Health & Fitness, Mind and Body, News, Sports

East Dulwich’s Hidden Gem

Ever thought about taking up golf or played in the past and tempted to play again? For many ladies, joining a golf club can be intimidating or it feels too expensive or time consuming.

Fiona Nott, Lady Captain at the Aquarius Golf Club, shares her experience on the welcome she received as a beginner and how golf has opened up new friendships.

I always wanted to take up golf, but thought it would be really intimidating to join a golf club and with a full time job, where I travel regularly, I never thought I would have the time to dedicate to it. I set myself the challenge of playing my first round of golf before my 50th birthday, which I achieved with just two days to spare!

Fast forward four years later and I became Lady Captain in March this year having joined the Aquarius only four years ago. I have met so many lovely people during those four years and my experience is one of welcome, informality and friendship – words I didn’t associate with golf. I still remember so clearly my terror when I pitched up for my courtesy round but Pam and Maureen couldn’t have been more friendly or encouraging and I joined the same day. Was golf really this sociable and fun? The answer has been a definite yes as I have met new friends, attended golf weekends and even spent a week playing in Spain – how did this happen to a novice golfer like me? The Aquarius is a wonderful course to learn on and develop your game but also has a great range of social events.

One of the things I really enjoy about golf is taking prospective new members out for a courtesy round. As a relative newcomer to golf I can still relate to the fear and I was reminded of this on Saturday when I met a prospective new member, Alisa, and she said she was so nervous of playing. We spent two hours playing the course, chatting about numerous ad hoc topics and generally having a good time and she joined this week.

Her feedback sums up what we hope to deliver at the Aquarius –

Thank you so, so much for my round on Saturday, what a wonderful playing partner – I absolutely loved it. I am really quite motivated to play regularly and improve – it will give me a great sense of satisfaction if I can look back at the end of this summer and feel as though I’ve achieved some real progress!”

We have a diverse mix of ladies across all ages, playing abilities and handicaps and that is part of the appeal of  Aquarius. We have ladies who have been members for 30 years and who have formed lifelong friendships at the club, while our newest member only joined last week. Pam, a member for 25 years summed her response as

playing golf provides fresh air, exercise, good company, a friendly club and it is so local for a drink!”

I admit my optimism of quickly reducing my handicap has never been achieved, but I love the challenge of improving and the fun and friendships I have encountered.

Our unique 9-hole course in the heart of London might not be the smartest but where else can you tee off towards the Shard and with views across London. I lived in East Dulwich for 16 years, unaware of the course and now love to highlight what a secret gem it is for the area.

www.aquariusgolfclub.co.uk

This article first appeared in the July issue of SE22 magazine.