The following was written by a group leader from South Carolina. The only edits Faraway Fairways have performed is to protect identities of individuals or specific named companies. Enjoy
You are about to tee it up in a Major. Perhaps the major golfing event in your life. You have prepared to invest a precious fortune. It is not just the money. It is the emotion, the hopes, the expectations, the time and energy to plan, prepare, and act to get to achieve your goals. Complicating the process is the inevitable unexpected and often unavoidable need to adjust to uncontrollable circumstances, such as the weather. Will you handle it like a champion?
The 1964 Open at St Andrews is perhaps a perfect example of the average players first journey to links golf. Jack Nicklaus final round of 66 put him 5 strokes from his nearest competitor, Tony Lema. Lema was one of the most graceful golfers of all time. Yet, poor Tony arrived in St. Andrews late and had time for a 9 hole practice round. He had never seen a seaside links of any kind, much less the Old Course. On the opening day winds approached 50 mph. Yet, Lema persevered. His greatest asset was not skill, competitive psychology, or good luck. His key to success was wisdom. Tony Lema played the shots, while his legendary local caddie, Tip Anderson, guided him through the nuanced challenges of the Old Course. In the end Tony and Tip finished within 5 strokes of Jack Nicklaus. More correctly 5 strokes ahead as Tony Lema was crowned “1964 Champion Golfer of the Year“. For your “Major” golf experience. You want above all the wisdom of a great caddie. A person who can:
- Understand and clarify your personal goals and expectations
- Avoid hazards. Identify the “hidden pot bunkers” in your itinerary
- Seek positive alternatives if your goals or circumstances change.
- Make wise choices in planning and during your trip.
- Have alternatives to the bad bounce, be right beside you in an emergency.
Alun Davies is a master travel caddie. His attention to detail, and ability to give wise counsel is exceptional. Every step of my trip was expertly planned. The circumstances of my trip required at least a dozen major changes prior to departure. My goals and expectations were in flux even in transit. Alun not only stuck with me, he negotiated every request and concern professionally and enthusiastically. His expertise was evident from my initial contact with Faraway Fairways. During the 8 months between initial contact and the trip completion, Alun kept in constant contact insuring everything planned came to fruition. His travel briefings and itinerary guide were vastly superior to travel guides prepared by best selling writers and TV travel advisers. In fact this trip was better organized and implemented than any other travel experience I have had and that includes major Cruise lines and other golf travel programs.
I was initially attracted to Faraway Fairways because they offered the best value. However, I did contact several agency’s and hotels, all officially “Authoirzed providers”, in addition to Faraway Fairways. My evaluation process was greatly simplified. Several providers took the time to conduct rather nice interviews to get to know my goals. Yet, the approach of most was to press for a decision to accept their pre arranged program. Some providers took two and three days to return a call or email. They were efficient and offered nice programs. I needed a bit of flexibility and just did not fit the cookie cutter approach.
Alun quickly distinguished himself as more than a travel arranger. Like the great caddie, he intuitively understood my goals and provided me the path to success. Every caddie can tell you yardage and estimate wind effect, but the best know how the shot will land, how it will bounce, and how it roll out. You are about to tee it up in your Major. Seek wisdom, integrity and professionalism. Alun Davies and Faraway Fairways will not disappoint you. They cannot assure a calm sunny day with temperatures in the 70’s on the Old Course. But they can get you ”on the tee” and let you experience a trip of a lifetime.
One caveat. I hit my first drive on the Old Course straight down the middle about 70 yards from the pin. A few hours late I received a call from Alun. He, of course knew my starting time. I was not surprised that he made a follow up call regarding the days experience. I was surprised when he asked if I chunked my pitch shot into the Swilcan burn. He watched on the webcam.
Alun should be your guide. He will become a friend. Faraway Fairways note: we seem to have put the albatross on a few people playing the first on the Old Course in recent visits. Not the first one to get wet!