Tag Archives: Golf

My Golfing Students

Being the amazing golfer that I am, I have given back to the community by providing free golfing lessons.  By amazing I mean barely average and by community I mean two great friends of mine who do their best to put up with me.  I don’t think either of them had swung a golf club many times before they started taking instructions from me, but now they can hit the ball almost every time they swing.  Sometimes it’s even in a straight line.


Meet Nina.  No shortage of power, but her accuracy can be lacking at times.  Famous for her mighty whiffs followed by a flurry of curses and swear words.  A proper golfer.


Meet Holly.  The best way to describe her swing is dainty and graceful.  Keen to take direction, she’s hitting the ball further than ever.  She got it almost all the way down the hill one time!


Today we had our last driving range session, and it was bittersweet.  In between swings there was lots of picture taking, friendly banter, and some general horsing around.  Speaking of horsing, we had a little putting competition in the style of HORSE, the game being you get a letter every time you miss and the first person to get to HORSE loses.  We got bored with the game before it was finished, but I think I remember Holly being a ho.  Sorry, I mean a HO.


I fully expect both of them to continue with their golfing after I leave.  They’ve both made me so proud as students, and I feel very lucky to have them as friends.  Fräulein out.


The End and The Beginning

Saturday was my last day working at Remuera Golf Club.  It was a surreal experience and I found myself thinking, “this is the last time I’m going to do this,” throughout the day.  I’ve learned so much in my time at the club, not only about the sport of golf but what it takes to run a golf course.   I don’t know for sure what I’ll do professionally in the future, but I know that golf will always be a big part of my life.

Since I arrived in Auckland without knowing anyone, my coworkers were my first friends who quickly became like family to me.  The guys in the pro shop have become the brothers I always wished I had.  Farting, telling dirty jokes, sharing hilarious anecdotes, ‘enriching’ my vocabulary, meddling in my love life, and giving sage life advice are just some of the things I love them for.  I am going to miss them terribly.

Today was my first day on my road trip!  Four weeks long, this trip will see me going places and doing things I never thought I’d do.  Bungee jumping will be one of them.  Lots of things will be crossed of my list by the time the trip is over and I cannot wait to get into the thick of it.

For the time being I’ll chill in Gisborne by taking in the sights and chatting with my fellow hostel mates before heading to Napier in the morning.

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Kelly & Virginia Do NZ: Part III

Road trips are fun, but they can be very tiring.  That’s why we spent the rest of Kelly’s days in NZ in Auckland.  There’s so much to see and do around here that I don’t think we made much of a sacrifice by staying close to home.  Highlights of those last few days are what this post is all about, since otherwise you’d be scrolling down and reading forever.

I’ll start off with our wine tasting tour, which was self guided.  We basically picked up a winery brochure, set the GPS, and headed out.  For some reason the wine got better and better as we went along.  During this outing, Kelly took the opportunity to drive my car for her first time on the “wrong” side of the road!  Exciting for her, scary for me.  We learned a lot about the NZ winery business and where the grapes are grown.  A big surprise was learning that 95% of wines bottled in NZ have twist off caps instead of corks.  So much more convenient with no compromise of quality!

I really enjoyed taking Kelly around to my favorite Auckland spots, including Downtown, Devonport, Mission Bay, and Remuera Golf Club!  The top of the Sky Tower in Downtown Auckland gave great views in 360 degrees.  However, my favorite view was the one straight down.


Devonport gave us a really great view of Downtown from the top of Mount Victoria, an extinct cone that was used as a military post.  The big canon at the top is still there.


Kelly loves to golf so it wouldn’t have been right to deny her the opportunity to play for the first time in another country.  Lucky for us, I happen to work at one of the best courses in Auckland so we teed it up and played 18 holes.  No score was kept, but I think I won.  That’s my story anyway.  Kelly told me she considered that one of the best highlights of the whole trip.  Not because of the golf, however, but because she made a great connection with one of the members we played with, Natalie.  After the round we shared a few drinks and chatted about travels and men.  Natalie gave us some great tips on places to eat too, which all turned out to be fantastic.

While Kelly was here, the America’s Cup Race was being run in San Francisco.  Two sailboats, the Kiwis and the Americans, were up against each other for the final.  Unfortunately, the Americans pulled off an unprecedented come from behind win to take the cup.  Kelly had mentioned that she wanted to go sailing one day and we happened to find a sailing cruise on one of the previously used Americas Cup boats.  The day we picked to go out couldn’t have been any better!  Participation from everyone on board was necessary to get the sails up and down using the four winches on the deck.  I’m not going to lie, I was very sore the next day!  Kelly and I both got to steer the boat around the harbor, past other sailboats and massive cargo ships bringing in the latest shipments.


On our way back to the dock we caught some serious wind.  If you’ve never been on a racing sailboat before, those things get seriously sideways.  A couple of times I thought for sure we would tip over, but the crew apparently had it well in hand.

I had a great time in the 10 days Kelly spent in NZ.  We did things and ate at places I wouldn’t have on my own, so I’m very glad she came to visit.  She gave me a copy of the pictures she took, so some of the ones you’ve seen in the past few posts are hers.  If anyone else wants a tour of the country, I’ll meet you at the airport!

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Falling into Place

I feel like I’m back in the real world now.  No longer in limbo, staying in a hostel and wondering where I might end up finding a job.  I found the job and since starting about two weeks ago I can tell you that I love it.  I work at a golf course in the pro shop and my day is basically filled with golf.  Selling golf, talking about golf, watching golf, playing golf, and learning golf.  It’s a lot of fun!  Everyone is so nice, especially the older members of the club.  I’ve never had so many compliments in such a short time span!

With the job secured, I was finally able to start looking for places to live.  I started with the neighborhoods surrounding the golf course and set up a least one appointment every day to look at flats after work.  Last Thursday I got a text that I was offered one of the rooms that I had looked at, which turned out to be my top choice!  I met most everyone in the house and they were all really friendly.  It’s very close to the golf course and I can walk to work if I want.  My room is a lovely shade of pastel purple, which suits me just fine.

The room becomes available this Friday, but since I work that day and Saturday I decided it would be much easier to move everything Sunday.  I looked around online for awhile for a bed that was reasonably priced and found a great discount furniture place close to where I’ll be living.  I was able to buy a mattress, base, and side table with delivery for around $540.  Not a bad deal.  I took advantage of my day off and bought the bedroom necessities; sheets, pillows, towels, hangers, and a trash can.  The store I went to was having a 50% off sale on home-wares, so I lucked out on the prices there.

My next big purchase will be a vehicle.  I’ve been looking around and there are a lot of affordable cars out there.  Cars are very plentiful here, so the prices are much lower than I’m used to.  The recommendation here is to have a mechanic take a look at any vehicle you are thinking of purchasing to see if it will pass the NZ equivalent of an emissions test, which is required every six months for older vehicles.

I’ll post pictures of my room soon, so you can see how I’m livin’.  If you have any questions for me, leave a comment!

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What a Whirlwind

It is currently halfway through day 3 for me.  So much has happened that it seems like it should be much longer.

The plane ride was pretty rough, and by rough I mean turbulent, and by turbulent I mean the whole rest of the day while I was walking around I felt like I had just stepped off a boat.  That bad.  It literally felt like the ground was moving beneath me.  Thankfully, that has now gone away and I can walk normally.

The plane landed at 6:40am, about 40 minutes ahead of schedule.  I had a nice bus ride to the hostel and got settled in quickly.  I only had to wait about 20 minutes for my room to be ready!  I quickly showered and packed my bag for everything I would need to get done that day.  I accomplished a lot that morning and by lunchtime I had activated my bank account, bought a sim card for my phone, and put in my request for an IRD number (an IRD number is like a tax ID number that will enable me to work in NZ).

I spent the rest of the time walking up and down Queen Street, which is the main street in Auckland.  Unfortunately, I left my camera at the hostel, so I’ll have to go back later and take some pictures.  The next day I bought some groceries for myself from an Asian food market which surprisingly had a good selection of produce, meat, and canned goods for reasonable prices.  I took a walk over to the University area and found a wonderful park to sit and eat my lunch.



The park is called Auckland Domain.  It’s hard to see from this picture but the flat land extends far to the left and right and is covered in what I can only guess are Cricket Pitches.  I have no idea if that is the correct term for those long green patches, but I saw a group of school children playing Cricket on  one of them far in the distance.

I then walked around the large hill in the distance and found the Wintergarden.  I had read about it in my guidebook, but I wasn’t that thrilled about visiting it.  I am really glad I stumbled upon it.  Two green houses connected by a central fountain and a Fern Area.  Yeah, an outside area dedicated to ferns.  It was awesome.



This is inside the Fern Area.



This is inside one of the green houses.

Over the past two and half days, I’ve kept looking out for help wanted signs while walking around.  I found one across the street from where I’m staying and I took my resume in, but I haven’t heard anything back from them yet.  Other than that I’ve applied online to a few places.  One of which is a golf course, that just emailed me back a few minutes ago and set up an interview with me for next Tuesday!  I’m so excited, I would love working in the club house of a golf course.  I will be kinda pissed if I do get I though, because I left my golf clubs at home. Oh well.

I’ve met some cool people already, and with the nice patio outside it will be really easy to meet more.


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