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McLintocks Golf Society Trip – Spain 2011

The McLintocks Golf Society held its Spring golf weekend on 24th to 27 March 2011. This year we had organised a trip to the Costa del Golf in Southern Spain to play an ambitious 4 courses in 4 days.

Partners Mike Caputo, Jason McLaughlin and Paul McGerty set off frighteningly early on Thursday morning accompanied by Ian Thomas and 4 business contacts. The 8 of us arrived at Malaga airport less than fresh, but soon buoyed by the glorious sunshine we duly collected our hired Citroen Berlingos, piled in our gear and set off to find our first golf course. Mike and Steve Boyd had volunteered to do the driving and after an unplanned scenic tour of Fuengirola we duly arrived at the emblematic El Chaparral golf course with all of 2 minutes to spare and over the next 5 hours came to realise just how fast the greens were as our golf balls sped back and to past the holes. By 7.00 pm most of us were well beaten by the course and set off to experience the delights of infamous Puerto Banus, near Marbella, where we had booked hotel rooms at the Pyr. A predictably lively night followed, with little regard to the fact we were due to play one of the toughest golf courses one could ever imagine next morning.

We arrived after a ramble through the mountains above Marbella – with some of us a little livelier than others – at Monte Mayor in time for a somewhat interesting breakfast, and set off in our golf buggies skywards to find the first tee. The course lived up to its sadistic reputation and over the next 5 hours we estimate that between us we lost about 100 golf balls. By the 18th the partnership of Steve and Mike was in front but it would be fair to say Mike’s contribution was just that of moral support. Friday night in Puerto Banus beckoned, and after the usual debate as to where to eat ,we drank and got merry, comforted by the fact we were not due to tee off on the Saturday until noon.

Having all eaten a somewhat protracted breakfast in our hotel we arrived at the very classy looking Los Naranjos in good time and again in glorious sunshine. This course was voted the best on the Costa del Sol and we teed off behind a group of well known Premiership footballers. The course was in fabulous condition and Steve again got the better of it and by the end of the third day’s golf was comfortably in front, with Paul and Mike somewhat surprisingly next in the points pecking order, though in fairness well behind. After the experiences of the previous nights we came to the conclusion that it might be better not to start drinking until later, so after an afternoon taster we did not start again until 8.30pm!!. We met in Sinatra’s bar and had a quiet evening’s drinking over the next 8 hours, knowing it was our last night. There was little fear of us losing anyone as we were the only ones glowing bright red from sunburn…

Sunday morning meant our last day and off to another very tough course… Los Arqueros. Jason introduced a joker scoring  system to try and cut Steve’s lead, so we battled our way round over the next 4 hours in searing heat, trying to catch Steve up. In fact he pulled away, but as always Jason came up on the rails and took second place. Mike and Paul by this time had long since ceased to function as golfers. After what ought to have been a final bite to eat, news filtered through that our flight home was to be delayed by 6 hours. This changed the mood and after hanging around Malaga Airport for 9 hours we all got in at about 6 the next morning. Paul by this time resembled the living dead. Monday needless to say was not a productive day’s labour, but plans are already underway to organise the next trip.