Ireland Golf Tour 2015

Ireland Golf Tour 2015

If only the Solheim Cup ladies had hunkered down together in a dark tavern before this weekend’s tournament in Germany with a bottle or two of classic Riesling and watched the video below.  They well may have avoided the worst act of bad sportsmanship I’ve ever witnessed in 29 years of playing golf.

Now I’m not saying the behavior of sixteen fine women from Wimbledon on a golf trip to the west coast of Ireland was exemplary – but it was a damn side better than that blonde Norwegian villainess from Team Europe whose outrageous decision not to concede a putt sent the tears flying.

With mascara smudged patriotic face paint wilting gently down their cheeks, the Americans were duly outraged and who could blame them?

Meanwhile across the way in Ireland, a tempestuous wind blew across outrageously intimidating greens frequently resulting in three plus putts. Some conceded, some didn’t, but still no tears. Just lashings of laughter, way too much Pinot, local hospitality unleashed and the very best in links golf – at the mind-blowing Carne, Rosses Point and Enniscrone.

As the final day of the Solheim Cup descended into acrimony and recrimination, perhaps a timely reminder out of the mouth of the Emerald Isle’s finest:

“Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, for the love a God wodya ever get over yourself … ruining a perfectly fine round of golf over a 16 inch putt … stop being such a fecking eejit!”

VIDEO: with apologies to Johann Strauss/Patti Crone & thanks to Jill Fitz (needs sound)


Bottle water rip-offThere’s an old line about bottled water being twice as expensive as petrol per litre, which is true when purchased in small quantities.

This month it was revealed that milk in the UK is now cheaper to buy than bottled water thanks to a fierce supermarket war.

The price per litre of milk, when bought in a four-pint bottle, has dipped to 43p, compared to 44p for bottled still water.

Keep that number in mind the next time you wander into a golf pro shop in search of mineral water.

Because that’s exactly what I did over several balmy weeks when my Wimbledon golf course was closed and transformed into Britain’s most expensive car park while the country endured the hottest month on record.

As the mercury clocked 36.7C, roads melted, train tracks buckled and weather map turned a rainbow hue of very hot reds and purples … I stepped out to play golf in Surrey.

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My shame-faced story

My shame-faced story

No one likes a judgemental nitpicker. No one more so than the (non-self appointed) navigator of a 250-plus mile journey from Londontown into neighbouring France.

Our driver had been hit on route by some rather somber news and was in an understandable state of mourning. The other was strangely arranged across the back seat, blissfully unaware of her surrounds and absorbed in the latest lifestyle review section of the Daily Telegraph. I wouldn’t have minded so much but I’m more of a Times of London kind of girl.

And so it was that I, a fresh faced young slip of a thing from the colonies, ended up with the weighty yet reluctant task of delivering our Press Golfing Society trio from England to take on the Northcliffe Society at Golf de Belle Dune on Promenade du Marquenterre in Fort Mahon. Ranked I’m told amongst the 10 finest French courses – but more about that later.

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I have a friend. He is a veteran golf writer, master of the English language and one of life’s fiercest critics when it comes to all things clichés. Not surprisingly this makes for dangerous ground since he not only frequents, but as regular readers will know, this is a blog positively riddled with these vulgar, over-used, meaningless fillers.

According to him I am forbidden from using the words: picturesque, shrouded, idyllic, must see, etc. But since I have itchy feet and this blog is going somewhat off the beaten track, my January short sunshine break can only be described as, wait for it … a hidden gem! Read More

I Told You I Was Ill

I told you I was ill

It’s midday and I am lying in bed with more drugs raging through my system than an aging rocker on a day trip to Pfizer’s world-renowned research lab. I have acute bronchitis. It is day eight. I wouldn’t mind so much, but it‘s the second bout in two months and what’s worse … it’s my office Christmas party tonight.

While friends and colleagues are reaching for their most festive bib and tucker, the postman is attempting to deliver yet another box of golf shoes through the front door. Only trouble is, every time I attempt a get-out-of-bed vertical manoeuvre, a drug induced head spin kicks in, resulting in an unseemly coughing fit which upsets the predictably unruffled pooch next door and drives our once hardcore postie to seek sanctuary at number 130. Read More

Lest We Forget

Tower of London


The first thing that hits you are the crowds standing in their thousands side by side in respectful ghostly stillness interrupted only by random bursts of camera flashes.

“Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” is a reminder that the best art can imitate life — and death. The poppy is a simple, yet significant symbol. One poppy. One life.

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2014 Centenary Bowl Champions

Hearty congratulations to the 2014 Centenary Bowl champions: Wimbledon Park Golf Club.

Despite some tight matches and tough competition against the Leatherhead ladies, our girls in green waltzed in with a storming 5 – 0 victory to take home the silverware.

The final of the scratch knock out team competition took place at Kingswood Golf Club in Surrey and produced a day of thrilling performances on and er, off the course. Read More

Wryter Cup 2014

Dubbed the Blitz of Biarritz, it quickly plummeted into Blitzed in Biarritz, as two competing societies The Press Golfing Society (PGS) and the Association de la Presse et du Golf (APG) thrashed it out for the 24th Wryter Cup in France.

Hosted by Golf de Chantaco in the charming coastal town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a dozen miles south of Biarritz and close to the Spanish border, it is one of the most famous courses in the Basque country with exceptional views of the Pyrenees. Read More

Ryder Cup 2014

Europe and the US are ready for battle in golf’s Ryder Cup. Oh, and Ukip leader Nigel Farage has popped up in a pretty cool Paddy Power ad for the contest too.

The world is a precarious place. Britain may be at war by the weekend. Scotland is more divided than ever before. The Queen is not amused with our prime minister. The leader of the opposition forgot the deficit. And now, Ukip’s Eurosceptic chief Nigel Farage has come out swinging in support of Europe (see video). Read More

Happy Noughties Birthday

Royal Ashdown Forest Golf ClubIn my experience heterosexual males are lousy at remembering birthdays. Facebook and Twitter has helped occasionally attract their attention to your really big day and nothing can beat persistent vocal reminders along the lines of, ‘I really can’t believe that next month I shall actually be 40.’

The combination of these three prompted one of my male colleagues to come up with a surprisingly bright idea, although I strongly suspect that he was really angling to celebrate his birthday which also ended in a nought, only in his case the big six-oh. Read More

Playing a round in Ireland

Westport GC, Ireland

Fourteen ladies flew to the west coast of Ireland to play golf.

This is what happened: Read More

News of the World: The End

When the phone-hacking allegations piled up and eventually took down the News of the World, I was there to witness it all.

Here is my story, from diary extracts during the last week of the newspaper, as published on Channel 4 News this week: Read More

US Open 2014

US Open 2014 PinehurstIt is the greatest sport in the world and after a year of intense preparation and anticipation, it has finally arrived. That’s right, golf’s US Open kicks off today. 
Four nail-biting rounds of Major Championship golf featuring all the tantalizing drama, meltdowns, memories, heartache, last day gallops and shock victories.
Forget the World Cup frenzy, its US Open fever gripping the Channel 4 News communications department as the world’s best players take on the sand hills of North Carolina. I wasn’t expecting fist-pumping levels of fanfare from golf-mad colleagues, more a gentle surge in sporting enthusiasm. Frankly the opposite was closer to reality.

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Golf offer cyprus


Attention all lady golfers … fancy a week strolling the fairways beneath a sizzling Cyprus sun?

Golfmadchick has teamed up with Red Tee Breaks for this special offer golf break staying at the luxury Intercontinental golf resort, Aphrodite Hills. Read More

Cancer Survivor

“Your mother has cancer” … Ironically four little words that almost killed me. It was the deluge of tears that made for poor visibility as I sprinted out of the newsroom and across Gray’s Inn Road while furiously Googling: ‘Mum has breast cancer what do I do?’ which resulted in a face-first near miss with the 341 bus. Read More

Mid Ocean Golf Club

It all started off so promisingly as the young man in a bow tie rushed up to me in the car park. “Miss Barlow” he shrieked, arms outstretched in my direction. “Welcome to Mid Ocean Golf Club, the jewel in Bermuda’s golf crown.”

Wow! What a welcome I thought, looking startled and vaguely bemused. I tried to deduce if this was the typically friendly Bermuda way, an over excitable PR executive or someone I had met at The Swizzle Inn after one too many Dark and Stormy cocktails. Read More

Jalapeno & Cheese Heaven

Jalapeño Heaven

England is under water. My golf course resembles a swamp and it’s been over three months since I’ve swung something called a golf club. Until that moment returns when I have worked out which end of the stick to hold again, my blog is venturing into new areas. For now I’ve abandoned the sodden shores of the UK for sun kissed Isle Maurice. Mauritius to you and I. Read More


They say all good things must come to an end. And what an end it was too. The annual dinner at the Frontline Club to round off an incredible year being captain of the wonderful Press Golfing Society society. 


Something happened on the way to dinner tonight. Jon Snow phoned me from Sri Lanka. It’s too late Jon, I told him, you had your chance to perform in front of my guests … and you blew it. Royally. Listen to me, he says, this is a really bad line and I can’t speak for long but I wanted to tell you something really important …

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Hayley teams up with IJP Design

IJP Design

It’s not often you receive an email with the words: “I work with Ian Poulter and his golf clothing line IJP Design … and we would love to invite you to join our exclusive testing panel for his new women’s golf range ahead of the full launch in spring summer 2014.”

Well, that’s exactly what I did receive. Read More

WPGC Read More


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