golfbooking is the collaboration between one of London's most highly respected Internet companies and the PGA Professional at one of the South of England's oldest and best golf clubs.

Paul Burton, head pro at Mitcham GC had an uphill battle trying to improve the game of Nick Abear, MD of Cool Breeze Internet Limited. Each week they would meet at the same time believing this would be the week that Nick would finally get the hang of golf, but every week he would hook so many of the practice balls into the woods that Paul would have to seek out the man with no shirt or shoes who wanders the course at Mitcham collecting lost balls and cross his palm with a fiver in order to have enough balls for his next lesson.

Eventually they got to talking...

"Wouldn't it be great if we had an online booking system on our website that would allow people to book a round here any time of day or night, that would make the time they booked unavailable once they had booked it and would allow only members to book at certain times. Wouldn't it be great if it stored their email addresses and we could send out newsletters with special offers and club news. Wouldn't it be great if societies could make group bookings and I didn't have to spend half the day on the phone to these people."

Nick had to stop him there as he had run out of balls. Again...

We could do that, he thought. So he made his way back to his office in leafy Kingswood and called a meeting. They locked themselves away in a darkened room for what seemed like days, and finally golfbooking was born.

This was all the best part of two years ago and the dream is now a reality. Paul has taken on more staff and now has more time to try and help his friend improve his game. Nick's game hasn't improved despite his friend devoting far more time to helping him. The man with no shirt or shoes has retired to Spain on the money he made collecting balls on Mitcham Common.