Author: ggg127web

G for Gen X Golfers

G for Gen X Golfers

Having had a birthday yesterday, today I decided to fly the flag for my generation.  Who is a Gen X golfer?  Remember Baby boomers?  Well Gen X is the next phase on – 1965 to 1980, although there is some overlap, this is the general birth date range.

⛳Five consideration or traits of a Gen X person:

?First generation to have home computers

?Grew up with the word ‘alternative’ whether that is people, music or whatever

?Creative innovators with the aim of making the world a better place

?They have a higher chance of being laid off, outsourced, or relocated therefore acquiring many different skill sets to survive

?They embrace technology and social media

Often called the options, the latchkey or the grunge generation – all seem fitting.  Squeezed between baby boomers and millennials they are the first generation to experience high rates of parental divorce.

⛳Naturally this doesn’t apply to all Gen X and is only a quick summary.

⛳What can the Gen X bring to golf?

The thrill seekers looking for meaning in their lives, which could be seen as a midlife crisis!   Often wanting more as they near retirement and questioning themselves more too.  This next generation of retirees, often take early retirement in good health and with a reasonable income due to their work hard, play hard ethic.  They have a desire to travel, share and enjoy.

⛳The wider golf industry, (not just local golf clubs benefiting from increased membership numbers), coming out of the back of covid could really benefit from this generation engaging more with the sport.  It wasn’t that long ago that golf was seen as a retirement sport.   With the Gen X retiring younger, being fitter and having a lust to engage with all things golf, they really are the low hanging fruit for growth across the golf industry.

⛳I love playing golf with any golfer of any age, ability or gender, and I do particularly like it when all generations get involved from one family.  Unlike some sports, golf can bring the whole family together with fun rivalry balanced out by the handicap system.

⛳But talking about females in particular, I’ve also always felt that the 40 plus woman is the low hanging fruit to easily grow numbers in female golf participation.  This doesn’t mean that women and girls under the age of 40 aren’t, it means there are a greater percentage of females over this age who have had their families, who have a bit more time and a bit more cash to spend, who could be engaged to take up golf.  

⛳I did a quick survey for an article last year, speaking to a selection of golf clubs in the UK, I asked them about female golf membership.  Most had seen an increase in female golf membership, but when breaking it down even further, most, over 70% of these new female members, were over the age of 40.

⛳The travel side of golf could benefit enormously by tapping into this relatively easy to engage generation, as could apparel and the spin offs to many industries in the golf industry.

⛳So when thinking growth, lets embrace all generations – all have something unique and exciting to offer this great sport of Golf.

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**Not all images are Gen X Golfers, but show all golfers

H for Harley

H for Harley

?‍?Not at all golf related, or even travel – but the one thing that has kept us entertained, sane and busy, Harley our black Labrador.

From the moment we got him aged just 8 weeks, our household was in danger of never being the same again.  He never ate any walls, chewed any slippers or tried to go upstairs or slide onto the sofas.  He did however, pee everywhere, ate anything that dropped on the floor and was as mischievous as any youngster, dog or otherwise.

?‍?We took him to puppy training classes where he won most improved, got to say it wasn’t difficult with the assortment of shapes, sizes and sharp teeth on offer.  He proudly displayed his blue ribbon on his cage until one day he got bored and ate it.

Harley loves his toys, especially the squeaky ones.  His current favourite is Teddy Edward, a dog or maybe even a teddy with a squeaky belly and a multicoloured scarf.  He tosses it around, catches it and does it all again.  Removing all breakable ornaments, plants and anything below ceiling height, it really is great to watch him play.  Then he chews it, we tell him off, he rests his head on Teddy’s belly then starts all over again a few moments later.  

?‍?When you walk in the door he has something to give you.  If you ignore him, he still keeps trying to give you something, bumping it into your leg, just to get your attention.  We’ve had dog toys, slobbered scarves, gloves, shoes, towels, plastic cups and one of his favourite offerings freshly, yet carefully, picked stash from the card recycling bin.  A fine reward, just for coming home.

?‍?Simple in his approach to life, he loves to chase a ball.  In fact he’s so ball blind, very little distracts him, not even another dog.  A squirrel on the other hand is fair game as he hurtles towards the fast squirrel trying to catch it.  Coming to an abrupt stop almost head butting the tree as the sneaky little thing climbs higher, taunting him.

?‍?His ever present wagging tail, whacking you on the head as you bend down to tie your shoes up.  The perfect height for any coffee table, that tail can be lethal as cups and their contents go flying across the room.  Food on a plate on the coffee table – well thats just his – in his mind.  You say no, and he licks his lips backing away knowing that if you move, it is bound to end up in his mouth.

?‍?He never begs at the table or in the kitchen, but we never seem to have bits on floors either?  He does however, sleep under the table whilst we eat.  He knows when its bed time, he tells us to stop watching a load of rubbish on television when he wants to go to bed, after his quick relief outside.

?‍?And would you believe he can pee on command – very useful indeed!

?‍?As with many, lockdown was tough.  Having Harley nagging for his walks and demanding our attention gave us some purpose to the ground hog days of lockdown.

?‍?His way to get our attention was to squeeze his incredibly hard nose under our arms and shove upwards, hoping the loose arm might land on his body somewhere for a stroke.  If he was in luck it did, whereupon he’d do a circle under the newly found stroking implement so he gets a good rub.  The nose shoving often resulted in spilt drinks, but he didn’t care, he’d got our attention by then!

He’s a long legged lab, he never quite grew into his legs but he’s as quick as a whippet (not squirrel) and as daft as a brush and we love him.  Long walks twice a day, a bit of ball chasing , two square meals of the same boring brown biscuit stuff which he devourers in seconds, water, a little love and kindness and the rewards are there to be had.

?‍?Now he is on permanent holiday with his other Mummy and Daddy and not having him here this week has been strange.  Smiling at the thought of them being woken up by his tail bashing on the wall, the odd bark which makes you jump out of your chair and the constant falling over him as he’s always in the way, gives us some pleasure.

?‍?So forgive my little indulgence when talking about Harley, but any dog, or cat owner knows how much they become part of your family, and how much we allow them to.

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I for Italy

I for Italy

??With the Ryder Cup being played at Marco Simone next year it seems appropriate to talk about Italy.

Marco Simone is located just 10 miles outside the city of Rome.  In the 1970’s   the Italian fashion designer, Laura Biagiotti together with her husband Gianni Cigna lived in the converted castle of Marco Simone which gives its name to the golf course.  David Fazio and David Mezzacane designed the golf course in 1989.  I had the good fortune of playing Marco Simone just one year after the announcement was made to host the Ryder Cup there.  I recall the pretty holes, the undulating pastureland and the imposing tower on the hill which dates back to year 1000.  A lovely course with some great challenges.  It will be interesting to see what they have done to accommodate the Ryder Cup fans and players next year. I also played Circolo del golf de Rome with the beaver wandering around it gave a sense of tranquility.  Small streams traversing the course certainly gave many opportunities to see these little creatures going about their business as you did yours, playing golf in amongst them.

??Another foray into Italy was not golf related, but had a totally different level of excitement.  My brother had an Aston Martin DB9 which we drove jointly from the UK down to Italy over a few weeks.  There was barely enough space for my bag let alone golf clubs, so they were bumped off the essential list pretty quickly.  Venturing into Italy we drove up and down Stelvio Pass a number of times before heading back down the other side on the San Bernardino Pass into Switzerland.  Leaving the sunshine at the bottom we were met by snow boarders as we parked up at the top.  Looping back round to settle at the beautiful Lake Maggiore for a day or so before heading over to the Ferrari factory near Moderna where I left him to continue his journey.

??A more recent golf trip was to San Remo, playing the surprisingly quaint course at Circolo Golf Degli Ulivi.  Undulating and challenging it still shows history of yesteryear with its remnants of industrial follies.  I recall a stunning hole over a ravine with the landscape spread out in front of us and the sea beyond.  I played golf with a couple of local members, who were accommodating and friendly helping me navigate the course.  Being there at the same time as the Cannes film festival bought its own highlights.  We were stopped playing golf on the 18th approach shot as a private helicopter landed delivering a Chinese film star ready to play 18 holes of golf herself.

??Staying at the stunning less shabby more chic Royal Hotel San Remo, a huge imposing but very comfortable hotel with amazing views across the Mediterranean sea.  One highlight of staying at this superb hotel was the unique and delicious olive oil tasting.  A multi course meal, with each course having some element of olive oil in it – even dessert!  Wow that was delicious.

Whilst in San Remo, I also played Garlenda golf course. As pretty as the name suggests, hilly in places and flat in others, it is a course one can relax whilst playing.  Enjoying  a friendly and homely atmosphere afterwards in the clubhouse

??One final thing I learned from my various trips to Italy: fresh pasta is the best.  A complete convert to fresh pasta, the dried stuff doesn’t even grace our kitchen cupboards anymore!

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J for Japan

J for Japan

??I have been lucky enough to visit Japan for golf three times.  The forward thinking Mie Prefecture first came onto the scene as a golf destination but I will be honest with you, I thought hum… not sure about that…

A couple of years later I’m on a plane to, yep you’ve guess it, Mie Prefecture for a trip.  I am delighted to say, my initial response was completely wrong, Mie, (and as I later learned, all of Japan) is stunning and it has some cracking golf, history and things to do by the bucket load.  

??The golf courses I’ve played in Mie – Excellent, the Ise Otori course, very much like a wide American style course, beautifully manicured, Tsu Country Club – certainly one of my favourites in Mie being an undulating course with tons of challenges and deep bunkers!, Nagashima, an almost typical English course with trees lining the fairways and water in play, Nemu Golf Course, a surprisingly beautiful course overlooking Ago Bay and Chunichi Country Club with three nines of very playable, undulating terrain.

??But when visiting Japan, it isn’t all about the golf.  For example in Mie Prefecture, there are the Ama divers, who dive for the daily catch and sadly are a dying breed.  If you like pearls, Mie is also home to Mikimoto Pearl Island, the home of cultured pearls and of course not forgetting Japanese gastronomy.  Who could resist a good masusaka beef with its mouth watering marbled effect and the result of the lovingly cared for cattle.  Another first for me was visiting the Sand Therapy, Sawa.  Lying on hot sand beds wearing only a yukata, you are covered in hot sand and left to sweat.  As horrible as that might sound, it was surprisingly therapeutic and definitely an activity I’d do again as you come away feeling cleansed.

??Travelling around Japan a little, I’ve got to experience Shizuoka Prefecture too.  Home of Mount Fuji, or commonly called Fuji san.  If a cloud is covering Mount Fuji when you look up, it is said to be shy.  Whilst plans were in place to play golf with Mount Fuji overlooking, sadly it wasn’t to be as the weather closed in.  However, I did get to play the Fuji Course at Kawana, part fo the Prince Hotel group, its presence in the Top 100 is justly deserved.  Elevated tees, shapely fairways guiding the eye to the green, even if the ball didn’t go that way!  And the imposing and eye popping  Pacific Ocean lying immediately to your left from the elevated tee box.  In Shizuoka, I did get to experience a beer tasting too.  Not something I’d normally do, but enough to make me bring some home for hubby to try.  A prefecture known for Green tea production, even myself as a non tea drinker, enjoyed the delicate and freshness of taste presented.

??Whilst only dipping my toe in Gifu Prefecture, and not for golf, it gave me another insight into Japanese life as we stayed with a local lady to get the full Japanese experience, and I loved it.  We visited a communal Onsen and bathed as the locals did.  We also go to try bear, not a meat I’ve had before but with the abundance of forest around it is hardly surprising this was on the menu, and whilst a little fatty, was just as good as anything I’d tasted before.

??Shiga Prefecture, an up coming prefecture with loads to offer.  Playing golf at Seta golf course, multiple host to the women’s Toto Japan Classic there are actually three golf courses on the Prince Hotel site.  Playing golf with local Japanese men was such a laugh, and at the time of playing it was winter so the grass was yellow in its dormancy which made for great photos.  I also got to play Ryuo golf course with a lovely old Japanese gent who didn’t understand much English, but way more than I understood Japanese!  Shiga’s beating heart is arguably Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan.  Whilst in Shiga take a ride up Mount Hiei on the Sakamoto Cable car, the longest funicular line in Japan which slowly trundles its way uphill to the Enryaku-ji temple, stunning in its peaceful presence.

??One more prefecture to tell you about, Hyogo.  Home of Kobe, which is the 7th largest city in Japan and home to the infamous Kobe beef.  My visit to Hyogo took in the amazing Golden Castle, Himeji.  Glistening in the sunlight the building is actually white, but exudes warmth as you near its base.  Climbing what must have been thousands (I’ve been known to exaggerate!) of stairs to reach its top and overlook the town spread out beneath us.  Hyogo is one of only a few prefectures that has two separate coastlines; the Sea of Japan to the North and the Seto Island Sea to the South.

??Playing golf on the Yokawa course at Hanayashiki near Miki City with the friends from the golf club and local offices was delightful.  Their forever patience with me whipping out the camera at every opportunity and their willingness to please made for a great days golf on a stunning course – one I’d like to get to know more.  Tokyu Grand Oak was the only other course I played in Hyogo, nice wide spaces and room for error, or so you thought as you stood on the tee watching your ball make its way into the abundant pines and cypress trees!  Nicely undulating and in great condition.  Reflections on the water in winter made for some dramatic images as did the changing colours of the trees.

??Ive got to say, every golf course I played in Japan was in fantastic condition.

That almost concludes my little zip around Japan with you, except one thing – the Shinkansen (bullet train) – one word – wow, oh and one more word- precision.  What a delight!

??Whilst you’re enjoying watching Japan speed by, your golf clubs have been picked up from the last golf club and are happily making their way to your next one by road, giving you time to soak up all Japan has to offer

??If this article really tantalises your taste buds, check out our video, ‘Kicking around in Kansai’ on You Tube Travelling Lady Golfer, please do subscribe if you like it.

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K for King

K for King

?I’m not talking Elvis, I’m talking the King of Golf – Arnold Palmer.

From humble beginnings he was given a golf club at the age of 3 by his father and told to hit the ball as hard as he could.

?Palmer was a kind man and was seen as a trailblazer, his straight forward talking and popularity helped changed the perceptions of golf as an elitist sport.  In the 1960’s together with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, the ‘big three’ were the popular golfing stars bringing golf to the masses and allegedly commercialising the sport around the world.  His fan base were called Arnie’s Army.  It was his fans that dubbed him the King due to his humility, amongst other reasons.

?He was an accomplished pilot.  He undertook his pilots license to conquer fears of flying, in fact Westmoreland County Airport in Latrobe, his home town, was renamed Arnold Palmer Regional Airport for his 70th birthday in 1999.   In 55 years he logged nearly 20,000 hours of flying time in various aircraft.

?He first visited Florida in 1948 for a college match.  When he took up residency he was instrumental in making Orlando a recreational destination “turning the entire state of Florida into a golfing paradise”  His home town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania became his Spring and Summer home, spending his winters in Orlando, Florida and La Quinta California.

?With a desire to emulate Sneed, Hogan and Bobby Jones and with the Masters and US Open wins under his belt he entered the Open in Scotland in 1960.  With expensive and therefore prohibitive travel from US, The Open wasn’t on the cards for most Americans, but when Palmer entered the thoughts changed.  He carded 71, 69, 67, 69 but lost out by one point to Australian, Kel Nagel.  But he did win the hearts of the British and cemented his popularity on both sides of the pond.

?He holds seven Major Championship wins; The Masters four times, The US Open once and the Open twice.  His best years on the circuit were between 1960 and 1963 when he won 29 PGA events.  Overall he carded 95 professional wins during his 60 year career.

?His rivalry and friendship with Jack Nicklaus is legendary, they had a unique collaboration when designing the King and Bear course in St Augustine, Florida.

Some fun facts you might know about the King:

⛳He was a staunch supporter of Rangers FC, Scotland

⛳Palmer gained a scholarship at Wake Forest University, North Carolina

⛳He left University and enlisted as a US Coast Guard for three years in New Jersey

⛳At the coast guard training centre, he built a nine hole golf course

⛳He bought his first car dealership in 1974, this was a Cadillac dealership and the first of many car dealership purchases 

⛳He turned pro in 1954 after winning the US Amateur in Detroit

⛳Before turning pro he was a paint salesman

⛳1954 was a busy year as he met and married his wife of 45 years, Winifred Walzer

⛳He was the first golfer on the PGA tour to reach $1million earnings

⛳From 2007 until his death, Palmer served as an honorary starter for the Masters

⛳With his golf course design company, Arnold Palmer Design Company, formed with Ed Seay, he designed over 300 courses across 37 states and 25 countries including the first modern course in China in 1988

⛳ He is credited in the James Bond’s Goldfinger when Bond’s caddie said ‘if thats Goldfinger’s ball, I’m Arnold Palmer’

⛳ He created the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation to help children and youths, with spin offs to various hospitals and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve

⛳A World Golf Hall of Fame he was indoctrinated in 1974

?Some Arnold Palmer courses I’ve played are King & Bear, Isleworth and Reunion in Florida, USA and also the K Club in Ireland – hum,  296 more to play!

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L for Lisbon

L for Lisbon

⛳It has to be said, Lisbon is still one of our favourite European cities.  We first visited almost 30 years ago on a quick city break. We loved the old side of the city.  Going out for dinner one night we were encouraged to go into a restaurant by an older lady ushering us in.  So we went in, down the stairs into what can only be described as someones living room.  Two tables were set up, one larger one was full of local diners and a smaller one for us.  We sat and ate some of the most delicious local food, not overly pretty and certainly not tweaked to death or sprinkled with a cover all mask of herbs.  

⛳Visiting many times since, we have seen Lisbon evolve,  and we still love it.

I’ve even slept in Ronaldo’s bed – yeah, might have used artistic license there as I stayed in the Pestana CR7 hotel.  Kitted out with football memorabilia, it was surprisingly comfortable and a great location to explore the city.

When taking a golf break, this is the kind of location that its almost essential to take a few extra days in Lisbon.  Visiting the Monument to Discovories (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) a 52 meter monument celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator.  Imposing in its size and bright white in the sunshine, it sits proudly on the side of the River Tagus.  

Just across the road in this part of Belem, Lisbon is a delight not to be missed, the freshly baked Pastel de Nata.   Baked using the traditional recipe dating back to 1837.

⛳With regards to the golf, outside Lisbon, is a lovely Cynthia Dye designed course in West Cliffs, a links course with amazing views.  Praia d’El Rey (home of one of my nearly holes in one) is just along the coast from West Cliffs make this one hour trip from Lisbon worth while  Both courses are stunning to play so Id definitely be going back to play them again.

⛳Short stays at Dolce Campo Real, Quint da Marinha or Penha Longa are also available for golfers.. So a few nights in Lisbon and a few nights at one of these resorts, and the holiday is made! 

⛳Another course of note is Troia, set on the peninsular and therefore a little bit of a journey but its a Robert Trent Jones Snr design and a stunning course.  Other course within spitting distance of Lisbon are Estoril, Oitavos Dunes, Belas Club de Campo, Lisbon Sports Club, Pestana, Aroeira one and two, Quinta do Peru, Ribagolfe, Dom Sucesso and the wonderful Royal Óbidos.  Of course there are more, but I haven’t played them all – yet!

Quinta do Peru, Golf Club, Lisbon

⛳Another place you might want to visit when in this part of the world is Òbidos, its just a nice quaint cobbled street town of original character, good restaurants and cherry cup to grab as you enjoy wandering around the town.

⁉️ Have you been to Lisbon? 

⁉️ Would you go to Lisbon?

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M for Motocaddy

M for Motocaddy

Not 1️⃣, not 2️⃣, not 3️⃣, not 4️⃣but 5️⃣Motocaddy products reviewed in one YT video!

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⛳We’ve been using the M1 and pro-series bag for a few months but decided to add to our Motocaddy family the M1DHC and the hydro flex golf bag so we can cover every eventuality – then we thought, why not add the accessory kits – so did that too!

⛳Got to say they are tough pieces of kit and we’re glad we invested in them.

⛳The M1 is really all one needs for a good electric trolley but as my home course is on a hill and can therefore be a bit windy, the M1 DHC is better for me as it doesn’t move unless the power is on.

⛳I loved the size of the Pro series cart bag, but with the benefit of hindsight probably should have got the waterproof one!

⛳The new addition is the hydro flex bag and in truth if you’re after a good all rounder – this fits the bill nicely.

⛳We loved the easilock system – which is unusually available for both the cart and the carry bag – they simply slot in and are engaged with the trolley – brilliant.

⛳The accessory kit is a must, but then I’ve never really had such luxury as a drinks holder and somewhere to put the score card out of the wet, so to me these are luxury items but worth the investment.   In fact it is more cost effective to buy the kit than the four individual items.

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⛳Our reviews are unbiased and based on experience of usage, or proposed usage.

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N for Northern Ireland

N for Northern Ireland

⛳We had the opportunity to go to Northern Ireland for the first time last year, and wow!!

But I’m not going to tell you about it ⁉️

Why?

⛳Because pictures speak louder than words, and as we’ve already made a lovely video about our experience in Belfast, for golf and for exciting lifestyle activities as well as where to stay.  So instead of me writing another article, please check out the video and let me know what you think below.

That said, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, of course we are to help you

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O for Old Tom Morris

O for Old Tom Morris

⛳Birth name Thomas Mitchell Morris born to a weaver in Fife, Scotland.  Known Internationally as the father of the game or the grand old man of golf, he started working in the golf industry at just 18 years of age as an apprentice to Allan Morris.  Tom learned how to make clubs as well as the feather stuffed golf balls played at the time.  Allan and Tom played golf together and were reputed to be an unbeatable as a pair.  Leaving his birth town of St. Andrews he moved to take up a new position as ‘keeper of the greens’ at the recently opened Prestwick.  The 1860 Open golf championship was held at Prestwick with Old Tom Morris coming in second place behind Willie Park.  This didn’t deter him, with tenacity and a competitive spirit he later won the Open championship four times.

⛳Mastering the art of green keeping he is reputed to be the first to manage hazards and top dress greens – some say he accidentally dropped a barrow full of sand on the green, but whatever the cause the practice of top dressing remains to this day.   By increasing the greens and doing some clearing, he created a new front nine for the Old Course and changed the direction of play to anti-clockwise.  His knowledge and depth of golf has lead to the standardisation of the length of a golf course to 18 holes, with the Old Course once comprising of 23 holes. 

Other things you might not credit Old Tom for are: yardage markers, drainage and irrigation systems and tee boxes – before then golfers just used to tee off from where they finished putting on the previous hole.  He was also the first to use a lawn mower on a putting green.  It is also possible he designed the first mini links golf of nine holes with the Himalayas in St. Andrews for the St. Andrews ladies

⛳In 1865 he retuned to St Andrews as greenskeeper of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and established a shop for club making overlooking the 18th green of the Old Course.  Fittingly this hole now bears his name.

⛳Old Tom played in every Open Championship until he was 74 years old and holds the record as the oldest winner at age 46.  His son, Tom Morris junior was the youngest winner at just 17 years old in 1868.  Together with his son, they are the only father son pair to both win and become runners up.  Sadly Tom Morris junior died on Christmas day aged just 24.

⛳Becoming a great golf course designer of approx 100 golf courses, with big names such as Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie, Prestwick and Cruden Bay.  My home course, Cleeve Hill even has his world renowned stamp upon it- some say the green for hole 13 is a capital T for Tom – or it could be the original fortification he cleverly fitted the golf hole around?

⛳Interestingly the only surviving hole of his design at Carnoustie is the 6th, now called Hogans Alley it was originally called ‘Long’ – having played it, I know why!

⛳Born and died in his home town a wealthy yet humble man in 1908 aged 87.  St. Andrews not only embraces him but revere’s him.

⛳Some Old Tom Morris courses I’ve played are Alyth, Carnoustie, Crieff, Montrose, Nairn, Panmure, Royal Dornoch, Royal North Devon, Scotscraig, St Andrews Old, Cleeve Hill, Kettering, Rosapenna and Wallasey.

⁉️ Which Old Tom Morris course have you played, or would like to play?

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P for Putting

P for Putting

⛳ Well its got to be really with the putting lessons I’m having with Oli Leett @puttinghub

⛳ I am always astounded how few people invest in a decent putter, sure they chuck their money at a driver, the latest and greatest driver, but a putter seems to be the poor mans relation in the bag of tricks – but it shouldn’t be.

⛳ On a typical golf course, you’d play 4 par 3’s, 4 par 5’s and 10 par 4’s – if you take away the par 3’s, you probably only need the driver for up to 14 holes.  Yet you will need the putter on all 18 holes. Unless of course you chip in!   Furthermore, you only hit the driver once on a hole, yet putting is one or more putts, with 36 being the standard number of putts per round!

⛳ I did a review on YouTube for a great, but simple devise called the Putting Arc @theputtingarc last year.  I had fun with this too.  Simulating holes, producing fly-overs and challenging hubby – which he usually won, so I’m leaving him behind the camera next time!

⛳ Up until this series of lessons with Oli, I’d never had a one to one putting lesson, but chatting and taking advise from a putting expert has helped me.  In fact on Saturday I drained a 35 plus foot, slightly uphill off the right.  I’ve had a few little tweaks and a shed load of drills to help me and I’m still learning.  I guess for me having bit more confidence also helps, he can give me the technique, but I need to do it!  It wasn’t too technical either, which also helps, as I told Oli to give me bite size chunks.  It helps me having the Spider Putt app @spidergolfapp when recording rounds too.   Obviously my idiosyncrasies in putting might not be yours, so get your own lessons?

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For me putting takes concentration, sometimes I’m lacking in that if I’m honest, but Im much more comfortable with the process now and know when I get it right or wrong.

⁉️ Who would take putting lessons with an expert?

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Q for Quotes

Q for quotes

Nice easy one today.  

⛳ When I started in the golf  industry it was brilliant.  My business focus was new and I was making waves, people were starting to get on board with my ideas and it was a huge success.  The business was growing and I needed help, so I enlisted a third party to help me with overseas bookings, and to cut a long story short, they went bust – with some of my money.  They say friendships shouldn’t mix with business and I guess now, with the benefit of hindsight, that was true in this case.

?It wasn’t easy, permanent headache, sleepless nights, the odd tear and not much in the way of positivity for the industry.  We had even decided that if we didn’t get our money back, we would refund our clients out of our own pockets.  Such is our business ethics.  Fortunately, it didn’t come to that, but this series of events was the catalyst.

Reading an article one day, it read: 

‘If you’re not excited by the future, make a new one’

?That was it, there was my answer.  So we evaluated and made a fundamental change to our lives.  We closed the tour operating business and focussed on the things I enjoyed doing: media and marketing.

I still enjoy these things today and have had the good fortune to write for a number of big named magazines, blogs and e-zines.  This change wasn’t easy, but when you want something badly enough, it often isn’t.

? I’m happier, more fulfilled and have a lot to look forward to.

⁉️ What is your favourite quote or one that inspired you to do something?

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R for Royal Golf Clubs

R for Royal Golf Clubs

⛳ I can’t believe I cut my teeth in golf on a fledgling Royal!!  Royal Papua New Guinea Golf Club gained its Royal status in 2012 – naturally we were not living there then, but it did bring a smile to my face with my aspirations of grandeur even back in the 80’s!

? But what is a Royal Golf Club?  Put simply it is a golf club that has gained royal status from the reigning monarch.  Usually a member of the Royal family would become patron of that golf club.  When I think Royal family I think QEII but Royal golf club status pre-dates her reign and can be traced as far back as William IV reign.  The first club being bestowed royal status was Royal Perth Golfing Society & Country Club, Scotland in 1833.  Quickly followed by Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1834.

Interestingly, Royal status isn’t necessarily associated with a golf course being owned by the golf club.  A classic example being the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews plays on the St Andrews links and The Royal Perth Golfing Society plays on North Inch golf course.

?Don’t be fooled by the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Some golf clubs have adopted the name Royal just as part of their name.  It could be these wannabe golf clubs have taken the local area name or something historical.  Royal Tara in Ireland takes it name from the former residence of Kings at the Hill of Tara.  Similarly in India, Royal Springs gleans its name from the four natural water springs used by Mughal emperors.  Another Royal that isn’t a Royal is The Royal Links course in Navada which doesn’t have any connection to royalty at all.

⛳ Whilst I’ve only mentioned the British Royal family, the Spanish, Dutch, Belgian, Nepalese, Iraqi, Swazi and Swedish royal families are equally entitled to name a golf club a royal.  Some of the overseas royals I’ve played are Royal Club de Golf El Prat, just outside Barcelona and a great place to stay and play.  I particularly enjoyed the Pink course with its gathering fairways and tough greens.  With my knowledge of golf in Belgium, Swaziland, Iraq, Nepal, Sweden, Australia and the Netherlands sadly lacking, I can’t offer any top tips here , but I can tell you about Royal Bled in Slovenia.  What a place!!! Near Lake Bled and set in a beautiful haven this smallish golf resort is worth the visit.  It is dubbed heaven on earth for a reason.  The on site lodge is simply stunning and the golf course is one you must add to your bucket list for its views alone – not to mention it is simply a great course, tough but great.  Playing Royal Meknes in Morocco, just nine holes set in the walls of the city in the heart of the imperial city of the Sultan Moulay Ismail, if those walls could tell stories with their bullet holes and imposing height this article would be much longer!

? Some other Royals I’ve played are; Royal St Andrews, Royal Montrose, Royal North Devon, Royal Liverpool, Royal Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, Royal Dornoch, Royal St Davids, Royal Porthcawl, Royal Cinque Ports in the UK plus Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, South Africa.

⛳ So despite my first foray into golf starting on good royal ground, I need to do a lot of catching up to play some more of the others!

⁉️ How many Royals have you played and where, or which is on your bucket list of Royal courses?

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