After eight weeks of attempting to learn the strange art of golf, it was time for another quantum leap into the unknown.

Namely, attending a golfing event in Alicante with some of the best amateur players in the UK and, most randomly, Strictly Come Dancing star and West End legend Denise Van Outen.

As with all my golfing activities, my involvement in this trip proved greatly amusing to friends and family.

‘If I told you seven months ago that you’d be playing in a golf tournament and then jetting off for a golf press trip would you have believed me?’ one asked.

To which the answer is ‘of course not’. I would have told them to lay off the wine and pipe down.

But on a Sunday in September I found myself playing a few holes at Leeds Golf Centre, then dashing straight to the airport to fly to Las Colinas Golf & Country Club in Spain.

Denise and Eddie 2

While I have been lucky enough to visit some extremely nice venues such as Woburn and Mannings Heath over the last few months, I wasn’t at all prepared for how fancy Las Colinas was.

But, looking dishevelled from the plane and windswept from the unrelenting Yorkshire wind, I went straight into a sushi and cocktail party with a bunch of extremely well dressed and classy people.

I also found myself being introduced to Denise, who immediately invited me to join her and her boyfriend at their private table.

The whole thing was very surreal, but Denise and her boyfriend, Eddie, were so incredibly nice. They also seemed genuinely interested in my job, time at university and largely mundane life in general.


When someone who’s been in the spotlight since before you were born is quizzing you about your very everyday life, it’s hard to understand why they’re interested. However, they were both so easy to chat to.

‘You must come out with us on the course tomorrow,’ Denise insisted. ‘We’ll have such a laugh.’

So that’s exactly what I did. In fact, I spent most of the next three days with Denise, Eddie and her agent, and it really was very fun. One of my favourite moments was when she had a glass of wine delivered to her on the course in a takeaway coffee cup. #legend

Denise has only been playing golf for just less than two years, so really she’s pretty new to the game too. She’ll happy admit that the main reason she gets invited to so many golfing events is because of her job in showbiz.

Strangely enough, I probably had more in common with her than any of the others playing – both of us are pretty new to golf and we were among the only women at the event.


Perhaps it’s because of this that I somehow ended up joining Denise and the other VIPs on the top table on our last night. Sitting there in my Primark dress, I was definitely a little bit out of my depth.

But after a few G&Ts I decided to pluck up the courage and ask her if she minded doing a quick interview for the magazine. Of course she agreed, and then…

‘Why don’t we do a photo shoot together tomorrow?’ she suggested. ‘We can have a golf lesson and you can use it with your piece.’

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I thanked her and agreed that it was a great idea. But as she was due to play another round of golf the next day, I presumed she’d be too tired for the shoot or that we just wouldn’t have time.

As I wasn’t playing in the competition, I spent the next day having a golf lesson, visiting the beach club and doing my other interviews.

But then suddenly, with chlorine in my hair and feeling slightly sweaty after running about in the 30-degree heat, our shoot was suddenly happening.

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But it was over in 10 minutes, and then Denise and I were free to do our interview over a celebratory bottle of wine.

It’s fair to say my ‘that time I hung out in Spain and had a golf lesson with Denise Van Outen’ story is one of my favourite work-related tales.

She also reiterated what I have discovered over the last few months. Namely that golf is actually extremely fun, addictive and particularly brilliant in glorious sunshine, no-matter who you are or how much interest the Daily Mail has in your outfit choices.


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