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Welcome to David's blog

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Our Lockdown Journey & What The Future Holds

How do you begin to start lockdown?  

Like many, my business closed on 23rd March and I had no clue what to expect or what I could deliver.  How could we golf from home?  How could we stay in touch with members from home?  

After discussions with my wife, Rona, we decided to create a golfing platform from which members could engage, if they wanted to.  We were in essence going to create something out of absolutely nothing.  Some may say daunting but we thought it was exciting and kind of fun.  We became quickly familiar with the FREE APP, Zoom which I'm sure many of you will have heard of - we hadn't!

Three weekly sessions, Monday, Wednesday and Friday were formed for members to join in, log in and participate.  I provided structured coaching from the garden most days (if dry) to around 15 Zoomers!  The first session went well and from there, word spread and it quickly grew in numbers.  We began to banter with each other - we all said hello, had a quick chat then it was down to business - GOLF!  It became the highlight for me and many others every week.  For the avoidance of doubt, I DON'T have 150 yard driving range in my back garden - I have grass and a patio (that outdoor space got us through lockdown in many ways which we are so grateful to have had!), my two sons provided the camera work and behind the scenes support.  The rest was up to me to provide content and for the members to engage which they did!

After a few weeks, Zoom had grown to around 50 log-ins for most of the session and it was at that point, we decided to introduce a Guest Speaker slot on the Friday!  After the word got out who our speakers were, numbers grew again to around 115 people logging in - overall audience was around, 150!  

Here's who we secured over these lockdown weeks .... 

Richie Ramsay - European Tour Player : Bob MacIntyre, European Tour Player : John Paramor, Chief R&A Rules :  Gordon Hill, Personal Fitness Trainer : Iona Stephen, Sky Sports Presenter : Craig Connelly, European Tour Caddie to Martin Kaymer : Catriona Mattew, Solheim Cup Captain :  Paul McGinley, European Tour Player : Adrien Reitveld, Top Custom Fit Expert of TaylorMade : Our Greenstaff Peter & Andy of Whitecraigs Golf Club : Conor Finlay, R&A Rules : Dr John Mathers, Stirling University : Will Harvey, Top Vokey Wedge Expert of Titleist : Open Champion, Paul Lawrie!

Quite a line up!  Each week, I'd secure one of these guys, prepare my Q&A and then have to pinch myself half the time as I couldn't quite believe what was happening.  We heard wonderful stories of Seve, how Paul Lawrie won The Open, how to get our way round the golf course positively, Tour chat, the structure and bounce off Vokey Wedges, the importance of Club fitting and MUCH MORE!!. 

Unprecedented but surreal times for me and for us all but we became a team - a Zoom Team and a great one at that!  

It evolved even further as we turned this initiative on its head by introducing a minimum 'donation' fee - not to me, but to our much loved and treasured NHS staff who have worked tirelessly throughout this period - and continue to do so today.   

How much money did we THINK we could raise?  The answer, originally, was £2,500.  

How much did we ACTUALLY raise?  £12,525.  

WOW.  How could this be possible?  It was possible and it just goes to show, anything can happen.  All monies raised have gone towards and continue to be spent, on a staff wellness station within the Critical Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow (staff receive a delivery each week of soft drinks, snacks and goodies to get them through the days); we will also be donating to the East of Scotland, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; outdoor garden furniture for patients and their families to enjoy some nice fresh air after recovering in The Critical Care Unit.  We are about to order this shortly and are excited to do this!

The whole process - from start to finish - has been so rewarding for me as a Golfer and small business owner, not to mention as a father, husband and friend - to give back and support such a good cause has been tremendously humbling for me and my family.

Now that golf is easing back, albeit with restrictions, we can all get back to seeing our golfing pals (in 2-balls) and getting a game in.  What kind of shape will our golf be in?  Well that depends on whether you've tuned into my Zoom classes or not!!  Jokes aside, we will all struggle to get back - some flexibility issues, some technical issues BUT the most important thing is WE'RE BACK!

To all the Zoomers who participated and became part of a close team - THANK YOU!  Watch the space though as Zoom will be returning and details will be posted shortly on how you can re-engage, or engage for the first time in online golf!

In the meantime - enjoy your golf, appreciate your golf and most important, be patient with your progress. One thing is for sure - ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!