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Free Flights by PLAY Airline

As a part of their launch, the low-cost airline PLAY is giving away 1000 free seats. Go to https://flyplay.com and be quick! 😉

(See https://flyplay.com/gameplay for the terms. I’m not affiliated to them in any way.)

PS. I managed to grab a few tickets for next year! 😀

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Diary

My First Golf Club Sets

After getting my golf permit, I asked my instructor to pick a golf club set that is suitable for me. As I am a beginner with a relatively slow swing, he recommended that I get the clubs with graphite shafts and thicker toplines, which are supposedly more forgiving.

He believes the Callaway Strata full set is good for me. The set is made for beginners and is of a decent quality, yet still very affordable. Unfortunately, the set is out-of-stock virtually everywhere and it might take a while for it to be back in stock.

For that reason, I decided to get the Inesis 100 half-set from Decathlon. It is also targeted for beginners and seems to have good reviews. Several golf pros also recommends it for beginners who don’t want to spend a fortune on their first clubs.

Inesis 100 Golf Set

The set doesn’t come with a bag, but I have a lightweight Sunday bag from Callaway I picked up earlier to store the clubs. Given its size and weight, I think it suits these clubs very well—perfect for a weekly trip the driving range.


While browsing the internet a few days later, I found a set from Wilson that has similar characteristics to the Strata set recommended by the instructor. I love the look of it, so I decided to get one. I might still get the Strata later when it’s back in stock if I like the clubs better.

Wilson Ultra XD for Men

With these sets, I’m ready to start practicing my swings at the driving range and eventually choose the clubs I like better. I plan to use the rest as backups or to lend to my friends who don’t own one when we’re playing together.


AmountPurpose
Total€1482.74
New€575.52club membership, balls, a set of clubs, and (training) accessories
Previously€907.22lessons, books, balls, a half-set, clothing, and (training) accessories
Spending up to 12 May 2021
Categories
Diary

Getting into Golf

Passed the theory exam! 🙂

Back in May 2018, I got my first taste of golf at a par 3 course in Kamerik with my colleagues. I was (perhaps unsurprisingly) not very good at it, but I did enjoy the whole experience nonetheless.

Since then, I’ve been thinking to take some lessons to somewhat get better at it, but never actually had the time to do it.

Just two years later, the Covid-19 pandemic happened. The government-mandated lockdowns meant that the gyms were closed indefinitely, until further notice. Outdoor sporting activities did, however, continue to be allowed, which somehow brought my mind back to golf. (I later discovered that many people actually have the same idea; a lot of people were picking up golf during the lockdowns!)

A few Google searches later, I found out that there is actually a golf course not too far away from my home. It takes only about 10 minutes to get there by bike (or 5 minutes by car) and is well connected to the public transport system. They also offer various lessons for aspiring golfers, which was exactly what I was looking for.

After taking about 6-hour worth of instructions and a little bit of self-study, I passed my golf theory exam and fulfilled the requirements to get the NGF-Golfbaanpermissie, a permit that gives me access the the Golf.nl platform and various golf courses in the country, and allows me to start doing qualifying rounds to get my handicap.


Studying for the Theory Exam

Here in the Netherlands, passing a theory exam is a requirement to start playing golf somewhat seriously. The exam makes sure that you know enough of the golf’s basic regulations and etiquettes.

NGF, the Dutch golf federation, provides various free (and paid, if you prefer to have them in printed forms) resources for studying for the exam on the Golf.nl website. These resources are tailored for beginners, and contain all you need to know to be able to pass the exam.

While the exam itself is available in English (as well as German), the study resources are unfortunately only available in Dutch as of 2021. Learning from English resources published by English-speaking countries like the UK or the US is a possibility—the rules and etiquettes of golf are the same internationally, but you might end up learning a lot of other topics that might never be asked on the exam.

(If you know Dutch at an A2-level or higher, I would recommend learning and doing the exam in Dutch to avoid all the hassles. If you’re unsure whether or not your Dutch is good enough, you can test yourself by doing the practice exams on the Golf.nl website.)

The biggest problem I encountered when preparing myself for the exam is that a lot of online resources contained outdated information. The golf rules are updated periodically and so is the exam. You might get a lot of the questions about regulations wrong if you studied the old rules! Beware that some websites actually still contain outdated information despite claiming that they have updated their articles to conform to the latest version of the regulations.

The exam itself was (fortunately) much easier than I expected. If you’ve done the practice exams available at the Golf.nl website and managed to pass them at least 2-3 times, I’m sure you won’t have any difficulties passing the actual exam.

What’s Next?

Doing a qualifying round and getting a handicap of 54 or lower is my next goal, after procuring all the necessary equipments. The instructor at the course has helped me choose a golf set suitable for me, given what he observed during the lessons. He recommended me a Strata full-set for men with graphite shafts.


AmountPurpose
Total€907.22lessons, books, balls, a half-set, clothing, and (training) accessories
Spending up to 2 May 2021

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Meta

Hello world!

It’s 2021 and with all these COVID lockdowns still going strong, I’ve decided to start blogging again. It’s been a long while since I last did this and my writing skills are at their all-time lows, so I expect this to be somewhat challenging. I will, however, try to write posts semi-regularly and publish them without waiting for them to be “perfect”. If I manage to publish at least 35 posts by the end of this year, I will consider it a success.

If I have the time as well as the motivation, I will at some point also import the old posts from my old blogs. They are safely preserved in my archive, but getting rid of all the spams from all those years of neglect will take me some time.

Wish me luck! 😉