Posted on: 7 September
After a rest week in France stocking up on croissants and local cheeses, it was time to give my cholesterol levels a well-earned break and head out on the road again. Next stop – The Swiss Legends event. The tournament is at the Bad Ragaz Resort; a venue that all the players love returning to each year. The golf course is nestled in the alps with beautiful scenery and the hospitality is second to none. The weather was perfect for golf, even getting a little hot towards the end of the week. A good result – another top ten.
After the tournament there was no rush to get back to my base in France as there was a two week break before the next tournament. So I took my time driving back through the Swiss Alps, stopping off in Lake Como, Milan, Monaco and visiting friends in Sete. Talk about dropping a few names! The wonderful thing about playing in Europe is that there are so many great places to visit in between tournaments and they’re all so close together. Needless to say a relaxing 5 days.
After some practice in France it was back across the channel to play 4 tournaments over 5 weeks around the U.K. The first event was the Senior British Open held in Wales at Porthcawl GC, a challenging links course. The Open is a major and attracts all the best senior golfers from around the globe and Porthcawl is a course befitting the Open.
The second event was held at the world JCB Headquarters playing the JCB Golf Course in Uttoxeter. You know a company, like JCB, is doing well when its owner decides to build a golf course to entertain family, friends, customers and employees.
The third event of this four tournament swing was down in Hertfordshire at the Hanbury Manor Resort. I played this golf course back in ‘97, ‘98, and ‘99 but as time has passed my memory is not what is used to be and I could barely remember any of the holes so it was like playing a course for the first time.
After a week off it was up to Scotland to play the Senior PGA in Scotland at the Trump Links International just north of Aberdeen. The course is on a beautiful piece of land, right on the coast and set amongst the sand dunes. The course is as visually stunning as it is demanding, and it is definitely one of the best golf courses I have played in all my years on tour.
I would like to say that the weather over the four weeks was beautiful, since July and August are supposed to be the heart of the UK summer, but it was anything but. Wales had gale force winds and rain, the JCB event was less windy but there was so much rain that the final round was cancelled. The wind abated somewhat for Hanbury though the umbrella was much needed and I still didn’t need sunscreen for the three days. And thankfully in Scotland the wind didn’t blow hard but the umbrella was well utilised and multiple layers of clothes was needed all four days.
As always, I enjoyed the golf though the relentless weather had me looking forward to a week off. I’ll be playing two more events (one in Paris and one in Germany) before I head back to a sunny Perth spring. I am looking forward to resuming my coaching at Wembley in late September. To book a lesson visit michaellonggolf.com.