THERE ARE SOME courses that it is hard to be objective about because something just happens to make you fall in love with the place. It is often because the first time you play you have a fine round, or the sun shines, or because you are in excellent company.
Continue reading “Playaway: Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Sutherland”
THINK VENICE BUT without Venetian prices. Just 90 minutes to the east on the road to Trieste, away from the crowds pouring onto the historic island in the lagoon lies another that was colonised by the Romans, centuries before Venice was founded. It too enjoys a hauntingly beautiful setting and is also able to boast a first class golf course. Continue reading “Playaway: Golf Club Grado, Friuli, Italy”
GOLFERS SHOULD BE hugely grateful to those Neolithic farmers of 4,000 years ago. They domesticated animals, cleared woodlands so that settlements could be developed and their animals grazed. These cleared areas were more exposed to the elements leading to a leaching of nutrients and creating acidic soils that were slowly colonised by dwarf shrubs such as heather, gorse and broom. The first lowland heaths were created that have subsequently provided those well-drained sites for the outstanding golf courses that so many of us enjoy playing today, not least of which is our own Royal Ashdown Forest. Continue reading “Where the place? Upon the heath…”
Sundays in parts of Switzerland are as quiet as they used to be during the 1960s and ’70s in Great Britain when all the shops were closed and pubs had to close at 2.00pm. Sunday is family day, and rarely will you find a family spending any time on a golf course. This means that Sunday morning is a simply wonderful time for visiting golfers to enjoy a round. Continue reading “Play away: Gerre Losone, Ascona, Switzerland”
GOLF IN ITALY is a patrician affair. Membership of golf clubs does not come cheaply and local grandees are just as likely to head off to their club with a business colleague or valued client to have lunch as they are to pull out their clubs and play 18 holes. Continue reading “Circolo golf VIlla d’Este, Italy”
THIS MONTH WE invited Course Manager, Chris Mitchell, to describe a typical day for him and his greenkeeping team during the Winter months.
“The morning starts in the dark at 06.30 when I arrive at the office to check the weather forecasts and live rain radar. Then I read what golf we have on for the day as well as checking my e-mails for anything urgent that has arrived and reply to them. I then check the greenkeepers’ website for any latest information. Continue reading “The Winter Men”
WHERE ELSE BUT in Ireland could you go into a pro shop and be told in answer to your question of how old the club is, ‘The course officially opened in 1993 but the land is much older than that’?
Welcome to Carne Golf Club in Belmullet, a wild and rural spot in County Mayo that gazes out onto the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Continue reading “Playaway: Carne Golf Club, Belmullet, County Mayo”
COULD THERE HAVE been a bigger contrast in the venues for the first two major tournaments of the golfing year? Pristine, manicured, highly treated and lavishly watered Augusta National where the mere sight of a daisy brings club members out in a cold sweat and the wild, wonderful, ragged Donald Ross masterpiece at Pinehurst 2 in North Carolina.
Continue reading “US Open 2014 – the last word”
WILL SOMEONE please change the record? The last two weeks of December were the wettest ever, followed hard by the wettest January and most recently the worst February. Weather records are there to be broken but surely not annually? Continue reading “Fed up with Soggy Greens”
Do these fellows do it just to spite us? We wait all Winter for the greens at our club to start showing signs of improvement, especially those poor souls unfortunate enough to be forced onto the dreaded temporaries. Then we get a bad Spring and we are still waiting until, at last, Summer arrives and our putts start rolling true again, and we begin to hole a few and get more confident and then it happens. Continue reading “The Best of Tines- the Worst of Tines”