I have been on Prince Edward Island for two weeks after spending two weeks in London following my Scottish golf tour. That makes me sound like a professional not just a golfer who hired a car and kicked it solo, golfing at some amazing courses with some fabulous fellow golf enthusiasts.
I didn’t golf while I was in London but did catch up with a couple of golfing folk. I met James from Scotland’s Golf Islands and had a wonderful meeting talking all things golf. I now need to golf all of Scotland’s islands as they sound fantastic. I have decided I would like to try and golf every course in Scotland – it may well take a few years if I can only golf there a couple of weeks a year. But then there is every other country I want to golf in. So many things to do not enough time – and limited funds of course.
I also had the pleasure of meeting up with Renton Laidlaw in London. We had arranged to meet at the coffee shop on the corner across from Harrods. I waited for half an hour, asked the waitstaff twice if this was the only coffee shop on a corner across from Harrods as Renton didn’t show up. I then did a lap of Harrods and of course found another coffee shop on the corner with Renton sitting inside who had been waiting for me for forty minutes by this stage. Regardless we met, we laughed and we talked a lot of golf. While he had to dash off to a lunch, A Last Man Standing lunch – and yes it is exactly as it sounds. A lunch to catch up and see who will be the last man standing. I love it and as I said to Renton, I vote for him.
I also told Renton when I am back in the UK next year I will be hunting him down so we can spend more time together and he can tell me more golf stories.
I then flew to Canada. The day after I arrived on Prince Edward Island I was out at Brudenell sorting out work (I’ll be working at the golf resort this summer) and my golf membership. I have membership of Brudenell and Dundarave and was informed there was a demo day the following day at the range. How could I not go and whack some balls with different clubs?
I started at the Taylormade stand and chatted and hit a few clubs. Nothing really excited me and I worked my way down Cleveland, Cobra, Nike and at Callaway I tried three ladies clubs, a hybrid, a 3W and a driver and liked them a lot, actually taking the information. Although that said I have only been golfing eleven months now and I am not in the market for new clubs. I do love the set I bought last year and it is not time to replace them. I left the Callaway stand and moved on to Ping. I currently have a Ping twelve degree driver and I love it but I didn’t love anything they had to offer. I told the rep I wasn’t really a fan of the stuff on display much to his astonishment at my complete honesty. Well he did ask!
Then on to the last stand which was Titleist. I told them what I am currently using and they put a driver in my hands. I teed up, lined up and hello Titleist. Which is exactly what I said as I spun around after nailing the ball. One of the guys said there is an advertisement right there (might have been the aussie accent) and I advised him I would happily do the ad if they sponsored me this marvellous club. I hit a dozen more balls with this awesome club but alas I am not in the market for a new driver at the moment but I think I know where I will be going when I am. I also spent a bit of time chatting to the guys about my Scottish adventures and having a good laugh.
The great thing about working at the golf resort is I take my golf gear and before or after my shift I golf. Around my crossfit schedule that is. Oh and while I was golf fit from all the golf I have played of late, I am so not crossfit and in fact have been so tight across the shoulders from chin ups it has effected my golf swing. I will be crossfit in another week though so I should be swinging freely again.
I had an hour before my shift so I hit a few balls on the range and played a couple balls down the 1st and the 18th. A nice par on the 18th and I was very happy with my first hit out since Scotland. But I only played two holes. Next day I turned up and asked if there was anyone I could join. A couple of fellows were going out at 3pm so I added my name to theirs. I am happy to golf with anyone and while sometimes I want to golf alone, sometimes it is more fun with company.
I only played nine holes as it was very slow with the groups in front so I stopped at the putting green to practice some stuff there. One of my mates, Darren, was there practicing with levels and being very technical so I got him to explain what he was doing and I must say I love learning new things.
I had spoken with another member Barry at the demo day and he told me that due to the fact poor Brudenell has suffered winter damage, as members, we currently get free golf at Crowbush. I told him to sign me up and we arranged to play on the Friday. He was going to get a couple more folks to join us.
So Friday, Crowbush it was with Barry, Sean and Joe. It was my first full round since Scotland and I must say it was great being out there. Crowbush can be tricky in the wind (so everyone keeps telling me) but as I have golfed in Scotland with wind off the North Sea, no wind will ever worry me again. I had some great shots thrown in with more mediocre and a couple of actual hilarious shots but I did nail a drive down the 16th (about 175 yards) followed up with a nice chip, two putt and I’ll take a par thank you very much.
On the 17th you are teeing off up hill to an elevated green surrounded by bunkers. I didn’t even get it up the hill. I drove my ball into the gorse on the side of the hill in front of the green. Barry was astonished as I grabbed a club and picked my way through the gorse trying to not get spiked. He told me to take a drop but I had a shot on it. Might not have been a great shot but I could get club to ball so that is exactly what I did and popped the ball out just at the edge of the gorse giving myself quite a better shot. A chip and a putt and I’m happy with a five.
On the 18th I strung six golf shots together, no crap amongst it so I was very happy with how I finished. I might have shot 125 but I know I have a golf game in me and I just have to keep playing to reduce the amount of crap that comes off my club.
Monday I worked and met a couple of Island golfers at the bar who had just come in off Dundarave. I had a good chat to Kevin and Jason and got their numbers so we can arrange to golf at a couple of different tracks on the island this summer. After work I was planning on playing Dundarave for the first time but instead went to the range and practiced for three hours. Putting for forty minutes before moving to the range and pulling out each club, working on different things.
As my shift got cancelled on Tuesday I decided what better way to spend a surprise day off but to golf thirty six. I started with Dundarave and played solo. Parred the 1st hole and was off. Checking the map as I went as I hadn’t seen the course before. I did a fantastic chip onto the second green, perfect placement for bounce and roll and was grinning as I stepped up with my putter for the six inch putt. A couple of holes I got an eight but was very happy with how I was hitting everything. Still inconsistent and a couple bunker shots but out in one every time.
As I was zipping around on my own I overtook three groups and was very happy playing solo. As Dundarave also has winter damage (PEI was hit very hard this winter) there were six temporary greens but in a couple of weeks it will be amazing. I can’t wait to play more there this summer.
I was three off the tee on the 18th as I drove one into the water but my second drive was fantastic, followed up with an awesome 3w. I did end up in the green side bunker on the left which you kind of need a ladder to get out off. I got in there and looked up and up and up but did get the ball out in one it just sat high on the grass above the bunker so a chip on to the green and couple putts and I finished with a nine. But I had done some great shots that hole.
I had lost a couple balls, had an airswing, did a few drop kicks and came away with a 104. 52 out and 52 in – clearly I was consistent this day. I was very happy with this and headed off for lunch before hitting out on Brudenell.
As it was mens comp a new member Geoff needed someone to mark his card so I happily agreed to play with him. He had been waiting for a while for someone to play with. I started off ok but didn’t get better. Was five off the tee on the 10th after teeing two in the water and on the 12th we joined up with a couple of guys to finish off the round. Again I did have some great shots thrown in amongst many more ordinary shots so to finish with a 119 I was happy. There were two airswings, about a dozen dropkicks and then the two in the water off the tee. Get rid of those and I’ll be shooting around 100 which would make me very happy. Well to be honest I am happy regardless it would just make me happier.
Next Thursday there is a Nike Shootout two person scramble at Brudenell and I needed myself a partner. My mate Darren was already playing with someone else so I asked Barry who was going to get back to me when I remembered I got Jason and Kevin’s number the other day. Jason is now my partner and am looking forward to a great day of golf. Who doesn’t love a scramble?
Summer of golf on PEI – what is not to love?