Holiday Makers Inspired

James Rochlin is a regular holidaymaker in Fiji, a keen diver he usual spends most of his time snorkelling and exploring the crystal waters. But after watching the inaugural Fijian
31 Jul 2015 11:48
Holiday Makers Inspired
Standing left to right: Jamin Filluzio, Shayne Marshall, James Rochlin; front, C Aaron Yeats. Photo: Fijian International

James Rochlin is a regular holidaymaker in Fiji, a keen diver he usual spends most of his time snorkelling and exploring the crystal waters.

But after watching the inaugural Fijian International, his feet stayed dry when he visited Fiji this year.

The 35-year-old Australian marketing consultant was in Fiji this month for a friend’s wedding, but couldn’t resist heading out to the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course for a quick round with the wedding party.

“We were there for a wedding, but I have been to Fiji before to go diving,” said Rochlin.

“A lot of people who are interested in diving also like to play golf which seems to be a weird coincidence. But they are both nice outdoor pursuits I suppose.

“An opportunity to play any course which hosts a professional event is always something to jump at, you know it’s going to be fantastic quality,” added Rochlin who enjoyed watching the inaugural Fijian International on FoxSports in Australia last August.

“I watch a lot of golf on TV back home, and I saw the Fijian International.

“I liked seeing how the professionals played the layout, but Natadola Bay itself just came up so well on TV it looked amazing and well manicured.”

Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course didn’t disappoint with Rochlin thoroughly impressed by what he experience after he played the layout for himself.

“I thought it was in amazing condition, it was absolutely immaculate,” Rochlin said.

“The 4th is obviously one of the signature holes along the beach but I actually really liked the 8th hole, where you drive up to a high tee-box and you’re teeing off almost into a valley.

“Then the last hole coming back up to the clubhouse is pretty special, by then we were all playing pretty well, driving the ball within a few metres of each other and it’s just a really spectacular last hole.”

Fijian International champion Steve Jeffress would probably concur with Rochlin, when he made that walk on Sunday of the tournament he had a three shot lead.

But while Rochlin and his mates enjoyed their day out on the luscious fairways of Natadola Bay they admitted the professionals did make it look a little easier.

“I think the pros definitely make it look easier on the TV,” admired Rochlin.

“Some of the greens were very deceptive. They looked like they would be quite easy, they were flat but they were quite fast, which made it harder than I thought.”

“But if I had shot an amazing score I probably wouldn’t have thought that,” he added with a laugh.

Having loved their day at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course Rochlin, the groom and groomsmen were raving about it to the other wedding guests and set up a tee-time for the next day at Denarau Golf and Racquet Club for an even bigger group.

“We definitely got the golf bug on this trip, the groom most of all, I think he even played after the wedding,” said Rochlin.

“It was just so nice to get out and play amazing courses while on holiday.”

Now back at home in Melbourne which is experiencing a cold snap, Rochlin is casting his mind forward to October and dreaming of returning for the Fijian International.

“After having played the course it makes me want to come back and watch the Pros tackle it in person,” added Rochlin.

“It’s a great course to watch, it’s spectacular, but it’s also got a really nice relaxed atmosphere, you would be able to have a good time.

“If you were there to watch the golf, you would be able to see a fair bit of the play, which you don’t always get when you go to a golf tournament.”



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