Monday, 16 January 2012

And I Thought Golf Was Just A Gentle Stroll

My lovely daughter in law Josephine kindly treated me and son Paul to a beginner's golf course as an extremely generous gift. I travelled down to the James Andrews School of Golf in Seddlescombe near Battle in East Sussex on Friday and met up with Paul who travelled from London to Tunbridge Wells. The course comprised two full days of tuition and we both enjoyed it very much despite neither of us having picked up anything other than a putter for a round of crazy golf or a visit to a seaside putting green before. Our inexperience certainly showed but by Sunday afternoon we were both able to hit the ball (well most of the time) and we even played five or six holes of a short course with the other two novices in our group before we headed back for home. I don't think that the instructor would describe either of us as "naturals" but we had a good weekend. I didn't realise that hitting golf balls for maybe ten hours in all would have such an effect on my body but my hands (especially my thumbs) are very sore today and I've got an enormous bruise on my hip (probably damaged a blood vessel with all the swinging backwards and forwards). I'm also extremely stiff and struggle to bend over but that could be down to the six hundred miles of driving.

I would recommend the course to anybody interested in learning the game. The instructors are very knowledgeable and they have courses to suit all levels - even advanced. They've got video linked to computers that allow you to study what you are doing wrong and train you to put it right and at the end of the weekend I was able to hit the ball straight for about 150 yards most of the time with the club we trained with (7 iron for anyone interested). That's not bad going for a complete newcomer so the instruction must be good. The hotel was okay too and the food at the school was fine so all in all a pleasant way to spend a weekend. Will I now be taking up golf? Probably not as it seems to take a long time to play a round and I've already got one time consuming hobby in metal detecting but I will certainly go and do a bit more practice when I'm at the caravan in St Andrews and if Marion is interested then perhaps we could take it up together. It's not quite as stuffy as I thought although I'm not keen on the no jeans in the clubhouse and that sort of formal attitude that still seems to prevail.  

Driving through the Sussex countryside on Friday reminded me what a beautiful part of the country it is. Marion and I are planning to move away from Southport soon as we've been here for most of our lives and it's time for a change. If Sussex was not so far from St Andrews I'd put it at the top of the list as, scenery apart, it has plenty of great villages, castles, abbeys and other tourist attractions. You can get to London in about an hour by train and it has a very pleasant climate. As it would turn our regular trips to Scotland into extremely gruelling treks, we won't be putting Sussex on the list of possibilities but it's certainly a wonderful place to visit. 

Speaking of St Andrews, we got a letter from the caravan site this morning. It seems that over twenty trees on the site blew down in the recent winds but most of the caravans escaped unscathed. The site closes for the whole of February so we're going to go and spend the last week of January there. It will be great to see Sarah, Duncan and Rose although it will be the first time that we've been away from Flo for any length of time since she went into the care home and we wonder how she will cope.

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