My trip to Florida was a great success. Tiger and I spent 3 weeks in the “winter warmth” of Florida (which included 3 nights of record low 20’s). These 3 weeks were still a wonderful break from the cold, damp, and polluted air of Shanghai.
The main purpose of the trip was to introduce Tiger to the team at Bishops Gate Golf Academy during their winter training camp. As Bishops Gate Golf Academy’s Agent in Shanghai it was personally satisfying to finally get one of my own students to visit them.
All the staff, from Lee-Anne ("The Boss"), Jeff who is my main contact at the academy, Lynda who is the most helpful "Front Of House" person you could wish to have helping you, through Tom and Felicia (House Parents) and all the coaches (too many to name without being boring) couldn't have done more to ensure that Tiger and I were looked after any better.
As I only get to work with Tiger for 1 hour each week in Shanghai, the training that he was able to undertake during his time (4 hours each day Monday to Friday) in Florida saw him make some great leaps forward.
He has progressed so much that in his first competition back in Shanghai, he has finished third (showing promise for further improvement in the coming months).
As a facility, BGGA is second to none. So much so that a lot of college teams have spent time there during the winter months as have numerous Tour Pro’s from LPGA and PGA Tours.
Li Hao Tong who is the first Chinese Professional Golfer to hold a Tour Card has also based himself there during the winter months.
No trip to Central Florida would be complete without a trip to the theme parks, Sea World and Kennedy Space Centre, and as Universal Studios is so big, it really requires 2 days to see and do all the rides and experience it in it’s entirety. That would take up 4 of our “days off” although they were so action packed that it felt like a rest going back to the academy. Oh, and don’t forget an evenings entertainment filled with pageantry at Medieval Knights.
The upside of the trip for Tiger is that he will be going to Florida for the start of the new School Year in August. He felt totally at home with everything about Bishops Gate and the school that they are partnered with: Montverde Academy.
The upsides for me were that I was able to get a lot of work done without Chinese Government Internet Restrictions hampering me at every turn (including getting some test photographs taken for upcoming Instruction Articles in Golf Punk China).
I was also able to spend some time practicing myself and played two rounds of golf while we were there (a real rarity and treat for me nowadays).