Stephen Payne – FGM

Stephen Payne
Director of Golf
The Track, Meydan Golf, UAE

Stephen Payne and FamilyHow do you create work/life balance between your career in the golf industry and family life?

My career in the golf industry really began when I moved from home (UK) out to the UAE in 2013 and since then most of my family time has come during my annual leave where I return to the UK most summers. During these visits, my Dad makes plenty of time in his schedule so we can get out for 2-3 rounds and some incredible courses.

Does your family play golf with you? If so, how often do you guys play?

My Dad is an avid golfer and has just finished his captaincy year at my old home course in Hertfordshire which is pretty cool. In the past 4-5 years I have been fortunate enough to have my family visit me in the UAE at least once a year and then also myself to visit the UK once a year so it gives us two windows of opportunity to get the golf in and we usually take full advantage. 😊 I would say we average 4-5 full rounds a year for the past 10 years.

If your family plays golf with you, who is the best player in the family?

Me vs Dad: If you take out handicap then I would certainly be the best player in the family which we would both hope for, having had the opportunity to go to a Golf College presented by my parents. However, if you bring in handicap of which my Dad’s is a 4, and competitive mentality my Dad is up there with the best. Over the last 10 years I would say he has an 80% strike rate against me which is never easy to take or in-fact share now but that would be the honest truth. I will add though that at our home club, Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Harpenden, since I was 12 we have had an ongoing battle for the number of times our names are on the honors board. Even not having been a member for the past 10 years I am still winning this battle. 😊

If you and your family could only use one golf club/course what club would it be and why?

In terms of a club that would best suit my entire family, not just the golfers, I would have to pick The Grove in Hertforshire in a heartbeat. This is an incredible property with so many things to do for the entire family, golfers or not, with an incredible spa, nature trails, walking and cycling routes, amazing culinary experiences and not to mention the incredible Championship Golf Course.

What is one golf course on your family’s bucket list to play that you have not played yet?

I grew up playing a lot of tournaments in Scotland and many events in and around St. Andrew’s. However, I have never played the Old Course. I look forward to the day where I can walk down the 18th fairway with my Dad (hopefully 2-3 shots ahead) knowing we will have enjoyed every moment. That would be extremely special.

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