December 3 we‚??re back in Auckland and after about 4 days straight in the twilight zone our sleep stocks have been rejuvenated.¬† Of late, we‚??ve been described as tired, washed, aged, weather-beaten, wind chaffed and even hagged.¬† Whilst today, after some decent sleep we felt better, these descriptors kept flowing as an agglomeration of media arrived to the Grange Golf Club in Auckland to welcome us home.
Of course we have already played golf at The Grange this year as part of our mission, and having set the challenge of playing a new course every day we needed to pop out before our afternoon round at The Grange to satisfy the self-made-rules behind puregolf2010.¬† So circa 830am we were teeing off at Ellerslie golf course, a 9 hole par three course inside the Ellerslie racetrack.¬† Like Musselburgh, but not quite‚?¶¬† What could/should have been a festival of birdies resulted in a miserly 2 each, not helped by the ‚??approximate‚?? distances given on the card for each hole!!¬† We don‚??t have lasers or any of these mod-cons to tell us how far to hit it‚?¶ We got it around, with JP scoring a record low for the year of 25... that‚??s about as cruisy as golf gets this year!
Ellerslie is a golfing facility in a handy spot for many Aucklanders where you can go and hit balls at the range, use the practice facilities or play the short course.¬† It revolves around The Golf Warehouse store and the facility is run by TGW.¬† The Golf Warehouse have been great supporters of both ours and The First Tee over 2010 and after golf we headed into their central store in Ponsonby to collect a few prizes to be handed out over the coming weeks.¬† A tour of the store followed courtesy of owner Erik‚??s son Dane (we had met Erik at Turnberry many months ago and have stayed in touch and he will be joining us on day 365 at Cape Kidnappers).¬† Dane‚??s tour proved an insightful look into the business of retailing golf equipment in NZ.¬† If you‚??re looking for a new set of sticks, I‚??d be very surprised if you could get them anywhere for a better price than from TGW.
After our trip to TGW we headed to The Grange where we got the sticks out of Jucy again for another 18.¬† Joined by Jane (my auntie and huge supporter of pg2010 along with her company, Westfield) and Sarge the banter was flowing in our group.¬† Sarge hasn‚??t lost his chat during the course of 2010, despite continually losing to Auntie Jane!¬† JP played with Geoff Burns (The First Tee board member) and Mike Benjamin, another supporter of The First Tee.
It was interesting playing at The Grange again after a year of golf to compare the golf course with.¬† If I‚??m being honest I am surprised that it has hosted so many NZ Opens over the year.¬† Comparing The Grange to Paraparaumu Beach, where we‚??ve just been out watching the action at the National Interprovincials, I know what course I‚??d be hosting the Open on‚?¶ I think it‚??s about time NZ golf decided to get it back there.
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