• Author:Ben Jones
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Happy anniversary to me……..and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club

It’s nice to celebrate special days with those who are important to you; birthdays; Christmas; Easter; anniversaries; mother’s and father’s day; wedding; christenings and holy communions. Today is a very special day for me and something very special in my life. Today, we celebrate a year together. Our first anniversary. It is a year today since Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club became part of my life; a year today since I joined the golf club.

Although having read that intro you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, but this is not a hilarious post in which I personify a golf club and write a witty conceit about how it is like a member of my family; oh, how we would laugh. No, this is a serious reflection on the role that playing golf; enjoying the club’s facilities (Dr J and I have enjoyed many a great breakfast sitting overlooking the putting green and first tee); walking around this beautiful piece of land has done for me in the last year.

When we moved house and relocated our lives from the south east to the north west, part of the agenda was to play some regular golf. This was squarely in the box marked “wellbeing”. I imagined it playing a role in helping me channel my competitive spirit; do some enjoyable exercise; get some fresh air and play a sport that I loved. The dream was to join S&A; just a few minutes from home and my favourite course in the part of the country – not quite my all time number one; that will always be The Old Course at St Andrews. Have I ever told you about my four at seventeen there……..

The reality of my year at S&A has exceeded all my expectations. It has become my happy place. The highlights are too many to list but the simple pleasure of popping up to play a few holes – sometimes just six – enjoying some time to unwind with my own thoughts and the stunning links and the freshist of sea air for company has been spectacular. Couple this with a warm welcome from members and the making – and remaking – of some friendships and inviting some of my oldest friends to play, have lunch and a drink – has added the cherry on top.  The golf hasn’t been too bad either but that is truly secondary to what it has done for my work life balance and my wellbeing. Happy anniversary S&A; here’s to many, many more.



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