Kelly Bridges, love.golf coach at Broadstone Golf Club in Dorset, recently took 13 love.golfers on their first golf break to Islantilla Golf Resort in Spain, and it went down a storm… We spoke to Kelly and some of the love.golfers who took part in the trip – Nicki, Lindsay, Karen and Di – to find out all about it!
All the love.golfers attending the trip were still new to golf, so how did they feel about playing golf abroad?
Karen: “I thought ‘My goodness! I’m going on this holiday, I don’t know anybody apart from Lindsay. I don’t quite know how I’m going to get on!’ but we all got on so well – we are all like minded women!”
Nicki: “I was the only one from my group on the trip and the only person I knew was Kelly, so I had a massive wobble, and Kelly said ‘I promise the other women are lovely – you’ll be fine and you won’t be the weakest. Everyone will help you.’ but I was having such a panic.
“But, we met together on course beforehand so Kelly could introduce us which was lovely, then we sat on the plane together and we were friends by the time we landed, because everyone had the same story! A different entrance into it but had the same story, the same challenges, the same excitement.”
Lindsay: “Kelly put the trip together to Spain and said ‘Who would like to come?’ and I’d already said ‘If you ever do one, I will come. I’m always up for doing something different and exciting.’ and that was that! So she booked it and I signed up for it! I wasn’t too worried, because Kelly was going and everybody I’ve met through the classes that Kelly is doing and on the on-course sessions had always been really friendly and I knew they’d all be at a similar level to me.”
Kelly organised the trip via Tarleton Travel, a golf travel company based in her hometown of Northampton, and ensured the women were comfortable and learnt as much as possible, as she explains:
“It helped that it was 27 degrees – it was glorious sunshine! The staff at the hotel and course were amazing! We used Tarleton Travel – if we had a problem, I picked up the phone and they sorted it. They were just really good!
“Some of the girls had handicaps when they went away, some of them were really nervous. It was quite a challenging course, but we made it a Texas Scramble on the first day, which they loved, and I chaperoned! I was in a buggy driving round and making sure they were OK.
“The second day I played four holes with each group. So they had an on course lesson with me playing with them as well! But they also had two hours of coaching every morning, including chipping, bunkers, putting, driving, iron shots and awkward lies.”
So what were the girls’ opinions on their first ever golf trip abroad?
Di: “It was absolutely fantastic – everything I hoped it could be having been the first time ever going on a golf trip! To have it organised, because you just don’t know what to do, so Kelly did it wonderfully through the travel company and they thought of everything – we just had to turn up and go!”
“The women were just brilliant, the resort was wonderful, everything just worked! Kelly of course is wonderful, I’m sure she was thinking ‘Oh my god these people are so noisy!’
“Once you’ve gotten into it, it’s like ‘I can do this! I can play golf!’. We had great fun with the buggies – I’d never driven a buggy before! And of course the golf improved, which is what we were there for!”
Lindsay: “The trip to Spain was just… I’ve never laughed as much in my whole life – it was fantastic! We were the loudest group in the whole place – it was such good fun! Honestly it was the best holiday ever!”
Karen: “It was the perfect opportunity! To go away with a load of women and we were all in the same boat really, some of them were complete beginners, some hadn’t been playing golf for very long. We had a bit of tuition while we were out there. It was just fun! We were all very supportive of each other and it just worked!”
Nicki: “In the heat, the ball was going a mile, we were like ‘This is great!’. We just had the best time and it was organised so well – there was nothing we needed to do.”
“Obviously we didn’t drink wine at lunch time… We obviously did! Or gin & tonic! Whatever you needed to get you round! Then we just sat in the bar in the evenings after we’d finished, had a de-brief and then danced, sang and drank wine and it was the best time that I’ve ever had! I have never had a girls holiday and I’m over 50! It was the most empowering experience I think I’ve ever had! It was awesome!”
“I wish I’d known how good it was going to be before I went because I was really, really nervous! I’d just say ‘be brave’! Be brave and just go for it, because what’s the worst that’s going to happen? My whole life has changed because of golf!”