Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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

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

The Social Golfer sponsors Disabled Golfer…

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Paul Houghton - Disabled Golfer The online golf club TheSocialGolfer.com (TSG) has confirmed it will be the ‘official sponsor’ of disabled golfer and TSG member Paul Houghton, as he aims for European glory in 2017!

Having got to know many disabled golfers since its launch, The Social Golfer have made it a priority to promote equality and understanding among golfers of all levels, gender and disability and the team feel this could be the first of many associations with disabled golfers.

In previous years the community has raised over £3k for disabled golfers at their ‘Major’ events.

However, despite this very humble effort to raise the profile of disability sports in the UK, there is still a huge job to do in changing attitudes and thesocialgolfer.com want to be at the heart of this initiative.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer….

Houghton lost his leg suddenly sixteen years ago in a work accident whereby his leg was amputated above the knee.

However, being the gritty character that he is, Paul decided to take up golf.

He bought himself some clubs, an Electrokart (one-seater buggy) some lessons and joined his local nine hole course.

He later joined the Disabled Golf Association and has now represented his country 12 times, playing of a respectable handicap of 16.

He is also a member of the EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association).

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – The Sponsorship…

As part of their sponsorship, TSG will be hosting a blog with Paul’s experiences on the tour on the website and his progress will also be promoted in their monthly newsletter sent to 5K+ golfers worldwide every month.

In addition, the TSG team will be also distributing this content through their social media channels and beyond.

In July 2017, the Social Golfer donated all the monies raised at the TSG OPEN to Paul Houghton and long term TSGer and fellow disabled golfer, Roger Hurcombe.

Paul Houghton - Disabled Golfer....

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – What they Said…

Commenting on the sponsorship, Houghton saidI couldn’t have been more excited about playing in my first Spanish Open in February 2017 and to have an official sponsor has given me the support and encouragement to do as well as I can”

“I have also just returned from St Andrews, where I competed in the Scottish Disabled Open, where I finished in the middle of the field of 35 golfers from 17 countries.”

“Since joining the TSG community in 2014, I have been shocked at the welcome and inclusion I have been afforded by its members. I will be doing my best for both disabled golf and TSGers everywhere.”

“A big thank you to everyone at TSG who have helped to highlight our cause. I so hope I can do them proud!” 

Ian Mullins. TSG Managing Director added “Paul is one of the nicest guys you could meet so anything we could do to help him in his desire to play golf on the European stage is both exciting and humbling. Can’t wait to read his first blog posting from behind the tournament ropes and in the locker room!”


Since its launch in 2010, the site has firmly established itself as one of the most useful golfing websites in the South East and the UK with over 1000 evnet5s being organised through the site in 2016. The online golf community currently has over 5,000 registered users in the UK and 10,000+ worldwide.

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

New Golf Formats…

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

GolfSixies - New Golf FormatsOver the last few years there have been many initiatives introducing new golf formats to the game, but is all the razzmatazz necessary to get people playing golf?

We asked Emma Ballard, Head of Digital at Medi8 Limited, PR agency to American Golf and many other brands. She is also the UK Ambassador for Womens Golf Day.

New Golf Formats – Why are they here?

In recent times, there has been a real push to get more people, especially women & children, playing the game.

With the number of people playing regular golf over the last 10 years declining, governing bodies, golf organisations and professional tours have tried to come up with ways to reach out and get golf back on peoples’ agenda.

Back in 2006 when numbers were healthier, you’d find the majority of golfers out on a golf course playing 18, 9 holes or pitch & putt, the driving range and of course, the holiday requirement of a bit of adventure golf!

The use of indoor simulators was on the increase and if you lived near the outskirts of London you could make your range sessions much more fun by going to Top Golf.

Oh, and on a slight aside, social media was in its infancy.

Since then, as the numbers declined, golf has had a go at redefining itself by attempting to alter the format and make the game look more fun and appealing to a younger generation.

New Golf Formats – Where did it begin…

It started at club level with the introduction of PowerPlay Golf, 9 holes with 2 flags, and through other initiatives like SPRINT6GOLF, it culminated in the European Tour’s GolfSixes event this May.

They threw lots of new ideas into the tournament, golf got its version of a Hollywood makeover, creating a lot of buzz and excitement amongst spectators.

But what I wonder is whether this is necessary, is this the way forward for golf?

Looking at golf today,  your options to play are endless, there is everything that I have mentioned that was available back in 2006, but now most ranges are also equipped with some indoor golf facilities.

It’s no longer frowned upon to want to play a quick 9 holes, pop-up adventure golf in cities is commonplace and if you don’t fancy hitting a ball you can kick one at the hole in the form of FootGolf.

Considering social media again, it’s now an integral part of our lives, a fabulous tool to promote a golf facility with an ability to be able to target a much larger audience and with the likes of TheSocialGolfer.com you never have the problem of finding someone to play with!

Golf in itself hasn’t changed, like tennis or badminton, the process and mechanics of hitting a ball is just the same, it’s only the club you are using and the ball you are hitting which have altered over the years due to the vast investment into research and development.

Emma Ballard - New Golf Formats

New Golf Formats – My View…

So why with so many more playing options than 10 years ago and the basic method of swinging a golf club unchanged is there a need to focus so much on the format of the game?

I suggest we don’t mess with the format, the game works perfectly well as it is?

Surely we need to focus time and effort at a local level, low cost marketing the wonderful facilities that are available by making use of some, or all, of the low-cost social media channels on offer.

By driving people through the door, golf clubs/venues can use the pathways into golf that are already available to get more people back playing and gain new recruits along the way.

Essentially golf is fun and has a great social side to it too.

With the ability to make it part of family life, a sport that anyone can play and an ever ageing population – it’s time to ditch the razzmatazz and new golf formats and get back to simple ways when golf sold itself!


 

 

The Social Golfer Monthly Newsletters…

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The Social Golfer Monthly Newsletter v2

Welcome to The Social Golfer Monthly Newsletters…. plus catch up on the latest developments on the website.or look back at TSG history…

In addition, you can look back at The Social Golfer Monthly Newsletters history, find out who won what and who played who….

 xxx


Have you signed up to The Social Golfer Monthly Newsletters?

Rest assured, this is not a vehicle for us to send you unsolicited promotional offers like some sites but a great coffee time update on all site goings on and the winner of TSG monthly leaderboard along with tips and advice from our own PGA Pro contributors!

Click the link below then tick “Send me The Social Golfer monthly newsletters” (N.B. You can unsubscribe at any time!)

Ps. Got a story you’d like us to feature? Fancy having a go at writing something yourself? We’re always keen to hear from TSG members. Send us your stories to theteam@thesocialgolfer.com

Modify your subscription to the email newsletter

 

Great ways to enjoy watching LIVE golf events…

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

live golf eventsGolf has seen a significant decrease in participation in the last decade, however, meanwhile, the attendance of LIVE golf events has increased…

Why is this? Better coverage on TV? A better overall LIVE golf event experience?

Or just the fact that technology and the internet has made applying for tickets at these live events much more accessible?

Either way, the number of people who are more committed to watch the world’s largest golf tournaments LIVE is growing….

This has resulted in there being more investment into the way that the sport can be enjoyed by fans.

Here are some of the most entertaining and enjoyable ways of keeping up to date with your favourite golfers and the world’s biggest golf tournaments:

LIVE golf events – Go and watch the sport…

LIVE golf eventsFor some people, the only way to enjoy golf is through creating time in their yearly schedule and physically planning to attend a golfing tournament.

Whether you arrange your trip to watch live golf events yourself or use the services of Events International’s open golf championship hospitality, there is certainly something to be said, when you are able to stand only meters way from a golfing legend!

 

In fact, attending an event like The Open Golf in 2017 is also a great way for businesses to strengthen the relationships with their clients, which only enhances the experience for everyone involved and can help to establish long-term bonds.

LIVE golf events – Online and on mobile…

Live Golf EventsIf you are unable to attend a tournament in the flesh, perhaps the next best way to watch the world’s biggest golfing events is through embracing the technological age and watching online.

Golfing fans that have access to the internet will be able to live stream many of the most popular events on websites.

Similarly, you can take this a step further and look at installing some of the very best apps that will be able to help you stay up to date with the latest golf goings on.

This allows you to be able to watch on your tablet or smartphone and take the experience with you wherever you go.

LIVE golf events – Watch at home…

Live Golf EventsNowadays, TVs are HD (and can even come in 3D!) which will allow you to have an exceptionally immersive experience easily.

There are also dedicated channels out there and special sports TV packages that you can look into so that you get the very best experience.

The sound and picture quality is now better than ever, which will ensure that watching the event this way will be almost as impressive as if you were to go to an event in the flesh.

In addition, with HD Ultra and 4K just starting to penetrate the home, our level of viewing experience will only get better and better over the next few years.

However, probably the most impressive way to watch Live golf events in the home is to invest in a golf simulator…. not the most affordable option we know. They start from £20k and can go over £100k…

But having experienced the cutting edge screens available at the PGA Golf Show in January – this really could be the future of golf viewing!

LIVE golf events – Other options….

live golf events sports-barAs the way of Home TV viewing has changed, so has the way Pubs, Bars and Restaurants have altered how they attract new custom… you can even watch Live golf events in your local bookmakers now!

So, regardless of which method of watching golf you choose to use, remember that there is always a solution for you despite your budget or lifestyle.

In addition, staying up to date with the latest and greatest golf tournaments has never been so easy!


by Ian Mullins

The Majors Part 3 – The US OPEN…

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

the majors golf trophies 2In the third 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 US OPEN!

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 US OPEN…

The golfing calendar is on and we have already got past the US Masters in April 2017, with maverick Sergio Garcia holding off Justin Rose in a dramatic and nerve-wracking play-off to emerge as the winner.

As the dust settles, everyone is waiting with bated breath for June 12, 2017.

That is the day that one of the most prestigious golfing events in the US, the 117th edition of the United States Open Championship, popularly referred to as The US Open, kicks off at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin.

The US Open has a rich history spanning 117 years from the time it was held for the first time on October 4, 1895, at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island.

From fielding 10 professionals and one amateur in the day-long competition across 36 holes back then to its present avatar, to be held in Erin Hills, Erin, Wisconsin, this event has come a long way.

The 2017 edition will feature 156 players and comes with a prize fund of $12 million and is the first major with a winner’s prize in excess of $2 million.

US Open Trophy The Majors – Player Qualifications for the US Open 2017…

There are different routes that players can take to qualify for the US Open. For the 2017 event, there are a number of qualifiers that players can use to get to Erin Hills come June 12, 2017. These include:

– Local qualifiers:  held across the US. For this year’s US Open, currently 8979 players are competing for 525 spots

– Sectional qualifiers: held in Japan, England, and the US, with the first one being held at Ono Golf Club, Japan,

There are also 16 categories of exemptions available for players to use to participate in US Open 2017. These include…

– Winners of the US Open for the past 10 years

– Winner and Runner-up of 2015 US Amateur Championship – he must still be an amateur

– Winner of the 2016 Amateur Championship conducted by the R&A – he must still be an amateur

– Winner of the 2016 Mark H. McCormack Medal – he must still be an amateur

– Winner of The Masters Tournament for the past 5 years

– Winner of the Open Championship for the past 5 years

– Winners of the PGA of America Championship for the past 5 years

– Winners of the Players Championship for the past 3 years

– Winner of the 2017 European Tour BMW PGA Championship

– Winner of the 2016 US Senior Open Championship

– Gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games

– The lowest 10 scorers and ties in the US Open 2016

– 30 qualifiers for the 2016 season-ending Tour Championship of the PGA Tour

– Top 60 Point leaders in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) as of May 22, 2017

– Top 60 point leaders in the OWGR as of June 12, 2017

– Special exemptions as selected by the United States Golf Association (USGA)

 


The Majors – US Open 2017…

Erin Hill Golf Club - The US OPENThe US Open is the 5th major championship to be held in the state of Wisconsin – it has held 4 other PGA championships earlier apart from the US Amateur Championship in 2011.

Erin Hills is the venue of a major for the first time, which means the first thing to look out for is the course itself.

The Majors – The Erin Hills Course…

The course at Erin Hills is spread across 650 acres and the huge slopes all across it, together with the unpredictable weather, can make it quite an intimidating place to play at.

It can play up to 8100 yards, which makes it longer than Hazeltine National Golf Club where the 1991 edition of the Open was held.

This course will also be the first one in US Open history to play as a par-72.

Given the dry conditions, it is very likely that we will see some relatively low scores.

The Majors – Players to Watch Out For…

The 2017 US Open is a showcase event and the focus of the entire media – print, electronic, online and social – is squarely on golf and its players.

It is interesting to note that between 2000 and 2016 Americans have won the US Open 8 times.

Entering the US Open this year is quite easy – all you need is a 1.4 handicap and a $200 entry fee, after which you have to go through the qualifying grind.

This year, 9,485 players have entered the event, the fifth-highest number: the highest was 10,127 in 2014 at Pinehurst.

A galaxy of past champions will be part of the playing field this year including; Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Angel Cabrera, Graeme McDowell, Lucas Grover, Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson. Some information on key players at the 2017 US Open is listed below….

Dustin JohnsonDustin Johnson - The US Open

Dustin Johnson is a big name to watch out for at the US Open this year, for a number of reasons. The first of course, is the fact that he is the current No.1 ranked player in the world.

And then there is the other little detail to consider: he is also the defending champion, having won a grueling battle at the Oakmont Country Club last year.

Out of the US Masters in April with a freak back injury, he is now back and in roaring form.

He will have an advantage at Erin Hills because of his length and the fact that this is an 8000+-yards course.

BMW Wentworth

Rory McIlroy

Currently ranked No.2 in the world, the Irishman went through a drought of titles in 2016. However, he bounced back with wins at the FedEx Cup and also the Tour Championships that year. He is one player who is a constant threat to all others when it comes to winning. He had had the distinction of holding the No.1 ranking for 95 weeks and is a 4-time Major champion. He is also a member of both the US and European PGA Tours.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth is a former No.1 ranking player in the OWGR and a 2-time Major champion. He is the youngest player to win the US Open, after Bobby Jones in 1923, and also the youngest runner-up in Masters history when he came second to Bubba Watson at The Masters in 2014. He has also tied the 72-hole record that had been set by Tiger Woods back in 1997, apart from being the 2015 FedEx Cup Champion.

Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki Matsuyama is a 24-year golfing prodigy from Japan who won four of his last five tournaments last year. This includes the Hero World Challenge and also a WGC event in China. He is a 4-time PGA Tour winner and 8-time Japan Golf Tour winner. His most recent win was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he defended his title against Webb Simpson.

Justin Rose

Justin Rose is an English professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. He is also a member on the European Tour. He was the first Englishman to win a Major since 1996, the year Nick Faldo won. He is also the first Englishman to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. Rose has also tasted Olympic glory, having won gold at the men’s individual event in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He has been in top form, despite losing out dramatically to Sergio Garcia at the US Masters this year. He is one player to watch out for.

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia has been an enigma. He has played on the PGA as well as the European Tour on the PGA. A brilliant golfer who had a stunning 0 wins when it came to the majors, he broke the jinx at Augusta this year by winning the US Masters. He defeated Justin Rose in dramatic fashion in a sudden-death playoff, pulling off the win at the first hole.

Of course any player could win the trophy, but we think these players above are the ones to watch out for.


The Majors – Betting at the US Open…

Betting on golf has exploded in recent times because of easy access to the game – be it watching it on TV or following online – and also the opinions of golfing pundits.

Another major reason for this explosion is the wealth of licensed betting sites available to followers of the game and even to casual punters.

Millions of pounds are wagered almost daily at the various golfing events around the world, and the money only grows bigger when the event is something like the US Open.

The odds-on favourite of course is the No.1 ranked player in the world currently, Dustin Johnson; every sportsbook has seen money wagered on him. Leading bookmaker William Hill has the odds listed at 6/1 for Johnson.

The following are the odds on some of the other players winning, as per William Hill:

  • Jordan Spieth: 7/1
  • Rory McIlroy: 8/1
  • Jason Day: 10/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 14/1
  • Sergio Garcia: 20/1

There are rank outsiders as per the bookmakers too. These include Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy and Marc Leishman, all at 100/1, while Daniel Summerhays brings up the rear at 125/1.

So as 12th June approaches, you could get incredibly busy if you are into golf and also making some good money placing the right bets.

There are lots of guidelines that can help you decide whom you want to bet on, including form books, the official player profiles at the USPGA website and more.

However, regardless of who wins, this year’s winner is guaranteed the distinction of being the one with the biggest US Open paycheck ever!


By Ian Mullins