Pre-children Mr G played golf. I tried to support his interest.
I’d sit at the back of the freezing driving range attempting to pretend that I knew exactly where that ball he just hit went.
I booked lessons. I tried. I retired from my golf career shortly afterwards….3 lessons after.
Then children arrived and the golf clubs gradually collected an impressive layer of dust and the bag was the garage home for many a small creature I’m sure. Golf had been deleted from our lives.
One day, he saw an advert. A new driving range. Just up the road. Oh how fantastic. I quickly began thinking if there was still time for me to discreetly ‘loose’ the golf clubs?!?!
But now he had an ally. A small boy who is pretty keen on any physical sport. One word from Mr G to big J about ‘golf’ and we were going that weekend. How could mean old mummy say no to this golf outing. Well played Mr G. Well played.
I armed myself with a magazine (pah what was I thinking….magazine reading when taking 3 kids somewhere, I must have momentarily gone to cloud cuckoo land), and prepared myself for a boring hour on a hard metal bench.
We arrived and as the automatic doors opened, I think I saw a ray of light from above. Some kind of golf god was smiling on me.
There were sofas!
There was a coffee bar!
There was cake!
Winchester Golf Academy (Headbourne Worthy) has revolutionised my golf experience. They have set up a great all weather driving range, a putting green, amongst other, I’m sure essential, golf stuff (I get a little lost here…I’m impressed I know its a club not a bat). The Little Kitchen company have joined forces and set up a little bistro, with plenty of tables, sofas and comfy chairs and they sell some great coffee, cake, snacks (the sausage rolls are amazing) and meals. I was suddenly now more than happy for Mr G to hit some golf balls whilst I sat and relaxed and didn’t have to stare at the mound of washing up in my sink at home. I could get used to golf.
This place is seriously child friendly too. Not something I’d have thought. The staff are super friendly, welcoming and nobody seems to mind the odd child wondering about, and mine certainly aren’t quiet or shy!
Big J has now taken up golf lessons (yes, he is 4). Clearly a certain dad is living vicariously through his son. But the weekly trip out by all five of us for one lesson is actually a seriously enjoyable part of my weekend. The golf pro who runs the class, Emma, (helped out by the other pro Gary) is truly excellent. The idea of entertaining and keeping control of a bunch of 3-5 year olds with metal sticks in their hands isn’t something I’d volunteer for! The lessons are a mix of golf and general coordination skills and all the kids seem to have a great time. I sit on a sofa and drink my coffee, Bella gets her Cbeebies app fix for the weekend with her ear plushers on, and Mr G hits some golf balls. Everyone’s happy.
And the most exciting thing of all if you are under the age of 5….catching the golf balls in the basket as they come out of the machine. One day the basket won’t be in the right place in time. It will be on someones head. I’ll take my coffee and run that day. That’s not my kid, honest.
The bistro have a great kids menu, food kids actually want to eat, like tomato soup and boiled eggs and soldiers.
There is a massive car park and lovely clean toilets and a baby change! Golf with a baby change!
They will happily lend you and children golf clubs for your little ones to have a go. They might not be able to hit the ball, but they will probably have fun trying (and you can try hard not to laugh whist shouting encouraging phrases).