Financial Times —  Italian economy receives early boost to 2016

La Gazetta —     Demand for Lemons increases sharply in Lombardi

Track and Field monthly —   New record set at banana golf festival.

  Yes it must be Spring break!!!


Another highlight of the Golf4Fun season, as 19 lucky members wound their way down to the fairways of Lombardi, with the international flavour enhanced by the inclusion of Roeland, joining us from Holland.

Family Martin had recently acquired a second hand navigation system and was feeling confident of an incident free journey to our first destination of golf club Le Robinie, before making our way back to our base camp at  La Pinetina. Friday morning traffic was light and we had made excellent progress on our route through the San Bernardino tunnel, with Ticino welcoming us with blue skies allowing us to complete our journey with the roof down.

Entering Italy, we slipped onto the autostrada and paid our euro 2.20 toll, and we were quickly at the Lamazzo turn off,  time to activate our Kiwi guide Karen, who promptly instructed us to turn back towards Como resulting in a further euro 2.20 contribution to the Italian highways commission. Common sense and some heated discussions made us realise that this was not the correct route and after a consultation with our organiser, with a desperate mobile call, we reversed direction, putting Karen on mute, and confining her to the glove compartment. A further euro 2.20, and some rather bemused looks from toll personnel, we found the correct route and arrived at our destination with time to spare. Golf clubs loaded on buggy and it was off to the practice range to brush up on that hand/eye coordination, and to try and recall all those useful tips that Golf Point Urdorf`s resident pro, Kevin, had imparted to us at the Sunday training sessions.


Today, due to a competition, we were starting off the 10th tee box.  A delightful hole with a raised tee and water lining the dogleg par 4 along its right-hand side border.  Little did my Pinnacle gold 4 know that this was to be its final resting place courtesy of a badly struck 7 iron.

The round progressed well, and then on the back 9 one of our flight hit a purple patch, playing inspired golf and the birdie water ( a rather enjoyable Calvados ) was out not once but twice. The second nine was slightly blighted by some slow play, although this was down to the natives and not to any of the Golf4Funners, and so by the time we finished it was a quick drink on the terrace and then the 30 minute drive back to La Pinetina, shower,change and Apéro, which meant we did not eat until late. I had decided to avoid the Grappa this year, instead plumping for the refreshing taste of Limoncello. After becoming thoroughly refreshed it was abed as the following day was an early 9.00am tee off.

Saturday greeted us with blue skies and warm temperatures, so shorts were donned by many, whilst he of the trousers gave us another psychedelic display.


Playing format today was again off the 10th, playing the first nine and then breaking for a 2 ½ lunch before completing the remaining holes, so it was going to be long day. My flight consisted of old friends, and we quickly got into a rhythm, to the point that on two consecutive holes our tee shots all fell within 1 meter of each other—team golf indeed. Today however the birdie water was not required, but two excellent pars on the difficult par 4 18th by two of my flight were a testament to some fine play.

Saturday night`s Apéro was somewhat earlier than that of the previous evening and my stomach did not have to suffer worries that my throat had been cut. As a result the post dinner drinkies became extremely refreshing with the sensational Roberto ensuring maximum refreshment in every glass.


Sunday, and off to Bogogno, and the Del Conte course with a civilised 12.30 tee time.  With Kiwi Karen’s role as navigator suspended, we took the step of asking some fellow golfers in the group if we could follow them which worked out perfectly arriving in plenty of time for warm-ups. Temperatures were again up in the mid 20s, with he of the trousers sporting a fine Sunday red ensemble. The usual stunning views of the snow-capped Alps were not with us today as they remained shrouded in cloud —shame.

There were to be two highlights to this round, firstly the children’s party taking place at one of the villas bordering the course, with the kiddies being entertained by a particularly verbose lady with her voice amplified by a very powerful PA system, ensuring maximum disruption to all golfers concentration as they tried to hit a par 3 with water to the right. Still it’s not often you get to boogie on the green to the strains of Justin Bieber, now I know why golfers call it the dance floor.

The second event was a personal one as it appeared to be my day, with a birdie on the back nine and a final tally of 34 points, good enough for second place having been pushed out of first by a fine round by a certain Spanish lady. Our efforts were rewarded with sleeves of Wilson Staff`s finest.

The journey back from Bogogno was again assisted by some fine Swiss convoy techniques with the use of multiple navigation systems ensuring arrival back in La Pinetina intact.


After a fine Apéro and a very pleasant dinner, slightly dampened as it appeared we had drunk the hotel`s entire supply of Tere Brune over the last few days it was time for the trip`s legendary group participation game, Banana Golf!!

This year’s inflatable fruit were of such dimensions so to allow a new competition, Banana Javelin. This became a hotly contested affair especially amongst the male contingent, with a number of throwing techniques being utilised, with various degrees of success. I myself had taken inspiration from the UK athlete Daley Thompson and it looked, for a while, that I could be rewarded with gold. Ultimately, there had to be a winner and Peter F. became the recipient of the 2016 title in what is rumoured to be a new indoor record and certainly a season’s best.


Monday and the weather broke.  With some of the tourists setting off to play the 18 at Ville d`Est, this golfed out tiger settled his hotel bill (ouch, –the price of refreshment!!!  ) and we made our way home through the rain, thunder, lightning and snow!!

I have been informed that for those that played Monday, the first nine were interrupted by the weather resulting in some delays, but that the back nine was played in glorious sunshine.


So another Spring break comes to an end, with many fond memories, and some first class company. Congratulations to all those daily winners and runners up, a big vote of thanks to the fine staff at La Pinetina and, of course, to Nora for organising it all.

On to Golf Club Gams now, and round 2 of the tournament series. Hopefully, all that refreshing golf in Bella Italia is going to pay dividends.


Remaining a hopeful Tiger for 2016

Peter  Martin