I am John Catlin, sharing my story with the readers of Golf Digest India, thanks to the team for getting it out there.
For those of who don’t know me, I am a professional golfer from Sacramento, California, USA, currently playing on the European Tour and who shifted his base from there to Thailand to play on the Asian Development Tour and after clinching my breakthrough win at Combiphar Golf Invitational in 2016 I moved up to the Asian Tour where I won thrice in 2018 alone, i.e., Asia-Pacific Classic, Sarawak Championship and Yeangder TPC.
Hello again to all of my blog readers! This time we will be going through a much longer stretch of time in my travels throughout Europe. We start in the amazing city of Prague, Czech Republic. This was a long flight for me from San Francisco but once I arrived I could see why it was such a well thought of city. The architecture was amazing, had great Indian food and the golf course we played that week was beautiful and in great shape. Safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed my week and because of this I played some great golf. I finished at Tied-30th with scores of 70-69-72-69! What a fun week!
Prague lead me to Gothenburg, Sweden. Gothenburg was definitely different from Prague as it had a much more relaxed small-town feel but the golf course was very beautiful and reminded me a lot of Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand because they share the same owner. I played well again this week shooting scores of 66-69-66-70 to finish Tied-29th but my favourite part was the food as I loved the Swedish fish and meatballs! A must-try if you are foody like I am.
From Gothenburg, I flew to Geneva and then took the train in hopes of getting one of the last spots in the Omega European Masters in beautiful Crans Montana, Switzerland. I, unfortunately, didn’t end up getting in but I spent two days in Crans and I have to say that it rivals Queenstown, New Zealand for the most beautiful place I have ever been. If any of the blog readers are a fan of majestic mountain view Crans Montana is an absolute must!
The vistas are truly breathtaking!! From Switzerland, I moved on to Hamburg Germany and the Porsche European Open. My golf was not at its highest level on the extremely long course that week but I was lucky enough to enjoy the Porsche track experience where I was able to drive every type of car that Porsche makes in various road conditions such as mountainous driving, water, windy roads, racing conditions, and quick start and stop. This adrenaline-filled experience was truly remarkable and made me appreciate even more what a great quality brand Porsche is.
Later, I flew to Amsterdam for the KLM Open. My golf game continued to struggle but the city of Amsterdam did not disappoint. With all the different cultures, shops, great food, and beautiful canals and architecture it felt like a city where Europe and Asia met in a beautiful balance. I truly could not believe the diversity of the cultures and influences that I saw. Amsterdam is a special place!
After my trip to Amsterdam, I took a few days off to complete one of my bucket list places and visit Rome! I saw the Coliseum, Sistine chapel, pantheon, roman forum and much more and I have to say Rome quickly became my favourite place in Europe as I thought it would be. The History, architecture, religion, views, food and culture was amazing and seeing and experiencing all these great things changed my life for the better forever.
After finishing off in Rome, I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship played at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the home of golf St. Andrews Old Course. The golf courses this week stole the show as they are rich with history and tradition unlike any others on planet earth. My golf game saw a return to good form shooting scores of 72-65-69-69 to finish t40th highlighted with a final pairing with the PGA Tour player of the year and second-ranked player in the world in Rory McIlroy. He could not have been nicer or more relaxed to play with it truly was a great experience and one I hope to repeat sometime in the very near future. What a week it was in Scotland!!
Then I flew from Edinburgh to Madrid, Spain for the final stop in this blog for the Spanish Open. I was able to make the cut posting scores of 71-71-69-74 however, it was going to the champions league game (my first ever) between Real Madrid and Brugge that stole the show. It was such a great game but the best part of it was the atmosphere and the fans. They were so involved in the game and so enthused and behind Real Madrid at every point that it made it an atmosphere unlike any I had ever experienced in my sport watching life!
Thank you for tuning in for another blog! I hope you enjoyed the slightly different twist this time with more of my off the course experiences! Please stay tuned for my next blog post coming up soon!