Category Archives: Golf courses
Readers of this post will have seen images of my watercolours of the North Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland before.
Tomorrow sees the start of the Open Golf on the Dunluce Links of Royal Portrush Golf Course on that beautiful coast.
The Open was last held there in 1951 and for it to be there once again is a great achievement of many people over many years.
I could not help wanting to post some watercolours of the coast of Antrim and to start with a new painting of the 5th Green on the Dunluce links which is right next to the shore. This hole is next to White Rocks bay and is often called that. It is challenging like the whole course and this weekend I am sure we will all see much excitement on the course from all the world class golfers assembled there.
But Portrush is only a part of the wonderful coast line that starts in Carrickfergus and stretches all the way to Donegal. Here are selection from the many watercolours that I have painted over the past years. The whole coast is such a delight to visit due to it’s proximity to the sea, the wonder of the Antrim Glens and amazing places like the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and its many excellent golf courses.
And when you have seen all the sights you can happily retreat to the Bushmills Inn for great food and drink and good company.
Enjoy watching The Open, I will!
Last weekend we enjoyed watching the amazing Master’s Golf on the TV from Augusta. As ever it was fantastic spectacle, and made even more so by Tiger Woods once again winning the Trophy.
While watching I sketched these three small watercolours as the scene of the course with the Azealeas is as always so wonderful to see.
These are simple line and wash watercolours, each one about 9 inches by 8 and on Khadi watercolour paper in the sketchbook.
It could have been one of my ” Places I would like to be” posts and maybe one day we will visit there to see the beauty of this golf course at first hand.
I hope you like them , and if you play golf that the quality of the play from the Professionals will inspire your game too.
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Escaping the British winter if only for a short time is always part of our plan!
We had never visited Tenerife before so the lure of sun and good golf brought us to the Abama Resort in Tenerife
In fact the weather was perfect for golf and warm enough to enjoy time lazing by the pools.
We even managed some touring about on Tenerife to get a feel for some of the island and it’s scenery.
Tenerife is dominated by the Volcano, Mount Teide although there hasn’t been a significant eruption for over a hundred years.
Tenerife is very mountainous and to get to the North of the island we had to go over a 3800 foot pass with its very, very windy roads. The cliffs at Los Gigantes are spectacular and big as their name suggests and they sweep down to the sea from the mountain range that we travelled over to go to Garachico and the North.
In amongst the golf and relaxation there was time to paint a few watercolours in the sketch book which is now my favourite medium when travelling. A quick pen and ink sketch followed by some watercolour washes gives me a good record of a place or landscape. Of course the plan is to paint larger watercolours at home. However the sketches work pretty well for the blog.
The Abama golf course is also very hilly and challenging with unforgiving greensand very fast greens to make it even harder. Luckily eveybody uses a buggy as walking the course would tire a mountain goat!.
Our trip to the north and especially the little town of Garachico yielded a very pleasant lunch experience in a little family restaurant called “Candelaria” in Garachico. Their home made bread and enjoyable menu and owners made the lunch great. If you are ever there do go and find it and try it, it was really nice. It is at the back of the town about 100 metres from the main Square
Our time in Tenerife was brief but enjoyable and we did find the sun!
If like me you have been avidly watching The Players Golf Championship at Sawgrass this pas weekend then you will know all about the famous 17th Hole.
Congratulations to SW Kim on his win and to Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen on coming joint 2nd – great achievements.
Alas I have never been to Sawgrass but if you have ever been golfing in South Africa and have visited Legends Golf and Safari in the Limpopo region then you will recognise this replica hole there with the Entabeni mountains in the background.
Legends Golf and Safari is a remarkable place with a large game park, home to the Big 5, and a signature Championship Golf course. But maybe it is best know for it’s Par 3 hole, “The 19th” , the highest I think in the world , where to play it you have to go up to the Tee in a helicopter and then the green is 400 metres below you and is in the shape of Africa. It is amazing!
We have been lucky to have been there twice and once for the Wedding of our friend’s, and great golfers, Ian and Lynnette which held on top of the mountain by the 19th Tee! A World First and a magical experience.
Have a look at their website. legendhospitality.co.za/
Here is another watercolour of the Mountain from the Lodges at Hanglip, a wonderful place to stay in the Resort.
Golf and Holidays in South Africa are wonderful experiences, if you have been then great, if not get it on the list!!
Some time ago I posted about “Places that I would like to visit”. The first one was of Lake Bled, Bellagio and New Zealand and my thanks to those who enjoyed seeing the paintings and the post.
This is the second in this occasional series of watercolours of places that I do hope to visit one day.
This post is about The Master Golf Championship at Augusta in Georgia in the USA, and the far North West of Scotland.
Being a keen golfers for many years I have watched the Masters Golf each year and that yearning to visit returns each year. It isn’t just for the golf ,the course looks both amazing and very beautiful at this time of year with flowers and Azaleas in full bloom.
From a photo, taken of the TV screen, I painted the watercolour above, a few years ago, which I hope you will like.
Maybe one day I will visit but until then just watching and painting has to be enough!
By next Sunday we will know who is this year’s Winner and Augusta National will disappear from our screens for another year but the memory of the course will remain. Good luck to all the golfers who are playing this magnificent course.
The second pair of paintings were gifts to some friends who love to spend time in the far North West of Scotland, near Durness and Cape Wrath. Painted from photos they try to capture the beautiful coastline at Balnakiel Bay and Sandwood Bay. The coastline of Britain is spectacular and these two parts of Scotland are more places that I would like one day to get to.
I’ll just add them to my bucket list!
Happy painting, Travelling and Golfing!
Each year we are fortunate to travel overseas for a great golfing week with some wonderful friends.
Over the years we have golfed in South Africa, San Diego, Mauritius, France, New Zeeland and Portugal, and every time we have great fun.
This year was no exception and our golfing group met at the Costa Navarino Resort in the Peloponnese region of Messenia in Greece.
Ian Goldleman who runs Pro Golfing Tours ( www.progolfingtours.com ) creates our trips which include excellent tuition and lots of golf.
The weather this year was a little mixed but we all had great time. Many thanks to Ian for organising everything and Bruce Framer who came along to help us with our golf tuition. Sadly Lynnette Brooky could not be along this year but we look forward to seeing her another time.
I won’t bore you all with the golf outcomes as this is a travel and painting blog after all, however the resort was very nice in a lovely area of Greece. Located near Pylos in the south western end of the Peloppones, it is about 4 hours drive from Athens, and about an hour from Kalamata.
We managed some sightseeing and visits to some ancient monuments in the area too, principally Olympia, Methoni and Messene. Olympia was very atmospheric and really enhanced by the lovely wild spring flowers.
There are also some very good restaurants around the area and two were really outstanding. In Pylos there is the Taverna O’Koukos, and in Gialova, La Cucina Italiana. Two quite different restaurants but both really very good!
O’Koukos was absolutely splendid and the food prepared and organised by Kosta and his mother Maria was delicious, and served by the terrific Roland! If you are ever in this area do go along there as it is such a treat!
Like all our holidays I took the opportunity to take along the watercolours and managed to complete some pictures, which I am delighted to say our group have now taken home with them!
However I always keep a photo record so here are some of my weeks watercolours.
Nearby to Navarino Bay is the extraordinary beach at Voidokilia, here painted from an aerial photo and below from photos taken by me on the beach itself. It is an amazing sight and the clear waters are popular in the summer. No swimming in March though!
South of Pylos there is the quet little town of Methoni. Once an important Venetian port and the scene of many battles. Methoni Castle is vast and at the seaward end has small castle on an island, which can easily be visited. From there the view across to the island of Sapientza gave me a nice back drop for the painting.
Navaroni Bay is protected by the Island of Sphacteria and a string of smaller islands. They can be seen from all over the area but the view from Pylos castle is the one I have used here for this painting. In the summer I believe there are boat trips from the harbour to the islands which I am sure would be great.
Pylos is a very nice little town with a bustling central square and many restaurants. However do not miss going to O’Koukos restaurant at the northern approach to the centre of the town.
Of course our main aim of being at Navarino Bay was to play golf. The Bay Golf Course has many great views of the area and below is just one . Again the islands and Pylos are in the painting but this time from the fairway of the 2nd hole on the Bay Course.
I have come back with so many more photos that I hope to paint of this lovely and interesting area of Greece but they will have to be for another post.
I hope you enjoy this one and if you have been or plan to be in this area maybe they will serve as reminder of the lovely area and it’s very friendly people.
Happy travelling, (and golfing!)
We have just returned from a wonderful holiday at Legends Golf and Safari where we enjoyed some golf and the opportunity to go to the Wedding of our good friends Ian Godleman and Lynnette Brooky.
We have been travelling with them (Pro Golfing Tours) on great golf trips for many years and this one was no exception, made even more exciting by being the venue for their Wedding. You can see more about Legends Extreme 19th hole at http://www.legendgolfsafari.com/extreme-19th
Theirs was the first Wedding to have been held on the Extreme 19th Hole at Entabeni. The tee has to be reached by helicopter and is over 400 metres higher than the green below which is in the shape of Africa.
The Wedding ceremony was held on the mountain top and after the ceremony we all teed off to see how good a score we could achieve on this totally unique, and very tricky Par 3 hole. It is the highest Par 3 tee in the world and was such a fantastic venue for the Wedding.
All the guests enjoyed the unique experience and we all wish them Good Health and Happiness for the future. You can see more about the Wedding on the Ladies European Tour Website.
I managed to paint a few watercolours whilst there and I hope you will like them. The views and the animals at Entabeni are really spectacular. I used some web images to help with the animal paintings on this occasion but we were lucky to see Lions, Giraffes, Elephants, Cheetahs, Rhinos and lots of Wildebeast, Antelope and Zebra. The trip to the golf course is daily safari, and one morning the Lions had made a kill just upside of our Lodge!
After our great week there we then travelled to Mauritius for some more golf and relaxation at le Tousserok. The location by the Indian Ocean and it’s fine golf course on an island is a really terrific destination. Not much time for painting, but here are two , one of which I painted quickly on the return flight of 12 hours from Mauritius to London. Painting in the cabin was a first for me and a bit tricky with the slight turbulence.
The last painting is one that I painted in 2008 showing the Bernard Langer designed golf course at Le Tousserok. I thought it was worth including it here.
Anyway please enjoy these paintings and if you ever get the chance, golfer or not do go to legends at Entabeni,it is really great place to go!
Over the past few years we have travelled on a number of Golfing Holidays with some great groups of friends. This is my 2012 update to the previous Blog
With Pro Golfing Tours we have visited Portugal, Mauritius, New Zealand ,Legends Golf and Safari resort in South Africaand in 2012 The Grand Del mar near San Diego in California. Legends,about 3 hours north of Johannesburgh has the highest par 3 hole in the world, The Extreme 19th. To play it we had to go up to the Tee in helicopter. At 1400 feet the green below looks small and is the shape of Africa.
These have been great vacations organised by Ian Godleman and Lynnette Brooky. It has been terrific to have been there with such a great group of friends.
This has given us the opportunity to see some new destinations and for me to paint some of them. Occasionally this included painting some of the golf holes on the courses as well. Of course I couldn’t leave out a view of my home course too when the bluebells were in bloom. Here are some of those destinations both recent and over the past few years.