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How to survive the cold off-season in Sweden
Golf Buddy Mats Jogin and his golf trip to Hua Hin (Thailand)
Mats Jogin from Linköping, Sweden, got fed up with the snow and the cold in Sweden. Halfway the long winter season in Scandinavia, he and four friends checked in their golf bags with KLM and flew to Thailand for more than two weeks of great golf at the Springfield Golf Course in Hua Hin. “We played the lovely Springfield course 18 times. It was great to be out there in nice, warm weather, playing golf every day!”
Mats is a real golf fan (4.5 handicap) and so are his friends. “We go places every year”, Mats explains. “Usually we go to Portugal, Spain or Italy. Now that KLM flies out of Linköping, we have easy access to the rest of the world. That is especially nice when golf courses have closed down in Scandinavia, basically from the end of September to April."
Twenty years of golf
Mats (62) works for an international steel treatment company and is used to travel quite often. “Golf has been part of my life since 20 years. I played different sports before, like football, hockey and weightlifting. At age 42 I wanted a change, and so I tried golf and liked it more than I ever imagined possible. Golf is popular among people in their forties who give up football, hockey or bandy (a ball game on ice). With many former hockey and bandy players, you can still tell what sport they participated in, by the look of their golf swing.”
Mats’ strong points in play are his decent tee shot, which is often pretty long (“I shot almost 315 metres in Hua Hin…”), and usually on the fairway. His approach and short game are also quite good, which may be expected from a player with this handicap. “To maintain my current playing level, I am glad I can get out to countries with good weather once in a while. I tried other, low-cost airlines as well. But taking the golf bag is much more convenient with KLM. That makes a great difference for golfers like me, because I want to take my own clubs rather than renting a set at a club.”
To be able to play golf in wintertime, Mats takes trips to various destinations. “I have been to Garda in Italy about fifteen times now and we decided it was time for a real change.” Mats and his friends thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Thailand. “We did almost nothing besides play golf at the Springfield and one time at the Sea Pine Golf Course. We stayed at a beach resort and travelled the six kilometres to the course every day on rented mopeds.”
Playing Springfield was particularly enjoyable because the course was in excellent shape for the Asia Tour Qualifying School, that started in the week in which Mats and his friends flew back home again. “I never got tired of playing there, with all of the challenges it offers.”
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