Mark Davies has traded wet Wales for warmer climes in the UAE
Mark Mortimer-Davies, right, pictured with playing partner Glenn Narbeth, has traded wet Wales for warmer climes in the UAE Image Credit: Supplied

There has been a lot written about golf, although at times I find something done sitting in a buggy with a cappuccino in my hand difficult to reference as a sport.

So how did it all begin for this particular sexagenarian and why are you reading this in the Gulf News?

In truth I came late to the sport in my mid-50s when it was perhaps the last thing left for me to do that I could indeed call a sport and in a very typically expat way.

I was in Miami at a conference and on Day 3, I think, it was a free day and while hundreds of the people present went off to play golf, I as a newbie was left with a choice of a Segway tour of Miami or feign some excuse for illness and spend the day watching TV shut in a room. So Segway it was, which at over 120kg must have been a sight to the Floridians of that proud city. I resolved to be back and next year be good enough to be allowed on the golf bus.

I was helped by a zealous colleague — lets call him Yarmy, a loyal Spurs fan desperate to find a sport where success was possible: in his case golf.

As I held the key to us sponsoring something “for our clients” he made it his ambition to get a corporate deal. And so after much searching and presenting of offers we agreed on a magnificent course only for him to become aware three weeks later that I was actually moving there to live — 1-0 to Leeds I would say.

And then again came Miami and the great ‘buy your clubs in the United States’ debate as its miles cheaper and the best piece of salesmanship I have ever come across even after 30 years in retail. An 18-year-old shop assistant when asked by two grey haired Brits if the $87 box set of Wilsons was “any good”, he replied: “Sir, if you’re just starting, those clubs will be better than you for a long time.”

That young man not only had the bravery of William Wallace he had the foresight of Nostradamus. He also sold me a left-handed set for my left-handed wife but that’s a total other story.

Roll forward six years and the ambition is still to break 50 over nine holes or 100 over 18. A feat just achieved by my neighbour who has golfed for 20+ years.

So we are going to look at golf from a non-picture-perfect world, perhaps some of the characters around the UAE and non-sponsored reviews from the best balls to the best course coffee, and hopefully have a few laughs along the way that are not to do with the speed of my downswing.

And for those still awake, I never made it on the golf bus just as I was getting good enough for a seat the company decided my work was so poor, due to all the time off golfing perhaps, that they drove me out of bounds.

Mark Mortimer-Davies is a proud Welshman, UAE resident since 1999 and golfer for eight years