THE GOLF EXPLORER GETS READY FOR THE GET GO
John Dean has been one of the driving forces behind the very popular GolfPunk Magazine. Now he’s taking a break to do what he likes best: traveling and playing golf . John goes on an Interrail trip through 9 European countries, playing golf in every country he visits. This is his story!
The countdown has now well and truly begun for my latest golfing adventure, which will see me travel through 9 different countries in Europe to play golf over the course of a whole month. And it will all be done by train, as I will use Interrail to complete my journey.
So what are my golf credentials for this trip? Well, back in the day, I helped launch a magazine called GolfPunk, which I believe did play some part in bringing golf kicking and screaming into the modern world. Fourteen long years on, and the brand is still going, but I am taking a break from it so I can focus on what I love doing most, which is travelling and playing golf.
Never too old to start with Interrail Golf
I never did the Interrail thing in my youth, but plenty of friends did and loved the whole experience. So with a few more miles under my feet, I have decided that now is the time to gird my loins and set out to see some of the best golf that Europe can offer, whilst watching the countryside slip pass from the comfort of a train.
But it has been a monster of a planning job, made possible by a fantastic Interrail app, which lets you plot your way seamlessly across the continent.
And now with just a week to go, I’m feeling properly nervous as it is a big, big trip with lots of moving parts. I am trying to be prepared for anything and everything. Firstly, I need to make sure that my kit is ship shape, and it will be time to dispense with a couple of unnecessary wedges, and my 4-iron can certainly stay at home. Golf balls are next on my list, and I am fully stocked with new Mizuno JPXs and some brilliant yellow Volviks for good measure on the basis that I am a lot less likely to lose them.
My travelling companion for the month will be a new 100% waterproof Big Max Aqua golf bag, and golf bag holder, which will contain my treasured sticks and all my worldly possessions for the trip.
The right golf shoes are also going to be mission critical, and I have a brand new pair of box-fresh Adidas spikeless shoes to try out. I think they are going to work well both on and off the course, and properly provide both comfort and style. They’re going to get a lot of golf thrown at them, so the journey will be a proper test, and as I have no Plan B on the shoe front, they need to deliver.
I need to get off to a fast start, so I will be taking the Eurostar from St Pancreas straight to the heart of Paris, before transferring to a superfast TGV at Gare du Lyon, which will whisk me down to Marseilles in a staggering three hours.
So in no time at all, I will be the best part of a thousand kilometres from home, and ready to tee it up at my first destination, Royal Mougins in Cannes.