Over the course of the Team Challenge 2016, Mundesley PGA Professional Ryan Pudney – with a few interjections from his teammates Phil Webster, Kevin Taylor & Jon Batten – will be writing a daily blog on his experience. Here’s the first instalment.
We arrived in Belek in the very early hours of Tuesday following a long day of travelling, but knowing there’s an ice-cold beer and a warm welcome waiting for you at the other end makes it all bearable.
This is our fifth year and it’s always a superb trip. As soon as we get home we always look to book our flights for the following year (Jon: “Then we look for a PGA Pro, but can never find one so get stuck with Pudders.”)
Walking into the Sueno Deluxe Hotel was amazing, the hotel is simply stunning and having Eddie (Reid, TGI Managing Director) and Adele (McLean, TGI Group Services Manager) waiting to greet us despite the time was a nice touch.
On Tuesday (March 1) we played the Dunes Course and, having looked at the card beforehand, we thought it would be quite straightforward. How wrong we were. Despite being relatively short it requires a lot of intelligence to score well…unfortunately as a team, brains is something we severely struggle with.
To make things a little more interesting we always have a competition between the four of us, with Phil and I taking on Kevin and Jon. Unfortunately we lost the first day, and my shoulders were seriously aching from carrying my partner (Phil: “That’ll explain why you shot 81 then?”)
We do like to let them win though as it helps their confidence going into the Team Challenge.
Following our round we had a few drinks, perhaps a few too many, I think the pints of brandy Kevin was drinking was going a bit far!
This meant Wednesday’s golf was a bit of a write off – we played The Pines and it was a struggle to get round. Another stunning course though with two closing holes which are simply beautiful and ideal for the team format.
Thursday saw the first day of competition with the Turkey Scramble on the Pines Course, so we thought we have a quiet night on Wednesday as the travel and all the drinks finally caught up with us.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed we set out in the Scramble with good intentions. Unfortunately the day didn’t get off to a good start when the head of my wedge flew off on the driving range (Kevin: “I think we’re the only team who has to closely supervise our PGA Pro!”).
The story of our day was our putting, we couldn’t sink a thing (Phil: “Ryan obviously thought golf was easy as he’s been and bought a putter that he can’t use to make it harder”).
There were some tough pins out there so you had to be in the right place to give yourselves a decent go at making the putt. In our case this happened rarely and when it did we couldn’t get the thing in.
It was still good fun though, a great course and we’re a little bit more relaxed this year as it’s never helped us in the past when we’ve had quiet evenings and early nights (in previous years Team Pudney has gained the nickname The Bridesmaids due to being so close, but never winning).
Tune in tomorrow for the second instalment of Pudder’s Tales.