'Any wimps would not survive here!': Marina Bobeldijk on the often challenging conditions at Littlestone Golf Club.


'Any wimps would not survive here!': Marina Bobeldijk on the often challenging conditions at Littlestone Golf Club.


Marina Bobeldijk; Littlestone Golf Club


An excerpt of an oral history recording with Marina Bobeldijk. Marina discusses the changeable conditions at Littlestone Golf Club, the challenges they present, and how the course often reminds her of her former home in Finland. She also talks about the strong ladies section at the club. Transcript attached.


Michael Romyn


Marina Bobeldijk Oral History Recording


Kent's Sporting Memories


Interview recorded on 25 November, 2019


Marina Bobeldijk; Michael Romyn


Kent's Sporting Memories


Marina Bobeldijk Oral History Recording


MP3 (3:54)




Audio Recording


Marina Bobeldijk


Kent’s Sporting Memories Oral History Transcript (Excerpt)
Interviewee: Marina Bobeldijk
Interviewer: Michael Romyn
Date: 25 November, 2019
Location: Littlestone Golf Club, Kent.
Recording Time: 39:28 – 44:22

Michael Romyn: What are your favourite things about the course at Littlestone?

Marina Bobeldijk: The favourite things about the course? The favourite thing is that it’s different every day. So if you go and play another course you can easily become a robot and you know ‘this is the club I take on this hole’, ‘this is what I do here’. Whereas here you can take a very, you can take a pitching wedge or you could take a three wood which means that if the wind is against or wind is with you it plays completely different and it comes from all directions, so every day it’s a different course and it can change during the round according to the tide, so when the tide comes in it might change, and you have to use your imagination every time, so you have to create those shots – you can’t go as an autopilot. So that is the biggest thing I like. I also like the fact that you can play it all around the year because it’s sand underneath, it’s all sea bottom, you know, sea what do you call it?

MR: Bed?

MB: Seabed, yeah. So it drains really well. So in the summer we get a lot of run, that’s a typical links, and nine out of ten, it always blows. And being from Scandinavia I’m not afraid of tough conditions, it’s all about clothes. So if you have right clothes and you feel, you feel quite energized when you come off this course. I remember when I was captain here and it was in the winter, we had a ladies winter open, and it was pouring with rain and it was thirty miles an hour, and I had a clubhouse full of ladies coming from all around, down from London, everywhere, and they were having coffee and I wished them welcome and I said ‘if you are really lucky today here, you might get a little stone special which is a facial when the hailstones come down and face gets really nice and red’, and they all laughed. They all went out and played, I think there were only three groups that walked in at some point, but they came in and said ‘Marina, we got the facial! But you’ve got to try to just…’, you know. Yeah, so it can be very tough. And it’s open all around the year. When it’s frosty we can’t go out, then it’s frost delay. But because it’s near the sea it’s warmer, so it defrosts, it thaws better. And I like the freshness, I like the sound of the seagulls and we’ve got skylarks here – the seagulls remind me of our summer cottage back in Finland. I grew up on an island outside, a hundred kilometers from Helsinki where we had a wooden, a log sort of summer house and there were a lot of birds, and it reminds me of, of you know, home and the noise of that. So even though it’s quite bland, there’s not much to it, the colours change here, it’s absolutely fantastic when all the grass change colours and it is just awesome. It is so challenging, and therefore also, because it’s very tough – the ladies that we have here, we have a proper ladies section and they are really interested in their golf, and they’re good ones. So when you go out and play you know you have good golfers to play with, because any wimps would not survive here! And all around the year we go out and play.