There’s much more to golf than improving your swing and perfecting putting. Yes, there’s always that primal instinct of sport – the challenge and exhilaration of competition, whether you’re watching or playing. Then there are those who simply enjoy a hit, inhaling the fresh air, soaking up the scenery, exercising the body and brain – socialising, eating… drinking. In absoluteness, the ultimate day of golf goes beyond the greens to which this column observes the neurological receptors, the gustatory and olfactory senses of both amateur and professional golfers all over this planet. We take a cross section of the golfer’s stomach and we probe the visual, the tactile, the fine motor controls of pleasure, going where no golfing publication has been before, right to the dopamine receptors and intestines of – the Golfer’s Palate.
Grant Van Every, Amateur Handicap – 18
Club Member of The National, Cape Schanck, Victoria, Australia
Which Golf Club 19th Hole (bar, beer, wine list, food) has impressed you the most
Thai Country Club in the outskirts of Bangkok has a great set up. After you take a high pressure shower, the clubhouse serves a variety of spicy noodle dishes washed down with some icy Singha beer. www.thaicountryclub.com
Where is the most memorable meal (restaurant) you have had on a golf trip?
Same as Blakey, Ateleier by Robuchon at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Great setting with some incredible food washed down with some seriously great wine. http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/atelier-joel-robuchon-french-restaurant.aspx
Where have you dined recently (restaurant) that impressed you?
Sepia in Sydney was absolutely outstanding. They prepare complex structured dishes with many ingredients but the flavours all work together and there are great textural contrasts. The wine list is happily eclectic and the service very accomplished. www.sepiarestaurant.com.au
Do you have a favourite regular restaurant?
Not really but I do enjoy quite a few meals at Geoff Lindsay’s Dandelion in Elwood, Victoria. Oh I look after their wine list so I’m a little bit biased but it is bloody good in any case. http://dandelion.ws/
Do you cook at home and is there a dish you have perfected?
I love cooking but as I live by myself I usually keep it simple and basic. When I visit my sister’s place I am usually called to make some desserts and I use egg yolks to make Crème caramels and the whites to make a traditional “Aussie” Pavlova, or is it a traditional “Kiwi” dish? I have had enough practice to get these recipes pretty much spot on.
Do you enjoy wine? What wine are you drinking at the moment?
Yes I enjoy wine, perhaps too much in the past, so I am not drinking at the moment to try and lose some weight. If I was drinking I would be excited by the increase in quality of Victorian Pinot Noirs and stock up on 2008 Barolos.
Have you had a new wine discovery lately – new region, variety or style?
I tried a wine made from Koshu recently. This is an indigenous Japanese grape variety, and it was quite impressive with plenty of floral lift with minerals and crisp clean acid at the finish.
What is the most enthralling golf course you have played on, in terms of dramatic scenery?
My home club, The National has 3 courses and The Old course is stunning with ocean views on most holes www.nationalgolf.com.au. Up at La Perouse New South Wales Golf Club www.nswgolfclub.com.au has some great scenery with the holes along the ocean but the most spectacular is without question, Barnbougle Dunes near Bridport in Tasmania www.barnbougledunes.com
What is the most memorable golf holiday or destination you have been on?
Our golf trip to Las Vegas a few years ago was fantastic. The golf courses were very high quality, all of them an oasis in the middle of a desert whilst back in town with all the bright lights Vegas is, well Vegas is Vegas and you have to go there to experience it.