Archive for April, 2014

A tale of two Golf Trolleys…

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Golf Trolleys

GoKart

I’m 43 which by TSG standards, or at least the standards of the Epping Bandits with whom I play, makes me barely more than a child.

The fact that I get regularly beaten by people nearly twice my age is neither here nor there:  buying powered golf trolleys are surely pure laziness?

My local course is Trent Park which is pretty hilly, the 18th in particular, is quite a steep uphill fairway.

After miss-hitting, yet another approach shot while panting like a 60-a-day man on a treadmill I decided I’d at least start looking at Golf Trolleys…

I emailed two companies asking if there was a course where I could hire their trolleys to try them out before buying them.

Golf Trolleys – The Two Options I choose…

Golf Trolleys – Gokart (www.gokart.co.uk) responded within 30 minutes to say that they didn’t know of any for hire but would send a demo to a local pro for me to try out. Three days later I was out on the course with the automatic handle version.

Golf Trolleys – Stewart Golf (www.stewartgolf.co.uk) said they did not have any hire trolleys but if I bought one and didn’t like it I could send it back. I pointed out that their returns policy says that if I use it on a golf course the money-back guarantee is void.

They responded quite curtly that the returns policy does not apply to trolleys, only to other products. The returns policy does not actually say this so I decided to give Stewart Golf a swerve.

The cheapest model is £999 and that’s quite a lot of money to risk on the wording of a web page.

Meanwhile out at Pedham Place golf course with the Gokart I was having a whale of a time.

The automatic handle is really terrific. One of the problems I have found with electric trolleys in the past is finding a speed that matches my walking pace.

This is not a problem with the Gokart – a light hand on the handle and start walking, the trolley matches your speed perfectly.

You can let go until you want to steer it or stop it (another light hand on the tiller, stop walking). If you change pace so does the Gokart.

It powers easily up very steep slopes and when no power is applied freewheels with no resistance.

The fold-down is very quick and it gets really small – much smaller (and quicker) than my current Clickgear. The battery clips in and out with no wires.

It’s pretty basic: there are no consoles, screens, timers, set distances or battery metres which is absolutely fine by me. It’s also missing a brake which given the freewheeling nature did catch me out a couple of times.

It’s also very reasonably priced starting at £269 (£299 for the automatic version I used).

The only reason I didn’t buy one on the spot is that the centre of mass is quite high (the battery sits about half way up instead of on a tray at axle level) and the wheelbase is narrow.

As a result, I struggled once or twice to keep it upright on paths which sloped left/right or right/left of which there are quite a few at Pedham Place. If I’d tested it at al course I might not even have noticed this.

A few days later a Stewart Golf X5 Remote trolley came up on ebay. I put in what I thought was a derisory bid whilst slightly drunk and won it by mistake. (I once did this with a Toyota Landcruiser so I have some form in this regard.)

I have to say I am a total convert to Stewart Golf trolleys, if not to their customer service.

The battery in the remote control unit was almost dead which caused some amusing failures to stop before hitting fences and small children while testing in my back garden, but replacing it sorted that out.

Controlling it is a breeze, the range is much more than the 50 metres they advertise, it’s very stable, and frankly it’s fun. (Kabir, to whom it took a shine on the 12th fairway last Saturday before being brought back under control may take a dim view of what I regard as fun.)

Golf Trolleys – There are some downsides….

It looks a bit plastic, and as it moves there’s a squeaky plasticky sound I’m not fond of. It folds down but it’s much larger than my Clickgear. I drive a large car so this is no problem for me but getting it into the boot of my wife’s Toyota Yaris, while just possible, does not leave any room for anything else (like golf clubs).

It folds down but it’s much larger than my Clickgear.

I drive a large car so this is no problem for me to get golf trolleys in and out but getting it into the boot of my wife’s car, a Toyota Yaris, while just possible, does not leave any room for anything else (like golf clubs).

The X5 is identical to the current X7 model except that the battery is not lithium.

Stewart Golf have just announced the X9 which has “follow me” mode, available from June 2014.

Stewart Golf does not have a great reputation for dealing with faults – only time will tell whether this is deserved.

In the meantime, after each shot, I can call it over, walk alongside it putting my club back in the bag, and feel like I’m Tiger Woods.

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By Steve Rawlinson

Golf Holidays in France; A Golfer’s Guidebook …

Monday, April 14th, 2014

France is one of the most popular golfing destinations there are amongst UK golfers, and it’s not hard to see why; home to some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, France also boasts fascinating culture, incredible cuisine, absorbing history and spectacular and varied scenery.

With over 550 golf courses to choose from, all with differing landscape, attractions and degrees of difficulty, a French golf holiday really will leave you spoilt for choice.

From golfing in the majestic and romantic surroundings of Paris to teeing off against the beautiful blue backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea in the South, you will find your perfect golf location here.

Golf Holidays in France…

A French golfing trip offers you the chance to combine your game with a city break or beach holiday – or for more adventurous types, you can mix golf with skiing in Biarritz, wine tasting in Bordeaux, or even mountain climbing in the French Alps.

Accessible from the UK by plane, car, ferry or train in just an hour or two, France is the obvious choice for the ultimate golfing holiday!

Golf Holidays in France

Golf National, France

Image courtesy of Golf National

Whichever golfing resort you decide upon, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time in France. With its laid-back attitude, stunning golf courses and more cheese and wine than you could enjoy in a lifetime, France makes the ultimate indulgent golf break! Have a look at our favourites below:

Golf National, Golf De Cannes Mougins, Golf Club De Lyon

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Golf Holidays in France – Le Golf National, Paris

Le Golf National’s two 18-hole, par-72 championship courses and short academy layout made it the clear choice to be the permanent host of the French Open – and now Le Golf National will play host to the Ryder Cup in 2018.

Thought by many to be the best golf course in France, Golf National was also voted the fifth best course on the whole continent by Golf World magazine in 2011.

Golf Holidays in France

Le Golf National, Paris

French Golf Image courtesy of Golf National

The natural park course stretches over 7,300 yards from the back tees and is decked with small lakes, sweeps of long  grasses, gorse bushes and dune-like landscaping, all of which come together to make Golf National arguably one of the most challenging courses in France, as well as one of the best!

A must for all golf enthusiasts whatever their level, visitors can play at Golf National for a green fee of € 90 on weekdays and € 130 on the weekends.

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Golf Holidays in France – Golf Club de Lyon, Lyon

Founded in 1921 and set in a magnificent 500 acre estate, Golf Club de Lyon hosted the French Open in 2001 and is considered one of France’s most beautiful courses.

Stretching an impressive 6,700 metres in total, the course is bordered by the River Rhone on one side and dense woodland on the other, ensuring you breath-taking views whichever direction you’re teeing off in!

Golf Holidays in France

Le Golf National, Paris

Image courtesy of Golf Club de Lyon

Designed by French architect Hugues Lambert, Golf Club de Lyon has two full 18-hole, par-72 golf courses – ‘Les Brocards’ (young Roe deer) and ‘Le Sangliers’ (wild boar).

Visitors can play at Golf Club de Lyon for a green fee of €65 on weekdays and €80 on weekends, and anyone not especially interested in golf will enjoy having the vibrant city of Lyon right on their doorstep: known as the gastronomic capital of France, Lyon offers you more restaurants and cafes than you can imagine!

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Golf Holidays in France – Golf Country Club de Cannes-Mougin, Mougin

Just a few miles away from the famous seafront at Cannes lies the fabulous Golf Country Club de Cannes-Mougin, an 18-hole Championship golf course which ranks alongside some of the best courses in the country.

The 6,312 metre long course is also considered one of the most attractive.

Gilf holidays in France

Golf Country Club de Cannes-Mougin, Mougin

Image courtesy of Golf Country Club de Cannes-Mougin

You will be able to enjoy spell-binding views of the Southern Alps mountain range as you tee off here, as well as a unique sense of tranquillity from this tree-lined course.

The layout of this course is perfect to test your overall golfing skills, and there are plenty of attractive, expertly crafted and tricky holes to play.

Visitors can play at Cannes-Mougin for a green fee of € 120, which gives them access to the full course, driving range, putting green, pitching green, and chipping green.

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Golf Holidays in France – Climate

Due to being so closely located to the UK, the northern parts of France share a very similar climate, with commonly cool winters and mild summers.

However, the South of France is much warmer and usually experiences mild winters and hot summers.

In general, the best months to golf in France are from June to September, although if you are playing in the South of France then October is usually still fine.

You are advised to avoid taking your golf holiday during the wetter, colder months (from October/November to April).

Golf Holidays in France – Getting there …

Travelling from the UK to France is straightforward, quick and inexpensive, and there are four popular modes of travel – plane, Channel Tunnel, ferry and train.

If you are travelling with a car, or with a group of people, then the Eurostar or ferry is recommended.

Golf Holidays in France – The Eurostar:

From Kings Cross St Pancras in London you can get the Eurostar to Paris, which takes about two hours and 15 minutes.

Prices depend on the time of day but generally start from £44.50.

Golf Holidays in France – By Plane:

From London airports to Paris, the flight time is about an hour.

The cost depends on when you are going but averages out at about £60. October is the most expensive month to travel.

Golf Holidays in France – By Car/Channel Tunnel:

You can get to France from Folkestone, Kent via the Channel Tunnel, which will take you to Calais. Prices start from £46 for one car and four passengers.

Golf Holidays in France – By Ferry:

You can choose to get the ferry from Dover to Calais; prices start from £10 for two people with a car, but are generally about £30.

The journey takes just over two hours.

Golf Holidays in France

Dover to Calais ferry, golf, france

Dover to Calais ferry image courtesy of Flor!an via Flickr

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By Ella Jameson

The Social Golfer Newsblog…

Monday, April 14th, 2014
The Social Golfer Newsblog

The Social Golfer Newsblog

Our new blog pages named the ‘The Social Golfer Newsblog‘ is where we will be posting articles and original content and we are inviting ALL TSGers to submit their very own written pieces for review.

We’ll be focusing on both golf clubs, product reviews, the latest news on all golf’s four majors and guest blogs from our site partners.

However, it’s not just about us…

Yep, this is your chance to tell us about the latest gadgets, your society news, your progress in lessons or just a good old yarn.

The Social Golfer Newsblog is for members and by members!

Please contact us at theteam@thesocialgolfer.com

Kind Regards

 

Ian & The TSG Team

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