Yes ! Just one week after taking up golf as a new hobby I embarked on a golf weekend with my husband who IS a golfer. It may seem a bit rash as I haven’t had any lessons and have only pottered about at the local driving range, but you will remember in a previous blog post I decided that golf was going to be a new sport for me. So feeling brave ( and a little reckless ) I decided that a relaxing golf weekend at a beautiful hotel was the right choice. After all, if the golf failed then at least I had the option of going to the hotel spa !
So last weekend we ventured south to The Belfry Hotel in Wishaw, West Midlands which is a well known golf hotel resort. The journey from North Yorkshire took just over two hours. The hotel is located at the centre of the country and is ideally situated for anyone living in the UK, as it is well supplied by excellent road links.
The Belfry Hotel is famous with all levels of golfers and has hosted the Ryder Cup matches more than any other venue in the world. It is therefore steeped in history, with three stunning golf courses suitable for all abilities. The Brabazon is the most famous of the three as this is the course that hosted the Ryder Cup. Of course I am not advanced enough to play on such a challenging course so we were booked for two rounds of golf on The Derby course. This is a gentler course suitable for those of us with a handicap of double figures !
The Belfry Hotel itself has recently had a complete upgrade of all facilities and is truly spectacular. The decor in the public areas and the bedrooms is just stunning and provides a relaxing ambience for guests.
We booked into a Superior Double which was located in Derby House on the ground floor. The room was of a good size with complimentary sparkling water, chocolates, slippers and fluffy robes. The best part of the room was a patio area located through large patio doors. As we had decent weather it was perfect to sit out on our patio and watch the golfers teeing off. I do love a spot of people watching.
The hotel has various places to eat including The Ryder Grill which offers a la carte dining. Rocca’s Pizza Pasta restaurant which offers a pizza/ pasta selection. Brabazon Lounge offers the most amazing afternoon tea and finally Sam’s Club House which provides classic pub style food with glorious views over the golf courses. Ooh, and just an added extra for a coffee lover like me. There is actually a Starbucks situated within the hotel which also sells essentials for hotel guests as well as yummy coffee ( and cakes ! )
There is also a fabulous pool, leisure club and Spa which is well worth a visit. The pool is so nice and welcoming after a hard day on the golf course to relax those aching muscles ( of which I had many)
Well, let’s get back to the golf as this blog post is essentially about my experience as a golf beginner at a golf hotel resort. So how did The Belfry deliver the golf experience to a woman of 54 years young trying to take up golf as a serious hobby ? Let me tell you how I got on and my final thoughts on my weekend at The Belfry Hotel.
Our first round of golf was booked in for just after lunch, so we had a delicious sandwich in Sam’s Club House. I then made my way to the ladies locker room to get changed into my golf attire. I use the term ‘golf attire’ loosely as I actually don’t have any proper golf wear as yet, apart from golf shoes.
My husband bought me these shoes fifteen years ago for a holiday to Palm Springs where we played ( tried to ) on the famous PGA Course. My husband had suggested that I try before I buy. I think he was quietly confident that my keenness to play golf might quickly evaporate after one round. Understandbly, he didn’t want me wasting money on golf wear which can be expensive. Of course I was determined to prove him wrong and I had already got my eye on a cute pink golf outfit which was just my style !
After changing into my makeshift golf outfit which I thought I looked pretty cute in, I headed to the area where we picked our golf buggy up. Oh yes ! Now it gets exciting. We got a BUGGY ! Sorry to all you serious golfers but I have to say I got rather giddy when I realised we had a buggy booked for both rounds. My excitement was rather short lived when Hubby said I couldn’t drive it until I knew where to position it on a course. Although, by day 2 I was driving that buggy like a professional. And LOVING it !
So back to the serious matter of golf. I will be honest I was VERY nervous when we approached the first tee. Everyone ( all male ) looked so professional and I felt totally out of my depth. I nearly backed out as I felt so unprepared and a real amateur and my legs were literally like jelly.
To make matters worse there was a queue of golfers waiting to tee off, but because we were first everyone was stood near the first tee. Watching ! Yep. If it couldn’t get much worse, there must have been about eight guys waiting for their tee slot.
We also had an official starter from the hotel making sure everyone got off at the right time. I actually went up to the starter and told him I was a beginner and I was really nervous. He was unbelievably kind and reassured me that I would be fine. I was so glad to hear him say this as I always believed that golf was a highly competitive sport and beginners weren’t tolerated easily. How wrong I was.
After my first tee off ( technical term there ) I felt relaxed and actually didn’t care what others thought. We met various golfers and hotel staff on the way round the course and every one of them was so kind, helpful and considerate to me, as there were times I struggled to be honest.
Over the two days of playing I played reasonably well and I actually hit some great shots that surprised me ( and everyone else ) I particularly love driving off the tee and putting on the green. It’s just the bit in between that I struggle with ! I also love driving golf buggies. Am I allowed to say that ? I wonder if driving golf buggies is a sport on its own ? If so, count me in !
So to sum up. How did I find my golf experience at The Belfry Hotel ? It was AMAZING. The hotel was fabulous, the staff were friendly and so helpful, the food was delicious and the golf was the best fun I have had in ages. I am definitely going to keep up with the golf. In fact I am going to book some lessons which should stop any bad habits creeping in and also as I really want to improve. Hubby said I can now buy some golf gear ( pink of course )so look out for a separate blog on golf fashion !
As for The Belfry we had such a good time. I cannot wait to go again for more golf, good food and relaxation. Next time we visit, I shall be more advanced in my golf abilities and of course I shall be wearing my new golf outfit. So watch out for me. I shall be the girl in pink driving the golf buggy with a big smile on my face.
Until next time dear friends