Special Story

An interesting Journey - Gillian Hammond moves from "learner to champion"

Note from Jeff - Gillian Hammond has been playing golf for a few short year's and has come from "Improving Golfer" to "Champion Improving Golfer" because, while she is learning everyday, her skills and determination saw her through to the African finals of the Windhoek Lager competition in Namibia. The following is her story and it's a nice one!

Gillian

This fantastic journey started when Helen said to me “ U are my partner so go pay your competition fee “ when I asked what it was all about she said “ don’t worry we are going to Spain”! I later found out that we had enrolled in the Windhoek Larger African Jacket Competition and had qualified for the Regional event in George. It was a fantastic day and one of those days where not too much went wrong for me. The first lesson learned, spend the entrance fee, you never know what you missed as if you’re not in it you can’t win it! 
The outcome was that last week became one of the most surprising and rewarding times of my life when against all odds I formed part of the team representing South Africa in the Windhoek Larger African Jacket Challenge in Namibia. I always feel that I am a lucky player rather than a good one as its so enjoyable meeting the girls and sometimes the fella’s that I must admit I lose concentration!! I see many who are driven to win but to me it’s about having Fun and beating yourself and the rest will take care of itself.
At the Regional finals in George Helen and I were pleased with our rounds and just missed out in winning the pairs event but it was a greater surprise when it was announced that I had won the regional singles and qualified for the SA finals at the Serengeti Golf Estate in Johannesburg. 
Although I found Serengeti very different, it makes me appreciate the quality of the Links and I found I was trying too hard and not playing well in the 1st 9 Holes. After texting Jeff and my husband John their responses were unanimous - simply relax and enjoy the experience – surprise surprise I played a stunning back nine - well enough to win the SA ladies event and I was on my way to Windhoek for the International Finals !! 
I was beyond chuffed with myself! Panic, fear, excitement, euphoria all in equal measure was the order of the day as John rushed around changing flights for a planned trip to Scotland, to visit daughter Kimberlee and finalise last minute wedding preparations for her wedding in November. 
I needed to come back a few days early in order to attend the Windhoek tournament. My thoughts were that I should not bother as I had no chance of beating the other 10 winners from other African countries; John was adamant that I had to go at least for the experience if not for the game. Getting my golf kit to Windhoek was another story but all turned out well.
From Landing at OR Tambo from Aberdeen Scotland and flying off to Windhoek was so very exciting and an experience I could never have again.
Windhoek Larger the tournament sponsors pulled out all the stops and provided all transport and 5 star accommodation, our Tournament Shirts, Jackets etc. We were thoroughly spoilt. We were also privileged to visit the Windhoek Larger Brewery where I had my first ever Windhoek Draught! 
The Namibian course proved a challenge and the learning curve was quick and fast with one or two holes never to be repeated and after the first day I was very happy to see I was lying 3rd, and an even greater surprise and happiness when on the 2nd day Johan Stoltz our SA Team Leader called me after coming off the 18th with his arms open ready for a hug and I was certain I was again in the top 3 !! What a great surprise when he told me I had won !! To win this event has been more than I could have dreamed of. Thanks to Helen and Jeff – my mentors I have had an incredible time.

You GO, Girl!

An interesting Journey - Gillian Hammond moves from "learner to champion"

Note from Jeff - Gillian Hammond has been playing golf for a few short year's and has come from "Improving Golfer" to "Champion Improving Golfer" because, while she is learning everyday, her skills and determination saw her through to the African finals of the Windhoek Lager competition in Namibia. The following is her story and it's a nice one!

Gill1

This fantastic journey started when Helen said to me “You are my partner so go pay your competition fee “ when I asked what it was all about she said “ don’t worry we are going to Spain”! I later found out that we had enrolled in the Windhoek Larger African Jacket Competition and had qualified for the Regional event in George. It was a fantastic day and one of those days where not too much went wrong for me. The first lesson learned, spend the entrance fee, you never know what you missed as if you’re not in it you can’t win it! 
The outcome was that last week became one of the most surprising and rewarding times of my life when against all odds I formed part of the team representing South Africa in the Windhoek Larger African Jacket Challenge in Namibia. I always feel that I am a lucky player rather than a good one as its so enjoyable meeting the girls and sometimes the fella’s that I must admit I lose concentration!! I see many who are driven to win but to me it’s about having Fun and beating yourself and the rest will take care of itself.
At the Regional finals in George Helen and I were pleased with our rounds and just missed out in winning the pairs event but it was a greater surprise when it was announced that I had won the regional singles and qualified for the SA finals at the Serengeti Golf Estate in Johannesburg. 
Although I found Serengeti very different, it makes me appreciate the quality of the Links and I found I was trying too hard and not playing well in the 1st 9 Holes. After texting Jeff and my husband John their responses were unanimous - simply relax and enjoy the experience – surprise surprise I played a stunning back nine - well enough to win the SA ladies event and I was on my way to Windhoek for the International Finals !! 
I was beyond chuffed with myself! Panic, fear, excitement, euphoria all in equal measure was the order of the day as John rushed around changing flights for a planned trip to Scotland, to visit daughter Kimberlee and finalise last minute wedding preparations for her wedding in November. 
I needed to come back a few days early in order to attend the Windhoek tournament. My thoughts were that I should not bother as I had no chance of beating the other 10 winners from other African countries; John was adamant that I had to go at least for the experience if not for the game. Getting my golf kit to Windhoek was another story but all turned out well.
From Landing at OR Tambo from Aberdeen Scotland and flying off to Windhoek was so very exciting and an experience I could never have again.
Windhoek Larger the tournament sponsors pulled out all the stops and provided all transport and 5 star accommodation, our Tournament Shirts, Jackets etc. We were thoroughly spoilt. We were also privileged to visit the Windhoek Larger Brewery where I had my first ever Windhoek Draught! 
The Namibian course proved a challenge and the learning curve was quick and fast with one or two holes never to be repeated and after the first day I was very happy to see I was lying 3rd, and an even greater surprise and happiness when on the 2nd day Johan Stoltz our SA Team Leader called me after coming off the 18th with his arms open ready for a hug and I was certain I was again in the top 3 !! What a great surprise when he told me I had won !! To win this event has been more than I could have dreamed of. Thanks to Helen and Jeff – my mentors I have had an incredible time.

My Friend, Robert House!

Everyone's Man behind the scene! 

Robert and I would pull an all-nighter and change around the Golf Shop. Charlie Epps would return from a golf trip with the members and find our work - sometimes with great support, sometimes surprise and sometimes with, "I liked it they way it was". Whatever the reaction, it was still worth the effort! Robert is the man the members have always counted on - behind the scenes, keeping their clubs cleaned and and ready for play. When he and I started together at Houston Country Club in about 1981 (yep, 35 years ago) we made a pretty good team for the members. Today, he is still there - doing what he does best - looking after the members and now the members' kids and grandchildren! Recently, Mr and Mrs John Stanton came to St Francis Links with the Kalos Cruises. I sent them back with a cap and a message. He replied with a smile and his classic "scratch of his head".  By the way, that's me near the middle! 

robert Robert

1983 'The Invitational' Men's Member-Guest at Houston CC with Robert; Robert today, 35 years later - still running the outside operations. 

Everyone's favorite GOLF POEM

Everyone's favorite GOLF Poem 

In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, And Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,...
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.

By Its Size I Could Not Guess
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I've Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.

My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End;
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.

It Has Made Me Curse And Made Me Cry,
And Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises Me A Thing Called Par,
If I Hit It Straight And Far.

To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.

It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.

With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.

It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.

It's HARD being a caddy

It's Hard being a caddy!
sent to me by more than one friend this week  

David Feherty does a stand-up show that is quite spectacular. It's all about his life in golf, the drinking and lots of stories about life on the tour. Here's one of his stories:

It was back in the 70’s and a soon-to-be prominent golfer (Ray Floyd) was playing at Augusta for his first Masters. Back then the players could not bring their own caddies but had to use one of the locals. Floyd told the caddy master he wanted a big fellow who could handle his bag, but who also would keep quiet, no advice needed.

The caddy who was assigned Floyd said, "Hello Mr. ...........".

Floyd said "Hello." And followed that with, "That's the last I want to hear from you."

Everything went well until the 10th hole when Floyd pushed his drive into the right trees on the par 4. After surveying the scene he said out loud, "I'm going to hit a low fade out through that opening to carry and land mid green and then roll over the crest down near the hole."
Surprisingly he pulled it off exactly and turned to his caddy and said, "How's that?"
The caddy spoke for the first time and said, "That wasn't your ball."

More Articles ...

  • 1
  • 2