Archive for the ‘Competitions’ Category

Essex Golfer makes it back to back major victories at TSG Masters 2016…

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

TSG Masters 2016 - Steve Slater.jpg 2

TheSocialGolfer.com, the online social networking community for golfers celebrated its 3rd annual TSG Masters Championship at Warley Park Golf Club on 23rd April 2016…

30+ Golfers from all over the South East of England gathered at the Essex-based club, all hoping to be TSG Masters 2016 Champion golfer.

The TSG Masters 2016 – How they qualified…

The members of the online social network had all qualified via a number of different means, some via the website’s monthly leaderboard.

Some via other TSG Major events with the remaining spaces snapped up via the ballot and/or by special invitation with no one wishing to miss out on the first TSG ‘Major’ of the year.

This made for an exciting competition and while some TSGers were familiar with the course layout, most were totally new to it.

The field ranging from 6 handicappers to 30 (men and women) played the Childerditch and the Warley ’1 to 9′ loop, two very different layouts offering their own challenges.

The latter including the superb 17th Par 3 signature hole across the water.

The TSG Masters 2016 – The Winners…

The event was won by Essex based golfer (Harlow) Steve Slater, who also won the TSG OPEN at Bletchingley GC (Surrey) in July 2015.

Slater is the first TSG golfer to hold two Major titles at the same time on the popular website.

After 18 holes, Slater scored a hard earned 32 Pts off his 17-handicap but still needed to rely on the count-back to seal victory. Michael Moos 2nd (Herts – 32 Pts) and 3rd Brian Scott (Essex – 31 Pts).

——————————————————————————————————-

There was also some fun to be had with 2 x Nearest Pins and a ‘Straightest Drive’ keeping the day alive for those that were not troubling the leaderboard and a Par 3 Competition to add to the drama on the day.

Other winners included popular ‘TSGer’ Denis Conway (Middlesex) with Slater also collecting the ‘Nearest Pin in Two’ and Moos also adding the Par 3 Trophy to his haul.

TSG Masters 2016The TSG Masters 2016 – What they said…

We’ll leave the final words to our new TSG Masters Champion: What a way to start my golfing year and I can’t quite believe I now hold two TSG Major Trophies. I’d like to thank all the TSG team and the Warley Park staff for putting on a great day. Winning is always a pleasure but to beat some of the great golfers from The Social Golfer twice in the same calendar year is a dream. I look forward to coming back and defending the Trophy next year!”

Kevin Smith, Director of Golf at the venue said:“We were delighted to host the TSG Masters 2016 event for the third consecutive year. It’s like we’re becoming the Augusta of TSG! The TSG members are always very respectful to us and our members and they are always fun to have around. We welcome events like this at the course and look forward to having them back again in 2016!”

WATCH VIDEO NOW!

 

Golf Tourism England – South Devon Golf Tour….

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Golf Tourism England Logo

Golf Tourism England Logo

The cream of South Devon’s golf courses have combined to create one of Golf Tourism England most glorious and scenically stunning golf trails thanks to the photogenic south Devon coastline that is characterised by charming coves and estuaries and elevated cliff tops that offer panoramic seascapes.

South Devon Golf Tour – The Group…

This mouth-watering collection of Thurlestone, Teignmouth, East Devon and Bovey Castle have all been designed by some of golf’s most revered course architects around the time of the ‘Golden Age’ of golf course design and will be known as the South Devon Golf Tour (www.southdevongolftour.co.uk).

South Devon Golf Tour – The Courses…

Thurlestone-Golf-Club-South-Devon-Golf-Tour

Thurlestone-Golf-Club-South-Devon-Golf-Tour

Located in an area of outstanding beauty, Thurlestone is a magical mix of links turf and cliff-top terrain and much of its location atop a promontory give it its breath-taking panoramas over the legendary Thurlestone Rock to the east and the picturesque Avon Estuary and Burgh Island in the West.

Often compared to Pebble Peach, this Harry Colt design is by no means as severe thanks to its wide open fairways unless of course the coastal winds start to blow.

Teignmouth, created by the famed Alister MacKenzie, also owes a great deal to its magnificent situation.

Laid out on the high moor of Little Haldon over 800 feet above sea level, the outward nine looks over the town of Teignmouth and the estuary of the River Teign. whilst the contrasting back nine looks east over the Exe estuary towards Portland Bill, a well-known headland on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Teignmouth Golf Club - South Devon Golf Tour

Teignmouth Golf Club – South Devon Golf Tour

Whilst the contrasting back nine looks east over the Exe estuary towards Portland Bill, a well-known headland on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

The course today remains remarkably similar to MacKenzie’s original 1924 design and retains his signature sloping greens, many of which are surrounded by humps on three sides and feature two tiers like many of those found at Augusta.

East Devon Golf Club, perched on the cliff top 400 foot above Budleigh Salterton, commands stunning panoramas over the western end of the Jurassic Coast and the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This 6,231-yard seaside heathland course with wide tracts of gorse and heather dividing each fairway was designed by the great Herbert Fowler, with later input from both Harry Colt and James Braid.

Its defining characteristics include well-drained fairways, close-cropped turf and firm, undulating greens that make it a fair and enchanting golf course, though testing when the sea breezes comes in off the sea.

Finally, the inland retreat of Bovey Castle provides an interesting contrast to the coastal tracks thanks to its setting in amongst the mature woodlands of Dartmoor National Park.

East Devon Golf Club

East Devon Golf Club

Designed by JF Abercromby to rival its sister courses at Gleneagles and Turnberry, Bovey Castles opened to great acclaim in 1930.

The challenging, yet beautiful course meanders through the estate whilst the luxurious accommodation and five-star facilities of the castle mean the resort is regarded as one of England’s most idyllic destinations to play golf.

South Devon Golf Tour – What they said…

You could not find a more spectacular group of golf courses so conveniently located together in one of England’s most popular and jaw-droppingly, glorious coastal locations” comments Andrew Cooke, CEO & founder of Golf Tourism England.

He went on to say:These courses are indeed the cream of the crop in south Devon and together they make an alluring offering when combined with the many natural attractions in the area such as the Jurassic Coast, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Dartmoor National Park, its sandy beaches and numerous walking and cycle trails.”

Golf Tourism England – How to visit…

The development of the South Devon Golf Tour will be helped by the fact that the group has a dedicated golf tour operator working alongside them.

Graham Ruth of Exclusive Golf Breaks will provide golf packages to the area as well as marketing the tour to his clients and to golfers around the world via the website, www.southdevongolftour.co.uk.

South Devon can be easily accessed by car via the M5 whilst visitors from northern England, Scotland, Ireland and Europe (including France, Holland, Spain, Portugal and Italy) can reach the county by air via direct flights into the international airport at Exeter.

The South Devon Golf Tour is another example of Golf Tourism England driving golf clubs and resorts to club together and to market themselves as a group to the multi-billion pound golf tourism industry.

To book a golf package to the South Devon Golf Tour, visit www.southdevongolftour.co.uk or call +44(0)1822 618181.

Golf Tourism England…

First established two years ago in order to promote England as one of the most outstanding golfing destinations in the world, it represents the multi-million-pound golf tourism industry.

Golf Tourism England is now the recognised body that represents every aspect of the golf tourism industry in England and is taking a leading role in the development and marketing of the industry on an international stage.

England’s golf offering is a strong and immensely viable one: it is after all home to over 2,500 golf courses, many of which are widely recognised as some of the finest in the world.

It has four courses on the current Open Championship roster with two other courses having staged the event in the past, it has staged The Ryder Cup 14 times over nine different courses and plays host to The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.

England also possesses some of the oldest golf courses in the world that boast a rich history and tradition that cannot be reproduced and has over time turned out some of the most illustrious professional golfers in the history of the sport.

————————————————————————————-

North of England OPEN…

Friday, April 29th, 2016
South Moor Golf Club

South Moor Golf Club

Regional and national events have been around for several decades but the 54-hole North of England Open (Under-14) will go into only its third year at County Durham club South Moor in mid-August….

An old hand who played a part in the development of US Masters champion Danny Willett has succeeded with a relatively new tournament helping promising golfers to achieve competitive tournament focus at a younger age

North of England Open – Under 14’s…

Founded and organised by a former chairman of the England Golf junior selectors, Roy Case, the tournament has quickly become so popular the 90-strong field for 2016 is almost half full with three months to go.

Of the 44 boys and girls entered so far – over twice as many as this time last year – 18 have single figure handicaps.

Between 1994 and 2007, Case helped to guide the England junior team to two world titles plus victories in four European championships and eight home internationals.

He managed golfers such as Willett and Justin Rose, who went on to become the 2013 US Open champion.

South Moor Golf Club

South Moor Golf Club

North of England Open – What they said…

The first winner of Case’s Under-14 regional event, in 2014, was Sheffield’s Barclay Brown, an England Boys international from the Hallamshire club who shared the title last year.

Brown’s father Seb, who like his son is a single figure golfer, said: “Barclay is too old for the event this year but the tournament will go from strength to strength. This is thanks to the expertise of Roy Case and the enormous effort South Moor Golf Club put into organising the event, which would be a vast drain on any club’s resources.

 He went on to say: “As a three-round tournament, it improves the concentration factor of youngsters who would only otherwise compete over 18 holes. I particularly like the way there is a re-draw after rounds one and two so golfers doing well can play with others who are in contention, not the norm in most junior tournaments.”

Now lead partner in the Nottinghamshire firm Golf Concepts LP, Case formed a bond with South Moor five years ago when the club hosted the McGregor Trophy, the England Boys Under-16 Open.

Dr Alister MacKenzie, the designer who enabled Bobby Jones Junior to bring his beloved Augusta National into existence, also created the course at South Moor.

*THE 2016 North of England Under-14 tournament will be played at South Moor on August 10-11-12.

To enter, and to see who has entered so far, visit www.northofenglandu14golf.co.uk

There is a separate section for Under-12s plus handicap competitions for the whole field. Players as young as nine compete.

———————————————————–

By Tim Taylor

British Inclusive Golf announces event dates…

Saturday, February 27th, 2016
British Inclusive Golf

             British Inclusive Golf

British Inclusive Golf are running a program of taster sessions and workshops for disability groups in the North East and North West down the M62/A1 corridor…..

The charity is in its 4th year and has decided to be self-funding in 2016, as this gives more flexibility to work with groups who wish to take advantage of the ‘British Inclusive Golf’ program, rather than working with groups who feel they have to be involved.

We are also fortunate to have Huddersfield golfer Chris Hanson a European Tour Pro, become our Ambassador this year and hopefully his support will attract new members and support.

British Inclusive Golf – Events in 2016…

The charity’s golf events for the year are to be held on the following dates…

Plus we have two representative matches where the charity invite disabled golfers to represent ‘British Inclusive Golf’ against other organisations including:

  • Sunday April 17th versus Halifax, Huddersfield and District Golf Union Juniors @ Elland Golf Club
  • June 20th – 22nd versus Scottish Disability Golf partnership @ Linden Hall Hotel, Northumberland.
chris hanson golf professional

              Chris Hanson golf professional

Part of our fundraising program we have started a NEW members draw, where members can win weekly, monthly and annually prizes from £25 – £500.

Of course, the prizes will depend on the number of members joining the scheme.

The cost to enter is £1 a week paid either every 4 weeks, Quarterly or Annually.

Joining the draw automatically makes you a member as does entering any of our competitions.

To join please click link bit.ly/golfprizedraw

All our events are open to EVERYONE who wishes to enter as they are all fundraising events, we keep the cost low hoping to make a little more often rather than trying to raise a fortune in one hit. So please support our charity. Registered No 1156142

So, please support us. Registered No 1156142

Registered No. 1156142

—————————-

EDGA Portuguese Open 2015…

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

As TSGers know, we always keen to help promote disabled golf whenever we can and this year is no exception. We asked TSGer Paul Houghton to send us his report…

EDGA Portuguese Open 2015

                  EDGA Portuguese Open 2015

The EDGA Portuguese Open 2015 – The venue…

Venue: Vila Sol Golf Club, Pestana, Portugal (17th – 19th November 2015)

Playing in my first official EDGA event, I’ve now been back a few days and have had time to digest  the experience overall and below is a summary of my experience.

There were about forty players in attendance some with partners. Most were together in their nationalities, especially the French which is understandable under the circumstances. (This was a week after the attacks in Paris).

I had arrived on the same flight as Andy Gardiner (Top British disabled player, he plays off a handicap of 4) and Will Hennessey (fellow hacker!). We were met and picked up from the Airport and transported to the hotel by Manon and Tony & Sue Bennett (EDGA Officials), who were both friendly and could not have been more helpful from the moment we arrived.

We checked in and rooms were excellent and all had balconies. There were swimming pools inside and out, and spa treatments were available (if you wanted them), I could tell I was going to be comfortable here!

There were also games rooms and plenty of places to relax as you prepare for the event and the food was fantastic all round. Everything was laid on and ran like clockwork….

The Clubhouse itself is fully accessible (although not that big), the staff are friendly, the beer and food is fantastic and very reasonable. The terrace beside the 18th Fairway is a great place to watch and eat lunch though balls to often come over the netting as Karen (my good lady) witnessed. (Will Hennessey also hit a lady while sky-ing his approach shot – tut tut!).

Paul Houghton - EDGA - TheSocialGolfer.com

Paul Houghton – EDGA – TheSocialGolfer.com

The Clubhouse is located only about 300 yards from the hotel ( I did carry my clubs to the golf club) but I need not have. You could pick up a buggy and drive back or the hotel would arrange to have you brought to the club.

In short, I really like EDGA…No complaints at all as to the running of the event. I had to undertake a medical, but that was done with dignity and very professionally handled.

The EDGA Portuguese Open 2015 – Practice, Practice, Practice…

A practice round was booked for Wednesday but managed to sneak in a bit of a practice on Tuesday evening too. It was a hot 22 degrees, which my body did struggle to come to terms with. I think you need more than one day to acclimatize especially if you are not playing golfers from the same country.

However, let’s not start getting in the excuses just yet….

I was very impressed to see ‘Ping‘ were set up with two professionals on the practice ground they were very helpful and very supportive towards the British players. They Offered tips and trials on …all their equipment but more on Ping another time…

I was down to go out just after 11.00am, when I got to the tee it appeared people had just gone off with their friends. It did not bother me as I jumped in with Will Hennessey and Mike Lincoln (Will’s Irish and Mike is a fellow Brit).

The first hole at Vila Sol is a brute even after you have hit a decent drive and because it’s a 400 yard par four you tend to try and kill it off the tee.

Anyhow, the three of us had great fun. I bought some balls half way round off a local lad £10 for 8 Pro V’s. I’d already lost four (!); I only contrived to lose two more over the next three days!

We went round in a little over four hours the three of us not having a clue where we were going.

I shot 95 so was happy having an eight on the first, I birdied the fourth so was looking forward to breaking 90 in the first round. Mike struggled a bit but went on to play really well in the actual tournament.

The EDGA Portuguese Open 2015 – The tournament…

Paul Houghton - EDGA 2015

Teeing Off at  EDGA 2015

My tee time for 1st round was at 10.30am a nice time I thought I was drawn against a Dutch Para-Golfer (Wheelchair user) lovely guy who had a Dutch golf referee as his caddy, I was not offered a caddy.

As a para-golfer, Jürgen was fast but still took three times as long as me. Sitting in the buggy in the hot sunshine I nearly dropped off to sleep – not great prep for being competitive!

All in all, I had a terrible round I hit so many trees, Jürgen nicknamed me the ‘Lumberjack’! By the 16th I wanted to walk in…..the greens had been cut in the morning and were super-fast. this meant we were out on the course 5+ hours, ridiculous given the group in front finished 3 holes in front of us. I shot 104 but did not care I just wanted a beer!

The organisers were sympathetic as to slow play but what can they do Para-       golfers cannot play any quicker? Jürgen had a poor round as well. I went back on the practice ground after the lager and fell in love with the Ping G30…again! (Did the beer change things?)

I had a restless night before the final day. I had finished very near the back of the field shooting 104 which was my worse round of 2015, the course was tough with a Slope Rating of 130 so all of us got 3 shots, but I let the slow play and narrow fairways get the better of me.

Sadly, in addition, my stump had swollen up overnight to the size of a watermelon, so I had to dose myself up with Ibuprofen my tee time was 8.00 am, with a one-handed Frenchman ‘Axel’.

Worse still, the Ping team had left the night before so I had to sort my alinement out by myself!

Andy and Will were not lighting the place up either so there was very little camaraderie amongst the Brits. Perhaps we weren’t playing as a team enough…..The French, Dutch, Swedes all drank, ate and practiced together!

So here I was, at the EDGA Portuguese Open 2015. I teed off into the winter sun, down the middle hit a good second shot, my approach on the first was online but we never found the ball? The sun was so low you could barely see the green. So with a ‘drop’, I scored 7 after 2 putting!

I lost my drive left into water on the second and was already facing a nightmare. My opponent had had a 5 and a par when we walked to the stroke index 1, the third. I scored a double bogey on this monster uphill par four on all three rounds; my opponent took nine (9)!

Anyhow, a scrambled a half decent 47 going out birdie-ing the 8th – a 530-yard par 5. We had already been out on the course well over two hours my opponents caddy kept apologising for how long her player took. He lasered every shot from the tee to the green, it drove me mad….

However, as he became tired and his game suffered more than mine. I shot 48 back nine, not good but after 5 and a quarter hours I was like a walking dead zombie…..

I finished 13th and 25th out of a field of 35 overall – so respectable but no silverware!

The EDGA Portuguese Open 2015 – The Politics…

After the first round, I chatted to some of the other players and spoke at length with EDGA President –  Tony Bennett. I was also amazed to hear that Jamie Blair (England Golf, Disabled CEO) had flown out to watch the first day, spoken with some of the British players but not to me?!

Paul Houghton - EDGA 2015

Paul Houghton – EDGA 2015

As there were only four of us, I think he should have made more effort, anyhow he was gone by the Wednesday evening. As an aside, I also subsequently found out that the Dutch team were paid 500 Euros to attend with a brand new shirt for each day,… the French had the same.

So why does golf’s British governing board want to help us in this way? N.B. And these were much bigger teams of players?! They give EDGA money each year, which goes toward supporting the event but out of the 40 odd players only 4 of them were Brits!

There is also already an agreed agenda on what impairments can take part, it does not look to me that anything other than physical impairment will be considered for these events. #discuss

To be honest playing alongside wheelchair users does not work for me as an amputee, a time system has to be considered. Some players want penalties for slow play administered, five hours plus in sweltering temperatures has to be addressed as amputees our body temperature climbs and fatigue kicks in.

I am trying to devise a way of combating slow play. This has to be achieved, EDGA will be looking at it seriously. I believe that penalties for groups taking more than 4 hours 30 minutes must come in.

So, hopefully,  you’re now getting the flavour of the event, you’ll appreciate a two ball over 5 hours!

EDGA have volunteer marshals on every third hole, the marshals may be given the power to effect penalties – it’s some we have to consider for larger events.

For the next event I believe the DGA should try to enter more players, many DGA players would qualify if they were willing to undertake the medical scrutiny, certainly something to consider for some.

I know Mr.Bennett is passionate in developing a strong British contingent but right now I think like the other countries have the tournament as they want it; there are no plans as yet to have a UK EDGA tournament, although Tony intimated he wanted more players from the DGA (Disabled Golf Association) attending events.

The good news is that Sergio Garcia is now EDGA’s Patron – which will help raise the profile of these events!

In December 2015,  the International Golf Federation has been excepted by the International Paralympic Committee – so it looks as though golf will be a Paralympic sport.

Pro’s – Great golf course, top players, superb hotel, good food… the weather!

Con’s –  very few British players, not a course for high handicappers, slow play.

The EDGA Portuguese Open 2015 – The finale…

The Gala evening was spectacular with an opera singer and harpist. The EDGA Portuguese Open 2015 gala evening was very professional a great occasion and a chance to mix with your fellow competitors. There were great speakers from all the winners. Andy Gardiner finished best of the Brits coming 7th. 

Manuel De Los Santos won the event in a playoff from Mathieu Cauneau. 

So would I enter again? Absolutely, the Portuguese EDGA Open 2015 was a great experience!

————————–

N.B ALL disabled golfers receive a FREE membership to TheSocialGolfer.com, if you are a disabled golfer and wish to join, please contact theteam@thesocialgolfer.com for details.

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament news…

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 Tournament News: Dates & times for your dairy…

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament newsTSG MatchPlay 2016: (sponsored by The Altonwood Group):

Our 2015 event went all the way to the wire, with the final being contesting on the green of the 18th hole. John Barber finished our victor.

Once again there will be spaces available for 64 TSGers to fight it out in a monthly knock-out competition beginning in April running through to September.

This year’s Grand Final will take place at the testing and picturesque Woldingham GC in South London on Sunday 25th September.

Register here for the TSG MatchPlay 2016

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament news

The TSG Masters 2016:

We recently posted this event on the games calendar, and after the qualifiers have been contacted a ballot will take place to find the final attendees.

Please note there is only room for 32 places on this day – so please be quick to sign up for the ballot.

The venue will once again be Warley Park in Essex and will take place on Saturday 23rd April.

Register here for the TSG Masters 2016

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament newsTSG Par 3 Championship 2016:

Having established this event in 2015, we will once again be hosting this competition at the Pedham Place, Par 3 Academy course. There is room for 36 places on this day and it is ONLY open to TSG PRO members.

The date for our TSG flagship event will be Saturday 18th June. Last Year’s winner Brian Scott will no doubt be back to defend his title.

Register here for the TSG Par 3 Championship 2016

TSG OPEN Golf Day Championship 2016: (In aid of winner’s charity)

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament newsNow in it’s sixth year, we are currently looking at the possibility of moving this comp to a new venue this year. In the short term, we can’t tell you much but we are provisionally looking at weekend of 23/24th or  30/31th July.

THE TSG ‘OPEN’ competition, all TSGers and their guests are welcome to compete on the day. As well fighting it out for the Halliwell Cup, there is a guest trophy to be won and plenty of prizes.

More information to follow.

Can’t wait this long to play – post you own game here…

———–

Posted by Ian Mullins

The Home of the Ryder Cup…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Ever wonder how and where the Ryder Cup came to into being. The home of the Ryder Cup is none other than Verulam Golf Club, St.Albans, where Samuel Ryder played…

The Home of the Ryder Cup…

It’s a little-known fact but the official home of the Ryder Cup is not St.Andrews, The Belfry or any other well-known clubs in the UK. But it is at the club where Samuel Ryder was a member along with his coach Abe Micthell.

It was as captain in 1926 that Ryder presented ‘a cup’ to promote matches between the USA and Great Britain. It is of course, a matter of history that the cup was named after this great man.

His first stint as Club captain was actually in 1911. the course was originally designed as a 9 hole course by civil engineer Earnest Phillips. However, six years later James Braid extended the course to 18 holes.

Other members at the course included members of the “Great Triumvirate” including John Henry Taylor and Harry Vardon. While Ryder’s coach Abe Micthell and Henry Cotton also enjoyed the course.

Samuel Ryder & Abe Mitchell

Samuel Ryder & Abe Mitchell

Inside the Home of the Ryder Cup…

It’s refreshing that when you enter the clubhouse, you could be forgiven for not knowing where you are?! The way the club present this history is very understated and I can’t help feeling if this were America, this would be a shrine to the sport we all love.

However, once you look beyond the old style decor, you soon notice little references, like the portrait of Ryder, The named Ryder Cup room, the back and white images on the walls but most inspiringly, a copy of the actually agreement drawn up by Ryder and his associates, outlining how this international competition should be played!

The Home of The Ryder Cup – The Trophy Cabinet…

There are two other key points to note as you walk around, there is an ‘almost’ replica trophy of the world famous cup sitting behind the glass cabinet… is it the Ryder Cup? It looked like The Ryder Cup? No, it’s a similar design, that was given to Abe Micthell as a thank you from Samuel Ryder.

Which brings as to one of the rare facts, that most are unaware of…. who is the figure that sits on the top of The Ryder Cup?

Mr.Samuel Ryder himself? No, it is Abe Mitchell, his coach.

The Home of The Ryder Cup – The course & members…

Unfortunately, on visiting the club, I did not get to play as I was there for a meeting but I was superbly greeted by ex-captain Geoff, who could have been more courteous and welcoming. He was very keen to share the history of the club and was quick to ask me to be his guest for a game, next time I am in the area.

I will take Geoff up on this offer and judging by how well looked after the 1st tee box was, I am looking forward to stretching my legs around this hidden gem.

I’ll leave the final comment to one of the TSGers who played there earlier in 21015…

“I decided to have a crack at Veralum after working out that it’s the closest course to me, located in the chalk belt just north of London… which means it ought to drain better than my local courses. Unfortunately, the first time I played here, it was below freezing and the ground was completely solid, so it wasn’t possible to test the drainage theory. Anything that landed on a green bounced 30 feet into the air and off the back. Quite entertaining but not good golf.

The course was interesting enough though for me to go back a week later and it’s a really attractive course, with no duff holes and a couple of really standout features (such as the chasm on the 15th). There are two ranges, a chipping area and a practice green.

The staff are the friendliest I’ve ever encountered at a golf club. The bacon baguettes are amazing, the bread is still warm from the oven. The Pro and his staff were in the bar chatting to us after the game and the members we met were all very smiley and welcoming. The total opposite to some clubs, where their first reaction to visitors is to check for dress code infractions first and ask questions later. At £20 a round this is great value. Oh, and the Ryder Cup was born here!Steve Rawlinson – Jan 2015

You see, this really is the Home of The Ryder Cup!

————————————————

By Ian Mullins

Win six months membership to Crown Golf + Callaway XR 3-wood….

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
membership to Crown Golf

Win six-month membership to Crown Golf

Once again we are letting you know about a fantastic competition and your opportunity to win a six-month golf membership to Crown Golf AND win a brand new Callaway XR 3-wood in August!

Membership to Crown Golf…

The membership at Crown Golf comes with a number of benefits which you can find on their website. These include free golf at 22 other clubs, discounted global golf breaks and there is zero cost to Junior golf membership for kids.

Crown Golf operate a variety of golf clubs across nine counties, displaying some of the best clubhouses, facilities and driving ranges not to mention over thirty-two golf courses.

Packed with diversity, the Crown Golf Group boast seven pay and play clubs, sixteen membership clubs and one of the finest golf courses in the country, St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall.

So how do you win a membership to Crown Golf?

It’s easy, all you have to do is fill in the web form on the Crown Golf website and you will automatically be entered into the prize draw.

So, whether you would like the 3-wood for yourself or to use it as a gift or prize, it is a superb piece of equipment and was recently awarded 5-stars by Golf Digest for performance, the only 3-wood to achieve full marks!

membership to crown golf

 

 

 

Other benefits with membership to Crown Golf?

– Periodic ‘member only’ offers on club branded items, stroke-saving devices, electric trolleys, clubs, bags and balls.

– Free Golf Insurance with their preferred partner, Carrick Neill. Applicable to 5 and 7 day named memberships.

– Members get 40% off rack rate green fees when playing in a golf day at another Crown Golf Club

– Members guests with a reduced green fee when playing at the member’s ‘home’ course.( Varies by club)

– Receive members discount rate on buggies

– Get 10% off casually purchased items when paying with Membership Card with credit on, at ‘home’ club

– Advanced booking window for members and an online tee booking service

– Member clubs, work with local businesses to secure local partner discounts and special offers for our members.

+ All Crown golf courses offer beautiful surroundings for weddings, parties, conferences and any private function.

————————————————————————————–

Organising a charity golf day – Ten Top Tips…

Sunday, July 26th, 2015
Organising a charity golf day

Organising a charity golf day…

So you’ve taken on the responsibility for organising a charity golf day and now you need some advice on how to make it run smoothly, it’s fun and at the end of the day, ensures it raises funds for the chosen charity…

We’ll having attended and arranged many days ourselves, here our top ten tips for organising a charity golf day or a society golfing day!

1. Organising a charity golf day – The Venue…

Arguably the most important decision you will make. The venue should be chosen based on the quality of the course and the green fee/meal cost but also on the location and reachability of your guests.

Whilst most golfers (and some non-golfers) will happily give up their day to attend your event, it’s unlikely that they will want to drive more than an hour, so bear this in mind when choosing the venue.

2. Organising a charity golf day – The Handicap System…

Again, a very important decision some will choose to follow the strict CONGU handicap system (which is only available to golf club members) OR you may wish to accept those with an online golf handicap certificate, like those provided by TSG.

Alternatively, if you are looking to run a simple ‘fun’ day, then you will have to accept handicaps based on trust. However, bear in mind if you choose the latter, then you may hear the odd ‘Bandit’ shout from some of your attendees on the day.

Organising a charity golf day

Organising a charity golf day

3. Organising a charity golf day – The Planning…

Ultimately, your focus has to be on your guests and those attending. Everything you do on the day goes toward the overall experience. Given that there are normally only a few winners of silverware at the event, it’s important to ensure everyone feels included.

It’s the little touches that will make your day stand out above others, so make sure you plan properly! Here are a couple of things to consider:

The Costs: Consider the amount of money you wish to raise and then work back from there. Make sure your calculation takes into account the cost to your guests and not just yours(!). Think about how far you are making guest’s drive (this is all part of their expenses). Check the cost of playing at the course on a normal day. Take into account the meal bill and of course, consider negotiating with the club.

However, don’t be greedy when setting the attendance fee. Too many people when organising a charity golf day, forget that they have to provide value as they are not only giving up their cash to support you but also their time.

All too often we hear of golf days being over-priced e.g. £70-80 (sometimes £90+) when the standard green fee is £20. A good guide is to make £10-15 per green fee going to the charity. However, we see no reason why you can’t make a day work at £45-50.

The Format: There are many options to choose from including standard Stableford format, Texas Scramble, Team Comp. Putting Comp. and a fun way to keep the group chatting is a Yellow Ball comp.

It is worth contemplating playing your golfers of a 3/4 Handicap or 7/8’s. This can be seen as a controversial move but one that is adopted my many organisers, as it levels the playing field and stops the ‘Trophy Hunters’, who ‘claim’ to play off 28 (but are really much better) from spoiling the day.

Finally, if you are playing team games and have a spare team of only 2 or 3. You can work around this by taking an average of the 2 or 3 players performance and that score represents the 3rd or 4th player in the team.

The Trophies: Will there be one winner or multiple winners? Will there be a separate Ladies comp? Consider adding a Straightest Drive (Longest Drive comp. often excludes many from winning), Nearest Pins, Nearest Pin in Two (second shot), a Secret Six Holes (unmarked on the cards), Beat the Pro and many more.

The Four-balls: Arguably the most important decision you will make is who plays with whom. Ensure you have an even spread of playing levels in each four-balls but also consider the personalities.

It’s no fun if you are a quiet player, if your playing partners are a noisy and chatty bunch – it just won’t work. Equally, it’s important that your day is not ‘cliquey’. So don’t just puts mates with mates.

The Fund-Raising: There are many ways to increase your fund-raising outside of the days entry fee. It could be that gathering gifts and prizes to hold a raffle. Perhaps, you can ‘sell’ Mulligan Vouchers for £5 a time to be used on the day. It may also be an opportunity for a local business to add their name to things by way of a cash injection by way of sponsorship in return for some marketing around the event.

If you have some special prizes, consider holding an auction. However, don’t let either of these events take up too much time. 20 minutes is a good guide or people will lose interest.

Organising a charity golf day

Planning ahead…

4. Organising a charity golf day – The Day…

Registration: Welcome the guests with a designated area/table where you can confirm their arrival distribute the scorecards (it is often a nice if you have already marked the shots to be given to each player before hand).

The Gifts: Water (if it’s a hot day), give out some tees, a ball marker, maybe a pitch repairer, perhaps a sleeve of golf balls?

The Tee Time Schedule: Print out a copy of the four-ball groupings for displaying on the club wall. This will prevent constant questions from everyone on with whom and at what time they are teeing off. Leaving you to concentrate on the registration

The Briefing: Prepare a welcome speech and ensure that you have checked any local rules at the golf club hosting the venue. Also inform the players of timings, meals times and if raising money, consider preparing a video to let attendees know where the funds will be going.

Marshalling: It is advisable to discuss the marshalling of the players while they are on the course. Arrange for a buggy from the club so you can follow your golfers as they go around the course.

‘Speed of play’ is always a massive issue when organising a charity golf day and make it clear to everyone how to prevent slow play.

Photography: If you have the time when marshalling, take the opportunity to photograph your guests (perhaps even take video). Once back at the clubhouse you can then show the images on a TV screen while the players are enjoying a post-round drink and meal.

This also provides a great talking point and can create a nice buzz among the golfers.

5. Organising a charity golf day – The Scoring…

If you have more than 30 players attending your day, ensuring you have enough time to do it. You can enrol the help of the club pro or a good trick is to only ask for cards with scores of 30 pts and above.

This will cut down the time you spend checking scorecards and give you more time to concentrate on the winners and any count-back calculations.

Organising a charity golf day

Prize Giving

6. Organising a charity golf day – Prize giving…

Assuming you have picked your trophies and medals for the display table, look to add some additional prizes to the display. It’s always nice to win silverware but a few sleeves of golf balls, golf towels and gloves here and there add to the rewards for winners. Perhaps also add a guest trophy.

Make it clear that you will be asking the winners to come up one by one and try not to announce the scoring until after you’ve announced the winner. It would be a good time to hand the camera to an able lieutenant at this point, so you can present the awards.

Caution: If you are spending big money of the main trophies, think about having a smaller version made for the winner to keep. That way they don’t have to take the main trophy home, meaning it never gets lost, broken or worse unreturned!

7. Organising a charity golf day – Looking after the guests…

Let’s not forget, we all like be spoiled and catered for. So ensure your guests know where you are at all times and most of all take time to talk to them. A little conversation from the organiser can give a ‘personal’ touch to proceedings and makes the guests feel cared for and welcome.

8. Organising a charity golf day – Thank yous…

All the prizes have been given out, the meals finished, the raffle and auctions are over. Make sure you close the day by either asking one of your winners to make a speech, on behalf of the attendees OR summarise the day yourself by making a thank you to all those involved in gathering prizes, scoring cards, bar staff and greenkeepers.

You may wish to return to the club in future years and it’s just good manners anyway.

Organising a charity golf day

After the day…

9. Organising a charity golf day – After the day…

It’s no surprise that in the age of digital technology at the fingertips of most us, everyone likes to see photos of themselves playing. So consider distributing the best of these by email after the day, giving you another chance to thank everyone for coming.

It also a nice opportunity for you to explain where some of the funds you have raised will be going, this maintains momentum and a feel good factor for organising a charity golf  day in future years.

10. Organising a charity golf day – Enjoy it!

Finally, don’t let it become a chore. At the end of the day, if everything runs smoothly you will be feeling proud of your efforts and humbled by having watched so many golfers having a good time.

However, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you can do it all yourself. Don’t be afraid of recruiting volunteers, even if just for the auction and raffles.

Raising monies for charity can be both rewarding and fun, so enjoy it!

————————————————————————————–

Looking for prizes for your own charity golf day? Contact theteam@thesocialgolfer.com and we will happily donate TSG Pro membership’s prizes to your charity golf day!

By Ian Mullins

The Open Championship 2015: What Can Fans Expect?

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
The Open Championship 2015 - 18th_Green_and_Clubhouse St.Andrews

The Open Championship 2015 – 18th_Green_and_Clubhouse St.Andrews

The Open Championship 2015 is just under a month away and things are already beginning to heat up with pundits, players and fans all clamouring to get ready for golfing’s oldest tradition.

Taking place at the venerable St Andrews Old Course between the 12th and 19th of July is the 144th Open Championship.

If you’ve not yet got up to speed on the prior goings on surrounding the Championship, here’s all of the hottest news you need to know….

The Course….

Alongside iconic features such as the 700 year old Swilcan Bridge, Hell Bunker and Road Hole Bunker, players and their fans will likely be anticipating the rather tough ground of which the course is so known for, plus the rather tempestuous Gaelic weather!

Of course, the mere fact that this year’s Championship is being held at St. Andrews should be eliciting glee within golf lovers’ hearts, as nothing short of thrilling should be expected of a round at the spiritual home of the game.

The Players…

BMW Wentworth

BMW Wentworth – Rory McIlroy

All eyes this year will be on the ever-excellent Rory McIlroy who, alongside being touted by bookmakers to be the winner of this year’s event, will be looking to defend his -17 2014 win at Royal Liverpool, although a number of other contenders could perhaps steal the coveted trophy.

Jordan Spieth is currently experiencing a period of great golfing prowess having just added the US OPEN title to his Masters title at Augusta this year.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Walker, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose and Patrick Reed are all similarly playing at the standard one might expect from the victor, standards that are, once again, reflected in the odds.

The Open Championship 2015 also sees veteran Open winner at St.Andrews Tiger Woods playing in the event, however with the fallen star’s recent, rather terrible, record, it’s hard to see how the once poster boy of the golfing world could ascend once again.

However, to take a wider look at the ‘runners and riders’ in this year’s competition visit Coral to get the odds on the open and take the plunge; this competition could go any which way!

The Open Championship 2015….

Tom Watson - Ryder Cup Captain 2014

Tom Watson – Ryder Cup Captain 2014

One of the more emotional events taking place this year will be the departure of five-times champion Tom Watson, who will be playing his final open at St Andrews.

Watson was interviewed as saying, “I feel maybe a little bit melancholy but the memories of all the years playing in the Open will make it pretty happy. I’ve had a wonderful experience playing here in the Open for these last 40 years… I want to walk across the Swilcan Bridge on the Sunday, that’s my goal, and anything else will be gravy”.

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the 65-year-old veteran will get a chance to show off some of his exceptional talents at The Open Championship 2015, given that four out of his five Open wins were on the Old Course.

Golfing’s best event is only a month away, but if you want to book yourself some last-minute packages or tickets, head over to standrews2015open.com, or theopen.com.

————————————————————————————————————————-

By Ian Mullins