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Golfers paradise

Updated on January 26, 2015



Hi, my name is Paul Dando and I have decided to take the leap into blog world starting with my favourite non home extra curricular activity, which is golf.

First, a quick rundown on me. I’m 56 years old for another month living in New Zealand, married these last 3 years to my lovely wife Annette. I have 5 daughters, 3 of my own and 2 step daughters from Annette. I have 8 grandchildren ranging in age from 2 ½ to 14.

I currently work part time as a contract loss adjuster and have recently finished commuting to Christchurch working on assessing damage from the series of earthquakes that have struck there since September 2010.

My home advantage

The Manawatu area I live in has a moderate, equitable climate with 4 definite seasons and golfing is possible all year round, with some variation in conditions between summer and winter. Summer days are usually warm and dry with lower rainfall and steady breezes, (we have around 300 wind turbines in the hills to the east of town), daytime temperatures range from late teens to low 30’s. Winters are cool with increased rainfall and the odd frosty morning but nothing too drastic, (we have had one snowfall in town in the past 40 years), average daytime temperatures range from 0 to mid teens.

We are pretty lucky here with a good variety of golf courses close by with 12, very good 18-hole courses within 30-40 minutes drive. These range from high quality competition courses to rustic country courses, all are very well maintained and challenging.

Green fees for these courses range from $20 to $70 for one round and if you pick your times there are seldom any hold ups while playing, there have been occasions where we have been alone on the course.

Full 1 year memberships to local clubs will set you back no more than $1200 with membership to some very good 18 holers around $800

I am currently not a member of any club as I let my local membership lapse while I was working in Christchurch but will rejoin a club once I make up my mind which one to play at. I play off around a 15 handicap but as you all know that can vary depending on how the golf gods got out of bed for the day.

A taster

Here's a taste of what's available, this is near the southern alps inland from Christchurch.
Here's a taste of what's available, this is near the southern alps inland from Christchurch. | Source

Handy tip

One little trick I’m experimenting with which is designed to get the club face square onto the ball at impact resulting in the ball going in the direction you are facing. The trick is to grip the club in the left hand for right-handers, right for left-handers, as if your getting set to complete you grip. Before you attach the other hand you hold the club horizontally in front of you at eye level, with the clubface pointing towards the sky and line it up so the edge of the face is exactly parallel to the ground. Then holding the grip and club in that place, continue as normal completing your grip on the club and going through your normal line up and swing.

I’ve had some good success with this method as I had a terrible habit of pulling my irons to the left (I’m a right hander). And my straight driving and fairway iron percentage has actually improved; I scored 6 pars in a row doing 9 holes recently pretty good for a 15 handicapper I thought.

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and I hope you have enjoyed this initial offering. Over time I hope to introduce you to some of the golfing (and other )experiences that are on offer over here.

I will add a video demonstrating the above tip

See you soon


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