Sea-faring Robin finds new niche
GOLF: Robin Mann, for years Suffolk's most successful golfer, has found a new niche in the game. Since he left Waldringfield Heath in October, Robin has been cruising around some of the hot spots of the world teaching the game aboard ship.
ROBIN Mann, for years Suffolk's most successful golfer, has found a new niche in the game.
Since he left Waldringfield Heath in October, Robin has been cruising around some of the hot spots of the world teaching the game aboard ship.
In the last three months Robin has been to the Caribbean, the Canaries and Capetown in South Africa for a fortnight at a time, and yesterday he set sail for Mombassa in Africa on a cruise that will go on to Jordan in the Middle East.
Robin teaches golf aboard the Black Watch, a cruise ship owned by Fred Olsen. Robin has, in fact, had a tie-up with Fred Olsen for the last eight years, but since leaving Waldringfield has devoted much more time to this side of the golf business.
Starting in March, six more cruises are planned for this year known as Golf Special Interest Cruises – four to the Canaries, and one each to the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
For anybody that books a cruise and takes up the extra option of the golf, there is a special programme.
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Robin said: "I give five 30-minute lessons, there is a welcoming party, four rounds of golf, a couple of lectures, competitions and a prize-giving and reception.
"On the top deck of the Black Watch there are three 12-metre bays."
Playing golf in some of the more exotic places in the world seems idyllic and Robin said: "I call it the perfect golf holiday. When you're not on the golf course or having lessons, the ship has got all the amenities with entertainment and other sports.
"I reckon cruising and golf are the perfect match."
On June 2, Robin – a member of the European Tour between 1975 and 1996 – celebrates 30 years as professional.
Now Robin, 46, plans to concentrate on cruises in the future.
"I thoroughly enjoy it," he said. "Fourteen days at sea is ideal, and in any case I like to keep busy.
"On the last cruise I gave more than 100 lessons and when we go out on the golf courses, I make sure I play a few holes with everybody."
In between cruises, Robin spends two days a week developing golf at Copleston Sports Centre, and when he's away Kelvin Vince (Fynn Valley) takes charge.
As far as his own game is concerned, Robin said: "It is in tick-over mode. I keep it in shape and on the cruises I have the opportunity of practising in the evenings because the bays are floodlit.
"I haven't made any plans for the summer. My game's not tournament sharp at the moment and I play when I feel like it."
When he's at home Robin takes a keen interest in the golfing progress of 12-year-old son Curtis, whose handicap is 15.6 at Rushmere and appears to be following in his father's footsteps.
If anybody fancies what Robin describes as the perfect golf holiday, they should ring the Fred Olsen Cruise Line reservations on 01473 742424.