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Frustration on the fairways in Turin then travel trials on the way home

I hadn't touched a club in over a week and felt I was ready to get back out and play again.  The trip over from Zermatt was a little longer than anticipated on the train but it was relatively straightforward, the only problem being the number of bags we had to lug about!  Thankfully Bev had convinced me to travel Sunday, initially I had wanted to go Monday but in hindsight the trip would have been too much to undertake during the week of an event!


I headed up to the club on Monday afternoon, having accompanied Bev to the supermarket in the morning.  Sometimes it's a very glamorous life I lead!  I'd arranged to meet Gerry (my caddy) after lunch.  Gerry and another of the former caddies provide a club transfer service around Europe.  Basically it entails them hiring a van, loading it with all the club bags and driving it between events.  They charge less than the airlines and your bag is guaranteed to make it to you on Monday.  I generally send my clubs with the boys anytime the schedule permits it so I can travel a little lighter through the airport.  They tend to drive overnight, three of them splitting the driving between them.  Gerry was really tired when I met up with him after lunch; he'd managed to grab a few hours' sleep in the morning following the ten hour drive from Amsterdam.  He put me through my paces putting and chipping and then we headed back to the apartment for some food.  Normally I call ahead to Bev and she has food ready for us, unfortunately her phone was misbehaving and so we got home and had to wait for quite a while as she dealt with Erin then started to cook us Thai chicken curry.  Gerry left a happy man to try and catch up on some sleep. I'd arranged to play a practice round with Gareth Maybin the next morning so Gerry was ecstatic to be up at 7am.


It was perfect weather and we enjoyed our morning out with Gareth, and Mark his American caddy.  I won the money which I was delighted about.  It was Gareth's 5th week in a row, and I think he was feeling a little tired, the constant grind of the golf and the travel wears on you after a while.  It was one of the reasons I took the Dutch tournament off, it would have been my 4th week as well and I tend to be too tired to play well.
It was a different course in Turin this year, only about a mile from the course we played last year.  Bev booked the same apartment we stayed in last year as it was about halfway between the courses.  It wasn't the best apartment we've stayed in on Tour, but it certainly was one of the more expensive, mind you everywhere near Turin was expensive.  The weather was forecast to be perfect for the week and I was really looking forward to it.


I was playing in the Pro-am on Wednesday and had a good group.  I eagled the 1st and holed a lot of putts.  I made lots of really good swings and left the course feeling really pleased with my game.  We ate a light dinner, tuna and salad as I was late back to the apartment and just headed to bed early.  Unfortunately I seemed to have used up all my good swings and putts on Wednesday.  It just didn't click for me on Thursday at all; I didn't manage to make one birdie.  It's really unusual for me not to make at least one birdie; thankfully there were no double bogies!  Rounds like that are very frustrating, not being far away but nothing working is depressing.  I was a little agitated when Bev and Erin came out on the course for holes 6 through 9.  There was no crèche this week, but the promoter was providing a babysitting service.  Bev was a little reluctant to leave Erin with the girls as they didn't speak much English so she only watched a little of the golf.  I had a good chance to birdie 9 but had over hit my chip and left myself a difficult putt for birdie, things just didn't click and I got more and more frustrated!  I didn't manage to control myself and let the frustration come through so slipped to +5 and left myself with little chance of making the cut on Friday.  It was strange as I didn't play that poorly, I just scored really badly!


Friday was a much better day.  I had 6 birdies and shot 3 under par.  It was definitely more like it, but it meant I had the weekend off.  Bev had been trying to change our flights but it was £1000 for the three of us to get onto the BA flight from Turin at 5pm, and there was no availability on the last Flybe Gatwick flight to Belfast.  We decided to stay so Gerry and I could hit the practice range, get working on the distance wedges and putting.  It's the fine detail stuff like that you need to practice at this level.  I had two good days with Gerry and had some additional physio, sorting out the tight areas left over from walking in Zermatt.


We headed to the one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites near Turin on Saturday afternoon.  It was a former palace of the Royal House of Savoy, after they moved from Chambery.  It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon strolling about the gardens in he sunshine, but definitely not how I'd planned to spend the weekend.


Our flight left Turin on Sunday at 17:15 so we headed to the airport at 3.  On check in there was a notice saying you could upgrade to business for £100.  I decided that Bev and Erin needed the extra space so paid for them to move to the front of the plane.  It was the best £100 I've spent in a while, Bev's seat beside me at the back remained empty so I got business space as well!  Result!  We arrived into Gatwick, our bags checked through to Belfast and changed terminal.  Then the fun started!  We queued at Flybe for about 20 minutes getting hot under the collar that we were going to miss the flight before we got checked in.  When we got to the front of the queue we discovered we weren't even on the flight, 30 minutes later it transpired that BA had changed some codes and forgotten to rebook everyone on connecting tickets.  Unfortunately the flight was full and we were left stranded overnight at Gatwick.  Everyone was claiming it was someone else's responsibility, all in an attempt to avoid paying for our hotel.  My flight to Edinburgh was booked for 1015 from Belfast the next morning so we had to get home, plus we didn't have enough baby stuff left to cope with an overnight stay.  We managed to get a seat on the Easyjet flight for a lot of money last minute and asked Flybe to recall our bags, they couldn't find them, and neither could BA.  Apparently they'd disappeared again!  Thankfully Gerry had taken the pram with him so at least it wasn't lost this time round.  Eventually BA found the car seat and I was accompanied back through security to pick it up from arrivals before getting the easyjet flight.  I almost missed the flight though, something about not having a photo scanned on my boarding pass - Bev was beside herself at the gate promising the security guy a proper melt down if we didn't make the flight.  It was her birthday on Monday and she really wanted to be at home, even if it was only for a few hours!  Eventually everything was sorted and we got our flight home.  Unfortunately we were travelling without the luggage; it was untraceable!  Bev's parents decided to take a chance and go to City, just to see if the suitcases had arrived.  Luckily they had managed to make the flight that we couldn't, not sure what that says about airport security at Gatwick though! We've been relatively lucky this year, only a few delays and lost bags but BA is certainly not my favourite airline at the moment.  4 flights in 3 weeks, one of which they forgot to book us onto; 8 bags booked in only 3 of which managed to make it back to us at the right time and place!  It may be the world's favourite airline but it's certainly not mine!