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My golfstory

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“Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears-” Bobby Jones

“I play in the low 80’s. If it’s any hotter than that, I won’t play.” Joe E. Louis

Plantation course, Maui, HawaiiCyprus

My wife and I started playing golf by accident, we went for a diving holiday to Carriacou in the Caribbian. Carriacou is the largest of the Grenadines in Grenada territory. It is seven miles long and three miles wide at the broadest point. We stayed at the Silver Beach resort where there was a German dive centre called Tanki’s and we had a great time.Unfortunately for me I had developed ear problems because of al the dives and the seawater, my left ear got infected.

So when we left Carriacou and went to Barbados to do some diving there, I could not dive. But the resort we in stayed had a golf course so we took a lesson from a big black local Pro. I can still remember he kept on saying, “hit the grass”, “hit the grass”. So from then on we were hooked.

When we returned we joined the local golfclub The Merwelanden in Dordrecht and we have been playing on our homecourse “Crayenstein” ever since. I played a few years in the and I am now a single-digit handicap 7.8 player. The next few years we played a lot of golf. Hélène’s sister, Marion lives in San Diego California, where she teaches Art at Crossmont College in El Cajon. So we spent quiet a few holidays their and played the courses in that area like Steel Canyon, Aviara, Temecula Creek, Red Hawk, Castle Creek, San Louis Rey Downs, to name few. And later on some courses in Palm Springs en Desert Springs.

I had the good luck to play a few remarkable courses. A few years ago we did a big round trip in Namibia, Africa. And on my birthday we happened to be in Swakopmund, on the Skeleton coast. My wife Hélène had as a surprise 18 holes arranged at the Rossmund Golf course. This golf course in the middle of the Namib Desert is truly spectacular! The course lies at the – usually dry – riverbed of the Swakop Rivier, some 5 kilometres before Swakopmund. The fairways are green throughout, which requires, due to the minimal rainfalls in Swakopmund, permanent irrigation. The water comes from the ablution of Swakopmund and has passed through a purification plant. Often one can see springbok and various birds, at times even Oryx antelopes. Now that was great, playing in the Namib Desert!

In 2000 we flew to in Peru, we had a day left in Lima before returning home. We stayed at the The Country Club Lima Hotel, it was built in 1927 and re-opened in 1998. Its walls contain magic and tradition. The hotel is built in a classical architecture style with four floors and 2,500 square meters of green area and there is also a beautiful view of the Golf Club. So we played the golfcourse in Lima !

At the moment we play on a regular basis in our club and on our holidays. We played a few times in Portugal, in the Caiscais / Estoril area, lovely landscape and great courses, but mostly we play in France. So France is a place we visit quite often, we love to play the courses in Normandy (Omaha Beach !). We made a golf-gourmet-wine trip. We started in the Loire valley, famous for its white wines, but we discovered also the lovely red wines of the Saumur and Chinon, played golf at the Chateau de Sept Tours. Then on to the Bordeaux, we tasted the great wines and discovered the less known ones. Further on to the Dordogne area, played a week at Chateau de Vigiers in the south, a great golf course. We had a great time, gained a few pounds of course (no pain no gain !). Then back home, lost a few bals, but with the back of the car loaded with foie gras, wine and champagne!

In the 2006 and 2009 we played golf in Egypt and on some lovely mountain courses in Austria. On August 29e 2010 I played the famous West Course, Wentworth, Surrey, England! The great architect Harry Colt took full advantage of these many attributes when he created the West Course and very few courses can boast a tournament history on a par with Wentworth’s West Course, it’s all is about aspiration and inspiration. Golfers tread in the footsteps of the game’s great players from the last 85 years – legends such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.

In 2011, 2012 and 2015 I played several courses in California and Kona Hawaii. I was lucky enough to be invited and play at the Arnold Palmer Private course in Palm Desert. In 2015 I played also the incredible We-Ko-Pa course in Scottsdale Arizona and in 2016 the amazing Plantation course in Maui, Hawaii, Recognized as the best golf course in Hawaii for ten consecutive years by Golfweek, the Plantation Course is home to the PGA TOUR’s Tournament of Champions.

Well, I’ll end end with a quote that is also very valid in real life “Don’t let the bad shots get to you. Don’t let yourself become angry. The true scramblers are thick-skinned. And they always beat the whiners.” Paul Runyan, “Golf Digest”

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