Friday, 13 October 2017

Red Tee Tour 2017

Hello ladies, I am please dot provide you with loads of detailed information about three amazing events we ran this year in aid of Breast Cancer Care

In our third year to support Breast Cancer Care, we had ladies come from all over to take part in this fun and friendly golf competition, the Red Tee Tour.  An 18 hole pairs betterball tournament playing off 90% handicap

Playing just over five and half thousand yards from the red tees the ladies were in for some cardio exercise as they meandered their way around the lush green golf course.  Lush and green as we had a drop of rain the day before, which in turn made for some slow putts, but otherwise the course stood up to the elements fairly well.

It isn’t the easiest of courses for ladies, it does undulate and give you a good workout but it also gives rewards and the ladies ‘lovingly’ regaled stories of how they made (or missed) the putt on…. after a glass of wine

Nearest the pin was played on hole 6, named stalkers walk a 133 yard par three with a clear view to the green enticing the ladies to go for it, and a number of them certainly did, before the winner of the nearest the pin, which apparently was very close and yes she did make her Two was Bridget MaCauley from Naunton Downs GC.

The longest drive was hole16, called Welcombe Run at 447 yards this par 5 was not an easy hole, with a stream to think about for the second shot and a tiered large green there was no option but to go for the flag.  The longest drive was won by Lorna Godwin from Study Wood GC.
The best thing about playing hole 16 is seeing the imposing lavish Jacobean hotel in the distance, dominating the landscape and offering some respite knowing that was where lunch would be served in two more holes!
Overall winners were Linda Sherry and Jane Petts from Northampton GC with a great score of 38 points closely nipping at their heels with 37 points were Lynda Pearce and Tina Lewis of Cotswold Edge GC who beat Katie Greenwood and Lois Price of Ross on Wye GC on count back for second place.  All prizes were donated by the Andalusian Tourist Board and the main price by the venue itself for a return stay with golf and food.

The host venue provided a very tasty and substantial hot buffet after play of three main dishes, a side and salads, which the ladies loved whilst enjoying the view over the gardens from the Nestfield Suite.  18 holes of golf and an amazing spa make Hallmark Stratford  a great place for a short golf break.

Linda gave an enthusiastic speech, thanking the venue and ourselves for the hard work whilst acknowledging what we are doing for ladies golf and were chuffed to have won the Red Tee Tour at Hallmark Stratford and of course really happy to be returning for their prize.

Series two and three of the Red Tee Tour was held at Murrayshall, Perthshire and Formby Hall near Liverpool

Perthshire is inland Scotland and arguably a beautiful area to attract lady golfers, especially those not so keen on Links golf but still want to experience the Scottish golf and hospitality.  Picking Murrayshall was a great move to partner with to host the second Red Tee Tour for 2017, the hotel is friendly and comfortable and the golf course, albeit a bit tough in places is right on the doorstep.  A golf course offering views across the county and beyond was well received by the ladies .  The nearest the pin on the 4th hole, aptly named ‘the pond’ leaving the rest to your imagination was won by Lesleyanne Tufft, one of our lovely regular supporters.  The longest drive was a bit of a monster by Morag Wardrop on the 13th Hole  a 366 par 4 hole- well done both Morag and LesleyAnn, both great achievements and well deserved prizes courtesy of the Andalucian Tourist Board.

Despite the wind blowing a gale and the girls being swept here, there and everywhere the golf course played well and the winners of the Red Tee Tour evert at Murrayshall were Catherine Gerrard and Ann Coleman of Loundon and Bonnyton Golf clubs with a very respectable 37 points.  Runners up from Dunbar and Peebles Golf clubs were Lorraine White and Denise Richards, former winners of the Northern ladies who put up a good fight with 36 points.

Lunch afterwards in the clubhouse was a relaxed affair enjoying the lunch of soup and sandwiches and a welcome respite after the windy game of golf the ladies experienced.  Soup and sandwiches didn’t really showcase the excellent food at Murrayshall, but the ladies who overnighted got to see the versatility and skill of the chef.
Winners Catherine and Ann won a selection of amazing goodies from the Andalucian Tourist Board and a voucher to stay and play at either Linden Hall or Cardrona Golf Hotel resorts part of the MacDonald chain.

Formby Hall bought a small but perfectly formed group of ladies battling it out for their event
near Liverpool.  A purpose built venue for golfers and spa users alike, with the hotel being a simple walk across the car park to the first tee.  The weather wasn’t the best as these ladies went about their business with a massive smile on their face and Im sure whisky or something similar in their water bottles?  The course did play tough, in fact all three courses in the series have been tough for the ladies, so I guess that pretty much makes it even!

A modern and friendly hotel and staff greeted the ladies with the spa being a hit for the ladies who overnighted the night before and sneaked in a practice round beforehand.  A lovely lunch of sandwiches and chips awaited the player after their games. On the day Lydia Brannan made the longest drive leaving a number of ladies quite a ways behind her tee shot on the 7th hole a par 5 428 yard hole off the red tees.  The nearest the pin was a tricky shot over the water on the 16th, a par three measuring 126 yards beguiling its actual yardage by a troublesome stretch of water to negotiate.  I am pleased a lot of the ladies made the green but the winner on the day was Jean Nanson.  Both Jean and Lydia won prizes donated by the Andalucian Tourist Board.
Winners on the day with 38 points were Alice Apel and Jean Nanson of West Lancs and Allerton Manor golf clubs.  Well done ladies for winning the great goodies from Andalucia and a voucher to stay and play at any UK Q Hotel.

The purpose of the event is for Breast Cancer Care and we have raised a whopping £863 which is made up of the charity donation for the prize draw of a Sun Mountain Golf bag and the committed contribution we made to the charity from the entry fees received.

The golf bag prize draw was done on the final day at Formby Hall by one of our winners on the day and the winner is Mandy Ellis who was actually present and a participant of the Red Tee Tour at Formby Hall, who took the bag with glee.

Thank you to the host venues : Hallmark Stratford, Murrayshall and Formby Hall; to our prize sponsors: Hallmark Stratford, Linden Hall/Cardrona and Q Hotels and thank you most of all to the Andalucian Tourist Board who helped us fill those great goodie bags and provided wonderful prizes for the ladies

Interested in playing any of the host venues, or taking part in the Red Tee Tour next year?

Please contact

Friday, 29 September 2017

THE LBD of Miami

In a meeting Turnberry Isle in Miami was described to me as the little black dress??

Every lady has a little black dress, it may not be black or even a dress - but its is your go to outfit, one that is consistent, can be jazzed up or worn as day wear.

But how can that relate to a golf resort? 
Turnberry Isle is a stones throw from Miami airport and also from downtown.  A little oasis hidden in the middle of high rise buildings, the entrance doesn't even give you the true sense of what this luxury golf resort brings.  But why is it an LBD resort?
Simple - you can take Turnberry Isle and stay to have a great time in this five star autograph Marriott collection hotel, but jazz it up a little with the on site 18 hole golf course, the newly refurbished extensive spa or just sit by the pool and relax in Italian style decor  Add a jacket for the evening and dine in the excellent Michael Mina Bourbon Steak Restaurant, then push the boat out - add the pearls, or in this case try the excellent cocktails, an experience enhanced by the extensive knowledge of Rafael, Assistant GM and guru on the menu, even contributing his own carefully thought though and I dare say ‘researched' cocktail - Shogun - a must try to truly understand this mans depth of commitment and knowledge to enhance the success of the already great restaurant.
Daily entertainment can be by way of playing one of their two 18 hole golf courses.   Not particularly long courses, but with the option to choose the tees befitting your ability, you can make your game more of a challenge if you wanted to.  Incredibly pretty courses, with gardens spilling onto the course at tees and greens giving tranquility its best shot in amongst the high risers.  That said, I didn’t feel over-looked or that the buildings were on top on me whilst playing, the buildings have been designed to celebrate their individuality, whether deliberate or by happy accident this adds to the experience of playing Turnberry Isle.  The course is narrow in places, greens undulate and require some thinking, but be careful not to over think that, on the surface of it, tricky putt.  Water is in play a lot, always with bail out but nervy courses none the less.  Not forgetting the crows - menacing by appearance and menacing when they decide to take your ball and drop it out of play.  I cannot understand why, playing the percentage game, the ball was never dropped by the pin or even further up the fairway.  It made for amusing games - but they did like the shiny new golf balls and were quite fussy about their quality too - Pro V’s were their speciality.

Think about shedding your LBD and visit one of two swimming pools, one for the families and the other for the adults offering welcome respite after a game of golf, both attentively served by willing staff ready to bring the odd glass of much appreciated cold ice water - or whatever you want to your sun bed as you relax in the Miami sunshine oblivious of the world outside this oasis resort.  Relax and enjoy a sip of ice cold water infused with fresh fruit under the shade of a pool umbrella before taking a dip in the warm water of the pool - heaven in earth in a big city - you just wouldn’t know that.
A buffet or a la carte breakfast is served in the Laguna lounge, where pressure is just a word only applied to the waiting staff as they busy themselves to please the guests, everyone else is on a different plane relaxing and enjoying the extensive offerings with the attentive staff making this an easy transition.
Miami may or may not be your destination of choice for a holiday, but it can almost certainly enhance any experience you may have when visiting for work by simply adding on a couple of days to relax and unwind, play some golf, or simply relax in the amazing Spa, where treatments range from near medical to massages to pedicures, the choice is extensive.  

Beach access and a shopping Mall across the road, this resort really does have it all - and the best thing - your LBD will be right at home at Turnberry Isle Miami, whether you choose to dress it up or not you will be embraced into this all encompassing resort.

So I finally  got it, Turnberry Isle Golf Resort and Hotel really is the LBD of Miami in the golf world

Monday, 11 September 2017

Girls with Balls

Alicante Airport - gateway to Mercia and Andalusia, Spain

Four lady golfers take to the skies arriving at Alicante airport before heading South into Mercia and then further South and onto Andalusia.

An hour South from Alicante Airport takes us to Mar Manor Hotel and Golf Resort.  An intercontinental five star resort with 18 holes of golf on site.  The advance scouting party arrived, the party consisting of two lady golfers, myself from the UK and friend and fellow golf tour operator, Siggi from Iceland.  
Being a bus mans holiday for me I was keen to see everything Mar Menor could offer, so we sat by the pool and did some very in-depth research on the colour blue of the inviting swimming pool, after of course eyeballing the fellow sun worshippers that afternoon. A beautiful round pool with sun beds aplenty, gradual access in the warm water help to eliminate the beached whale dive bomb approach - besides who can do gracefully in a bikini anyway!

Dinner at a local restaurant that night gave us the opportunity to dine off-site, coupled with a local well stocked supermarket everything was within easy access for our two nights at Mar Menor.  
After a days relaxing we were keen to get going on our golf the next day, we could see the course from our room, past the pool and its pull was overwhelming.  We were playing a two ball - nice not see that the resort didn't do the rack and stack approach and let you play as two balls, however in this case we voluntarily joined up with two chaps who were also a two-ball behind us as we were flanked by four-balls.  Mar Menor is a well laid out 18 hole golf course, fairly flat and therefore easy’ish to play in the heat of the Spanish sun.   Bunkers dominate the golf course, with water very much coming into play on holes 13, 14 and 15 as you make your way up the 13th with water on the right, across the 14th and back down the 15th with water being circumnavigated.  Strategic play is the name of the game on these holes.  Lush green fairways meet tidy playable greens to give you a good all round experience for the visiting golfers.  The course is called The Residence, and it doesn't take long to see why, houses line the fairways, some grand individually designed others like two peas on the the pod painted in rhubarb and custard colours that only the Spanish can get away with in their sunshine
A few drinks relaxing in the welcoming bar afterwards with our new found friends and fellow golfers.
Dinner in the main restaurant that night was by way of an extensive menu.  Being used to the 3:3:3 menu, we were treated to a six course meal by way of a set menu.  Admittedly each course wasn't a big plate full of food, rather a good taste to appreciate the diversity of the local food on offer, with one fish and one meat dish minimum.  Served with a glass of Cava to start and a crisp refreshing rose for dinner, all in all a lovely relaxing experience for great food
Comfy beds await the weary in a good sized room and a luxury bathroom.

Packing up the bags and waiting for the other two girls, Jane and Kristin from Scotland and Norway respectively, we were all looking forward to the second part of the Girls with Balls tour and the next leg of our trip an hour further South at Valle del Este, Andalucia.
We arrived and quickly made our way over the Hole No.19 for a little tapas before taking to the fairway for 9 holes to blow the cobwebs away.  It wasn't pretty playing golf, in truth this was the first time we had all played together, couple that with travelling just took its toll. Not to let this get in our way, the onsite 19th hole called again.  We were on a dinner bed and breakfast package, the kind of packed our clients would be on at this resort, offering us a variety of food throughout our stay as well as the opportunity to relax and enjoy the few days with each other.  I must admit that first night for dinner really set the bar high, with tuna and sushi being my choice and the odd salad thrown in for a bit of greenery.  Being a buffet, there was lots on offer to suit everybody, with a separate dessert table full of local puddings to choose from - the rice pudding a local delicacy and out of this world.

A late tee item the following day gave us the chance to have a nice relaxing breakfast, again by way of an extensive buffet then to the pool before a cava driven lunch before play!  We split the teams so everybody played with each other and had a ‘buggy’ competition.  Jane was my partner and she reminded me about how to play golf with her steady, gentle and accurate swing - the kind of swing that has been worked on to perfection.  Scrabbling behind with my massive over-swing, we did manage a half.  Hole 3 challenged us with a slight dog leg left for this Par 4; a ditch down the left and water on the right for its narrow approach shot.  Hole 5 became the nemesis  with the water being in play on the drive on the right and again across the front of the green for the approach shot.  I gradually got worse on this hole with day one being a 4, day 2 a 5 and day three, two balls in the water!  The rest of the group got better so I clearly peaked too early!  It must be said hole 9 is a thought provoking Par 5 in a crescent shape, left is key to playing this hole.  As you approach the back 9 the course goes away from the hotel, giving you the best views back over the valley and course.  Being a dessert golf course, dues to its lack of rainfall in the area, Valle del Este holds up remarkably well.  The greens had just been hollow tined and top dressed, so they were a bit bobbly but essential maintenance only makes the course better for the rest of the year.
Rocky formations and ‘scares’ (unkept grass ‘bunkers’), trees, water all there in full glory to test the visiting golfers.  Small hills, elevated tees and big greens enhance its appeal.  No hole was the same,  on this pretty course.
 The four star on site hotel offers golf views from your room, good sized rooms and decent facilities, put this with a small commercial centre where you can find the 19th Hole and Karen’s bar and  couple more other shops, Valle del Este is great for a few days away in the sun with the girls.
And what of the second match?  I was partnered with Kristin, a steady 18 handicapper who bought home the bacon on the last hole with a brilliant approach shot traversing the water on the left.
Ladies a few days golf is becoming more and more accessible, we are the only golf tour operators to focus on travelling lady golfers, we understand your requirements and work with you to ensure you have a great time - whilst we were all in the business, it takes one person to do the organisation and I was happy to do it - the only problem we now have is where to go next year?

Fancy joining like minded ladies to Valle del Este next Join us at Red Tee Breaks for a fun in the sun girls only competition, a no pressure competition with the emphasis on fun with a lady golf pro to correct the error of our ways!

Contact for more details.