I’m rather wary of coming across as smug at the moment.
There is nothing worse than watching couples on social media gloating about how chuffed they are with their relationship, especially after they’ve got engaged. It doesn’t help either when they throw in how great the rest of their lives are, so it is with a certain amount of apprehension that I drop into conversation that so far this year, Jo and I have had no fewer than seven mini breaks.
I should point out that this is purely through good fortune and is circumstantial. The ‘me’ twelve months ago would have ranted about how nice it would have been to have a day off, let alone a series of mini breaks. Going away that much does start to get tricky. Don’t get me wrong, I’m utterly grateful that fate has dealt the holidaying equivalent of the royal flush, but the more time you spend away in lovely locations, the greater the expectations and higher your standards are for the next destination.
I have to admit to having done no forward research on The Point before we got there. For all I knew, we could have been going to another campsite, the previous weekend having been spent listening to the familiar and moral-sappingly English sound of rain on canvas.
(Incidentally, marriage preparation classes should include a session where a couple have to put up a tent. I should add that this has to be on grass that only serves to disguise thick concrete underneath. Half way through the exercise small children with muddy feed should be sent in to ask multiple food/toilet/cold questions. The couples that complete the task without committing multiple homicides are then allowed to marry. The others are deemed to be normal people.)
So, we arrive at our destination, which I instantly see is part of a lovely golf course. I suppose technically it’s not a links course, but it’s that close to the sea that it might as well be. We’re staying in one of six new apartments opening this season.
The design and finish is at the top end of the spectrum, and it’s the little touches that impress me – the bathroom mirrors that don’t steam over, the walk in shower with the controls at the entrance so you don’t get your arm wet turning on the shower, the under floor heating that is thoughtfully ‘zoned’ and not to forget the lovely furniture and nautically-themed pictures throughout the house. If I’m being picky, the bedroom Jo and I had would have felt more homely with some art on the walls, but that is being hypercritical. With a balcony with views down to the sea, it’s the perfect location for a Cornish break, and for a game of golf.
I played the back nine holes early on the Sunday morning of our stay, with Belle fulfilling a childhood ambition acting as caddy and golf cart chauffeur, well equipped, as she always is, with drinks and snacks.
She was a natural, and despite having never swung a club in her life, talked a good game and was full of advice. I did that annoying thing of telling her what I was going to try and do before every shot. I even did my best to look slightly annoyed at any shot that was marginally good, resisting the urge to jump up and down and shout, “OH MY GOD! DID YOU SEE THAT?! “
“You’re really good at golf” beamed Belle at one point. I did my best to hide my pride.
For so early in the summer, the greens and fairways were in stunning condition, and I’m sure the course plays just as well in the winter months. The course is well designed and for my ‘weekend golfer’ ability, (my handicap is the clubs), the course was fairly challenging but not unplayable. The water and bunker hazards were picture-postcard perfect. If you’re the kind of golfer, like me, who goes around a course with an internal commentary from Peter Alliss, prepare to hear lots of ‘stunning views here across the north Cornish coast at the 10th’ and in my case a few too many ‘oh dear, oh dear, that’s another ball in the water’ at the 14th, with it’s water hazard going down the right hand side of the fairway.
There are some challenging par 5s, which comes as part of the package with a course of just short of 7000 yards off the back tees, but that is counterbalanced by some lovely short par 3s. At one point Belle commented on the amount of time I spent surveying holes from the tee. To be honest, my mind was taken over by the breath-taking views.
I’m always slightly fearful of playing on a new course because of the stuffy reputation golfers and some courses have. That couldn’t be further from the truth at The Point. The course has been loved and respected by the ground staff and in return and you can enjoy a round of golf at your level and pace.
The only nerves I felt were on the final approach at the 18th. The bar and restaurant has a balcony overlooking the green and I was acutely aware of the hundreds (read three) of pairs of eyes watching my preparation swing. I did my best impression of Rory Mcilroy, and by luck rather than judgement got the ball about 18 inches (probably 8 feet) of the hole. I even got a ripple of applause.
It turned out to be Belle’s carrier bag of snacks catching the wind.
Disclosure – We spent two nights as guests of The Point.