JULY 30th…The People’s Open at Hill Valley, Whitchurch. This is my first time at this prestigious event and the first time at this course. I have no doubt the competition will be unbelievably intense.
AUGUST 4th to 7th. I hope to return to the British Par 3. This remains the highlight of my year, where stars from entertainment and sport, such as Bill Roache, Willie Thorne, Peter Shilton, Tony Jacklin and many more converge with PGA Tour stars such as Graeme Storm, Lee Slattery and us lucky amateurs in a hedonistic four days of golf around the fabulous Nailcote Hall Championship Course.
Magnificent 7th hole at Nailcote
The Championship has played a focal part in my recovery from stroke: in fact it is where I met the inspiration for my book, the great old pro, Bernard Hunt. I have made numerous friendships from the event and launched my book at the 2008 British Par 3. The course, despite its 9 holes and yardage, obtained the prestigious Albatross Rating - the experience is that good! Go to http://www.britishpar3championship.co.uk/ for details about how to join this golfing extravaganza.
Ben Crenshaw, a lover of the par 3, famously said “ quite selfishly, I would enjoy seeing more short par 3 holes, for they are the way to check unbridled power and occasionally make those long hitters’ knees tremble.” This happens at Nailcote where in 2007 I saw a pro take 13 at the 150 yard signature 9th hole. I won’t name him because he his now a chum, but at Nailcote you stand on every tee feeling you are in with a chance at least equal to your pro colleagues. Until you swing of course!
In late September, I hope to join, big John again in Tenerife to play in the JR classic.
The lads in Tenerife
In October, I hopefully will be representing the Orlando Florida Tour at Hilton Head.
And then in November, I hope to organise the first Social Golfers’ Tour To Florida
I have become a Golf aficionado – anorak you might say – and my love and passion for golf now involves reading as many articles and opinions as I can, and collecting as many glorious pictures of the stunning golf holes as I am able, but a particular interest is the collection of the many superb comments, quotes and paraphrases regarding golf which I bring into my business life. Every day I end each email with a Today’s Thought and this is usually a comment or opinion I have read and then believe particularly pertinent to the way I feel that day. The following are some of my phrases and their relevance to me.
My two favourites, which following my illness is the way I now try to look to life. This week tragically I learned that a business colleague had lost a young child just short of his first birthday. The poignancy of these comments is particularly relevant now as I wonder about God’s grand design.
“As you walk down the fairway of life, you must smell the roses; you only get to
play one round.” BEN HOGAN
“Health not wealth should be man’s primary concern”
I believe that golf can bring out the best and worst in person. I have met some truly wonderful people on my travels and had I not had my stroke, without doubt this would not have been possible.
“Golf enables us to advance in the great business of being a human being” CHARLES MACDONALD.
“GOLF reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot…The next day you have
to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something” PETER JACOBSON
“In golf character is laid bare to character. This is why so many friendships and some enmities are formed on the links. A.HAULTAIN
Golf requires an individual to use virtues which, perhaps as in my case, are particularly alien in the normal daily routine - in particular, patience, the ability to acknowledge failure, honesty, integrity and humour...
“Golf is the infallible test...The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies is the man who will serve you faithfully” and
“The only way of finding out a man’s true character is to play golf with him. In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself.” P G WODEHOUSE
“18 holes of match play will tell you more about your foe than 19 years of business dealings.” G RICE
“The struggle of the game, that’s a big part of my life, a big part of the fun of my life, ARNOLD PALMER.
“Golf without mistakes is like a dinner without wine” JIM MURRAY
“One minute you’re bleeding, the next minute you’re haemorrhaging, the next minute you’re painting the Mona Lisa.” MAC OGRADY
“Playing the game, I have learned the meaning of humility. It has given me a better understanding of futility of the human effort.” ABBA EBAN
ADAGES I often use in business dealings…
“It’s all a matter of getting out of bad situations with the least amount of damage.” RICK RHODEN
“Winners listen to people. They are always trying to learn. They respect other people’s opinions. Losers just want to talk. DOUG SANDERS
“There is no such luck as bad luck. Fate has nothing to do with success or failure, because that is a negative philosophy that indicates one’s confidence, and I’ll have no part in it. GREG NORMAN
“Golf puts a man’s character on the anvil and his richest qualities, patience, poise, restraint…to the flame” BILLY CASPER
“If you wish to hide your character, don’t play golf” PERCY BOOMER
I have had the opportunity, following my illness, to play with many professionals and I remain in awe of their talent when compared with my golf which could be described as:
“An endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle.”
Or as Bing Crosby put it “my Golf is woeful but I will never surrender.”
But golf despite my limitations in playing it gives a perverse pleasure in failure and unrivalled expectations of anticipated success.
“Obviously, yet mysteriously, golf, furnishes it’s devotees (me) with an intense, many-sided, and abiding pleasure unlike which any other recreation affords” HERBERT WIND
I cannot explain the feeling when a masterful shot comes off. Every shot I play, I imagine a great result but inevitably because of my talent mediocrity results.
“The occasional great stroke of the poor golfer remains a joy forever”
The Great Bobby Jones probably had a round of mine in thought when he is attributed with saying
“on the golf course, he may be the dogged victim of inexorable fate, struck down by an appalling stroke of tragedy become he hero of unbelievable melodrama, or the clown in a side-splitting comedy.”
“Don Quixote would understand Golf. It is the impossible dream.” JIM MURRAY
“Golf is a simple game, made difficult by man.” TOM HALIBURTON
“Golf beats us all, and that is the chief reason we shall never cease loving her.” ROBERT HUNTER
“Golf is the pursuit of the infinite. JIM MURRAY
“It is one of golf’s greatest ironies and merits that the poorer player derives more pleasure from the pastime than the experienced practitioner.”
“Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad.” AA MILNE
My golfing desires now resolve more around the beauty of the golfing environment rather than the thrill of competition. No other sport reconciles the natural beauty of its surroundings with the importance of the natural elements. I adore looking at stunning holes, and playing them well becomes a bonus. I often now play on my own and stop for many minutes on a hole, listening to the wildlife, watching the surf, simply taking in the whole surroundings.
What can be better than this stunning par 5 fifth at New South Wales golf club?
“A golfer traverses broad acres of the green earth rejoicing in the fact he sees the end from their beginning. He has escaped from macadam and asphalt and the madding crowd.” R S WEIR
“I love the fairways with such lovely turf that can put a little spring in the most leaden and depressed foot.” BERNARD DARWIN
“Golf brings us consolation as we walk its open spaces and it offers us a subtle balance of companionship and solitude.” L RUBINSTEIN
“Golf… satisfies the spirit. You are out in the grass and the trees. You are out there
with nature. You’re not really competing with each other, your competing against yourself, the course and the elements.”
“Golf is a game which the player’s true opponent is the golf course. That is why the game can be enjoyed in solitude or with other golfers of every calibre and age. REES JONES
Any pictures, views, opinions, comments will be gratefully received...