedish Tour. If last years tour of Malmo is anything to go by, I can highly recommend this as a last minute getaway.
While there are one or two places available (please check the website) most of our events are full or well booked until the new year, so much so that we have put together a second Christmas and New Year programme hosted by Barney and Jennie.
Moving into 2017, we commence with a Golf & Coaching week at my original coaching venue on the Costa del Sol, La Quinta, 14th January and move back down the road to Fuengirola, 21st January for the popular mid winter Golf Week.
La Quinta has excellent coaching facilities at their purpose built academy and 27 holes of golf that is always kept in fine condition. The Marbella Banus Melia Hotel within walking distance of the port and beach has been well received over the past three years and compliments the week which is on a half board basis.
The 4 star Ilunion beach front hotel in Feungirola will lend itself to a good choice of restaurants for our usual evenings out on the town! This year we have chosen two of the original courses at Mijas, both refurbished and modernised over recent years without compromising the original Trent Jones design. We will play each twice and a round at many peoples favourite course on the Costa del Sol, Santana. Built on an old Avocado farm it would certainly be top of my list in this area. All three courses are easily walkable, generally plenty of room off the tee with the challenge of avoiding good bunkering and hitting to the correct part of large greens. Cable Robinson built Santana and he was the right hand man in Europe of the afore mentioned renown Robert Trent Jones who’s philosophy was; “Pars should be difficult, bogeys easy!” Oh yes, and when playing the Lagos course remember his quote; “The difference between a water hazard and a sand bunker is the same as a plane crash and a car crash. You have a better chance of getting out of one of them!”.
You will see several new venues on our itinerary for 2017 and full details will be finalised very soon of which I hope you agree is a good mix of old favourites and new events. Following your response to my love of Woodhall Spa, details are already on the website and bookings taken for our Lincolnshire Tour at the end of July, a little in the future I know, but its never to early to book and I hope to see you there, where Trent Jones bunker comment will be put seriously to the test!!
Fingers crossed for a sunny autumn of UK golf and I look forward to seeing you in various parts of the world in the coming months.
Like David I really enjoyed the Olympics and although I was slightly ambivalent towards golf being in the games, Justin Rose’s great performance won me over. My concern with golf and tennis is that they receive such amazing coverage that they may overshadow a sport that has to wait four years for some exposure. However, I was assured this just added to what is now regarded as a festival of sport, so you only have to see Justin Rose’s Cheshire cat like smile with his medal on to realise it means a lot to him!
Our next golfing focus is the Ryder Cup at the end of this month. Darren Clarke wisely went for experience with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer and made a bold choice with fast rising Belgian star Thomas Pieters. With his second place followed by a win, clearly he is a man in form and perhaps he is being lined up to play with Martin which would make a formidable pairing. At the time of writing this, Rory has just won on the PGA Tour, so perhaps the gloom and doom of a predicted European loss is unfounded and we can upset the odds again?
Coming up to my last UK event at Staverton this year and I have really enjoyed working with clients past and new and looking forward to the 2017 UK Programme. I saw this fun YouTube clip as to why the Pro Tracer used for Pro Golfers, isn’t used in amateur competitions and thought you might enjoy it.
The nights are now beginning to draw in and definitely thinking about sunny skies in Tenerife and Madeira with the trips I am hosting in November. Madeira has some space on it and it was terrific last year, so if you fancy a pre Xmas golf tonic this should tick the box.
Jennie and I will be hosting our first holiday in the sun for the festive season this year. We are both really excited and looking forward to it. Lagos is a great town and sea views are always a tonic and then Vilamoura for New Year should be very festive.
Good luck with your upcoming golf challenges and may your good shots outweigh your not so good ones!
I trust that you are well and looking forward to the Ryder Cup. With so much sport having taken place in the last few weeks’, the Ryder Cup has almost crept up on us, but should now take centre stage. It seems extraordinary that we are now in September; where does the time go. Indeed, the last of our UK events takes place this coming weekend.
We actually worked out today that 112 places were available on our Golf & Coaching and Golf Academy weekends this year, 92 of which were booked. Thank you to everyone for booking these events and we very much hope that they proved fruitful to your game.
Looking ahead to the autumn and the run up to the festive season, we have three places available for the Porto Golf & Cuisine week, which has proved to be extremely popular. With a fantastic ‘Palace’ to stay in, some fine golf and a range of culinary dinner experiences included each night, the week is certainly a winning formula. For November, the Tenerife week has also proved extremely popular and at the time of writing, there are just two places remaining. The Maderia Golf Week with Clinics is also now starting to fill up. With a super hotel in Funchal, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, two wonderful golf courses in Santo de Serra and Palheiro, plus Barney’s Golf Clinics, the week really is an ideal escape from the clutches of the British winter. David is of course heading east to Sri Lanka, and we do still have places available on the tour. We have actually tweaked the programme slightly, so that we now have a four night stay at the 5 star Shangri La Hotel near Galle, with a fewer nights in Colombo and Newaeliya. This has enhanced the trip, in the sense that all of the original elements of the tour are retained, but we now have four nights by the Indian Ocean as well, in one of the finest hotels on the Sri Lankan coast. If you are tempted, there are still places available!
With regards to the Festive season, I am very pleased to confirm that Barney and Jennie’s tours to Lagos and Vilamoura over Christmas and New Year, are now officially ‘on’! We have had sufficient interest in both trips to allow them to proceed. Lagos is a wonderful town in the western Algarve, with immense charm and character, and you would be playing the finest courses in the region. Vilamoura is of course the epicentre of golf in the Algarve and simply makes for an inviting retreat from the cold, short days back at home. If you do wish to attend one or both of these events, please let us know.
As David has mentioned, the traditional format of the ‘Golf & Coaching Week’ and ‘Golf Week’ takes place in January, at La Quinta and Fuengirola respectively. These are always popular events, and with places limited to 12 on the La Quinta week in particular, early booking is recommended.
For February, David and many clients escape to the warmth and wonders of the Western Cape and Garden Route in South Africa. Although the first week at Fancourt is fully booked, we do still have places available for the Cape Town week and the week in Knysna to follow, and also with the option of a four night extension at Fancourt from the 25th February.
Moving on to March, April and May, our initial plans have been thrown a little up in the air, by the very disappointing news that the Robinson Club in Tavira, are actively discouraging single occupancy bookings of their rooms. The Resort has unfortunately imposed a drastic single room supplement of 70 Euro’s per night for single occupancy rooms, which very sadly means that we cannot continue to use the Resort, as such a levy on clients requiring single occupancy rooms, is simply unacceptable. With Turkey and North Africa currently off the golf tourism map, the Algarve has seen a surge in demand from across Europe, and some of the Resorts and Golf Clubs, including the Robinson Club, have shall we say, become a little starry eyed, with the Euro’s they can potentially make, and have raised their prices and altered their terms and conditions accordingly. We hope for the 2018 season that common sense will have returned, and that we may once again utilise the hotel and the two courses on-site.
Every cloud has a silver lining though, and to replace the Robinson Club in 2017, we are looking at a combination of the Dona Filipa Hotel, playing San Lorenzo and Pinheiros Altos, and the Penina Resort. The full programme for March, April and May will be illustrated on the web-site very shortly, once the events have been finalised. Bookings are being taken however, for the two San Lorenzo weeks already in place, as well as the annual trip to the La Cala Resort.
With regards to the UK season next year, the Easter Golf & Coaching weekend is now illustrated on the web-site. Please note that the event commences on Easter Saturday next year and completes on the Tuesday. This is always such a popular event, hosted by both David and Barney; hence please do put your name down early if you wish to book, as we only have 20 places available (two groups of 10). The dates for the full ‘Golf & Coaching’ and ‘Golf Academy’ programme will also go live on the web-site in the coming weeks.
For next autumn, look out for a week in Prague and a week in Bulgaria, both in September, a return to Porto and the much anticipated trip to Arizona in November 2017. All of these events are currently being worked upon and will be launched in due course.
As ever, thank you for the events that you have booked, or expressed an interest in, and we very much hope that one or more of the events over the next 12 months will prove of interest and temptation.
Enjoy the drama of the Ryder Cup!
All the best,
It has been a rather hectic few weeks since the last newsletter with trying to fit in my golf as well as updating the website! Like you I am looking forward to the Ryder Cup, but I am also looking forward to Strictly this year as my golfing buddy Naga Munchetty is taking part, so I am hoping she will do well!
On the website you can use the calendar to find out if we are running events on dates that suit you. We also display the countries we are visiting to help you to see what events are on.
Keep giving us your feedback on the events and enjoy your golf.
With kind regards,
David and the team
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