This post from Liam Frean is the ninth in the Living as a Links Golfer section. The section will grow as Liam lives the life of a student golfer in St Andrews, Scotland!
The New Year has been and gone and now its that time when the new year resolutions are beginning to fade. Last year was a great one for me; lots of time with family and friends along with having the chance to meet so many different people made for a great mix. I have definitely taken January to contemplate and soak up the memories from last year.
Christmas in Dubai is so different from the ones I have had in the UK. Waking up to a warm 27 (80F) degrees and opening presents didn’t seem too weird but, I must say, having an outdoor BBQ for dinner still doesn’t feel completely normal even though my dad did a great one. My mom made up for the strangeness on Christmas Eve with an amazing roast duck. The highlight of Christmas day was reading my sister’s christmas card which said “I hate you, you suck, next time bring Anna” (my girlfriend) which, as well as being funny, was more or less true. I am glad that my sister has become her own person but its worrying me that she is getting better at witty insults than me. The most worrying prospect is that my girlfriend and I are visiting in March which will give them a perfect opportunity to gang up against me.
My dad and I played my last round of 2015 that day, which did feel weird even though we played on Christmas day last year. Surprisingly the course is very busy. We played at Emirates Golf Club on the Faldo Course. It was a great track that only got better as it was the third time I played it. Having played it before definitely helped in some areas. I was struggling with a new swing at the start of the round going 6 over on the front, but I managed to get it working towards the end, and managed level par on the back nine. It was great to play some golf with my dad as that is one of the things I miss the most when I am away from home. He did let on that he had secretly been practicing his pitch shots while I was gone, which definitely showed even though he hadn’t been on a course since I played with him in the summer.
The start of 2016 was celebrated with a camping trip to Fujairah on Snoopy Beach which got the name due to a rock in the sea which looks very much like Snoopy sleeping. The saying ‘all the gear and no idea’ comes to mind as we spent hours setting up our little camp, which then took us twice as long to pack up the next day. The beach had absolutely stunning views and I couldn’t think of a better place to sit and watch the sunset.
After leaving Dubai to go visit my girlfriend on the Black Isle, I got to play a round on Fortrose and Rosemarie Golf Club, which given the horrific rain that had been hitting Scotland was one of, if not the only, courses left open for play. It was playing especially short with the tees moved up, leading to a few more birdies than usual. On the first hole I managed a birdie after landing my wedge shot a few feet from the hole. Hopefully this is a good sign about 2016, but I don’t plan on getting my hopes up. I’m looking forward to getting back to Saints golf training while trying not to forget about my New Years resolutions!