We’d played Garlenda once before on our last trip to Finale about two years ago. We had always thought the one thing missing from Finale was a golf course. As it turns out there is one half an hour away, and a stunning one at that. Even better, they allow dogs on the course (“as long as they stay on the path”) so Pepper could come and definitely not stray from the path…
Pulling into Garlenda, we felt a little odd.
As we parked up in our massive camper van at a fairly swanky golf club we must have looked like imposters. Dirty van-dwellers feigning interest in golf to get a free parking spot for the night, or a free shower, or a place to dump our crapper. So it felt great to don our best golf garb, pull out all our gear and at the pro shop, flash our golf licenses reading “6.8 handicap” and “4.3 handicap” and smugly walk on.
I hadn’t touched a club for probably a month due to endless packing, cleaning and prepping for our trip. Our first stop was the practice range. I was hitting it ok but not great. I’d already forgotten all my swing thoughts completely (one per shot usually) so had no idea what to focus on. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but not this time.
Garlenda Golf Course is really beautiful. Its fairways are wide enough to be flattering but not so easy that it’s boring. The holes take you on a trip through the local terrain and every hole is different somehow. Considering it was almost mid-December, conditions were good – tees were a little scuffed and there were lots of wormcasts but greens were true and fast. Not much water nor OB but punishing terrain if you get out of shape. Trust me on that one.
It wasn’t until the 11th tee I remembered how to drive.
ROTATE HIPS, don’t sway!! Top tip for anyone really. It wasn’t enough though. Phil was unable to hit anything less than a perfect drive down the middle and the rest of his shots didn’t go too awry so I was toast. I still tried to try to make the best of the round despite playing terribly, because I knew I wouldn’t be playing for the next 5-6 weeks.
We managed to get in 17.5 holes, all the way to the green then picked up as it was getting dark and chilly. We chucked our bags in the garage, hopped in our swiveling seats and drove our moving home back to Finale.