Yesterday was just a blur, waking up in Manchester early doors and then getting to Dubai for bedtime. I have to say though if you have chance to fly Emirates Business class then wow what a service. They pick you up at your house at just the right time, check you in right away, slip you though security quickly into their lounge where you sip lovely coffee before boarding when you like before gate closes. The flight itself was a dream, 7 hours of Zen Golf on my audio book and Football Manager 2017.
This morning we had a 10am tee time with our host, the one and only Colin Montgomerie at his home track – The Address Montgomerie, Dubai. The BMW United Kingdom team all played with Monty as a 4 ball. Tired (struggled to get to sleep last night with the time difference), nervous and excited – you can imagine what my first hole was like. Blob. Sliced the drive right, fatted the drop, duffed the chip, thinned the bunker shot and picked it up. Cheers Colin I must have looked like a proper idiot! To be fair though the big man was as nice a host and a gentleman as you could want to meet. He was chatty, supportive, funny and insightful all at once. I know he is being paid to be there and does this now as a senior player probably more than he does his competitive golf work but he had the gig down to a tee.
The course was fantastic. Some early cloud and even a bit of drizzle during breakfast quickly broke into the hot, hazy sunshine you would expect in the desert. It led me to think I may try sun glasses tomorrow if they have a suitable pair in the Emirates Club pro shop. I can imagine they will have everything! I have never played in sun glasses but you can lose the ball so easily when you hit it because it goes into the sky and vanishes. You find yourself watching the green in hope that it plops out of the sky onto its intended target.
The greens were lightening quick compared to what I was used to at Prestbury in an English February. I couldnt believe it on the practice green but they were even worse on the course. Tap here or there was all it needed, and you had to give the green a proper read as the thing did swing and uphills werent just stopping they were coming back if you didnt hit it hard enough. The fairways were like carpet and the rough was that spongy stuff you get in foreign courses we dont seem to get in England.
From my scorecard you can see that with 11 points on the front 9 and 21 points on the back 9 that nerves and settling in did take its toll. When I had hit some good shots though the good feelings soon started to spread and I was holing more putts and hitting crisp wedges. the work we did around 80-100 yards really came into its own as I was very happy with myself from this distance.
Today was a day of fun though and despite starting seriously with my Game Golf on, I quickly tossed that in the golf buggy and just played it like I would with some friends. Just one was a Ryder Cup captain. Overall though thanks to Colin and his team for doing that as they didnt have to. He threw it in as an extra prize when we won the National Final at St. Andrews. The big man stayed for a drink with us in the bar after as well which was fair play to him. We had a good chat about his social media. Needs work to make more money from it!
The evening started off very seriously with a 30 minute long player briefing as BMW wow’d us with their video and then hit us with 40 slides of local rules. Wow my head was spinning but the compeition looks great overall. Real time scoring, handicap adjustments the works. I then shot off for a massage. I am 36 now and after a round of golf I am stiff as a board so I need to go and get stretched off. Hopefully that will do the job when I wake up in the morning otherwise I will be booking an emergency appointment.
The evening was a lovely buffet banquet by the beach attended by all 40 countries. We had a table with the New Zealand team which was odd as every one was actually born in China but now living in NZ. Ringers for sure!
To bed now but before I do, I have a competition to announce so stay tuned to the next post……