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PGA Level 1 – tick

So pleased to announce I have passed my Level 1 PGA Coaching Award.
You may ask why have I done this at my age, what am I hoping to achieve, the simple answer is two fold:
  1. I have been in the golf industry for nearly 10 years and events for even longer and I just want to give something back to the sport I love and what better way to do that than to encourage others get into the game 
  2. Working for myself I don’t get the opportunity to go on in-house company training courses, this is a way I can keep not only my brain active but also show a continued commitment to Golf.

Everyone can achieve so much given the right set of circumstances, it just means sometimes you have to create you own set of circumstances


Listen to my interview on Blogtalk radio in Florida

I am incredibly humbled to be on Blogtalk radio with the impressive Ted Odorico to talk about ladies golf on the Women of Golf Show and especially the International Ladies Golf Tournament we are running this September.
But you listen and let me know what you think??
Should I stick to writing!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/womenofgolf/2018/03/06/women-of-golf-with-special-guest-sarah-forrest-ceofounder-golf-guru-group

I missed not having Cindy Miller, but she was busy with other golf related things, so good luck to her.

Not signed up yet to join us for the ILGT?
Why?
Message me and we will get you in!

Golf in China at its best

Golf in China is growing at a huge rate, especially on the island of Hainan, which is home to Mission Hills Haikou, the world’s second largest golf complex with 10 golf courses, and the spectacular Sheraton Dunes. Sarah Forrest details her visit.Flying via Hong Kong, China is surprisingly accessible. After a short add-on flight to Hainan Island, you find yourself at Haikou airport, the most southerly holiday destination part of China. A two-hour transfer south to Shenzhou Peninsular enables you to really embrace the Chinese landscape during the journey. Expecting to see paddy fields at every turn, I was surprised by the lush tropical flora of this part of China and, despite the large population, that it wasn’t overcrowded in the slightest.

Arriving at the Sheraton Shenzhou Peninsula Resort we were greeted by lined-up smiling staff, a cool drink and a beaded necklace, before being huddled into reception where efficiency reigned over the check-in process. A large hotel which retains its charm is a tough nut to crack, the hotel has areas sectioned off for the bar, the reception and of course the variety of restaurants all available on site.

A Far Eastern beachside hotel with 36 holes of golf, the Sheraton doesn’t disappoint with warmth oozing from the staff and from the building itself as it uniquely embraces each visitor.

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Amateur Ladies Golf Tournament 2018

International Ladies Golf Tournament- How to get involved

We have 16 in-country partners selling this unique event, each partner has been carefully chosen to represent us in selling golf to the ladies around the world.
The ILGT is open to all club handicap ladies, if you don’t see your country listed but would like to come, please don’t let this put you off, just email me on [email protected]

Countries and agents selling:
United Kingdom – Paul – email [email protected]
Italy – Paola – email [email protected]
Ireland – Patrick – email [email protected]
Ireland – Fintan – email [email protected]
Spain – Paula – email [email protected]
Poland – Paula – email [email protected]
Australia – Steve – [email protected]
Canada – TJ – email [email protected]
Hungary – Krisztina – email [email protected]
South Africa – Allison – email [email protected]57travel.com
India – Arif Ansari – email  [email protected]
France – Cyril – [email protected]
Tunisia – Abdelkader – email [email protected]
Portugal – Jose -email [email protected]
Norway – Kristin – email [email protected]
United States of America – Ann-Sophie – email [email protected]
Austria – Maria – [email protected]

Dont hesitate to contact me or one of our excellent agents to book your place.

Excellent value for money and the ease of buying in your own country – what could be easier?

 

See our Blogspot

 

 

Nearly – again!

As the holder of one hole in one already I wonder if I am getting a bit greedy and wanting more?

You may recall my post in May 2015 where I got another nearly?

https://redteebreaks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/nearly-hole-in-one-always-bridesmaid.html

Well I’ve only gone and done it again – another nearly – this time at the amazing Praia D’El Rey golf course in Portugal, a 109 par three stroke index 18 with a slight breeze off the sea on the left and a little mound on the right, I picked up my pitching wedge and knocked it slightly right, to maximise the mound. A clean shot, a touch right, a little bounce left and it started to roll towards the hole – closer and closer.

Love this picture of Sean jumping out my pocket!

At that time, what does go through golfers mind?  Is it oh no my bar bill will rocket with these fish I’m playing with?  Is it a little heart skip and I’m going to get a hole in one?  I can’t honestly remember what I was thinking at that moment in time, but I do recall my playing partners were jumping up and down – the odd expletive was shouted at my ball, then it stopped – the shouting and the ball as my ball came to rest less than a balls width from the hole.
No amount of jumping up and down, blowing the ball or wishing for the infamous gust to wind is going to aid it along; it was simply not going to happen; it just sat there menacing in appearance as sadness and joy swept over me equally.
 
One never really appreciates how close the ball is to the hole until you get closer; how many times have you attacked the flag thinking thats pretty close only to find its at least a metre away and you’re left with one of those tricky length putts to finish?  The same thoughts pop into your mind but in reverse when approaching a nearly hole in one, oh its going to be miles away, but gradually as you get closer the smile creeps across your face as you realise the next shot is a sure gimme.
Oh well, in another two and half years I’ll give it a go again – or maybe even before, one never knows with the game of golf.
Good luck with your game of golf in 2018 and fingers crossed for a hole in one – for one of us at least!
Feel free to comment on this post.
Sarah

Few hours to kill in Hong Kong

Killing a few hours in Hong Kong
With many international flights to the Far East connecting through Hong Kong what do you do with a few hours or an overnight layover to kill in Hong Kong?
On a recent trip to China, I had an overnight in Hong Kong, something I was relishing after an absence of nearly 30 years.  Arriving in the afternoon heat and after a quick shower and with comfy shoes on I was ready to explore this bustling metropolis.  In 1997, China took back the governance of Hong Kong from the British and I was looking forward to seeing the changes. 
I was in for a bit of a shock.  I expected it to be a bit tatty, teaming with loads of people and the “copy watch man” hounding you at every turn.  Not at all. Hong Kong actually seemed quieter than I remember.  I was no longer dragged along the street when stepping out of my hotel into a sea of people. I actually had control of where I was going and could make that decision without having to navigate round many bodies littering the street in ‘Shaun of the Dead’ fashion.  The air was clean, the atmosphere was vibrant and the “copy watch man” was almost nowhere to be seen.  In fact the only time we did see him was at the Temple Street night market, still an amazing place to visit, although it did seem somewhat smaller than I recalled?  He popped out occasionally from between buildings to gently hound you in a less brazen, almost in a sneaky underhand way before retreating back into his dimly lit gap between buildings, as a spy into the dark slinking away into the abyss.
Temple Street night market is the place to visit if you’re only there for one night. It is littered with local street food vendors but you’re guaranteed a good local meal despite possible cleanliness issues.  Napkins are by way of a small box of tissues provided by a quick toss onto the table in the fast pace restaurants where more than 2 sittings per table are not uncommon in one night. 
But, with just a few blocks of buzzing life, you get the feel for Hong Kong, Temple Street night market with its canvas covers protecting make-shift stalls being used to showcase their wares of cheap Chinese non CE or kite mark goodies on sale by the masses.  An exotic atmosphere with smells of waffles accompanies you as you bump along in a stream of locals and tourists alike in the centre of Chinatown in Kowloon. As you return to the sanctuary of your pristine hotel or back to the airport for your onward flight, you leave this exciting city with good memories and with self-made promises to return to explore more on offer in Hong Kong.

Break up your long haul trip, if only for a few hours in the vibrant and exciting city of Hong Kong

 

http://www.justabouttravel.net/2017/12/20/killing-a-few-hours-in-hong-kong/

Red Tee Tour 2017

Hello ladies, I am pleased to provide you with loads of detailed information about three amazing events we ran this year in aid of Breast Cancer Care

 
 

In our third year to support Breast Cancer Care, we had ladies come from all over to take part in this fun and friendly golf competition, the Red Tee Tour.  An 18 hole pairs betterball tournament playing off 90% handicap

 
Playing just over five and half thousand yards from the red tees the ladies were in for some cardio exercise as they meandered their way around the lush green golf course.  Lush and green as we had a drop of rain the day before, which in turn made for some slow putts, but otherwise the course stood up to the elements fairly well.
 

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THE LBD of Miami

In a meeting Turnberry Isle in Miami was described to me as the little black dress??
 
Every lady has a little black dress, it may not be black or even a dress – but its is your go to outfit, one that is consistent, can be jazzed up or worn as day wear.
But how can that relate to a golf resort? 
Turnberry Isle is a stones throw from Miami airport and also from downtown.  A little oasis hidden in the middle of high rise buildings, the entrance doesn’t even give you the true sense of what this luxury golf resort brings.  But why is it an LBD resort?
Simple – you can take Turnberry Isle and stay to have a great time in this five star autograph Marriott collection hotel, but jazz it up a little with the on site 18 hole golf course, the newly refurbished extensive spa or just sit by the pool and relax in Italian style decor  Add a jacket for the evening and dine in the excellent Michael Mina Bourbon Steak Restaurant, then push the boat out – add the pearls, or in this case try the excellent cocktails, an experience enhanced by the extensive knowledge of Rafael, Assistant GM and guru on the menu, even contributing his own carefully thought though and I dare say ‘researched’ cocktail – Shogun – a must try to truly understand this mans depth of commitment and knowledge to enhance the success of the already great restaurant.

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Girls with Balls

Alicante Airport – gateway to Mercia and Andalusia, Spain
Four lady golfers take to the skies arriving at Alicante airport before heading South into Mercia and then further South and onto Andalusia.
An hour South from Alicante Airport takes us to Mar Manor Hotel and Golf Resort.  An intercontinental five star resort with 18 holes of golf on site.  The advance scouting party arrived, the party consisting of two lady golfers, myself from the UK and friend and fellow golf tour operator, Siggi from Iceland.  
Being a bus mans holiday for me I was keen to see everything Mar Menor could offer, so we sat by the pool and did some very in-depth research on the colour blue of the inviting swimming pool, after of course eyeballing the fellow sun worshippers that afternoon. A beautiful round pool with sun beds aplenty, gradual access in the warm water help to eliminate the beached whale dive bomb approach – besides who can do gracefully in a bikini anyway!

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Friends for the Day

I was asked to play for the A team in a scratch match on Sunday, so went along to be met by not only my welcoming team but the open arms welcome of the hosting team too.
Unless you are a regular to playing competition golf, sometimes you can sit on the outside of the team and not feel embraced, I’ve even turned up inadvertently wearing the wrong clothes and again not felt part of the team.  It is important to feel wanted as your contribution is valued, after all they are not a team without you.
My playing partner was a relaxed lovely lady who from the outset we hit it off – not the ball off the tee, but in personality with the one main thing in common – golf.  Golf does bring people together from all walks of life, and this was no exception, despite it being a match.
First hole and I had lady luck on my side, making a par after a little hop over a bunker allowed me onto the green in regulation and 2 putts- this might be the only hole that is talked about in any details as it really was one of the few holes I had this kind of luck and good play on.  I was out-classed, my partner was a better golfer than me, it being her course will have helped her inevitably, but in truth she was better than me too!
We chatted, laughed and put the golfing world to rights as we continued to make our way round the course halving and dropping holes (on my part) as we went along.  I thought I might loose on the 12th – but managed a stay of execution until the 14th!  I wasn’t deterred, I was having a good time, I was enjoying my partners company and I think she was mine too.  I would like to think that had the boot been on the other foot, and I was winning, she would still be friendly and chatty, that is my general experience of playing in these matches anyway.

Ladies like to have relaxed fun on the golf course, we can play in matches and still have a laugh as much as when we are playing socially and at the end of it, you have another friend, it might only be a friend for a day, but one you can call a friend and one you know if you were to meet again, you’d get on just as well as the first time.  I’m not saying I didn’t want to win, of course I did, but having a good experience is equally as important to me (almost!)

Thanks to all ladies who make golfing fun.

Costa Blanca – Alicante airport access to some great golf

As a member of IAGTO, International Association of Golf Tour Operators, Red Tee Breaks is often invited to visit countries that want to show their products to us as people who can sell them to our clients.  A recent trip to Alicante did just that.  Alicante Airport is one of the most accessible airports from airports in the UK making it a quick pop over for some sun, sea and of course golf.
Whilst we saw many venues, for the sake of this article my focus will be on two resorts – La Finca Golf and Spa Hotel and Barcelo Asia Gardens Hotel and Thai Spa and its surrounding courses. 
La Finca Golf and Spa Hotel is a modern quality hotel with 18 holes of great golf on site.  The clean fresh feel about La Finca immediately hits you as you walk through the door, the reception staff neat in their uniforms set the standard for the rest of the resort.  We arrived hot and sweaty having just played golf in the sunshine, methodical friendly check in proceeded until everyone of us was catered for with ease.  Entering the hotel on the first floor meant that it was a bit of an upside down hotel spreading its far reaching wings to enhance that illusion of clean space.  Despite its modernity it wasn’t out of place in the Spanish sunshine.  The outside space lends itself to a large outside pool for the guests to relax on the comfy sun beds with further relaxation being offered by a quiet moving  water channel of turquoise blue surrounded by rich vegetation and ice white paving to set the mood.  The rooms are clean cut and comfortable offering everything a good quality hotel should. My room overlooking the pool with the golf course in the distance – there to tantalise the inner golfer in me whilst fighting for my inner desire to just sit and relax and take in that view; a good start for a few days at La Finca.
La Finca actually has three golf courses in its portfolio.  La Finca being the 18 holes on site to the hotel – a beautifully maintained golf course of a high quality, easy to play bunkers, wide fairways without them being too silly and readable putting greens.  As a stand alone golf course, it can certainly hold its own, but as one of the three on offer in the group, it can offer even more choice for the visiting golfers.
Las Ramblas and Villa Martin make up the trio package.  Las Ramblas, a golf course whose identity if taken from the pine trees guarding and protecting the course.  A hillier course with character and a menacing stream plotting its way around the course to bring itself in and out of play makes for a good test for strategic golf.
Campo de Golf Villa Martin is one of the oldest courses in the region.  Host to European championship competitions Villa Martin is well regarded as no walk in the park where skill will reward your golf, but not totally unplayable for higher handicaps, so long as they don’t get too greedy!  A pretty course offering a good round and sense of achievement whilst nursing a glass of wine in the bar afterwards.
Whilst in the area, other places to visit are the historical centre of Orihuela, a beautiful traditional city boasting architecture depicting its chequered history from the Romans to present day.  Take time to wander the narrow streets and locate the Baroque church of Santa Domingo.  It is on these steps that we were treated to the all male choir singing stories of history of the city, with every tone and pitch of their voices being reverberated around the ancient stone buildings enhancing history with each note sung.
Alicante and especially it’s neighbouring Benidorm are known as party towns, hen and stag parties flock in their thousands to sample the 24/7 offerings, however there is more to this part of Spain, a side that is rich in a very different way, a way that offers luxury hotels and golf with thought provoking views across to the deep blue sea.  
The Asia Garden Hotel and Thai Spa is a little oasis of calm amongst the bustling towns.  A deceptively large complex with areas of rest strategically placed around the site to contemplate that great shot of the day.  Easter Island style heads with water trickling down into calm pools of fish happily swimming along create the ambient tranquility  further enhanced by the various swimming pools, private thatch roof lounge areas and rich vegetation.  Tropical flowers edge the various restaurant walls which in turn overlook the pools, the stark contrasting red of the building somehow blending into the overall serene scene with ease with the odd glimpse of the high risers to bring you back to reality.  Spacious rooms have varying views but each room is decorated to a high standard with emphasis on quality fittings and comfort.
Courses to play in the area are Golf and Spa Bonalba; a rich terrain course beguiling its newness in age, good sized putting greens with subtle movement to catch the unexpected errant putt.   A course of two nines with the back nine having the reputation as the harder of the two.  Large expanses of water and tricky bunker positions compliment the wide fairways culminate in a good all round golf course.
Melia Villaitana Golf Course  sets itself above all others – literally, with its panoramic views of Benidorm, a skyline bringing high rise buildings of varying shapes and sizes set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean sea, demanding and intimidating equally, the sight is one to bemuse, if you can tear yourself away from the golf course that is!
A quality golf course which gently winds itself around with ease, wide fairways and playable greens add Villaitana as a must play in Alicante.
One to watch out for – currently a nine hole course is emerging as a good test of golf, over rugged ravines, across water and playing good condition fairways and greens despite its youthful age.  Puig Campana is undergoing major renovation – not only the golf course but the club house too.  A large panoramic clubhouse dominate the spot to maximise the views across the valley to the ocean in the distance. Not quite finished but still imposing in stature, should the current thread of good quality continue to the second 9 holes and the not yet completed clubhouse, this golf course will be one to look out for.  
Benidorm may not be every ones cup of tea, but take time to go to the old part of town and wander along the beach, or better still get electric bikes and explore in this unique way, gently pedalling along in the comfort that the motor is taking on most of the hard work and hills!
There are 21 golf courses in the Alicante area, all within striking distance of this hub airport.  Having such an array gives choices for a varied golf holiday for any golfer of any level and budget with four and five star hotel to choose exactly what you want from your golf break in Costa Blanca.  

Interested in Alicante for golf? Contact [email protected]

Tunisia IS coming back for golf

So I’m minding my own business  getting on with some work when I get a call out of the blue from the Tunisia Tourist Board in London inviting me  to participate in their inaugural journalist golf tournament in Tunisia a few weeks later.  My gut response – yes please.  I’m a bit of an adventurer,  I keep an eye on world affairs but also I’m a journalist and I feel it is my duty to go to various destinations to report my findings. Two weeks later meeting my fellow journalists and the colourful Tunisian Tourist Board representative who made it all happen, Moncef at the airport, we were set to go.
Arriving in Tunis airport, we transferred to El Kantaoui (el – can- too-ee), a bit late for dinner but ready for a welcome rest after the journey – after a quick drink in the welcoming bar! I quite like arriving in the dark to hotels, crashing on the bed then waking up to you don’t know what when you open the curtains the next morning. To my delight it was the large turquoise pool with vacant contrasting blue sun-beds, clean fresh and poised waiting for their next guest to take up their spot for a day, enjoying all The Concorde Green Park Hotel has to offer.  A U-shaped purpose built 5* hotel right on the beach with stretching tiered views from the room to the pool to the sea and sky beyond, a beautifully decorated new hotel not without charm yet still developing its character and colour of Tunisia.  The staff smiled constantly and were incredibly willing to please. In fact that was the theme of the whole time in Tunisia – all the people smiled as they went about their days, they seriously couldn’t do enough for you, in many respects we were treasured like individual jewels in their precious crown. The Concorde Green Park with it’s fine sandy beaches in the Port of El Kantaoui, Sousse, next to the famous El Kantaoui golf course – host of the Tunisian Seniors Open and oldest course in Tunisia, offered everything a holiday golf venue should. I was there for a Media Golf Tournament, I was one of two representing Great Britain and I hadn’t played well for a long time, so I had to dust off my summer golf shoes and get on with it, I was here on business, not pleasure! but playing well was part of it.  El Kantaoui is a 36 hole golf complex housing the Panorama and Sea Courses.  The tournament was played on the Panorama (but we did sneak a further 9 holes on the Sea Course after lunch for good measure! ) 

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