Archive for the ‘Clubs/Courses’ Category

Macdonald Hotels – Golf World Top 100 Golf Resorts …

Friday, December 8th, 2017
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

One of the UK’s  leading networks of golf venues, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, has further reinforced its status as Golf World magazine publishes its first ranking of the Top 100 Golf Resorts in the Uk & Ireland …

The UK’s largest independent hotel group saw all five of its golf resorts feature within the new list, which was compiled by an international panel of experts who considered the quality of a venue’s golf course(s), accommodation, amenities and setting to establish the standings.

European Challenge Tour venue, Macdonald Aviemore Resort, located in the Highlands of Scotland, which underwent a £1 million investment programme to develop its new clubhouse in 2013, was the highest ranked Macdonald venue, finishing 23rd in the inaugural classification.

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts – The accolades…

– Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa, Cheshire, was ranked 53rd

– Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa, Peebles, was 64th

– Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, Shropshire, was 73rd

– Macdonald Linden Hall Golf & Country Club, Northumberland finished 86th

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts – What they said…

Keith Pickard, Group Director of Golf, Leisure & Spa at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said: “Our prominence in this influential Golf World listing is the ideal endorsement of the significant investment we have completed over the last four years to further enhance the quality of our golf resorts and ensure we are able to meet the exacting demands of today’s modern golfer.”

The success in the Top 100 ranking follows an investment programme, which included a course renovation project across the five venues and the refurbishment of the hotels as part of a wider £10 million project in 2015, designed to further enhance playing conditions and customer experience.

Commenting on the 2018 rankings, Golf World’s Top 100 Editor, Chris Bertram, said:“The UK undoubtedly has some of the best golf resorts in the world and this inaugural list, which was compiled by a panel of Golf World readers, aims to provide a definitive classification. The five Macdonald Hotels & Resorts golf venues all offer golfers the opportunity to play consistently good and varied courses, as well as provide a number of accommodation options designed to ensure a first-class golf break.”

Macdonald Hotels

Macdonald Aviemore Resort, home of the Spey Valley championship course, was the highest ranked Macdonald venue in the inaugural Golf World Top 100 Golf Resorts in the UK and Ireland, finishing 23rd in the classification
Macdonald Hotels
All five Macdonald Hotels & Resorts’ venues were included in Golf World magazine’s ranking of the Top 100 Golf Resorts in the UK and Ireland

 

 

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts – More information…

– Established in 1990 by Donald Macdonald and colleagues, over the past 25 years Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has successfully expanded from its beginnings in Aberdeenshire to become the UK’s largest privately owned hotel group.

– Operating 55 hotels throughout the UK, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, the group continues to invest and now employs over 4,000 staff and operates in excess of 4,500 hotel rooms.

– Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is proud of its promise to serve only the finest and freshest produce, with flavoursome dishes always prepared from whole raw ingredients.

– A forward-thinking, environmentally responsible hotel group, through its ‘Room 20’ programme led by internal ‘green teams’, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts continues to focus on achieving ambitious, self-imposed energy saving targets.

– This unwavering commitment to achieving the highest quality standards in every aspect of the business has seen Macdonald Hotels & Resorts receive numerous prestigious accolades.

– This has included named 2012-2013 AA Eco-Hotel Group of the Year, receiving the MIDAS award for the Best Breakfast 2011/12, a 2012 Good Egg Award by Compassion for World Farming, the National Customer Service Awards for Leisure and Tourism and the coveted 2013 Carbon Trust Standard.


How to calculate your Golf Handicap…

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

How to calculate your golf handicap?There a number of ways to calculate your golf handicap either via a recognised CONGU® Club handicap OR alternatively, golfers can use an Online Golf Handicap Tracking Platform such as the one offered by The Social Golfer.

However, be aware that Online Golf Handicap calculations are NOT approved by CONGU® (The Council of National Golf Unions).

But how do you calculate your golf handicap?

How to calculate your Golf Handicap – CONGU®*…

One of the unique things about golf is that unlike many sports, golf has a handicapping system that allo

ws players of varying abilities, to play against one another in a fair and equal manner.

In short, your golf handicap is….. the number of shots you would expect to take when playing a round of golf compared to a player who has no handicap e.g. someone whose handicap is 0.

This is not as difficult as you might think if you take a short time to understand the CONGU® system.

If you are a member of a club that is affiliated to one of the ‘Home Unions’ (ie, the governing body for golf in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales), then you are eligible to have a CONGU® handicap.

To get your first OFFICIAL handicap you will need to complete 54 holes of golf (this may be any combination of 18- and 9-holes*) with your card marked by someone who understands the Rules of Golf. (e.g. The Club Manager, Club Pro, Club captain, a committee member or another member).

Once your rounds are completed the ‘handicap committee’ will consider the scores you have made and, taking into account any previous golfing experience you may have had as well as any other sporting achievements, will ‘award’ you a handicap.

Then, every time you play in a qualifying competition your handicap may go up or down.

How to calculate your Golf Handicap – HANDICAP CATEGORIES*…

How to calculate your golf handicap?

Handicaps are divided into different bands – called categories.

Depending on which category you are in, the amount your handicap can go down varies.

Also, the amount you can play over your handicap (called buffer zone) varies before your handicap increases.

Category 1

Golf Handicaps of 5 or less

Buffer Zone = 0 to 1 shot

Adjustment factor = 0.1

Category 2

Golf Handicaps of 6 to 12 inclusive

Buffer Zone = 0 to 2 shots

Adjustment factor = 0.2

Category 3

Golf Handicaps of 13 to 20 inclusive

Buffer Zone = 0 to 3 shots

Adjustment factor = 0.3

Category 4

Golf Handicaps of 21 to 28 inclusive

Buffer Zone = 0 to 4 shots

Adjustment factor = 0.4

Category 5 (N.B. This category is for Women Only – they can have a Handicap fo Up to 36)

Golf Handicaps of 29 to 36 inclusive

Buffer Zone = 0 to 5 shots

Adjustment factor = 0.5

N.B. Everyone’s handicap is calculated to 1 decimal place but their playing handicap is the nearest whole number.

E.g. David’s exact handicap is 22.1 and his playing handicap is 22. Sue’s exact handicap is 10.5 so her playing handicap is 11. 3

How to calculate your golf handicap?How to calculate your Golf Handicap – Other things to know…

If you play ‘below’ your handicap, your handicap will be reduced by a certain decimal point for every shot under (see categories above).

However, if you play above your handicap (i.e. more than your expected GROSS Score, your handicap will be increased by 0.1.

You are allowed some leeway (this is your buffer zone – see categories above for different buffer zones), but once you are above your buffer zone, your handicap goes up.

The Good news is that no-one is expected to be able to play to their handicap for every round.

There is some flexibility: if you play within your buffer zone your handicap will not alter.

Under CONGU® rules, every time you compete in a competition you should return your card.

This is firstly so the competition organiser knows that you have played in the competition and secondly because the organiser may want to check your marker’s score which is on your card.

It is against the spirit of the game to put your poor scorecard in your pocket and drive home.

As already noted, it is your responsibility to play off the correct handicap. If you believe you have played under your handicap you must calculate your new handicap before playing in another competition.

Finally, when moving between handicap categories, the calculation gets a bit more complicated.

However, this is when The Social Golfer Handicap System** comes into its own. Just add your scores after every round and let our Handicap calculating system do the rest.

Once you have added your scores, TSG PRO account holders can then print off a copy of their TSG Handicap Certificate.

So there you have it, no more arguments on the first tee about who’s playing of what handicap!

 


By Ian Mullins

* source via www.congu.co.uk

**While The Social Golfer Handicap system is calculated using the similar formula as CONGU®, it is paramount that golfers know that no online handicap system is sanctioned by CONGU® and can therefore not be used in official club competitions. However, Online Golf Handicap Certificates are widely accepted as a ‘proof of playing’ standard by most clubs for casual play.

Countdown to Ryder Cup at Le Golf National begins …

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Ryder Cup 2018-Le Golf-National launchThere is less than a year to go until the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, France (September 28-30, 2018).

As such, golf fans and commuters enjoyed their own rendezvous with one of the world’s most famous sports trophies, when it went on public display at London St Pancras International….

The Ryder Cup & Le Golf National …

Having returned from Paris and the ‘Year to Go’ celebrations, which saw European and the United States Team Captains Thomas Bjørn and Jim Furyk engage in a range of promotional activities including hitting balls off the Eiffel Tower.

However, the trophy was the star attraction at Eurostar’s London terminus on Thursday, October 26th.

Fans were able to sit on the European Captain’s golf car and have ‘selfie’ photographs taken with the trophy (#FeelFranceRC18).

The event also showcased France, next year’s host of the biennial match between Europe and the United States, as the perfect destination for international golfers before, during and after The 2018 Ryder Cup

In 2016, France welcomed 82.6 million international tourists, including 11.9 million from the UK via convenient train, ferry and air links.

Figures for the first half of 2017 indicate a 5% year-on-year increase in the number of visitors to France from the UK.

Among the most popular golf regions for UK golfers, are Normandy, Brittany and Provence, as well as the Paris region. Le Golf National is just 21 miles from the centre of Paris.

The number of golfers travelling to France could be boosted further after Eurostar was announced as Official Supplier of The 2018 Ryder Cup, carrying representatives of the European Team to Paris next September.

Ryder Cup - Le Golf National - Brigitte LockwoodThe Ryder Cup to Le Golf National countdown begins – What they said…

Gwénaëlle Maret-Delos, Managing Director of Atout France UK & Ireland, the France Tourism Development Agency, which hosted the Ryder Cup Rendezvous event, said…

“There are 600 golf courses in France including some of the most beautiful courses in Europe. While France is the most visited country in the world, it remains less well known as a golf destination”

“The 2018 Ryder Cup, broadcasting from Le Golf National to the world, will no doubt encourage more golfers to choose France, our golf courses and, of course, our ‘après-golf’, for their golf holidays.”

Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Europe Director, said…

“Le Golf National, Paris and France is ready for The Ryder Cup and will be a wonderful host for the 42nd edition of this match, which has become one of the greatest sports events in the world.” 

“In just under a year’s time, representatives of the European Team will set off from London St Pancras International and travel by Eurostar train to Paris”.

“I have no doubt fans and golfers will be making their own journeys to France in the coming months, to play on the country’s beautiful courses and support the team next September.”

Le Golf National, France, will host The 2018 Ryder Cup from September 28-30, 2018, when Europe will try to regain the trophy following defeat at Hazeltine National in the United States, last year.

The team, under the captaincy of Thomas Bjørn, will be looking to extend an impressive winning record on home soil which stretches back to 1997.


By Ian Mullins

Golfing in Antarctica …

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Golfing in AntarcticaNo doubt you will all be aware that there aren’t any ‘traditional’ golf courses at the South Pole but can you go golfing in Antarctica?

Rest assured, golf is played on this cold and wind-torn continent, more frequently than you think!

Golfing in Antarctica – McMurdo Station…

The residents of McMurdo Station (if the weather permits) improvise and build themselves a make-shift golf course, around all the huts and buildings of their surrounding area.

In the freezing conditions (which is most of the time!) they hold their golf tournaments, like the “The Winter’s End Classic”. 

The McMurdo Station is built on the bare volcanic rock on Ross Island and it is the farthest south solid ground that is accessible by ship, and it was built in 1956.

In 2009 I was lucky enough to make friends with a couple of workers based there via email and they were kind enough to send me one of their scorecards which I have in my special scorecard collection.

Which is the Oldest Golf Club in Antarctica – Scott Base Sation…

The same applies to the residents and workers at Scott Base Station where they hold their own golf tournaments, including the 2007 “Ross Island Masters International Invitational”.

Unfortunately, I do not know when golf first started being played on this part of the Antarctica but I am sure it was well before 2006.

I will try and do my best to find this out, and who knows maybe any of the readers of The Social Golfer might be able to let me know if they have any knowledge of golf being plated before these dates?

Til next time…

Scottish Bob

Next – The Oldest Golf Course in Asia…

How to obtain a golf handicap certificate…

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Golf Handicap CertificateEvery golfer wants to know what their real playing ability is but if you don’t belong to a golf club, how do you obtain a golf handicap certificate?

We asked the team at the TheSocialGolfer.com to explain what they offer the golfing nomad…

How to obtain a golf handicap certificate…

Firstly, let’s set the record straight, a CONGU (The Council of National Golf Unions) recognised handicap is the ONLY official way to get a golf handicap certificate.

However, in many ways, this is expensive, as it requires you joining a golf club, which can cost you upwards of £600 – £2000 per year!

Secondly, a much more affordable option is to join an online golf club like The Social Golfer (TSG)…

The Social Golfer has its own bespoke Golf Handicap Tracking system, which invites you to submit three of your most recent scorecards, following which it will then produce you an official TSG Golf Handicap Certificate.

Thereafter, we recommend members post their scores after EVERY round to maintain their current playing standard.

Our system takes into account both your Gross Score and the SSS (Standard Scratch Score) of the Course and adjusts your playing ability accordingly.

How to obtain a golf handicap certificate – Is it robust and accurate?

Absolutely!

We recently surveyed our members who are club members with a CONGU handicap and compared them with their TSG handicap and a resounding 100% of those asked, said their handicap on The Social Golfer was LOWER than their Club handicap!

How to obtain a golf handicap certificate – Are TSG Handicap Certificates accepted at Clubs and in Open Competitions?

Yes!

Golf Handicap CertificateSince our launch in 2010, we have never heard of a club refusing our golf handicap certificate either in the UK or Worldwide.

However, whilst some Open Club competitions and Golf Society Days will request a CONGU certificate, many clubs are recognising that with club membership on the decline in recent years, that an online handicap is more than an adequate replacement.

Furthermore, with Club handicaps only requiring you to submit three scorecards per year (total), the TSG handicap system, calculates your ‘actual’ playing standard after every round.

A golf handicap certificate with The Social Golfer costs £24.99pp*

Looking for the birthday or Christmas gift for the golfer in your life?

Buy a membership to The Social Golfer – Click here


*correct at the time of going to press.

The Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship 2017…

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

The Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship v3TheSocialGolfer.com, the online golf club and social golf network website, held its fifth Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship Final (Sponsored by The Altonwood Group) at the prestigious Addington Golf Club, on Sunday 24th September 2017…


The Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship 2017 – The Matches & Winners…

The TSG MatchPlay Championship ran similarly to an FA Cup style knockout with participants arranging each round of matches at a course of their choice, with The Altonwood Group offering preferential green fees.

These venues including Westerham GC, Woldingham GC and Surrey National GC throughout the summer for TSG members.

The finalists Andy Attard (Kent) and Chris Knight (Surrey) both worked their way through a field of 64 to secure their place at The Addington, having played six matches across the year.

In addition, the two losing Semi-finalists Judy Lilley (Kent) and Ollie McCormack (London) competed in the third-place play-off.

The Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship

The final began with Attard (21 Handicap) going 3 up after four holes, meaning novice MatchPlayer Knight (26 Handicap) had a mountain to climb to get the game back. After a valiant effort, Knight managed to remain within two holes of Attard until the stunning Par 3, 13th but alas it was all in vain and Attard took the 2017 title on the 14th green.

Third place trophy went to fellow Kent TSGer and current TSG OPEN Ladies Champion – Judy Lilley.

 

The Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship – What they said…

Attard, commenting on his win said Many thanks to The Social Golfer for all the time and energy they put into organising this competition. Chris and I had a great final played in true ‘TSG spirit’ here at The Addington today and I am thrilled to be the new champion. Not sure I would have believed you if you had told me I’d be holding the trophy in March… so, maybe I can play golf after all!

Social Golfer MatchPlay Championship

Ian Mullins, owner of TheSocialGolfer.com said “As the TSG membership has grown this has become one of our most popular competitions. Big thank you to sponsors The Altonwood Group, lovely course and a worthy champion, what more could we want. Already looking forward to March, when it all starts again!

 

Other Winners in 2017 include:

TSG Masters 2017

 

TSG Par 3 Championship 2017

 

TSG OPEN Championship 2017


By Ian Mullins

Getting the most from your golf membership…

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Crown Golf Club MembershipStuck in a Putt – How to get the most from your annual golf membership…

Eat, work, sleep, golf, repeat. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, life can be a bit monotonous at times.

To break up the day to day routine, we spend our free time doing the things we enjoy most, such as playing golf!

What happens though, when we find our golf membership becoming monotonous too?

I know, it’s taboo to say it, but playing the same course week in, week out, can become… boring.

Should we immediately start reconsidering our annual golf membership fee?


Getting the most from your golf membership…

The last thing you want to do is lose the passion and excitement you have for your home golf club.

So to make sure this doesn’t happen, here’s a suggestion…

You simply need to take a break from things and change the routine.

It sounds counter-productive, right? Wrong.

Crown Golf MembershipWe don’t mean take a step back from golf altogether, but you could try visiting other golf courses instead, to switch things up a little.

It never hurts to have a change of scenery every now and again.

Trying out a new course will really refresh your perspective on the game.

The variation across the courses can even help to improve your game, as you use different techniques and clubs to work our way around the holes.

The other benefit is that eventually, you’ll find yourself excited again to get back to your home club and enjoy a round with friends.

Consider joining a golf club that has multiple venues or at worst, reciprocal arrangements with other clubs.

An example of this type of golf membership is leading UK golf course owners, Crown Golf, who gives you an array of a 5-day and a 7-day golf membership choices.

This gives you the freedom to not only enjoy your own golf club but also allows you to try out their 32 other fantastic courses in the group too.

Find out about the Crown Golf Golf Clubs in your area now

See TSG Club Partner pages for a list of Crown Golf venues, alternatively, visit them at www.crown-golf.co.uk


By Ian Mullins

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017…

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 As the players arrived at Farleigh Golf Club for The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 (sponsored by Golf News and Golf Escapes), it was clear from the smiles on the popular website’s members faces this was a day they had been looking forward to.

The Social Golfer OPEN was first held in 2011, following the launch of the online golf club in 2010. The event is now in its 7th year.

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Championship…

The event is a great opportunity for TSG members to mingle and ‘be social’ with many of 5k strong UK members (10k+ worldwide) and compete for the much coveted Halliwell Cup donated by Stroke Survivor and British Inclusive Golf Ambassador, Ian Halliwell.

Furthermore, £5 from every entry fee was donated to disabled golf charities.

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017

Despite its humble beginnings, the event is now sold out every year, with 70+ golfers travelling from around London and the UK, and with some from as far afield as Botswana attending.

Golf News was very proud to be the Official Media Partner of the day, as the event included a number of golfing challenges and tests.

The day’s events comprised, an Individual 18 hole Stableford Competition (Men & Ladies), a much enjoyed ‘Yellow Ball’ team event, run concurrently with the Straightest Drive, 2 x Nearest Pins, Putting competition, The Golf News Guest Trophy, Charity Auction and Raffle also on offer.

This year, the event also hosted an indoor ‘Nearest Pin’ competition on Farleigh Golf Club’s state of the art golf simulator, with the winner receiving 3 nights half board at the Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa, Sicily, Italy, courtesy of Golf Escapes.

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017

In addition to the format above, there was also a chance for TSGers to play for “A Trevor”, paying homage to a former member who recently passed away, following a brave fight with Cancer.

Trevor Sandford was the man behind “A Month of Madness on the M25’, whereby he played a different golf course at 31 different junctions of the M25’s, over 31 days in the month of August 2011 raising money for Cancer Research, following the loss of his Pairs partner to the disease. He later wrote a book about his adventure.

Well known for his constant pursuit of the ‘Chip-In-Birdie’, anyone achieving this at future official TSG events , will have their name added to The Trevor Sandford Trophy (donated by TSG members Grge Butler).

They will also receive a medal commemorating the moment, which will be known as ‘A Trevor!’ On this particular day, this was achieved by London based member Pete Mayo!

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Course…

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017Farleigh GC is part of the Foxhills Collection and is set on 350 acres in the North Surrey Downs and offers a 27 hole Championship golf holes.

Set in a valley, the course is well-known for its windy conditions and therefore every shot requires careful consideration.

The Social Golfer OPEN was played across the Yellow and Blue courses; the latter having recently seen over £1m of investment, so no surprise that the course played well.  This combination boasts a Par 72, (6,212 yards) and was designed by John Jacobs Associates.

This combination boasts a Par 72, (6,212 yards) and was designed by John Jacobs Associates.

The greens on the day were running at approx. 12 on the stimp-meter meaning3 putts were common.

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Winners…

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017This year’s Men’s winner was Roger Ireland (London) with 43 Pts, 2nd place was Greg Butler (Essex) with 41 Pts and 3rd was Phil Boyd (Kent) 37 Pts.

The Women’s Trophy was won by Judy Lilley (Royal Blackheath) with 35 Pts and 2nd place went to African based golfer, Hang Van Den Broeck (Botswana).

There was also Nearest Pin & Straightest Drive competitions. Winners included Lee Benson (Hertfordshire), Ron Woodham (Essex), Simon Lacey (Surrey), Damian Benstead (Surrey) with the Putting Competition going to Phil Boyd (Kent).

The 3-day golfing in Sicily prize was won by disabled golfer Paul Houghton, after putting his ball to within 5ft of the flag at the world famous 7th hole at Pebble Beach in the three man play-off final.

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Charities…

Paul Houghton - The Social Golfer OPEN 2017As with all good golf society days, there is often a secondary purpose.

This year’s TSG OPEN championship was no exception.

The Social Golfer have always been big advocates in supporting disability golf and this year the members raised over £1k for English Disabled Golfers, Paul Houghton (Disabled Golf Association) and Roger Hurcombe (British Inclusive Golf).

These monies will help pay for their travel expenses and buggy hire fees. In addition, both Houghton and Hurcombe will be competing at this year’s Scottish Disabled Open between 21st-24th August 2017 at St. Andrews, wearing The Social Golfer’s team colours.

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – What they said…

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017Speaking to Golf News after the event here’s what some of the attendees said about the day…

“I really look forward to The Social Golfer ‘Majors’ when we all meet up for a superb day. Whether the golf’s good or bad; you cannot walk away from the day without happy memories and a big smile on your face. Thank you to The Social Golfer team; you have completely changed my golfing life!”  Mark Crane (15 H’cap)

“There was definitely camaraderie out on the course and in the clubhouse today. We have made more good friends and always welcome new ones. The Social Golfer always brings us together!” Judy Lilley (20 H’cap)

“What a great day! Perhaps the best TSG Open ever. Great venue, food and company. Such a buzz about the whole day. We were all winners!” Damian Benstead (18 H’cap)

Ian Mullins, Event Director of The Social Golfer OPEN said “Being a golf day organiser can have its trials and tribulations but every year the atmosphere at our events just gets better and better. A big thanks to everyone at Golf News, Golf Escapes, RoboGolf and Golf Deals Group for putting up over £1k’s worth of prizes.”

He went on to say… “We hope to grow the event even further in the next 12 months in the hope we can broaden the appeal of the day beyond just our members and guests but include more golfers from all over the world!

The Social Golfer OPEN 2017

 

 

 

 


 

The Majors Part 4 – The PGA Championship…

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

The PGA ChampionshipIn the fourth in our series of articles on golf’s Major events, this time we turn our attention to the second oldest event in the golfing diary – The PGA Championship!

Every year we get excited about the upcoming golfing calendar with some enthusiasm. The ‘Grand Slam’ events in golf include:

– The US Masters (Augusta National) April

– The US Open (Various) June

– The OPEN (Various) July

– The PGA Championship (Various) August

This is then now complemented but The Olympics every four years (from 2016) with the host city supplying the venue.


The Majors – The PGA Championship…

The PGA Championship - The Wanamaker TrophyIn 1894, two golf events were held in the USA.

The national championships for amateur golfers, held at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island with another at St. Andrew’s Golf Club in New York.

In addition, and at the same time as the amateur event, St. Andrew’s conducted an Open championship for professional golfers.

Later in that year, this led to the formation of the United States Golf Association (USGA), which became the first formal golf organisation in the country. After the formation of the USGA, golf quickly became a popular sport across the country.

After the formation of the USGA, golf quickly became a popular sport across the country.

In February 1916 the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was established in New York City.

The organisation’s first president was Robert White, one of Wykagyl’s best-known golf professionals.

The first PGA Championship was held in October 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York.

The winner, Jim Barnes, received $500 and a diamond-studded gold medal donated by department store owner Rodman Wanamaker.

Originally played in MatchPlay Format but was changed to a Strokeplay event in 1958.

Moving to the present day, the 2016 winner, Jimmy Walker received $1.8 million and was presented with the now famous Wanamaker Trophy.

The benefit of winning The PGA Championship means you are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, and The Open Championship) for the next five years.

They are also exempt from qualifying for The PGA Championship for life.

In addition, the winner receives membership on the PGA and European Tours for the following five seasons and invitations to The Players Championship (Played in May) for five years.

However, as the Pro golf calendar gets more and more congested, there is now talk of this event moving to May, with the Players Championship moving back to March to make way.

The idea here is that this leaves more room for the FedEx Cup and more space between this and The Ryder Cup at the end of Sept.


The Majors – Player Qualifications for The PGA Championship 2017…

There are different routes that players can take to qualify for The PGA Championship – Qualification routes as of 2010:

– All former PGA Champions

– Winners of the last five US Opens

– Winners of the last five US Masters

– Winners of the last five OPEN Championships

– The last Senior PGA Champion

– The low 15 scorers and ties in the previous PGA Championship

– The 20 low scorers in the last PGA Professional National Championship

– The 70 leaders in official money standings on the PGA Tour.

– Members of the most recent United States and European Ryder Cup Teams

– Winners of tournaments co-sponsored or approved by the PGA Tour since the previous PGA Championship


The Majors – The PGA Championship 2017…

Quail Hollow Golf ClubThe 58th PGA Championship will take place at Quail Hollow on the East Coast in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The course was originally designed by famed golf course architect George Cobb in 1961 to capture the beauty as well as the challenging terrain of the Piedmont region.

It is considered by some to be one of the finest courses in the southeastern United States.

In the intervening years, the course has undergone a series of improvements, including modifications to several holes by Arnold Palmer in 1986, and a redesign by Tom Fazio in 1997.

The signature hole at Quail Hollow is the par four, 14th is a dog-leg left that can be driven with a good tee shot.

It measures 346 yards from the championship tees.

A 15-acre lake frames the left side of the hole and the rough on that side slopes down to the water.

The narrow landing area measures about 27 yards across and is guarded with two bunkers on each side.

The two-tiered green is long and narrow with about 7,100 square feet of putting surface.

Two more bunkers guard the left front and middle of the green, and a collection area waits just off the right front of the green for short approach shots hit offline or almost perfect drives.

The area immediately left of the green slopes severely down to the lake, so shots hit left have a very good chance of ending up in the hazard.


The Majors – Players to Watch Out For…

This Major event tends to throw up some unexpected winners with only Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy being double winners in the last 20 years, so predicting who may be this year’s winner is no less difficult.

With 156 golfers in the mix, it’s its anybody’s guess.

The list of past champions includes; Davis Love III, Rich Beem, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and in yesteryear, Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Snead, Hogan, Hagen, Nelson, Sarazen but interesting, not Palmer!

Some information on key players at the 2017 US Open is listed below….

Henrik Stenson - The PGA ChampionshipHenrik Stenson

He was the first Swedish major champion winning the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon with a record score of 264.

A two-time European Tour Golfer of the Year he has spent 250+ weeks ranked in the OWGR top ten.

In 2013, Stenson won the U.S. PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Stenson won the silver medal…. so he’s no pushover!

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is currently still standing at No.1 in the World Rankings, so cannot be dismissed.

OK, so not a great showing at the recent US OPEN, missing the cut but somethings tells us that Johnson is going anywhere anytime soon.

Hideki Matsuyama

He won the Asian Amateur Championship in 2010 and 2011.

He is a four-time PGA Tour winner and an eight-time Japan Golf Tour winner.

On 19 June 2017, Matsuyama became the world No. 2-ranked player on the Official World Golf Ranking after his runner-up finish at the 2017 U.S. Open.

The PGA Championship - Beef Johnston Andrew Johnston

This English golfer is still learning his craft. Hailing from North London has made many friends on tour in the last 12 months and whilst he only has one win on the European Tour, which came at the 2016 Open de España, this could be his kind of course.

Known affectionately as ‘Beef’ since his youth, he has carried the nickname into his professional career and is very popular with the US galleries.

But of course, any player could win the Wanamaker trophy!

 


The Majors – Betting at The PGA Championship

Having a flutter on Major golfing events is now commonplace for golf lovers and armchair sports fans.

Many Betting firms have developed their product offering, making it very simple and quick to lay a wager.

With websites, apps and multiple bets options now available, billions of £’s and $’s are spent each year on adding another dimension to the sport.

Of course, the odds on this event will swing massively between now and tee-off but here are some of the latest betting odds (26/7/17)…

  • Jordan Spieth: 8/1
  • Rory McIlroy: 7/1
  • Jason Day: 16/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 16/1
  • Sergio Garcia: 25/1

The PGA Championship

There are rank outsiders too and in the past, we have sometimes chosen outsiders using an Each-Way bet. This year, these include Danny Willet 80/1,  Matthew Fitzpatrick 100/1, Ross Fisher 150/1 and John Daly 500/1

So as 7th August approaches, keep an eye on the odds as they change. However, please bet responsibly.

We will definitely be enjoying this year’s event for the comfort of an armchair!


By Ian Mullins

For previous articles on golf’s four Majors, click on the links below:

 

Mayo is victor at The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship…

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship - Alan HaywoodGolfers from all over the South East of England gathered at the Kent-based club Pedham Place on 10th June 2017,  all hoping to be this year’s The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship winning golfer.

Meanwhile, the event celebrated a new format, making for an exciting finish….

The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship – The Day…

TheSocialGolfer.com (TSG), the online social networking community for golfers celebrated its 3rdth annual TSG Par 3 Championship at Pedham Place Golf Club in Kent with East London-based member Pete Mayo lifting the trophy!

The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship – The Format…

The event is normally played over the 36 holes on the Pedham Academy Course.

However, this year, instead of the standard stableford points determining the result, this year the TSG team created a new format whereby the event was played over 27 holes, with the top six points scorers going through to a 18th hole shoot-out!

The six qualifiers made it an exciting competition, with Brigitte Lockwood (Twickenham), Noirin Fitzgerald (Shepperton), Jaspal Ranoo (Woolwich), Noel Loughrey (Berkshire), Steve Slater (Essex) and Pete all making gallant efforts to win through.

Each shoot-out competitor was given two balls in a Nearest Pin competition with Mayo, Ranoo and Slater all making it to the Final.

Slater fell at the first play-off hole but after the second play-off hole, Mayo held his nerve to win over Ranoo.

The field ranging from 10 handicappers to 28 and the course (one of the best Par 3 in the South of England) proved to make for a hugely enjoyable contest.

The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship – What they said…

The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship - Pete MayoPete Mayo, Newly Crowned Champion said…

“A big thanks to Ian and Mark (TSG Team) for organising the day and to everybody else for making it such a great event. I thoroughly approve of the format (I would say that wouldn’t I).”

“On a serious note, TSG is by far the easiest way to play relaxed golf, with a good bunch of people. I have played lots of different courses since joining and you can track my progress and handicap online. I am looking forward to defending my title in 2018!

Speaking after the event Ian Mullins, Managing Director of The Social Golfer said…

It was a huge risk by changing the format of the day but it proved to not only add tension to the day but also gave the finalists a sense of what it might really be like to play in a real competitive event.”

“Let’s face it most golf days end with the reading out of the winners but the new format added additional spice to the day. Many thanks to Pedham Place and Tim Milford and his team for once again looking after us so well!”

 


By Ian Mullins