Travelling The World For Golf With Simon Aiken

Travelling The World For Golf With Simon Aiken

This conversation is part of the “EEE Golf Interviews” – exclusive chats with great people and businesses from within the golfing industry.

One of the best things about playing golf is the opportunity to play all over the world.

From St Andrews to Royal Melbourne, exploring the world’s best golf courses is what makes the game of golf so special.

I’ve always enjoyed travelling and exploring new areas, and with golf, I’ve been able to do that.

Recently, I got the chance to sit down with a veteran of the golf travel industry, to discuss his time visiting and playing some of the best golfing destinations in the world.

Simon Aiken is the founder of Slice of Golf and a truly seasoned golf traveller, having played many of the world’s top 100 golf courses.

Let’s get into it and learn a little more about his time in golf travel.

eeegolf Interviews – Golf Travel With Simon Aiken

Hello Simon! Tell us a bit about your golfing career so far.

I had my first lesson at 4 years old at Worplesdon Golf Club in Surrey which is what got me into golf. From then I was in and out of the game till I was around 12 but never took it seriously.

I got back into it again at 16 and have been hooked ever. I’m currently a member at West Byfleet and have also previously been a member at Worplesdon.

My best score to date is a 72, but I’ve definitely got it in me to shoot something lower! I’m hoping to break 70 one day!

What made you want to work in golf travel?

For me the golf was more interesting than the travel, which got me into the industry. I loved playing golf so decided to go into an industry involving something I enjoy.

Now I feel extremely lucky to be able to visit some of the top destinations around the world and be able to play bucket list courses.

Talking about golf every day doesn’t feel like work and is definitely one of the reasons why I will continue to pursue a long-term golf/travel career.

Best part about working in the golf travel industry?

The best part is definitely being able to play bucket list golf courses and travel the world to places that I never thought I’d visit.

Also working with like-minded golfers creates a great dynamic in the office and makes working there incredibly enjoyable.

Favourite tournament you’ve worked at?

Hands down the Masters, seeing Tiger Woods make birdie on 16 was an unforgettable experience.

16th Hole at The Masters
Augusta National is a special place all golfers should try to experience at least once.

The whole experience at Augusta National is just ridiculously special and on top of that, I got to see the best players in the world competing for the biggest prize in golf.

It’s something every golfer should be able to experience once in their lifetime as walking the grounds of Augusta National is truly surreal.

Best golf course you’ve ever played?

Pebble Beach is going to be hard to top, I’ve never felt nerves like it on a first tee as it felt like I was about to step into my own PGA Tour event.

Walking up to the iconic par 3 7th hole is one of the most magical feelings and to walk off with a birdie definitely was the cherry on top.

I’ve been to some other amazing golf locations around the world, but there’s nothing that beats the layout at Pebble Beach.

Playing at Pebble Beach
Simon teeing off on the iconic 7th hole at Pebble Beach, where he made a 2.

Favourite travel destination for golf?

There are honestly too many to pick one, but Monterey in California has some of the highest quality golf courses in the world (also some of the most private!) and the UAE is a personal favourite too.

From Dubai Hills to Yas Links, you will never find better-conditioned golf courses in the world than in the UAE.

UAE is an amazing destination for golf
The UAE is a very popular destination for golfers looking for year-round golf.

Where’s a golf destination you’d love to visit?

New Zealand.

I genuinely don’t know if I will ever make it that far to play there, but the golf looks phenomenal.

It comes across as a very peaceful destination and doesn’t have the same commercial side to it as the US or Europe.

Cape Kidnappers, Kaura Cliffs and Jacks Point are a few courses I’d love to play just to name a few.

Sounds amazing! Have you got any funny stories from any of your golf travels?

Going on a golf trip with your friends or colleagues always creates some great memories.

But getting lost in Sicily trying to find Verdura Resort and ending up down a dead-end alleyway at 1 am was one of my recent experiences where patience was required!

Best memory in golf?

It would have to be standing on the 11th tee box at Pebble Beach 2-under par, having made four birdies including the 7th and the 10th.

It was honestly one of the most ridiculous stretches of golf and the fact that it was at one of the most iconic golf courses in the world!

I won’t talk about the final 8 holes…but it was an experience I’ll always remember.

Dream fourball? And where are you playing?

Easy answer.

Augusta National, Tiger, Rory, Dad, myself.

I think Augusta National would be most golfer’s dream course to play just because it’s so special and exclusive.

My Dad was the person who got me into golf so I’ll forever be grateful to him.

I love watching Rory McIlroy play golf and he seems like a really good guy.

And Tiger, of course. He’s the GOAT.

A massive thanks to Simon for speaking to us about his time in the golf travel industry.

He’s certainly enjoyed and will continue to enjoy travelling the world and playing such amazing golf courses.

You can follow his journey over at Slice of Golf, where he documents some of his favourite golfing memories.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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