Brean Golf Course
"Country and Western and Golf" - Brean Golf Course review.
(Note that this article was written in 2004 - the Brean Golf Course has since been expanded and re-arranged).
So for this year's "Seaside Special" tournament my golfing pardner Big John and I thought we would mosey on down to Brean, which is near Weston-Super-Mare on the west coast. Just so happened that the annual Country and Western Festival was also taking place in town that weekend, so bar-room brawls and beans were penciled in for apres golf.
We actually stayed on the Unity Farm holiday complex which is right next door to the golf course. Staying on the complex also entitled us to half price golf so it seemed to make sense. Plus we had all the facilities of Unity Farm at our disposal - showers, shops, cafes, bars, cabaret, funfair, coffee shops, plus of course for that weekend, all the country music you could eat.
Although it was October we chose to stay in one of the "rent-a-tents" mainly because we thought it would be fun, but also because it was the cheapest option, camping in October not being high on most people's wish lists. Actually, it was fine because the tent was equipped with mini kitchen, a heater, and a hard floor. The only slight drawback was the noisy presence of a rowdy family in the tent next door whose main reason for going on holiday seemed to be to shout and swear at each other as loudly as possible for as long as possible. We nicknamed them "The Gallaghers" after the Oasis brothers who also appreciate a lively family discussion.
We arrived on the friday and teed off around 1pm in the shadow of the Leisure Park Funfair which is right adjacent to the first tee. The course itself was in great condition and would be a reasonable test for most golfers but is not a mighty challenge like say The Isle Of Purbeck, which was our nemesis last year. It's an 18 hole, 5715 yard, par 69 course in approximately 100 acres of flat meadowland. Water features come into play on many of the holes, plus, with the course being on the coast, fresh winds and breezes can add to the challenge.
In fact we both carded personal bests on the first day so were well pleased and were looking forward to a good evenings line-dancing (well, watching others line dance actually as we are not fully paid up members of the cowboy club - just impartial UN observers). And my did these people take it seriously! They didn't just wear stetsons, most people were in the full regalia complete with guns and holsters, long black coats and Wyatt Earp moustaches. Ladies wore the frilly dresses you see on Bonanza with some even dressed as indian squaws. Big John and I pondered what character from western films we could have dressed as that no-one else had thought of, and the best we could come up with was an old gold prospector complete with sieve and shovel!
The next day on the course the coastal breeze decided to put in an appearance an I would like to blame that for my terrible round. Unfortunately I think playing someone else's ball and shanking like Shanking Stevens meets Ravi Shanker was possibly a larger factor. Big John though played very well and seemed to have mastered the art of getting up and down from 75 yards, which is a great trick if you can pull it off!
Apart from the C&W our evenings were also partly filled with by our "sideline" pool tournament held in a nearby amusement arcade, and as it was looking increasingly unlikely that I would win the golf tournament, it was especially important that I got my pool mojo working. It was pretty even after the second evening's session with it all to play for on the final day. The evening was again finished off with a few shots of redeye and a "spot the fittest cowgirl" contest.
Despite it being October we were lucky with the weather in that while we were out on the course it never actually rained on us, and this trend continued into Sunday, the final day. My slim chances of winning the "Seaside Special" became positively wafer thin as the day progressed. Big John nearly had a local lad play his ball on one hole insisting (extremely unlikely though it was) that his ball also has a large "Big Brother" type eye drawn onto it. Luckily I spotted the other ball before the insistent chap gave John's ball a whack. Seems like some golfers will do anything to avoid the penalty of a lost ball despite the veneer of total honesty the game is credited with.
And so it was that Big John jigged triumphantly on the green of the short par 3 18th to the sounds emanating from the nearby funfair having now won the Seaside Special two years on the trot. Of course I had to now win the pool contest to salvage something from the weekend. And indeed a storming 3-0 victory in the final session meant that I was the weekend's pool "sharp shooter" and was presented with the small trophy of a cowboy with shotgun which will also serve to be a reminder of this weekend's country and western theme. Our final evening was spent partly watching a very professional band called Beat Street International in the large cabaret ballroom at the Unity Camp. A suitably enjoyable end to a throroughly entertaining weekend.
In fact we enjoyed the golf course, excellent long sandy beach, Unity camp facilites and country and western flavour so much that we are seriously considering doing the same thing, same time in 2006! Now where did I put my sieve and gold prospectors' outfit?
John Bookman - Golfworld.org.uk
Read about last year's Seaside Special In Dorset - click here.
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Last Updated (Friday, 23 July 2010 20:03)