The weekend just gone, I travelled to Cardiff with a friend from University.
The ‘excuse’/‘reason’ was that the Women’s cricket team, which he and I help coach every weekend, reached the national finals of the university indoor competitions (aka BUCS). In addition to this, this was the weekend that Wales played England in the 6 Nations Rugby Championship (#bigGame) so being in Cardiff for that would be an experience. Finally, we used these as additional excuses to go play golf round some of the courses in Cardiff.
Initially, the plan was to stay at one of our friend’s houses whilst doing all these events. Unfortunately, staying at his fell through so we made alternative arrangements (theres a reason I’m telling you this - trust me).
Like any trip I go on, there are twists and tales. So, here is a day by day list of what happened - with events in the order that they happened.
*** RETRO POST ***
Parc Golf Course
7am Saturday morning. We packed our suitcases/golf clubs into the car and made the 3.5 hour drive to Wales from Canterbury. Drive was quite straight forward - we made one stop for a McDonalds breakfast but turned out to be a Starbucks Breakfast instead (the service station didn’t have McDonalds (but had KFC and Burger King - both of which were shut -.-) - which was well expensive! (there might be a common theme in this blog…)
Anyways, we made it to the golf course. This course was out 4th/5th choice course as the first 3/4 courses we rang were all booked up/members only on a Saturday :( We arrived and it was a really nice golf club - the club house was nice, the putting green was nice, floodlit driving range - #smashing.
The course wasn’t as great as others I’ve played at (I think thats the best way to put it - but let me defend both my statement/Parc Golf Course themselves) 1. Its the Winter - a day after it rained - in Cardiff - in WALES - in the UK (of course is going to be muddy and wet) 2. It was £20 a round - can’t complain with that at all! 3. It’s an easy course (Par 72) - but its not a municipal course by any means - so for a private golf course… I’ve played on better (but then again, ‘better’ are the likes of Chesterton and Boughton which are lot more expensive than Parc - so course they’re going to be better)
Having said all that, I SHOT A 99 USING ONLY IRONS!!!!!!!. So thats a bucket list item checked off - and here is the scorecard, signed by my playing partner so there is no debate!
In addition to my 99, I did break my putter. :/ I missed a Par putt from 3ft on the 16th. This had me fuming as things were starting to get away from me near the end of the round. However, that gave me the perfect excuse to buy a new Cleveland Putter.
After the round, we went and bought a KFC and went to the hotel that my buddy Jack had booked. We got to the Ibis at Cardiff Gate, went to check in and there seemed to be an issue. We didn’t have a room?! We gave him the booking confirmation and still there was no booking.
What did happen was that my PHD Physicist friend had booked a hotel for two weeks time. Thats right, TWO WEEKS ahead of schedule! Here is the proof of my ‘idiotic’ friend’s mistake
So what now? Thankfully, there was a nearby IBIS in Newport that had spare rooms (Expensive) but free, so we drove to that IBIS (with KFC in hand), checked in. Now you’ll hear about the ‘budget IBIS’ showered then headed for Cardiff to watch the rugby!
Wales vs England
We wandered the town looking for places to watch the rugby and ended up at Slug and Lettuce. Safe to say it was a ‘tense’ atmosphere. We didn’t celebrate the first try seeing as we were on enemy ground, but after Liam Williams scored and the Welsh were going crazy after their try, we didn't hold back. Once Elliot Daly scored, Jack and I went bezerk! SO much so, this led Jack to sing ’Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ , LOUDLY in the pub. We quickly made our exit and headed back to the hotel. On the way I rang my old boss, who is Welsh, (cause thats what you do when you beat the Welsh, you ring people who are Welsh to brag when you are victorious ;)) and merely ‘celebrated’ our win. ;) (Love you too Cathy! :) :P)
Cardiff Golf Club
Sunday came and we decided to play an early round at Cardiff Golf Club. We booked a round for 7:40am, when we got there - it was shut! (probably cause we booked it at 10pm last night) So after a detour to McDonalds we went to play golf at Cardiff.
Because of our late tee off time, we didn’t have time to fit in a full round of golf but we started at the 5th and made our way around.
Cardiff Golf Club was beautiful! (Here’s a shot of the view from the tees).
Hopefully, I get the chance to play there in the summer at some point.
Our Women’s team had qualified for the BUCS Indoor National Finals. The format was two pools of four teams, where the top two places went through to the semi finals (winners of that got to the final where a winner would be crowned).
They were playing at the indoor facility at Sophia Gardens (where Glamorgan CCC play).
The girls group was as follows :
- Southampton Solent
This group was kind of a good group to get - seeing as they avoided Loughborough and Cardiff - both of whom are very very good.
In a nutshell, the girls didn’t perform as well as they could on the day. They bowled too many extras, and didn’t bat very well. They lost all their games (convincingly) but they did very well just to get there in the first place. All the teams that were there had professional coaches (some ex-county players included) - whereas our girls only had volunteer coaches from the 2nd/3rd team) In any case, they won Varsity (which was on the following Wednesday).
As you can probably gather from this blog post, It was an exhausting weekend that cost me a lot. But I am proud of what the girls achieved and that England won the rugby.