So the last Friday Golf Society rocked up for their annual Match Play having completed another successful summer series, anticipation was building as for the next three days we get a small taste of what being on tour might be like. Upon arrival we was met by the golf services team who tagged our bags then showed us around making us all feel so welcome by the way that was the last time I touch my clubs (apart from playing with them) until I put them away on day three.
Roman Road was our first test which was in excellent condition, especially the greens that were running true and fast – also very difficult to read! Fairways were also very good and the rough was very punishing – so stay on the short stuff if you can! The course had a bit of everything from wide open fairways to some real tight golf holes that need very careful course management at times. The Match Play was a won by the Reds, which did have our handicap secretary playing for them and it didn’t go without notice that a few of the Reds were off their new improved handicaps! (bandits) Our accommodation for our two night stay was the Coldra Court Hotel which is off site but only a few minutes’ drive away from the courses and they actually provide a shuttle service that we took advantage of the following day, as it seem like the Yellows were drowning their sorrows to the early hours! Check in was amazing with 14 golfers all turning up at once and along with other guests arriving at the same time reception was well manned and took no time at all to get us all checked in and our evening meal pre-order list was waiting for us too – there was a slight issue as some of the guys were checked in to double rooms but the hotel staff rectified it straight away to the relief of their roommate. Dinner for both nights was the Rib Smokehouse and Grill with great décor and food alike, service was swift and smooth and kept our glasses top up, although breakfast was a bit of a slower affair when it comes to getting tea and coffee to the tables. You couldn’t fault the friendliness of the staff and the fitness facilities were well equipped.
Day two saw the whole society all getting the shuttle bus to the mecca of golf – The 2010 – now from the moment we were met by the golf service team until the moment we got back on the bus it had the wow factor. A full guided tour of the club house along with a few 2010 stories just to add to the occasion. The locker room, well what can we say very elegant but was surprised with the mood lighting, now we was allocated a locker each, I was lucky enough been allocated Phil Mickelson and when chipping in on holes 3 and 9 It left me think did the locker rub some of Phil’s magic off on me? They have a well stock Pro shop and the lads got well in to the merchandise so well worth a visit, now with the tee times looming we was whisked of VIP style to the range for our warm up – the free range balls went down well and was surprised to see the greens slightly slower than Roman Road and just slightly easier to read. The course itself is a gem which was in excellent condition and every hole seemed to be breath-taking! Be warned it’s a long walk and took us 5.5 hours to play but the well-stocked halfway house was just what the doctor ordered. A little tip is go one club up for all shots on this course it seemed to play long on every hole, this was soon worked out by two of our guys who both nearly got a hole in ones on our nearest the pin – one knocking it to within six inches only to be beaten by the group behind! Having finished on the superb par 5 18th with a testing third shot over the lake to an elevated green where even if you was slightly short you just rolled straight back down in to the waiting lake, it was time to have a post-match pint while the golf services team cleaned and transported our clubs to the Montgomery ready for day three and for us it was time to head back to the hotel for some well-earned R&R.
Day three and the Montgomery which having played The Montgomery in Marrakesh I was looking forward to comparing the two. It started off really well and the third par 5 for me is one of the breath-taking holes I have played to date, it’s a hole where a well-placed tee shot gives a nice downhill second that if correctly executed leaves the average golfer a nice little pitch in to the green. Unfortunately the weather was against us and the heavens opened and play was suspended on the seventh. The disappointment of not completing the round soon turned to joy when the rain check vouchers was offered and the realization that it was an excuse to return again to what was a magnificent golf destination with great staff, great courses, great practice facilities and at a great price thanks Generation golfer!