The Unwritten rules of Winter Golf

January 8th, 2011

With the recent spell of cold weather we’ve been dealt a harsh lesson of how to keep warm on the course.
 

So when the wind whistles and the temperature drops think layers, layers, layers and unless you’ve been tipped the wink that George Clooney’s on the course, forget about fashion and the fact you’re probably going to waddle from tee to tee.
 

Keep your thongs and G-strings tucked well away in your drawers until they’re needed in the warmer months to avoid those unsightly vpls – what we girls do for fashion!   Instead keep those kidneys cosy by slipping into big bloomers, the kind that pull right up to your midriff.

Invest in a thermal vest (avoid beige unless you want to look like your Granny) and remember your mums wise words about “tucking it in”                                                                              
Okay, you’re unlikely to nip off for a hot date straight after the golf course wearing your ‘Bridget Jones’ and unflattering undies but believe me they’ll plug any gap nicely so there won’t be any wind whistling up your jacket.
 

Don a hat but avoid the woolly, prickly variety or you’ll be frantically scratching by the 2nd hole with fellow golfers wondering if you’ve picked up a few nits.
 
Accept the fact that you’ll start off feeling like a block of ice but are likely to be steaming nicely by the 5th hole (earlier if you’re menopausal) and by the 10th tee you’ll have probably boiled over and peeling bits off.
 
Outer mittens are a godsend but can prove cumbersome -   you try tying up your laces or negotiating zips and pockets with 1” of wadding.
 
Threading your mittens together through your sleeves may revive childhood memories of sensibility, particularly as you’re likely to slip them off and on about 100 times during a game.    Do bear in mind striking your golf club with a pair of mittens dangling from your arms could produce a most unusual flight path.
 Recognising the silhouette of golfing friends on the golf course, even with 20:20 vision, can be fraught with disaster as you strain to distinguish individuals from an army of rotund, well clad, Michelin like figures.   Best to be overfriendly and wave to everyone to avoid offending.
 
Looking on the bright side, winter may have it’s challenges but there are perks stepping onto the course in the nippy weather, for instance:
 

  • You’re likely to have a speedy round - let’s face it who’s going to waste time looking for balls. 
  • Not everyone will be a tough cookie like you so there’ll probably a scarcity of golfers on the course which means no hanging around
  • Bad weather’s one of the best excuses you can have for a rubbish round
  • You can justify consuming a whole Mars Bar on the basis of needing extra warming calories
  • Temporary tee cups are much larger – thank goodness
     

Of course, there’s always the option to hibernate and hunker down until the Summer but the lack of exercise tends to have a rapid, thickening effect on the waistline.  So if you want to avoid the ‘cuddly look’, engage your endorphins, get the gear and tiptoe out onto the turf.
 
Finally, the next time you’re struggling to hammer a tee peg into the frozen ground, think of the poor green keeping staff when they have to sink another cup!
 Copyright of Ladies4Golf – January 2011
 

 

New Year, New Start….

January 4th, 2011

If you’re looking for a new start in 2011, then why not try golf.  

It definitely has the triple F factor - fun, friends and fresh air in abundance.

Join in our Taster Session and you’ll be with other complete beginners so you can learn the game together.   Held at the Marriott Meon Valley Golf and Country Club, near Fareham in Hampshire on Saturday 5th March from 11.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m.  All the equipment is provided so all you have to do is turn up and be guided by our very patience qualified PGA Instructors.  Only £15 per person

Tempted?    Contact Claire on 0794 109 5725 or email on ck@Ladies4Golf.com - it could just change your life!

 

Jenny’s poem at Ladies4Golf Christmas game 2010

December 13th, 2010

(held at Alresford in snowy and icy conditions!)     

There was a young lady named Claire with passion she wanted to share 

So she took out an ad  saying “Girls don’t be sad, Come on take up golf if you dare” 

There came forward an intrepid bunch.   Fed up of being ladies who lunch 

They all bought some clubs, left their friends in the pubs and found golf was a truly great punch 

With determined and infinite flair Claire nurtured her fledglings with care.   

She took us to Spain More experience to gain.   

And soon we were talking on Air. Ladies4Golf grew apace.  

Claire set up new targets to chase.    

She even asked men but then thought again - we had enough hazards to face! 

More travels and weekends away.   New venues and courses to play 

With Claire as our guide We played golf with pride  And that’s why we’ll all here today 

And now with the temperatures freezing We thank Claire with very good reason For Friendships we’ve made 

And the fun golf we’ve played. Here’s to you Claire – have a great festive season. 

Written by Jenny Little, Christmas 2010      

If you’re thinking of a new hobby for 2011 then come and try golf.  Friendly golf lessons available  - email Claire at ck@ladies4golf.com   

   

DO YOU FANCY A WEEKEND OF GOLF?

December 13th, 2010
 
   

Dorset Golf and Country Club (nr Poole, Dorset) have a number of luxury Scandinavian Log Homes which have been awarded Golf 5 Stars by the English Tourist Board and are conveniently situated adjacent to the Golf Course in a tranquil woodland glade.   Ladies4Golf are organising a short break on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th April 2011 which would include: * Bed, breakfast and evening meal (Table d’hote dinner)
* 3 days golfing on a 27 hole course
* Nature trails and cycling/walking routes nearby
* Luxury accommodation (5 star) with sauna and log burning stoves, pine floors,
veranda and fully fitted kitchen (we can pack our own wine to enjoy in the evening)
* Ensuite facilities
* Twin bedrooms 
The cost would be approximately £180 per person based on two sharing. A single supplement would be £25 PER NIGHT. 

If you are interested then please email Claire on ck@ladies4golf.com    A deposit of £50 would be required with the final payment made direct to the hotel when booking out.   

 

Back packing at the Belfry

November 16th, 2010

With all the equipment and gadgets available these days, it’s easy to take a leisurely game of golf for granted, however, having recently experienced a short break at the Belfry I was given a sharp reminder of mean and lean golfing and the importance of planning ahead. 


My first game was played in glorious sunshine on the Derby course but when heavy showers and severe gusts of wind arrived on the second day I was surprised and horrified to learn no trolleys were allowed on the Brabazon course and carry we must!   Now, when you’re an aging, 5’ 3” female with a dodgy back, hacking round 18 holes with a HUGE golf bag is simply a no-no but luckily we managed to persuade the Pro to rummage in the back for a lightweight bag rather than pack the bulky hire specimens left in the shop.

Lightweight it may have started off as, but by the time I added clubs (a treasured selection), balls, tees, spare gloves, brolly, food, drink, jumper, purse, mobile phone, lip salve and other bibs and bobs, it morphed into a full blown backpack and in the soggy, gale force conditions, made it more of a survival course than a golf course.

Being flustered and disorganised prior to a game is not conducive to a good score but luckily the delightful Starter thankfully spotted a lost soul and generously topped me up with tees then calmly chaperoned me to my first hole, which happened to be the challenging 10th tee - whoops, there goes my first ball to a watery death

The Brabazon is a stunning, sculptured, four times Ryder Cup course with more water features than any other course in the UK and probably why team America only won once.  So in hindsight, why I thought I was going to conquer it with only 7 golf balls in my bag, particular with the rough FULL of autumn leaves, is a complete mystery!  

So, on the basis I moaned and groaned my way round 18 holes, would I play the Brabazon again?    Well, if I could persuade the refreshment van to carry my extra golf balls plus half of my kit and meet me on every third hole then I would consider returning at this time of the year, the next best alternative is probably a caddy! Now a caddy may sound extravagant but the thought of strolling up on the first tee with a clean set of golf clubs and everything ready packed sounds very appealing plus I wouldn’t be doubled-over for the next 4 to 5 hours trying to support and balance my whole life on my shoulders as well as multi task with a brolly.

As someone who has honed the art of justifying many expensive purchases over the years, I could easily defend my decision on the basis I wouldn’t have to fork out for numerous visits to my physio to reconstruct my spine!

Meanwhile, here’s hoping they just build a buggy path for the more fragile golfers like me! 

Good golfing, Claire      ©Ladies4Golf – November 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                   

                    

 

Where do golf balls go?

November 4th, 2010

As I cleared my garden ready for the winter I realised golf and gardening have something in common.    We can spend a lot of time and effort to sow seeds and put plants in the perfect place to achieve good growth, however, even the best garden programme can fail because of the wrong soil or location, yet Nature can successfully sow plants in the most peculiar places.  

For instance my lawn this year became bare and patchy because of the hot, dry weather yet the minute cracks in my block paving drive was full of thriving tuffs of grass and other plants, despite being in a wasteland environment.

Golf balls following a similar pattern.   We take great effort to keep the balls on the fairways and greens yet they frustratingly end up all over the course, lost in leaves and long grass, tripping off trees, drowning in ditches, lunging into lakes, bombing into bunkers and hiding in the heather.   

Over the years I have seen balls hit cable lines, wooden stakes, ropes, sprinkler heads and other completely bizarre objects, defying all the odds and proving impossible to repeat. One such example happened when I played golf the other day and my playing partner mishit the ball.  Luckily I was watching so I saw the ball hurtling towards me and managed to duck and quickly turn my body.   Nevertheless, it still managed to hit me on the top of my shoulder and I ended up being stunned and hopping around in pain.   

With nothing broken, we resumed the game after a few minutes and started to look for the offending ball.   I didn’t have a clue where it had gone as it all happened too quickly and nobody else saw where it went either, so after looking in the obvious places we gave up the search and a new ball was to be played.  
 

At that point I bent down to pick up my clubs and suddenly realised the missing ball was in my gillet!   It must have ricochet off my shoulder and popped in at great speed with nobody noticing.   It became even funnier as we tried to fathom out how we should play the ball as we were in a club competition - do we play it as it lies, could I run 100 yards up the fairway and drop it on the green.

Anyway, we ended up crying with laughter and it’s one missing ball I will always remember. 

Good golfing, Claire

©Ladies4Golf 2010                                  

             

      

   

 

Courses and Conveniences

November 4th, 2010

We golfing gals are made of hardy stuff but with an average round taking roughly four hours the delicate subject of bodily functions and particularly the call of nature is important – crossing your legs for hours on a fairway and still playing decent golf can prove very tricky. Okay, golf’s an outdoor activity, so limited loos go with the terrain but the average age of lady golfers probably necessitate more strategically placed toilets, or at least dense foliage at regular intervals otherwise the alternative could be Tena Lady.

Course conveniences vary from musty old sheds tucked away in trees, converted farm buildings, trips back to the clubhouse and finally there’s the dreadful plastic urinal, Port-A-Loos.  Port-A-Loo survival techniques should include NASA training to function in a confined space, using your wet wipes wisely (the alternative is sturdy thighs) holding on tight to the toilet roll and your glove (not necessarily in that order) and learning how to operate the pump and open the door using your elbows.  

If the toilet facilities are limited and you have to nip behind the bushes here’s my best survival tips:
      
       

 

  • Avoid playing on links courses as there is limited opportunity to ‘bobby down’        

      

 

  • Avoid gorse, hawthorn bushes and stinging nettles – the thought of the Club Secretary completing an H&S incident report could make interesting reading        

      

 

  • Always look behind you – you never know who could appear from another fairway at a crucial moment        

      

 

  • Work those pelvic floor muscles but please don’t attempt to practice them whilst addressing the ball as it takes multi-tasking into a completely different league        

      

 

  • Watch out for swampy areas as explaining how mosquitoes managed to sneak into your knickers could be awkward        

      

 

  • Warm golfing gear may keep you snug in the winter months but is likely to be a nightmare when it comes to peeling off layers and negotiating buttons and zips.  Avoid ‘all in ones’ at all cost        

      

 

  • Don’t bother packing one of those ladies weeing devices as there’s no way  you’ll be able to discretely slip away or have time to read the instructions        

On a more serious note, whilst ‘nipping behind the bushes is considered normal on our golf courses, if you were to do the same in a Park (also a cultivated environment) it would  be thought quite unacceptable.  It’s also interesting that Selfridges opened their department store in 1909 as one of the first shops to offer ladies restroom facilities to encourage women to shop.   The idea proved extremely successful and profitable, so maybe our golf clubs could use this example as part of their recruitment policy to attract more females into the game, although having said that I very much doubt whether an advert stating how many loo stops on a course would carry much influence.

Finally, if you’re playing in a mixed game and your partner has disappeared behind the bush during the round, then remember to pucker up on the 18th hole and avoid shaking hands at all costs!    

Good Golfing, Claire   ©Ladies4Golf 2010        

  

 

 

 

 

Is learning Golf like learning to drive a car?

February 22nd, 2010

Having recently watched my daughter learn to drive, it occurred to me there are striking similarities between learning to drive and learning to play the game of golf, for instance:    

  • Learning the language is a must.  Personal I’ve never quite grasped my ‘near side’ from my ‘off side’ but in the case of golf you’re not creditable unless you know it’s called a club and not a stick, remember it’s a bunker and not a sandpit and when someone says they have a bogey, you don’t offer them a hankie.    

  • Safety is paramount when driving and on the golf course.  At some stage, there’s the sudden realisation the equipment you’re handling has the potential to be a lethal weapon - have you ever watched a complete hacker let loose with a One Wood on the first tee?    

  • The need to multi-task seems impossible when you first start out.    In the case of golf, the average Golf Professional will have your derrière sticking out, your fingers inelegantly and awkwardly wrapped around the club and a swing plane that defies every part of your anatomy.    

  • When you get it wrong driving a car you can end up crashing the gears whereas in golf you can crash the ball into the undergrowth, never to be seen again    

  • The equivalent of the ‘Sunday Driver’ chugging along in the slow lane, naively causing chaos behind them, is usually the Corporate Golfer, zig zagging around in their buggy.   ALL THE GEAR BUT NO IDEA!    

  • Road Hogs are also found on the fairway in the form of golfers hard on your heels, desperate to overtake even though they rarely get very far because of the traffic ahead    

  • Drinking and driving in a car, or on the course, should be avoided.   Many a good score card has been ruined by a large Pimms at the halfway house    

  • Good eyesight is essential.  Okay there aren’t many signs to read on a golf course but knowing which direction your ball went is a basic requirement    

  • A calm temperament is imperative to avoid Road Rage - in the case of golfing, a cool approach to bad shots helps to avoid a ’spontaneous earth beating ceremony’    

  • If a friend or partner bravely volunteers to give you lessons then be wary.   Apart from the likihood of cross words, you’ve no idea what dreadful habits they’re transferring.  They might look like a crack golfer, but launching a ball 250 yards off in the rough isn’t something you want to include in your repertoire of shots.     

  • The golfing etiquette and rules are the equivalent of the Highway Code and as one of our members once said “learning them is actually harder than playing the game”   Do something wrong in a car you are likely to be ‘beeped’ but get it wrong on the golf course then you can bet some ‘old timer’ will ‘bark’ at you.    

  • Your golf gear equates to the car you drive.    Having an all singing and dancing, remote controlled electric golf trolley is the equivalent of driving a big, juicy, luxury car. Whereas if you push a trolley you’ve ‘gone green’ and reduced your carbon footprint    

  With a few lessons and a bit of practice you could soon be driving your golf in the right direction.   Meanwhile, thank goodness there’s no test before stepping out on a golf course, which is just as well otherwise half the golfers today probably wouldn’t be allowed to play!     

Good Golfing, Claire  

p.s.   If you enjoyed our blog then forward it onto others and sign in again soon   

© Ladies4Golf 2010          

    

    

Who says Glamour and Golf don’t go together!

January 4th, 2010

The Met Office recently announced November to be the wettest on record but as golfers, we could have told them that by the first week of the month – let’s face it when you play golf you become obsessed with the weather!  Continual downpours have turned our bunkers into ponds, our greens into marshes and our fairways are more like fenlands.

Luckily there’s some great all weather kit on the market these days, so for the newcomer to golf, here’s Ladies4Golf top tips to arrive back in the clubhouse with a bit of dignity and style:     

 

  • A waterproof top is essential but beware it can turn into a ‘boil in the bag’ with all the other clobber you’ve donned.   Ok, it’s one way of sweating off a few pounds but beware you may end up with red face and look like you’ve entered the ‘hot flush’ era.  One option is to buy big (that dreadful phrase frugal mothers use) but the downside is looking like a ship in full sail.    

  • Plastic Pants are a key item for your bag to avoid a soggy crotch and a designer ‘splatter’ look on your golfing trews.  If you do decide to slip into waterproofs on the golf course then remember it takes great agility and poise to manoeuve one’s legs into a plastic gusset so take great care or you may come a cropper!    

  • The Wrinkled look   Those clever little plastic macs that pack into the size of a 50p piece are a ‘god send’ to keep in your bag for emergencies.    However, they’re tricky little devils to put on – a bit like trying to put on underwear whilst still a bit damp!  Also when they’re unwrapped they tend to look like a screwed up bin bag so give them a good shake first.    

  • John Wayne Walk  Choose your wet wear material with care as there’s many a golfer in wet weather gear who distractingly rustles up the fairway with every stride unless they adopt a John Wayne’ style of walking (arms and legs a kimbo) – most unlady like!    

  • Wash & Blow Dry   Hats come in all shapes and sizes and are vital to avoid looking like you’ve had a very bad wash and blow dry by the end of 18 holes.   Make sure your headgear can be anchored down so the wind doesn’t take it but beware it’s not too tight otherwise it act like a vice around the head, cutting of the blood supply so after a few holes you’re more fixated on your numb frontal lobes rather than your game.     

  • Flat Head    A definite draw back of wearing hats can be the ‘flat look’, where it looks like the top of your head has been ironed. The trendy option is wearing a baseball cap, but whilst Posh makes caps looks like a fashion statement most of us just look like a mature student and end up with a sweaty head and a distinct ridge in the hair when we peel it off.    

  • The Joan Collins look    If you’re brave enough you could pop a few rollers in your hair and cover with a large woolly hat so when you whip it off on the 18th green your hair just tumbles into a glamous bouffant!      

Personally, I’ve spent most of my golfing life looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards and fully accept I might not all look as stylish and composed as Catherine Zeta-Jones when I re-enter the club house (although I always strongly suspect her caddie doubles up as a make-up artist). 

Therefore my very best tip if you suspect you don’t look your best is to avoid any mirrors until you’ve downed at least a couple of glasses of ‘something strong’ in the bar as it tends to help blur the vision and by that  stage, you just don’t care! 

Good golfing, Claire 

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© Ladies4Golf 2010