During August Barney and I completed our UK Golf & Coaching events at Staverton Park both of which were fully attended. With twenty attendees on each week it was, as always, a real pleasure seeing regular clients return for a MOT and a repair job or two. I understand the trepidation of some first time attendees too, and love the challenge of getting over the message and importance of a few basic principles (even single figure golfers forget them!), which allow clients to move forward from their current level and put them into good use on the course.
The Golf & Coaching weekends are also good social occasions and, whilst we can never guarantee it, we usually have a good mix of couples and single ladies and gents. Special mention must go to Sandra (9 handicap) and Hans (to whom she has to give a few shots!) who joined us from Holland for the first event in August and Giuseppe who flew in from Sicily, navigated the M25 and M20 and British country roads for the first time ever, to attend the second.
Giuseppe with two of the lovely ladies on the weekend, Melanie on the left and Lynne and David demonstrating a pitch shot.
Whilst Giuseppe was with us, his fellow countryman, Pavan, won the Prague European Tour event hot on the heels of Molinari’s Open Championship victory. Giuseppe (19 handicap) felt his short game was holding him back and no doubt, while he may not win on the professional tour, he is another Italian showing great promise! Indeed, following a couple of days of short game coaching he beat me 4 to 2 in an impromptu 6 hole pitching competition…….and no, I didn’t pitch badly or allow him to win!! Our thanks to everyone of course who attends the events, and makes the effort to attend.
Soon this years FedX Cup will be completed and someone will be $10million dollars richer. I thought it quite amusing from Brandt Snedeker when he said he called the PGA Tour a few days after his win to find out when they were going to pay the $10 million into his account just to see what it looked like! And apparently there is a USPGA Club professional called Tommy Fleetwood. He found an unexpected $124,000 dollars in his account when they paid ‘the Tommy Fleetwood’s’ 12th place prize money in the USPGA Championship into his account by mistake!
Of course the big event at the end of this month is the Ryder Cup. There is no doubt Europe will be fielding a very strong team, certainly capable of winning, although I don’t envy Thomas Bjorn having to select four from a deserving five or six other contenders. However, a glance at the list of those qualified already for the American team and then the next few on the list for Captain Furyk to choose from looks quite formidable. Thank goodness Woods doesn’t have much more than an average record and a crocked back, Mickelson at 48 is far too old, Spieth can no longer putt, Fowler still can’t win a major and Dustin and Brooke’s long hitting can only get them in trouble in France……..!!?
It seems despite the usual wet Bank Holiday the warm summer is due to continue, so enjoy the rest of the season and the extra distance off the tee while it lasts!
Like David I really enjoyed our Golf and Coaching Weekends at Staverton this August. I am still of an age where I find the internet amazing, as incredibly I managed to live approximately 40 years without it and how it brings golfers to our events. This year in Sesimbra we were joined by our American friend Mike, who was living in Poland and fancied some golf in Portugal. Along with Hans and Sandra, Guiseppe and Sandra from Switzerland who came to Tenerife, we are so fortunate that the internet has allowed this to happen.
One message I am always keen to get over on our golf and coaching events is really in the first session that I do and that of a proper warm up, pre golf or practice come to that. These exercises not only warm up the muscles, but I genuinely believe having coached for a few years now (30+ years, but I did turn pro when I was at nursery!) that they help our basic swing motion. In fact I encourage students to do them at home for general conditioning.
The Ryder Cup is now firmly in view and Thomas Bjorn has opted for the tried, tested and experienced quartet of Sergio, Casey, Stenson and the effervescent Ian Poulter. Personally I would have liked to see perhaps a couple of younger picks in there, however the Captain knows the game inside out and the team dynamics, so in Thomas we trust! As David said clearly the USA team has all sorts of problems with their games and Europe should canter home with the Trophy pretty comfortably.
With so much tedious political talk of separations and one up man ship it’s good to know golf brings people together to have fun (and the odd bit of shared frustration too!) on the course and then just as importantly camaraderie off it.
Looking forward to my forthcoming trips to Shropshire and Spain for what will be a fun golf week at Guadalmina Spa and Golf Resort and then the Golf with Clinics at the revamped Benalup. All three trips offer some great courses for golfing delight.
All the best
I trust that you are well and looking forward to the promise of an extended warm summer!
It seems surreal that we are in September already; where oh where does the time go?! I have to smile, it seems like last week that I was sending out the Travel Packs for the January ‘Algarve Golf Week’ event, and yet I am already immersed in the 2020 season, planning trips to British Columbia and other new destinations. On the point of British Columbia, may I thank everyone who has sent their suggestions for future tour venues. A return to British Columbia was certainly top of the ‘wish list’, as well as new locations in Spain for example, and a possible tour to Croatia as well.
Returning to the present, there are still places available on the autumn programme. We have places available for the ‘Spain Golf Week’ at the Guadalmina Resort, near Marbella for the week of the 6th October and a few spaces left on the ‘Benalup Golf Week with Clinics,’ in Spain, which commences on the 13th October. There are also a couple of places available on the ‘Tenerife Golf & Coaching’ week, which commences on the 3rd November, although the ‘Tenerife Golf Week’ which commences on the 10th November is now fully booked.
For clients looking to spend the Festive period in Portugal, there are a few places available on both David’s Tavira Golf Tour and Barney’s Vilamoura golf tour, and likewise on David’s New Year Vilamoura tour. The Festive tours always provide a wonderful opportunity for some winter sun (the weather has been good to us in December for years!) and to spend Christmas and New Year in the company of like minded golfers, together with enjoying the camaraderie of these tours. Moving in to January, the ever popular ‘Algarve Golf Week’ at the end of January is beginning to fill up quite quickly now; hence if this week is of interest, early booking is recommended. We also have the customary ‘Golf & Coaching’ week, the week before at the El Rompido Resort, on the Costa de la Luz, which was a tremendous success this year.
For the February and March period next year, we are providing the dual choice of long-haul trips (Southern California and South Africa) and events closer to home, with a Canary Islands Golf Week taking place in February and a welcome return to Morocco in March. Both the ‘Gran Canarias Golf Week’ and the ‘Morocco Golf Week’ are almost fully booked though; hence again if these trips are of interest, please let me know.
I’ll focus on the spring and summer events in future newsletters, although do keep an eye out for updates as we are looking to have the complete programme for the year live within the coming weeks.
I must however make mention of Mauritius, which will take place in November 2019. If you don’t mind, I’ll give you an insight in to the workings of the golf holiday market, and indeed the holiday market in general. Taking Mauritius as a perfect example, all but one of the Golf Resorts have imposed a collective policy whereby they will not allow groups (more than 16 people) to pre-book golf or pre-pay for golf. The golf must be booked and paid for on arrival by each individual tour group. Not only that, but when a booking is placed, the Resorts request an immediate payment of 50% of the tour booking! Thankfully one Resort, and a super one at that, the Anahita Resort, has broken ranks and will allow pre-booking and pre-payment of the golf, but in order to avoid paying 50% on booking, we must send them less than 16 clients! It all sounds rather daft I know, but it is a modern day trend, where hotels the world over pursue full occupancy of their rooms (and a maximum financial return) via internet sales and think that the groups market is an old dinosaur that should be banished to the confines of history!
Long term though, the strategy starts to unravel, as the consumer waits for last minute deals and the financial returns for the hotels start to diminish. Unfortunately though, so many hotels succumb to the temptation of the ‘maximum room rate’ and try to banish the groups market, who have the audacity to ask for reduced rates! The good news though, is that the Mauritius tour is on and will be based at the fabulous Anahita Resort. Having spent the best part of two months trying to negotiate a way to send them clients, I can now tuck in to writing up the tour itinerary and launching the tour on the website. On a wider note, it is fascinating (and at times exasperating!) how the market changes with advancing technology, market trends and modern day commercial thinking, and how that in turn influences our thinking and planning. Enough of market insight chitter chatter, I need to finalise the programme for 2019 and ensure that all of the events are live on the website as quickly as possible.
Enjoy the drama of the Ryder Cup at the end of the month, and may the summer golf season extend well in to October weather wise.
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.
I am not changing my photo yet as I am still over the moon about Fred Couples and my husband! Since the beginning of the year I have started to do the P word (practice for those of you not in the know) and it is starting to pay off, not just in the two shots off my handicap but generally enjoying my rounds more. To be fair it has taken me quite a few years to start practising outside of my lessons and I have all sorts of excuses as to why I haven’t done so. But now I have said it out loud I will have to continue, thanks Barney.
Really looking forward to next week in Shropshire and then we are off to Florida for my mums 90th Birthday celebrations. I will be glued to the Ryder Cup before I return home and it will be interesting watching it from the US perspective. Come on the blues!!!
Until the next Newsletter, enjoy your golf wherever you are.