Archive for March, 2015

Pro Tips – Driving it longer…

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Driving it longer

Driving it longer

I’m sure we all dream of hitting the ball further than we ever have before, but how often do we actually stop to consider, how we start driving it longer?

First thing to do is make sure your driver is right for you.

If you haven’t been custom fitted for your driver, it is something I would highly recommend! (Plus it’s an excuse for a new driver). Your local pro will be able to give you some advice, or see someone local to you that specialises in custom fitting.

If you need a recommendation, feel free to message me and I will advise – Andy Clissold

What in your swing causes loss of power?

In an attempt to hit the ball longer, many golfers will try to hit the ball with the hands and arms, rather than using the whole body to generate power and speed.

If you use the hands and arms in an effort to hit the ball further, you will often find you release the club early. This means the hinge in your wrists is released well before the club hits the ball and all that stored energy is lost.

Storing Energy in Your Swing - Luke Donald

Storing Energy in Your Swing – Luke Donald

How do we keep the stored energy?

We want to maintain the wrist hinge for as long as possible in the downswing. Simply trying to keep the angle can result in some horrendous shots! Believe me, I’ve seen it!

As with most things in the golf swing there is often a cause for the early release, and as mentioned earlier, it stems from trying to use the hands and arms to hit the ball. In doing so, the body doesn’t move properly if at all.

From the top of your swing, I want you to start down using the lower body. Start by bumping the left hip left, towards the target.

Above is a picture of Luke Donald, on the left at the top of the swing and on the right, as he starts down. I’ve drawn a line to show how the left hip has moved left onto the line.

Driving Tips

Driving Tips

From here the left hip will go slightly more towards the target but more importantly, will start to turn. This will bring the upper body, arms, and club with it. At impact you can see below that the left side of his body is all in one line.

This is great as he hasn’t pushed the hip too much or too little.

Driving it longer…

The feel I’d like you to have is bumping the hip left, then rotate the hip behind you, and at impact, feel as though the left side of your body is solid. Like hitting into a brick wall.

Give this a go and watch those drives sail past your mates!

By Andy Clissold

Mixed Matchplay Rules…

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Mixed MatchPlay Rules

Mixed MatchPlay – Check the Rules!

Golf is a game that we can all enjoy and despite varying degrees of playing standards, ages and genders it is one of the few sports in which players can compete fairly with anyone, thanks to the handicap system.

So with the start of the TSG Mixed Matchplay tournament nearly upon us again, we thought we should explain our interpretation of the rules.

We have all debated the whys and wherefores of the CONGU Golf Handicapping system at one time or another but…

What is the ‘official’ way to score in a Mixed Matchplay Competition?

The only real difference between this any other golf match, is in this case, the two players concerned play from different tees (Mens & Ladies). These have separate Standard Scratch Scores allocated.

As such CONGU states that each set of players need to play a course from which the Standard Scratch Score (SSS) has been allocated for them…..BUT then a handicap adjustment must be applied, if the Ladies’ and Men’s SSS’s are different (see below).

It would be unfair if this difference is not accounted for and by making an alteration to the handicaps of the player playing the harder course (e.g. that with the higher SSS).

An SSS is, by definition, the score a Scratch player would be expected to return over a particular course. All handicaps are then adjusted relative to players’ performances against that score.

It may seem obvious but the Ladies’ SSS is determined against the performance of a Scratch handicap lady player and the Men’s likewise for a Scratch man.

This is best observed by watching the professional players, the best ladies cannot return scores that compare with the best men. As there is no compensation allowed in professional golf, ladies and men do not compete in mixed events for a single prize, or if they did the winner would only be a man.

Mark Crane - TSG MatchPlay Champion 2014

Mark Crane – 2014 MatchPlay Champion

Which Stroke Index should we use in Mixed MatchPlay?

There is often a debate about which Stroke Index (SI) should be used. For Stroke play it is recommended that each player uses the SI appropriate to them.

However, for Mixed Matchplay, it is recommended that SI appropriate to either the Men’s or Ladies’ course is used for both sets of players.

This should have minimal effect for two reasons:

  1. Players rarely play their best (or worst) golf on the holes where they get a shot
  2. When players don’t get a shot where they should it means they do get a shot where they shouldn’t.

Example Mixed MatchPlay Scoring…

Dave has been drawn against Sue in the third round of a mixed matchplay competition.

– Dave is a 15 handicapper (the SSS on the card is 72)

– Sue plays off 25 (the SSS on the card is 74)

In this instance Sue receives additional 2 strokes to her handicap due to difference in SSS and now receives 12 strokes in total.

N.B. The SSS should be taken from the tees the man is playing from e.g. Yellow

————————————————————————————————————————————–

So there you have it, however, in order to uphold the spirit of TSG, please ensure these rules are agreed and UNDERSTOOD before you tee off!

For further explanation of the rules, please visit the CONGU.com or England Golf.

By Ian Mullins

 

Essex Digital Awards Finalist…

Monday, March 9th, 2015
Essex Digital Awards - Finalists

Essex Digital Awards – We’ll be there!

The social networking community and online golf club TheSocialGolfer.com (TSG) has been selected as finalists in this year’s Essex Digital Awards

What are the Essex Digital Awards?

Now in their second year, the Essex Digital Awards look to reward innovation and progressive thinking by businesses across the county.

Previous winners span several industries and range from individuals to national companies, but all have at the core of their entry a desire to use digital media as a means to achieve greater things for their business.

The EDA’s are backed by a range of Essex-based companies including Lookers Volvo Colchester, Freelance SEO Essex, Essex Chambers of Commerce and Northcliffe Newspapers’, Essex Chronicle.

Why have we been short-listed for the Essex Digital Awards?

Since its official launch in 2010, the site (run by Essex based Marketing Specialist – Ian Mullins) has firmly established itself as one of the most used golfing websites in Essex and the UK.

The TSG team have established partnerships with many major local, national and international brands including, Your Golf Travel, London and Manchester Golf Shows, Essex Golfer Magazine, Alamo Car Hire, Online Tee Times, Trophies&Medals.com and with over 21 clubs in Essex and the surrounding counties. They include:  Woolston Manor GC, Warley Park GC and South Essex GC.

We have also recently agreed a deal with Group M (The largest advertising agency network in the world owned by Sir Martin Sorrell) to supply advertising inventory to their clients which include Direct Line, RBS and Sony in 2015. Global Advertisers that have supported the site to date include Emirates, BA, AMEX, Nike, BMW.

In the summer of 2014, the site launched its first ‘above the line’ marketing campaign on talkSPORT (London) and talkSPORT.com and Ian himself has written articles and featured in Essex Golfer Magazine and on Phoenix FM in Brentwood/Billericay.

TheSocialGolfer.com Managing Director Ian Mullins said “We are incredibly flattered to be short-listed for this award. It’s always nice to be recognised for your efforts, especially when it’s by your peers but the accolades in this case, go to the development team and the members themselves. At the end of the day, they’re the ones that make the site what it is!”

When will the winners of the Essex Digital Awards be announced …

The Essex Digital Awards Winners’ Evening will take place at the home of Colchester United – the Weston Homes Community Stadium –  on April 23, 2015 with the event will be hosted by the veteran BBC, Sky and European Tour Weekly broadcaster Robin Bailey.

For more information, please contact: theteam@thesocialgolfer.com

St Enodoc Golf Club celebrates 125th anniversary …

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
St-Enodoc-Golf-Club


St-Enodoc-Golf-Club

One of England’s oldest and most beguiling courses, St Enodoc Golf Club in north Cornwall is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the club will stage a Festival of Golf Week, comprising various tournaments and social functions, from June 28th to July 5th.

The highlight of the week promises to be a ‘Hickory Shaft Tournament’ with competitors carrying a set of fully-restored hickory clubs in replica leather and canvas bags over a composite course of club’s Church and Holywell courses.

The History of St Enodoc Golf Club….

First laid out in 1890 by acclaimed golf course designer James Braid, St Enodoc’s Golf Club – Church Course, is considered one of the premier championship links in England that has a golfing heritage to match.

Legend has it, that golf was first played on a part of the present course by a party of undergraduates in 1888 though their efforts were confined to the area round St Enodoc Church and the nearby Daymer Bay. A year later a number of local gentlemen laid out a few holes amongst the massive dunes at Rock and as their enthusiasm increased they officially formed St. Enodoc Golf Club in 1890.

From the minutes of the General Meeting, held in the open air in March 1892, there were about 20 members paying an annual subscription of 5/- to pay the rent of £6 per annum for the land.

St-Enodoc-Golf-Club

James Braid at St Enodoc

Early records mention competitions held over 27 holes, 18 out and 9 home, though no definitive plans exist to indicate precisely the holes then played. It is known however that the first tee was situated on the high ground about 300 yards to the east of the present clubhouse and that there was one hole on the Northern side of Daymer Bay.

Around 1900, Dr Theophilus Hoskin purchased some 300 acres of land comprising the whole of the land then in use plus the adjoining Trenain Farm and Brea Cottage. In 1905, Dr. Hoskin granted a lease to the Club of “Coles Sandy Common” for £30 a year and two years later entered into an agreement to allow play on that part of Trenain Farm, which now hosts the 13th and 14th holes.

In 1907 James Braid laid out a full 18-hole course which was first altered in about 1922, notably by the construction of the present short 8th and a diversion of the original 11th, 12th and 13th holes. In 1937 the present clubhouse with new access road from Rock was opened in time for the English Ladies’ Close Championship. As a result Braid constructed the existing 17th and 18th holes, necessitated by the relocation of the clubhouse.

The tenancy granted by Dr. Hoskin in 1905 continued until 1949 when his widow decided to sell the property. The club arranged to purchase it but while negotiations were proceeding, the Duchy of Cornwall agreed to take over the whole of the land together with the clubhouse and to accept the Club as tenants under a lease.

The shorter nine-hole course, closed in 1939 due to wartime labour shortages, re-opened in 1967, using some of the holes originally designed by James Braid in 1928 and was extended to 18 holes in 1982.

To add to its golfing narrative, St Enodoc Golf Club has over the decades lured a host of legendary Open Champions to its fairways including not only James Braid, but also Henry Cotton, Jim Barnes and Tom Watson which has further added to the prestige of this outstanding course.    

Prince of Wales at St Enodoc - 1927

Prince of Wales at St Enodoc – 1927

Indeed the course was immortalized forever thanks to the Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman whose experience of playing St Enodoc was encapsulated in his poem, ‘Seaside Golf’. Fittingly Betjeman, who lived in nearby Trebetherick towards the end of his life, was buried in graveyard of the Norman Church alongside the 10th green of his favourite course.

St Enodoc boasts a second course, the Holywell, which is set to the north side of the present clubhouse. Since golf was first played here, there have been holes located there with some of these original holes also of Braid’s design. At times, some of them even formed part of today’s Church course.

Testament to its enduring quality, the Church has hosted numerous amateur golf events in its 125-year history, including the English Ladies Amateur Championship in 1993 and 2002, the English Counties Championship in 1989 and 2005. Just last year, it was chosen by England Golf to stage the English Women’s Amateur Championship.

But what’s going on at St Enodoc Golf Club today?

The most important change in the club’s recent history occurred in 1987 with the purchase of the freehold from the Duchy of Cornwall. Since then the Clubhouse has been considerably enlarged and improved. Then in 1998, due to much greater pressure of play on the course and the effect of a spate of dry summers on the fairways, a modern computer-controlled watering system was installed, supplied from a six million-gallon reservoir constructed on land between the first and the second holes of the Church Course.

The club prides itself on the encouragement it gives to junior golfers and operates a Junior Academy for the club’s junior members that has become so popular that there is now a waiting list. In addition to coaching and skills sessions, competitions are run for the juniors to encourage progress and hone their competitive edge.

In recent years several have gone on to represent the county at both junior and senior level. In 1998, Scott Godfrey won the Carris Trophy and became, as far as records show, the first St. Enodoc golfer to win a national championship of any sort. Since then he has achieved even greater success, winning the English Amateur Championship in 2001 and gaining full international honours in the England team.

As a club today, St Enodoc offers excellent practice facilities complete with driving range, two putting greens and two PGA coaching professionals. It recently invested heavily in a new short game practice area, a new target green on the range and a new covered bay facility. The clubhouse, refurbished last year in time for its anniversary celebrations, provides the full range of usual amenities plus an elegant terrace for al fresco dining in the summer.

St-Enodoc-Golf-Club

St-Enodoc-Golf-Club

The Church Course…

This alluring 6,547 yard-course, characterized by undulating fairways, firm greens and a number of blind shots, may not be long by today’s standards yet the course record stands at 65, just 4 under par, indicating just how challenging the course remains to this day.

The Holywell Course…

This is more manageable in length and carries than the Church and so ideal for beginners, juniors and seniors as well as for experienced golfers looking for a quick round. Though just 4,082 yards, the Holywell still boasts some demanding holes with small, testing target greens making it a challenge for golfers of all skill levels.

How much does it cost to play at St Enodoc Golf Club?

Visiting golfers are able to play the Church Course for £75 – or just £45 in winter – which represents excellent value for a course of this quality, history and tradition. Meanwhile a round over the Holywell Course is just £25 all year round.

St Enodoc is part of the Atlantic Links, a trail of ancient links set along the north coast of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall comprising Burnham & Berrow, Saunton, Royal North Devon and Trevose.

The Prince of Wales teeing off in front of the old clubhouse in 1927

Where is St Enodoc Golf Club?

Its location on the high sand dunes of the north Cornwall coast overlooking the Camel Estuary, with Padstow to the west and the Atlantic ocean to the north, makes for ideal links golf and for some of the greatest sea and estuary views of any course in the world!

For more on the 125th anniversary celebrations of St Enodoc, please go to www.st-enodoc.co.uk

Or follow them @stenodocgolf

You can also read what your fellow TSGers say about the course here: St Enodoc Golf Club/Review

By Helen Heady