I'm Mike, and I live in Newcastle (the one in Australia).
I've been playing on and off for 35 years or so, and am two years back into it after a 15 year absence due to knee surgery and the commitments of family etc. The funny thing was I wasn't sure I'd play again and wasn't too bothered by that prospect either, but getting the old clubs out from under the house and having to toss them due to the condition they were in triggered some of the old memories.. I started watching a few YouTube golf channels and golf highlights videos, and before I knew it I was on eBay and Gumtree seeing if I could put together a half decent set of clubs without having to give up a kidney or a marriage.
I've just recently joined a club again and currently playing off 16, but I'm hoping to bring that down by the end of this year to somewhere closer to where I was the last time I had a handicap. It used to be 10, but admittedly that was more than 30 years ago, and my expectations towards my golf game aren't always what I'd call realistic. Thankfully what an increased age may have taken from me in distance, it has given back in patience, and the ability to move past bad shots and questionable decisions. Mostly.
Still searching for my short game though..
I love the game, as you take away from it what you choose to. The shots that came off that you get to relive in your mind almost always take precedence over what you scored on that hole, and if the bad shots are terrible enough you get to laugh at those too, once everyone else stops. Other than that it's the challenge; either of you against the course or you against yourself and your expectations. It's the fresh air, the freedom, the fact that you can be in the middle of a large city but if you're on a golf course you can feel a million miles away from all the rushing around and the stresses of life. You can get all that on a round by yourself, or with mates, or with complete strangers you happen to be grouped with that day.
I found this place searching for club reviews, and then to be honest saw the Ping Iron Testing opportunity so really, signing up was barely a choice.
I don't know any other spies (that I know of)