Over pints
at the pub grand plans are struck up of leaving partners behind, while
the boys meander their way around the course before retiring to the bar
for a few beers then a nice dinner, and finally hitting the sack with a
head full of dreams of doing it all again the next day.

Of course, the reality is often somewhat different as boyfriends and husbands realise it may not be popular, let alone fair, to head off for a weekend with only their mates in tow, while their other halves are left at home.

Little do they know the urge to get out of the city, and sometimes away from partners, isn’t restricted to menfolk. It’s just that, often, the dream weekend escape involves a bit less pitching and putting. Many women daydream of being waited on by sympathetic beauticians who’ll massage their tired bodies, pedicure their sore feet and restore their glowing faces.

Luckily, hiding in the hills of the British countryside is the answer to many couples’ dilemmas – the golf and spa weekend.
There are country resorts dotted all over the UK that cater for a man’s need to chase a small ball around a big field and a woman’s desire to feel pampered.

So it was with this in mind that my girlfriend, Liz, and I rustled up a few friends and set off for the Goodwood Park Hotel near Chichester in West Sussex. For the boys, the challenge was to take on the Downland course on the Saturday and the Parkland course on Sunday. The girls, on the other hand, had more relaxing pursuits in store: long lunches, facials and body wraps. Despite the appeal of both options, neither sex had any interest in swapping with the other.

He says
With the rain pouring down on the Saturday, us boys bounce out to the golf course like kids waking up on Christmas morning.

A few hours later we discover that the golfing gift, which lay before us, is like getting your first bike. It’s not that you don’t love it, but early on there’s going to be a few stacks and a fair bit of frustration before it’s mastered.

The Downland course is not one for hackers. It’s a true test where ball positioning is paramount and the slightest error will irreparably damage your scorecard. But like so many golf courses throughout the UK, it’s a beautiful place to drive yourself to frustration with a golf club in hand. Its undulating terrain provides a great perspective of the surrounding countryside, and from the 11th hole there’s a great view across to the Isle of Wight (or so we’re told – it’s pretty hard to see today when the rain is bucketing down).

Despite being as wet as a sloppy dog’s tongue, we walk off the course knowing it’s nothing a sauna, a swim in the indoor pool and a few beers can’t fix.

She says
As the boys head off to play golf in the April showers, we happily wave them goodbye and head for our treatments. For me, an aroma detox envelopment with beauty therapist Rachel awaits.

After an all-body exfoliation, massage and a Decléor mask, I’m encased in a green detoxifying clay. Wrapped up like a mummy in a sheet of plastic, I’m then covered in towels to keep me warm and left on my own for 20 minutes to allow the toxins to escape from my pores. With the soft lighting and soothing music, it’s hard not to nod off. But with more relaxing
to be done, a warm shower wakes me up and removes the clay.

Before floating out of the door I’m given one last body moisturiser, which Rachel tells me leaves my belly lovely and soft. While I know she was referring to my skin, it leaves me wondering if my next stop should be the gym.

» Krysten Booth stayed at Goodwood Park Hotel (www.thegoodwoodparkhotel.co.uk). A his ‘n’ hers break starts from £235 per night for a standard double/twin room with full English breakfast, dinner and a choice of a spa treatment or 18 holes of golf per person, and complimentary use of the hotel facilities.