Tag Archives: Golf

Golf with my Kids

From about 2001 I was playing a lot of golf with my son Jonathan. He had started one day on a school sports development programme and liked it so much that within a few weeks we were playing twice a week, buying golf magazines and constantly upgrading our equipment in the mistaken belief that this would improve our game.

Within a couple of years we had improved sufficiently to play for club membership at the local golf course and we were taking annual holidays to France and Spain to play golf in the sun.

Now, playing golf with Jonathan was one thing but playing with my daughter Sally was an altogether different experience.  In 2004 she announced that she too was taking up the game and declared an intention to join me on the golf course.  Sally is left handed so the first problem was getting a set of clubs because these are hard to come by I can tell you.

So, we found some second hand clubs, bought some cheap shoes and put together an acceptable set of clothing appropriate for a golf course rather than a nightclub and on 18th June we stood together on the first tee without any prior instruction or lessons and set off on an eighteen hole adventure.

To be fair she wasn’t too bad and she managed to advance the ball about fifty yards or so off the tee and that was better than some of my efforts I have to admit.  There was no one behind so there was no pressure and we progressed through the early holes without incident.

But then at the sixth a couple of lads caught us up and with some big hitters behind nerves started to get the better of her.  She started to swing and miss, take great divots, and push the ball an embarrassing few yards with any shot where the club happened to make contact with the ball.

We kept ahead of them and teed off at the ninth but had only managed a hundred yards or so before they were on the tee behind us.  Sally swung and missed, then swung and missed again and I heard some groans from behind us.  And so did Sally so she gave them a glare and then decided to change her club to see if this would help.  Not from a 7 iron to an 8, or an 8 iron to a 9 however but something much more dramatic and she searched through my bag and selected a right handed club

‘Oh no, she’s going to play right-handed now’ exclaimed one of the lads in disbelief and I have to say that I was a  bit surprised myself because Sally really is chronically left-handed with a right hand that is only any real use for the simplest of tasks.  I watched on, fearing the worst, as she addressed the ball but then she took a perfect swing, connected with the middle of the ball and sent it over a hundred yards straight towards the green.  I looked around proudly to the lads on the tee but they were doubled up in laughter and could hardly believe what they had seen and it took them a while to catch us up again after that.

Sally played a good round of golf playing intermittently left and right handed and we finished the eighteen holes with an acceptable card for a first time on the course.

We played a couple of times after that but she never caught the golf bug in the same way that Jonathan and I had and after a couple of more rounds that summer the clubs went into the garage and have never been used again!

Golf in France

In May 2006 I went to France with my brother Richard and our sons Jonathan and Scot for some golf.  On the first morning we had the standard Ibis breakfast at the hotel and filled up on ham and cheese and bread rolls to keep us going until lunchtime and afterwards we set off for the golf course for the first of the dads v. lads challenge matches.

It was a lovely morning and although there was some cloud it was mostly sunny and we arrived at the course and presented ourselves for our appointed tee-time.  Surprisingly the course wasn’t at all busy so we made our way to the tee and after we had made sure no-one was watching we took it in turns to tee off down the par 5 first.  The green looked a mile away but first Jon and then Scot made easy work of it with impressive long drives that split the fairway.  Needless to say we didn’t follow their example and all of a sudden the challenge looked rash!  The lads stormed to an early lead that they managed to retain through the first few holes.

From very early on I kept making the mistake of walking ahead whilst Richard was still to take his next shot.  This was a silly thing to do and everyone kept reminding me of the last time I was foolish enough to do such a thing and he had put a Titliest ProV in my face and sent me to hospital for a mouthful of stitches.   It was my own fault and I only actually went to hospital after the round was finished when it became clear that I couldn’t drink a pint of beer without spilling it through the holes in my lips that shouldn’t have been there.  We now have a firm ‘stand behind Richard routine’ that is most sensible to observe.

We negotiated the first part of the course and although the lads were out-driving us and achieving impressive distances down the fairways we managed to stay in touch with some astute approach play and skilful putting and by the turn they were only slightly ahead and Richard and I were confident of taking the lead some time soon.  The course was in really good shape and we were pleased to be able to play at a pleasant pace with hardly any one about to put us off of our game.  No-one in front and no-one behind, we were playing millionaire’s golf!

So none of us had a proper explanation for just what happened to Scot when he suddenly developed a two-off-the-tee habit of sending his first shot everywhere but down the middle of the fairway.   Needing all the help we could get we took unsportsmanlike advantage of this and teased him constantly about his waywardness.  All that mockery did the trick and on the last nine holes he lost nine balls, he was hitting it a long way but he was hopelessly inaccurate and suddenly things were looking up for the dads!  Only a few holes to go and the lead was beginning to shrink.

But Jon kept his steady head on and continued to play consistently well and then the wheels came off of Richard’s game as well. As his head went down the lads scented victory and moved in for the kill and with a strong finish made sure of the win.  The beer and the lunch was on the dads.  It had been a good game and in the end it was a thoroughly deserved victory for the two boys.  And as we looked at it there was always tomorrow’s rematch where we could get our just revenge.  Unfortunately the club-house restaurant was closed for the day but they managed to find us some baguettes so we had those and reflected on the game with a couple of beers.

A Golfing Holiday in Spain

If it’s May it must be golf tour time so this year we decided to return for a second visit to Las Ramblas in Spain.

The Real Club de Golf Campoamor is right next door to the Las Ramblas apartment complex where we were staying but we were unable to play the course last time because it was closed for improvements so we were keen to give it a try this year.

The boys were with us now and we had an early tee time at half past eight so we guessed this might require the use of dynamite to get them out of their beds to get ready for the short journey to the club house.  After a short debate we abandoned the dangerous explosives idea and Richard went to plan B instead and prepared Scot a burger bun for his breakfast and after wafting it under his nose this had him out on the balcony in double quick time.  The rest of us found this menu choice a bit bizarre and had a more traditional continental style first meal of the day and then we loaded the car and set off.

The weather again looked unpredictable and although there was blue sky all around there were also some nasty looking black clouds in the distance and a big grey lump directly overhead.  As we changed into our golf shoes Jon complained that I was wearing the same colour scheme as him, red shirt and cap and dark blue shorts and he seemed to find this embarrassing but how was I to know what he brought to wear, he never consulted with me in advance.  Anyway I reassured him that any similarities between us would come to a sudden stop as soon as we stepped up to the tee and played our first shots down the fairway.

After an irritating delay waiting for some late arrivals in front who had no apparent sense of urgency we finally got to tee off respectably down the first.  This was a shortish par five and Jon showed the way with a par and I did the same and put this achievement down to the matching golf clothes.  Scot wanted to use his driver and got into a bit of trouble and started with a card wrecking twelve.  Richard began where he left off at Villamartin and played steady safe golf all the way to the green.

After the first Jon scored a second par, Scot abandoned the driver and improved immediately, Richard plodded on using only two clubs in his bag and I tried as best as I could not to let Jon get too far ahead of me.  At the turn Jon was on 44 and I was two shots behind on 46.  Richard was in front of Scott by 4 shots, which demonstrated the benefit of keeping things simple.  Jon had chosen to fly out to Spain with only three balls in his bag and I thought that was a bit optimistic but he only lost one on the front nine so he was able to carry on with us to the back nine.

The weather continued to be disappointing and the black cloud overhead stubbornly refused to move on but we only had a few spots of rain as we teed off at the ninth and that was only a passing shower but the cloud usefully kept us nice and cool and at least we didn’t have to worry about sunscreen or sunstroke.  The Campoamor course was very good and was covered in lush green fairways surrounded by beautiful pinewoods and orange trees and at the highest points it overlooked the coast all the way from Torrevieja to the north to La Manga del Mar Menor in the south.  It has to be said that the colours and the scents of the pines, cypresses, palm trees, olive trees and jasmines, together with the blue of the sea and the Mediterranean breeze made this course a real pleasure.

And as we played on the weather improved and the sun came out and started to get very, very hot.  This seemed to affect the boys most of all and I started to chip away at Jon’s slender lead and Scott declared a preference for giving up and going to the bar after two successive nines on the thirteenth and the fourteenth holes.  This course really suited Richard and he was recording some good scores that ultimately resulted in a seven shot improvement on the back nine over the front.  Scott was playing well on the par threes and he hit all five on the course with some very impressive six-iron shots.  Jon got his fourth par at the twelfth and I got my second at the par three fifteenth, Richard scored thirteen points over the final nine holes and Scott cheered up after his earlier disappointments with some good play on the par threes.

The final three holes were especially good with a long dogleg sixteenth a par three seventeenth that demanded deadly accuracy and a long par five finishing hole back to the clubhouse where Scott provided the most amusing moment of the round.  Having played an approach shot and landed on an alternative eighteenth green, not in play, we all agreed that he was entitled to a free drop.  In theory this should make things a little easier but Scott decided to do things the hard way and inadvertently dropped the ball in a precarious position with a nasty slope that deposited the ball in a green side bunker.  Three of us found that very amusing indeed, I’m sure you can work out which one of us didn’t.

A good game and in the final reckoning I had beaten Jon by a single shot after he had got himself in all sorts of trouble on the par threes and Richard had a comprehensive win over Scott by twelve clear shots.  We liked Campoamor and will definitely be going back!

A Life in a Year – 18th June, Sally plays Golf

From about 2001 I was playing a lot of golf with my son Jonathan. He had started one day on a school sports development programme and liked it so much that within a few weeks we were playing twice a week, buying golf magazines and constantly upgrading our equipment in the mistaken belief that this would improve our game.

Within a couple of years we had improved sufficiently to play for club membership at the local golf course and we were taking annual holidays to France and Spain to play golf in the sun.

Now, playing golf with Jonathan was one thing but playing with my daughter Sally was an altogether different experience.  In 2004 she announced that she too was taking up the game and declared an intention to join me on the golf course.  Sally is left handed so the first problem was getting a set of clubs because these are hard to come by I can tell you.

So, we found some second hand clubs, bought some cheap shoes and put together an acceptable set of clothing appropriate for a golf course rather than a nightclub and on 18th June we stood together on the first tee without any prior instruction or lessons and set off on an eighteen hole adventure.

To be fair she wasn’t too bad and she managed to advance the ball about fifty yards or so off the tee and that was better than some of my efforts I have to admit.  There was no one behind so there was no pressure and we progressed through the early holes without incident.

But then at the sixth a couple of lads caught us up and with some big hitters behind nerves started to get the better of her.  She started to swing and miss, take great divots, and push the ball an embarrassing few yards with any shot where the club happened to make contact with the ball.

We kept ahead of them and teed off at the ninth but had only managed a hundred yards or so before they were on the tee behind us.  Sally swung and missed, then swung and missed again and I heard some groans from behind us.  And so did Sally so she gave them a glare and then decided to change her club to see if this would help.  Not from a 7 iron to an 8, or an 8 iron to a 9 however but something much more dramatic and she searched through my bag and selected a right handed club

‘Oh no, she’s going to play right-handed now’ exclaimed one of the lads in disbelief and I have to say that I was a  bit surprised myself because Sally really is chronically left-handed with a right hand that is only any real use for the simplest of tasks.  I watched on, fearing the worst, as she addressed the ball but then she took a perfect swing, connected with the middle of the ball and sent it over a hundred yards straight towards the green.  I looked around proudly to the lads on the tee but they were doubled up in laughter and could hardly believe what they had seen and it took them a while to catch us up again after that.

Sally played a good round of golf playing intermittently left and right handed and we finished the eighteen holes with an acceptable card for a first time on the course.

We played a couple of times after that but she never caught the golf bug in the same way that Jonathan and I had and after a couple of more rounds that summer the clubs went into the garage and have never been used again!

A Life in a Year – 27th May, Golf in France

In May 2006 I went to France with my brother Richard and our sons’ Jonathan and Scott for some golf.  On the first morning we had the standard Ibis breakfast at the hotel and filled up on ham and cheese and bread rolls to keep us going until lunchtime and afterwards we set off for the golf course for the first of the dads v. lads challenge matches.

It was a lovely morning and although there was some cloud it was mostly sunny and we arrived at the course and presented ourselves for our appointed tee-time.  Surprisingly the course wasn’t at all busy so we made our way to the tee and after we had made sure no-one was watching we took it in turns to tee off down the par 5 first.  The green looked a mile away but first Jon and then Scot made easy work of it with impressive long drives that split the fairway.  Needless to say we didn’t follow their example and all of a sudden the challenge looked rash!  The lads stormed to an early lead that they managed to retain through the first few holes.

From very early on I kept making the mistake of walking ahead whilst Richard was still to take his next shot.  This was a silly thing to do and everyone kept reminding me of the last time I was foolish enough to do such a thing and he had put a Titliest ProV in my face and sent me to hospital for a mouthful of stitches.   It was my own fault and I only actually went to hospital after the round was finished when it became clear that I couldn’t drink a pint of beer without spilling it through the holes in my lips that shouldn’t have been there.  We now have a firm ‘stand behind Richard routine’ that is most sensible to observe.

We negotiated the first part of the course and although the lads were out-driving us and achieving impressive distances down the fairways we managed to stay in touch with some astute approach play and skilful putting and by the turn they were only slightly ahead and Richard and I were confident of taking the lead some time soon.  The course was in really good shape and we were pleased to be able to play at a pleasant pace with hardly any one about to put us off of our game.  No-one in front and no-one behind, we were playing millionaire’s golf!

So none of us had a proper explanation for just what happened to Scot when he suddenly developed a two-off-the-tee habit of sending his first shot everywhere but down the middle of the fairway.   Needing all the help we could get we took unsportsmanlike advantage of this and teased him constantly about his waywardness.  All that mockery did the trick and on the last nine holes he lost nine balls, he was hitting it a long way but he was hopelessly inaccurate and suddenly things were looking up for the dads!  Only a few holes to go and the lead was beginning to shrink.

But Jon kept his steady head on and continued to play consistently well and then the wheels came off of Richard’s game as well. As his head went down the lads scented victory and moved in for the kill and with a strong finish made sure of the win.  The beer and the lunch was on the dads.  It had been a good game and in the end it was a thoroughly deserved victory for the two boys.  And as we looked at it there was always tomorrow’s rematch where we could get our just revenge.  Unfortunately the club-house restaurant was closed for the day but they managed to find us some baguettes so we had those and reflected on the game with a couple of beers.

A Life in a Year – 18th May, A Golfing Holiday in Spain

If it’s May it must be golf tour time so this year we decided to return for a second visit to Las Ramblas in Spain. 

The Real Club de Golf Campoamor is right next door to the Las Ramblas apartment complex where we were staying but we were unable to play the course last time because it was closed for improvements so we were keen to give it a try this year.

The boys were with us now and we had an early tee time at half past eight so we guessed this might require the use of dynamite to get them out of their beds to get ready for the short journey to the club house.  After a short debate we abandoned the dangerous explosives idea and Richard went to plan B instead and prepared Scott a burger bun for his breakfast and after wafting it under his nose this had him out on the balcony in double quick time.  The rest of us found this menu choice a bit bizarre and had a more traditional continental style first meal of the day and then we loaded the car and set off.

The weather again looked unpredictable and although there was blue sky all around there were also some nasty looking black clouds in the distance and a big grey lump directly overhead.  As we changed into our golf shoes Jon complained that I was wearing the same colour scheme as him, red shirt and cap and dark blue shorts and he seemed to find this embarrassing but how was I to know what he brought to wear, he never consulted with me in advance.  Anyway I reassured him that any similarities between us would come to a sudden stop as soon as we stepped up to the tee and played our first shots down the fairway.

After an irritating delay waiting for some late arrivals in front who had no apparent sense of urgency we finally got to tee off respectably down the first.  This was a shortish par five and Jon showed the way with a par and I did the same and put this achievement down to the matching golf clothes.  Scott wanted to use his driver and got into a bit of trouble and started with a card wrecking 12.  Richard began where he left off at Villamartin and played steady safe golf all the way to the green.

After the first Jon scored a second par, Scott abandoned the driver and improved immediately, Richard plodded on using only two clubs in his bag and I tried as best as I could not to let Jon get too far ahead of me.  At the turn Jon was on 44 and I was two shots behind on 46.  Richard was in front of Scott by 4 shots, which demonstrated the benefit of keeping things simple.  Jon had chosen to fly out to Spain with only three balls in his bag and I thought that was a bit optimistic but he only lost one on the front nine so he was able to carry on with us to the back nine.

 

The weather continued to be disappointing and the black cloud overhead stubbornly refused to move on but we only had a few spots of rain as we teed off at the ninth and that was only a passing shower but the cloud usefully kept us nice and cool and at least we didn’t have to worry about sunscreen or sunstroke.  The Campoamor course was very good and was covered in lush green fairways surrounded by beautiful pinewoods and orange trees and at the highest points it overlooked the coast all the way from Torrevieja to the north to La Manga del Mar Menor in the south.  It has to be said that the colours and the scents of the pines, cypresses, palm trees, olive trees and jasmines, together with the blue of the sea and the Mediterranean breeze made this course a real pleasure.

And as we played on the weather improved and the sun came out and started to get very, very hot.  This seemed to affect the boys most of all and I started to chip away at Jon’s slender lead and Scott declared a preference for giving up and going to the bar after two successive nines on the thirteenth and the fourteenth holes.  This course really suited Richard and he was recording some good scores that ultimately resulted in a seven shot improvement on the back nine over the front.  Scott was playing well on the par threes and he hit all five on the course with some very impressive six-iron shots.  Jon got his fourth par at the twelfth and I got my second at the par three fifteenth, Richard scored thirteen points over the final nine holes and Scott cheered up after his earlier disappointments with some good play on the par threes.

The final three holes were especially good with a long dogleg sixteenth a par three seventeenth that demanded deadly accuracy and a long par five finishing hole back to the clubhouse where Scott provided the most amusing moment of the round.  Having played an approach shot and landed on an alternative eighteenth green, not in play, we all agreed that he was entitled to a free drop.  In theory this should make things a little easier but Scott decided to do things the hard way and inadvertently dropped the ball in a precarious position with a nasty slope that deposited the ball in a green side bunker.  Three of us found that very amusing indeed, I’m sure you can work out which one of us didn’t.

A good game and in the final reckoning I had beaten Jon by a single shot after he had got himself in all sorts of trouble on the par threes and Richard had a comprehensive win over Scott by twelve clear shots.  We liked Campoamor and will definitely be going back!