1996 the 1st time my Father took me to a golf course, and this was the view from the 1st Tee at Four Marks Golf Club.
My father use to play golf a fair bit when I was younger, when he started taking me out to walk with him I remember him asking me to finish off the short putts for him. Eventually he got me a junior set and I began to play with him from time to time. In 1998 when we moved abroad I stopped playing. I was never that into golf but I did enjoy it. My father continued to play for a few more years before he stopped playing golf.
Fast forward to the end of Summer 2017, I was asked by work to play in a corporate golf day at St Mellions Resort in Cornwall. I had been rebuking offers of golf all through spring and summer of 2017, but this was an event I wasn’t able to say no to.
I frantically rang my father asking if he still had his clubs, and if he could help me at the range so I wouldn’t embarrass myself to much. Of course he helped despite not playing golf for around 10 years, he lent me his clubs from the 90’s and with a little bit of help and a few range sessions I managed to attend the event and didn’t make a fool of to myself.
It’s quite ironic that my Dad introduced me to golf 21 years before I had to ask him to help me start playing golf again. It’s ironic as 21 is quite a special number for me and the family, I use to race motorbikes and 21 was my number for most my racing career.
During the start of 2018 and into the Spring I regularly offed for my Dad to come play a round with me at my local 9 hole course.
“Maybe Next Time” was the most popular answer, but he did come and walk the course with me on the odd occasion. Even despite me offering him to hit a few shots here and there he never did.
If any of you know me really well, you know I can pester most people into submission and this worked. I got him out on the local 9 hole course in the Spring of 2018. At this point I had my own clubs so he went back to his clubs from the 1990’s which we later found out were knock offs!
Golf welcomed my father back with open arms! However 10 years away from the sport left Dad with a few frustrations. Not sure of why particular shots were happening and still not 100% sure how often he would play golf he plodded on with the odd round with me from time to time.
As I got more into golf, we spoke more about it as the 2018 season progressed I continued to offer from him to join me for a round, more so when I joined my 1st club at the Grove Golf Club near Pothcawl.
By the end of Summer 2018 Dad was back, the bug had struck. So much so he had upgraded his clubs to a set of Ping G30’s and we were starting to play some local courses on a hunt for a club he could possibly join!
The range by my father is like the local golfers watering hole, want any gossip on local golfers or clubs? Go to Tycroes Driving Range!
It’s here that my Dad started to have lessons to get back into the swing of things, it’s also here where Garnet Golf Club was spoken about quite a lot. So that September we played it for the 1st time and then again in October. It’s a good challenging course with fantastic views as it’s on the side of a Mountain! The greens are outstanding as well, but it’s a tough walk with some serious hills and suffers really bad in the winter so we ruled Garnet out. Despite this my Father remained on the hunt for a golf club to join. I’d regularly call up my Mum to find my Dad was out walking, playing or visiting the local golf clubs. He would make the morning or afternoon for some of these! He thought he found a course at the end of the 2018 but held off. The club he thought ticked all of the boxes was Derllys Court Golf Club. Sound familiar? It’s my new home club as well.
Despite not joining throughout the rest of the year he continued to have some lessons, golf had truly got a grip of him. So much so he even started updating his golf wardrobe a combination of Ping and Adidas.
I had an idea for 2019 of playing the Top 5 courses in Wales (I’ve also reviewed them – check the home page), my Father jumped at the chance to join and play some of the iconic courses of Wales that included Royal Porthcawl.
April 2019 was the start of the tour, at Celtic Manor on the 2010 course. It was an awesome experience, but for my Dad he loved the fact he was playing a course that he watched the Ryder Cup on. Walking the fairways that the likes of Tiger Woods, Jimenez, Furyk had walked and played, it was a feeling that hit home for my father more so than me . The highlight of the round was my Father getting his par on the 17th Par 3. We both said before the tour started that getting a par on each course would be an achievement.
Following this round my Father jumped all in and Joined Derllys Court, he started having lessons with Robert Ryder the local professional who had also been the head pro at Ashburnham and Carmarthen golf club. It was getting serious now! I’d get texts while I was I work of him saying he was off to play golf! It was also the start of him being able to beat me on a few rounds! This changed things for both him and me, I’m quite competitive and being able to play better and being a member had given Dad more of an incentive to play more golf.
His short game is his strength; it’s an area I can’t really compete with him on.
We continued the tour throughout 2019, and my father got his 1st handicap in over a decade. 21! He couldn’t believe it; he would have liked a few more shots but was pleasantly surprised to only be 1 shot behind me and boy didn’t he like to remind me!
He got fitter, being out on the course walking. I did have to convince him to stop taking buggies as he was partial to having one more often than not. He’s noticed the difference though, he’s fitter and healthier for playing golf whilst having a hobby that he now loves more so than when he was playing years ago.
My father and I played more golf together throughout 2019, more so as I moved house and club and I found things at my new golf club (not Derllys). It was a lot different compared to The Grove where I moved from and I wasn’t a huge fan of playing with the members there plus the course was always busy meaning I couldn’t always play on my home course. Hence me playing more often with my Dad at Derllys.
Seeing my Dad’s improvement I even started having lessons with Rob at Derllys.
2020, I joined the same club. I spend a lot of time a there for a number of reasons and despite it being a 35 minute drive it’s worth it. My Dad has renewed and we were hoping to even compete in a few competitions together before COVID-19 hit.
We also had another tour planned for 2020, plans are still up in the air though.
However despite all of this, my father is out on the course as I write this article. Rubbing it in that I’m not out for another week. Today 18th May as I post this article it’s his Birthday! Happy Birthday Dad!
Getting into golf has personally been great for me, it’s a great escape and a great sport. I’ve started the blog and I’ve met some great people playing golf. It’s been particular special getting my Dad back into golf though, not only has it made him fitter and healthier it’s allowed us to spend some quality time together as well something that we don’t always get the chance to do.
Through golf my Dad has met up with old friends that hasn’t seen in years. Recently before lockdown myself and Dad played with one of his old work friends and his son. All because of golf, and randomly bumping into each other at Derllys Court!
So as the courses open here in Wales, it may be a while longer before I can get a round with him but it won’t stop either of us playing golf!
Until Next Time, Stay Safe and Happy Golfing