Golfshake Editor

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  1. Golf Objectives for 2018

    Now that we're edging towards Christmas, it's always a time of year to reflect on what you did over the past 12 months and what you hope to achieve next year. Naturally, for us, that means primarily golf. What are your hopes and ambitions for 2018 on the golf course? For me, in my first year playing regularly in St. Andrews, I've had the best year of my golf life for just that reason. I haven't played as well or as often as I would like, but I've been able to access some of the finest links courses in Scotland and experience the most iconic setting in the game. It's been a dream and surreal. I've been able to play with several new and old friends, and it's a thrill to share this place with them. Incidentally, if any of you are coming here, get in touch and we can have a round. But I would like to play more next year - certainly in the early months on the calendar when the place is quieter, trying to get my game into some kind of shape. My golf has been in general decline for a few years, and much of that is unquestionably a result of not playing or practicing much. I've also set myself some individual goals for scores and things that I'd like to do, including breaking 80 and making a birdie on the Old Course - which I've embarrassingly never done in many rounds. Though I half count my two pars on the Road Hole as being half birdies. Essentially, I want to enjoy my golf more and feel like my game is moving in the right direction again. So, what are your objectives for the year?
  2. Well, the shops have been playing festive music for weeks, but now that we're in December, I suppose we can probably now talk openly about Christmas. This is both an exciting and troubling time to be a golfer, as you hope that loved ones will buy you a suitable golf related gift - maybe something sensible and useful for the year ahead - but invariably the stocking is filled by something less than inspiring! So, what are your Best and Worst Golf Christmas Gifts? For me, a personal highlight as to be when I was 16, when my parents bought me a membership at the local golf club. That was massively appreciated and got me playing the game properly and consistently after only really going out occasionally before. I can't think of any particularly bad ones, but I've heard some horror stories!
  3. Reading Any Golf Books?

    Have you been reading any golf books lately? I'm presently working my way through Arnie: The Life of Arnold Palmer by Tom Callahan, which is certainly worth catching up with, but I'm wondering if there are titles that you would recommend. Could be anything, from instruction, courses, or players and events. May even unearth a potential Christmas stocking-filler or two!
  4. Are You Joining a Golf Club Next Year?

    Yeah, that does sound quite interesting. Noticed they had more clubs for this year. Maybe something for others to consider!
  5. End of Season REVIEW

    £210 a year, which is quite possibly the greatest deal in the history of human civilization.
  6. How far is too far !?

    Madness! (I've done that)
  7. End of Season REVIEW

    It's been my first year with a Resident Links Ticket in St. Andrews - meaning I can play all seven courses. Feel incredibly fortunate to be in that position and it has been a thrill to experience them all regularly, particularly the Old Course, with a highlight being in June when I played it alone in the evening as the last player out. Finished in dusk. Could barely see, but it was special to have that opportunity. Living here has brought me into contact with many different people. And the social side has really been the most positive thing. I've met and played with several people I first encountered online, including a guy from the United States who I played 54 holes with in 24 hours. His first time over. Sharing that with him was wonderful, and I've had a number of those chances this year. It's even more enjoyable than playing. Seeing St. Andrews through their eyes and sharing that with them. However, my golf itself has been fairly atrocious, with the odd bright spark. I have arthritis in my hands and haven't been able to grip the golf club properly for well over two years now, and my game has declined progressively over time. There just isn't the consistency anymore. But I remain optimistic and I cannot complain playing in St. Andrews!
  8. How far is too far !?

    I think it depends on your routines. Maybe there is a club halfway between where you work and home. My dad lives in Perth, Scotland, but works in Dundee. Which is about 24 miles away. He is a member at Blairgowrie, roughly halfway between the two. Means he can go for a game in the evenings on the way back home. Key is finding the right club. One that you're happy and content with. Discovering that is worth potentially extra journey times.
  9. Are You Joining a Golf Club Next Year?

    I would like to think not. Sounds like you've been unlucky. Hope you find a better club. If you need any help with finding potential golfers to meet, put a message out on the forum and we can push that out across Twitter and Facebook to maybe fine someone in your area. Perhaps even in a similar position to you now!
  10. Are You Joining a Golf Club Next Year?

    It's been interesting to read the changing habits of UK golfers lately. Club memberships are seemingly no longer vital, with many electing to be more nomadic, playing a variety of courses without joining a specific club. However, are the benefits of being member still enough to entice golfers to sign up? That was the topic of an article on Golfshake by Derek Clements, who gave 20 reasons why you should be a member of a golf club. What about you? Are the competitions and familiarity of a golf club appealing, or do you now seek greater flexibility in just paying as you play? Personally, I'm something of a unique example, living in St. Andrews. I have a Resident Links Ticket - meaning I can play all the courses - but I'm not a member of a specific club. Something that I am now thinking about. Intrigued to hear your thoughts and whether being a club member is something you believe is a necessity these days.
  11. What is Your Favourite Links Course in the UK? That was a topic of discussion on the latest Golfshake Podcast, hosted by myself and Owen Davies. I picked through some of my favourites in the Scottish Highlands - Royal Dornoch, Golspie and Castle Stuart - in addition to talking about my affection for the Old Course at St. Andrews, which I was coincidentally fortunate enough to play again yesterday morning. Owen mentioned the links of Royal Cinque Ports, Royal St. George's, St. Enodoc, and Goswick Links as being some of his favourites. So, the question is, what are your favourite links courses in the UK? What made them stand out from the rest? You can listen to the latest Podcast here, where we also look at some of the best areas in the country to experience seaside golf.
  12. What's the Most Scenic Course You've Played?

    Good choice! Not the monstrosity that is the PGA Centenary. Excellent! There are a number of stunning courses in northern Perthshire. Pitlochry stands out in my mind. It's not always about the "quality" of a course, but the experience that it provides you. That's what I'm like with Bute GC. It feels uniquely special to me.
  13. What's the Most Scenic Course You've Played?

    Rothesay Golf Club...
  14. If you watched the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, you would have seen Rory McIlroy hitting some incredibly long tee shots, reducing Bay Hill to a drive and pitch course at times. Despite what the R&A and USGA have stated, this is something that is becoming more commonplace, with courses continually being stretched beyond their limits. It's making the game more one-dimensional, and harder for a talent like Rory to distinguish himself, as technology has made it easier for more players to hit the ball extraordinary distances. What do you think? I've put my thoughts into a larger article, but do you even see it as a problem, or has the game been outpaced by the clubs and balls available today?
  15. Looking at the spectacular and breathtaking Lofoten Links in Norway - situated 100 miles inside the Arctic Circle - it got me thinking of some of the most scenic courses that I've played, and how did they compare with that incredible place. Fair to say that I haven't seen anything else quite like it! I'll forever have a warm attachment to Bute Golf Club, which was the formative course in my life. In terms of a setting and the tranquility, it's a real personal one for me. So, what is the most spectacular or scenic (maybe even strangely located) course that you've played?