ISSUE 4, January 2003
Editorial
History: The Wilde Oxford Mason
Captain Courageous: Mason Eric Moody's Horror Flight
Travel: Weekend Tonic
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter
   Charity News: Grand Charity and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and RMBI - Making the Difference and New Masonic Samaritan Fund - In Safe Hands
Spring lecture season: Library & Museum of Freemasonry; Cornerstone Society; Canonbury Masonic Research Centre; Sheffield University
Library and Museum: News
Letters
Gardening
Book reviews

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Weekend Tonic

Stephanie Voyager flies off for a long weekend to the San Roque Club in Andalucia to take golfing lessons with Vicente Ballesteros


I love weekends away. They don't take much time out of your working week but, at the same time, you get away from the routine at both home and work. You come back rested with the feeling that you have actually had a proper holiday.
    My expectations of my visit to Spain were heightened by the fact that I was going to have golf lessons with Vicente Ballesteros, the brother of Seve, who runs the golf school there. The great man himself also puts in an appearance a few times a year as the school actually belongs to him, and he has devised what he calls a 'natural' teaching programme.
    The club is situated in the middle of nowhere, so peace and tranquillity were high on the agenda. My accommodation, in a hacienda, also included a lounge and kitchen, and although the latter wasn't very functional for cooking, it was useful as it had a fridge (the mini bar) and an electric kettle.
    There was also a veranda, which overlooked the beautiful swimming pool, with a table so that you could have breakfast served out there or enjoy a drink before dinner. The amazing sunsets and sunrises were an added bonus.
    The area boasts 300 days of sun a year, and my visit, which was during the winter months, meant that although it was too cold to swim, it had its compensations. There were no queues for the golfing practise range or indeed the golf course. You are required to have a handicap to play on the course, unless you are there with an instructor.
    A special video analysis programme in which two cameras are angled on you to show your golf swing enhances the tutelage. You are then shown how to correct your mistakes, and what you should be doing to make your game better. After the viewing you get to keep it.
    If the weather is fine, the club is self-contained if you just want to sit by the pool and laze about. There is also a riding school on the estate with more than 30 horses, and mountain bikes to exercise on around the 600-acre estate.
    A new golf course is scheduled for completion next year and the club house will include a health spa. Several restaurants include a romantic outdoor one by the pool which, unfortunately, is only open during the warmer summer months from April until October, and a rarity for the region, a Japanese one complete with its own teppanyaki bar.

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