Inside the ropes with John Glenn

John Glenn, a Qualified PGA Professional who has been part of the coaching team at The Grove since 2011, reflects on a week at the British Masters that he will never forget…

Players On Course - Justin Walters (1)Moments before he was due to tee off alongside Alex Noren and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston on the first day of The 2016 British Masters, Danny Willett, the reigning Masters champion, was forced to pull out due to injury, which created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for stand-by caddy, John Glenn.

Four days after forming an unlikely partnership with European Tour professional Justin Walters, the pair had met only minutes before the South African’s first tee shot, John was able to reflect on a successful tournament, which saw the 35-year-old finish tied 33rd and secure his European Tour card for 2017.

“Having had some previous experience as a caddy, I was on the stand-by list at the start of the week, in case anyone dropped out, but not really expecting to be called up, especially once play had got underway.

“Then, while I was on the driving range on the Thursday, I was having a conversation with Justin’s agent Ally Mellor, who I had known previously, and he said there was a chance Justin may be playing in the afternoon and that he didn’t have a caddy, so I should go over and introduce myself.

“After a brief conversation, Justin simply told me to ‘get the bag’ and to follow him up onto the first tee, with neither of us sure at that point whether we were going to be teeing it up as we walked through the crowd.

Players On Course - Justin Walters (2)

“When it became clear that Danny Willett had pulled out and that Justin was going to be playing, we had a bit of a laugh on the first tee, as he wasn’t really sure where he was supposed to be going. Fortunately, I knew that he hit quite a long ball, so I handed him a 3-iron, told him where to aim and we were off.

“I remember that he pulled that first tee shot slightly, but he made a good par, before going birdie, birdie and we were underway in the tournament.

“We then got to the fourth hole and Alex Noren and Andrew Johnson both joked that this could be a bit like John Daly at the PGA Championship in 1991, with Justin unexpectedly playing in an event and doing well.”

“Although the end result wasn’t quite the same, when we were walking down the fairways we would often talk about what was a very surreal experience for us both. Finding ourselves in the marquee group, when three or four hours earlier Justin was shopping at Tesco and I was setting up the driving range, we just agreed that the key thing for the week was to really enjoy the experience and to make the most of the opportunity.

“Despite some occasionally tricky situations on the first day, as I was getting to know his game and it took a little time to get used to each other, I was able to keep him calm in certain situations and he had a really good round.

Players On Course - Justin Walters“Then, as the days went on, he became more comfortable with me and I felt more confident with giving him advice and by the end of the week we had developed a strong relationship.

“Caddying is quite similar to coaching, in that to get the best out of anyone, you need to be able to build a rapport with them, which is something that I am passionate about doing. This ability to quickly build a relationship definitely came in handy throughout the week and, I would like to think, helped contribute to Justin’s successful tournament.

“I will never forget the British Masters week, being inside the ropes and caddying for a top European Tour professional at my home course, it really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

 

To book John, or another member of the caddying team, in order to make your experience at The Grove even more memorable, then contact the golf team on 01923 294266.

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Estelle’s visit to Sequoia

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Ever wondered what it is like to work at The Grove, and experience the full introduction of what we have available? Our new Marketing Executive had a hard day in the office last week, trying out one of our luxurious Spa Day’s on offer, and here is what she got up to….

After starting work at The Grove just a week ago, I was told that as part of my induction and to see things from a customer’s perspective, I had to experience “…all The Grove had to offer” which as you can imagine was music to my ears. My first week ended on a high with a visit to the renowned Sequoia Spa. I had always been curious to discover what it was like there, I expected it to be amazing, and it didn’t disappoint!

On arrival to the bright and airy reception area I instantly felt a sense of calm prevail. The staff were welcoming and informative. I was given a Spa Consultation Form to complete and I received a personalised timetable listing my treatment and lunch times. I then had to choose my four course lunch (which was a difficult decision given the mouth-watering choices on offer).

I was given a short tour of the facilities so I could get my bearings, I was then left alone to explore my new surroundings. I headed straight to the Heat Rooms to spend some time in the sauna, just the ticket on a nail bitingly cold day. It felt like a quick blast on a sun-drenched beach. I cooled down in the powerful rain effect shower, which emulated a tropical rainstorm (minus the thunder)! Time for a quick go in the Steam Room to clear my lungs and leave me feeling revitalised.

The Vitality Pool, as the name would suggest was invigorating with a plethora of jets and bubbles!

As with most other areas during my visit, being mid-week I was lucky enough to have the area to myself. After trying this out, I then made my way up to the swimming pool which had a jacuzzi at one end. The pool makes a bold statement with its’ black tiles, offering something a little different to the predictable white tiles that you see everywhere else. Whilst I took a short but leisurely swim there was also an aqua aerobics class going on which brought some energy to the setting. Other guests were relaxing on the day beds catching up on the days’ news.

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For my treatment I opted for the “Head to Toe Heaven” – 90 minutes of pure bliss and escapism. Ellie my therapist greeted me in The Relaxation Room and led me to a gently lit treatment room with soothing music playing in the background. I was left to discretely de-robe and make myself comfortable. The heated towel on the bed was a nice touch and made the experience even more relaxing. My treatment promised to “soothe fine lines and leave me looking wonderfully radiant”. This luxurious and effective treatment was also coupled with a Mediterranean style full body massage. As each minute passed I could feel myself drifting off and dreaming of far flung destinations. The intoxicating citrusy aroma of the Natura Bissé products only sought to enhance the overall experience.

And then I heard those dreaded words “That’s the end of your spa treatment”! I was enjoying it so much that it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Feeling all warm and fuzzy I headed to the Juice Bar in seek of refreshment. I had never tried a vegetable based juice before, but I have to say the juice I ordered which contained beetroot, celery, ginger, apple and spinach was delicious and instantly boosted my feeling of well-being.

Now I would like to say that I had worked up and appetite, but a leisurely swim doesn’t really count as a calorie burner. Lunch was described as being in a “Bento Box”, I hadn’t heard of this before and I expected it to arrive in a cardboard box which folded out. However I was served a colourful and attractive square plate of food divided into neat little sections with a course in each. My preconceptions of spa food were simply a bit of lettuce and not a lot of substance, how wrong could I be? The food was incredibly satisfying, tasty and very healthy (apart from the very moreish Bailey’s Cheesecake accompanied by a bitter chocolate sauce).

Unfortunately it was now time to leave this tranquil space and head back to the reality of my desk… My experience was truly an assault on the senses in the most positive way. For anyone looking to re-energise and feel the stress and tension drain away, a day spa package at Sequoia is a must!