Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

London Golf Show – Beef Johnston…

Monday, September 12th, 2016
Beef Johnston & TheSocialGolfer.com

Beef Johnston & TheSocialGolfer.com

As always, we like to bring you the best from the London Golf Show each year and this time we were especially flattered that TSG were asked to the Press Junket by the organisers.

London Golf Show – Beef Johnston…

And were given the chance to meet and interview the main man right now Beef Johnston – so another feather in the TSG cap!

European Tour star Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston won his first  event in 2016 – the Spanish Open but also he won a host of new fans at this year’s show.

Having arrived at 1pm for his interview, Beef stayed way longer than anyone anticipated, staying until gone 6pm.

He spent much of his time having the obligatory ‘selfie’ with both exhibitors and visitors to the show but all with a smile on his face – this guy is the real thing!

The 27-year-old, Beef Johnston, who is based at North Middlesex Golf Club, found time to be interviewed by us, as well as holding a question-and-answer session with a dozen or so golf journalists.

beef-johnston-thesocialgolfer-com-4London Golf Show – Beef Johnston, What he said…

Commenting on his first visit to the show he said: “It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the youngsters here…you want to get as many kids involved as possible – if there are no kids coming through, then there is no future for golf.”

“They’re the most important thing, you need them to play and to develop, and they’ll fill up all the golf courses around. They’ll then get their kids involved and that’s the cycle you need. And shows like this help to get them enthusiastic about the sport and keep them interested.”

When asked why you wanted to come along to Bluewater he said “I’m just having fun here; it’s nice having fun and meeting new people. It’s great to be able to send people home with a smile on their face – that’s important to me. I love watching the golf trick-shot boys.”

“I always go home and try to hit those shots and I can’t … I can’t hit one on the volley! They’re amazing and really cool. I’ve enjoyed the whole show.”

During his visit, the Spanish Open champion also faced a series of questions on the event’s stage from youngsters who had participated in a pre-show online campaign.

One asked him if he knew how many tees he could hold in his impressive beard and the affable Londoner even allowed them to try to find out.

He wasn’t planning on going home to better the result, although he laughed: “I think I’ll wait until next year and maybe I’ll come back and we’ll have a really good go at it.”

London Golf Show – Beef Johnston – What they said about him…

beef-johnston-thesocialgolfer-com-4The organisers of the show were thrilled with his input…”Beef Johnston was incredibly generous with his time, signing autographs, posing for pictures – with stand-holders as well as visitors – and generally helping people enjoy themselves.”

“There aren’t many top sports people you can imagine who would allow kids to insert golf tees into their beard! He is such a refreshing change from the norm and his personality is a shot in the arm from which golf can only benefit!” said Simon Jones – Events Director

Follow Andrew @BEEFGOLF


By Ian Mullins

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics…

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Golf returns to the 2016 OlympicsIs it really 1461 days ago since the great British public were all sitting on our sofa’s preparing for the greatest show on earth to descend upon London?

Good as it was, there was always one thing missing for the London 2012 Olympic games?

But what? Fast forward four years and we have the answer – golf returns to the 2016 Olympics!

Forget the Zika virus, forget those players not travelling to Rio, forget  the problems that have plagued the course forget the debates about whether the format should be individual or team based…

…GOLF is back on terrestrial TV and that can only be a good thing for the game!

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – The Dates…

It’s been over 100 years since golf last appeared in the Olympics and it was St. Louis, USA, that hosted the event that year.

This year the tournament will take place at the ‘The Rio’ course purpose built for the event in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood in western Rio.

The Men’s quest for gold will begin on Thu 11th and run through to the Sun 14th, much the same as all PGA/European tournaments. The Ladies quest will begin on Wed 17th and finish on Sat 20th – check TV listings for more details.

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – The Venue… 

Olympic golf course, Reserva de Marapendi, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The new Olympic golf course was built by Hanse Golf Course Design, who was chosen from eight contenders to build the course.

The President of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 Carlos Arthur Nuzman said: “As the 2016 Games marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport.”

He went on to say…“It will enable Rio to host important events in the international calendar and it will be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area.

“This course will be an excellent facility for the practice and development of golf and will inspire millions of youth across Brazil and the globe. We look forward to welcoming the athletes and spectators to the course in 2016.”

After the games, the course will become a public facility and will be used to enhance golf’s profile within Brazil and, according to the organising committee, this would represent “one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country.”

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – Qualification…

Qualification to Rio is based on world ranking as of 11 July 2016, with a total of 60 players qualifying in each of the men’s and women’s events.

The top 15 players of each event (Men’s and Ladies) will qualify, with a maximum of four golfers allowed to enter.

Once all countries have selected their players any remaining spots will go the highest-ranked players from countries that do not already have two golfers qualified.

Furthermore, at least one golfer from the host nation and each geographical region (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania) will play.

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – The favourites…

Unfortunately, many of the world’s best golfers are sitting out the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio due to the threat of the Zika virus, there will be a limited field for those who like a flutter  when the games get underway.

As always we have visited a number of betting sites to gauge the market, this time we have taken our lead from 888sport

Among the biggest names competing for the gold medal in men’s golf for the first time in the Olympics since 1904 is favourite Henrik Stenson of Sweden.

Stenson won the 2016 British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland last month, it was his first major victory of his career, and he now hopes to repeat the feat at the new Olympic Golf Course in Barra da Tijuca.

Stenson placed seventh at the PGA Championship last weekend and is expected to battle Sergio Garcia of Spain for the gold. Garcia is the second choice on the Rio Olympics odds and missed the cut at the PGA Championship following fifth-place in each of the previous events: the British Open and U.S. Open.

The other contenders for gold include Justin Rose of England, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar of the United States, along with Martin Kaymer of Germany.

Of those golfers, Rose, Watson and Kaymer have won majors while Reed, Fowler and Kuchar have all yet to prove themselves on major events, although maybe the Olympics will change that.

To be considered as well, reigning Masters winner Danny Willett of England.

The Olympic format will be a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament in accordance with PGA rules. A three-hole playoff will then take place if there are any ties for the first three places in order to award gold, silver and bronze medals.

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – TSG Prediction…

OK, we may be a tad bias, but  as golf returns to the 2016 Olympics, we think it’s going to be Justin Rose’s year – remember where you heard it first!

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By Ian Mullins

 

Algarve extends links with RICOH Women’s British Open…

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

icoh Women's British Open at Woburn

The Algarve has shown its ongoing commitment to women’s golf after renewing its Official European Golf Destination partnership with the 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn….

Europe’s leading golf destination has extended its sponsorship of the event and will again be an official partner for the four-day spectacular on the Marquess course as the world’s leading female golfers do battle from July 28-31.

The tournament historically attracts a huge on-site audience with spectators encouraged to visit the Algarve via a dedicated stand in the tented village, where they can pick up a range of information and golfing giveaways.

Substantial Algarve on-course branding at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn will also engage with armchair viewers, with live coverage on BBC1 for all four days.

South Korea’s Inbee Park claimed the prize last year at Trump Turnberry as she turned in a fine display to finish at 12 under par. But her rivals will be determined to stake their own claims this time around.

New Zealand’s world number one Lydia Ko, Canada’s Brooke Henderson and USA’s Lexi Thompson will be among those attempting to end the recent South Korean dominance in women’s golf.

Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist is the leading European player in the field and will attempt to emulate countryman Henrik Stenson’s victory at Royal Troon, while Charley Hull will carry the British hopes.

The Ricoh partnership continues the Algarve’s drive to promote women’s golf from grassroots to the highest level and forms a major part of its Golf4All project, which encourages greater development of the game for all segments.

In addition to golf, the Algarve offers a wonderful selection of spas, shopping and lifestyle facilities and its growing popularity with women is further emphasised by more than 40% of its social media following being female.

Ricoh Women’s British Open – What they said…

icoh Women's British Open at WoburnA spokesperson for ATA said:It’s another highlight of a landmark year for the Algarve so it’s a great pleasure to be the ‘Official European Golf Destination’ of the Ricoh Women’s British Open once again.

“We look forward to supporting the best players in the world at Woburn and promoting what the Algarve has to offer to British golf fans.”

IMG Tournament Director Ross Hallett added: “We are delighted that the Algarve is extending its relationship with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and that they will be with us again in Woburn to celebrate the 40th edition of the Championship.

“Given the high pre-event ticket sales, we are anticipating a record crowd in attendance this year which will be fantastic for all of our Tournament partners.”

An elite field from the men’s European Tour will also be welcomed in October for the 10th edition of the Portugal Masters. For more information on golf in the Algarve visit…

www.visitgolfalgarve.com

www.visitgolfalgarve50years.com

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London Golf Show 2016 visitors in 2m+ giveaway…

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

London Golf Show 2016 - Chart HillsWith the return of the London Golf Show only a few weeks away now, the popular consumer show has teamed up with golf clubs in London’s Home Counties to give away more than £2million-worth of golf rounds to visitors of the show this August…

London Golf Show 2016 – The Offer…

Every visitor to the show – which takes place at Glow, Bluewater, in Kent, from August 26-28th – can claim nine free rounds of golf worth more than £300, simply by visiting the stands of each of nine clubs.

London Golf Show 2016 – The Clubs…

Each of the clubs – The Addington, Croydon; Bletchingly, Surrey; Chart Hills, KentCherry Lodge, Biggin Hill; Farleigh GC, Selsdon, Surrey; Surrey National, near Coulsdon; Weald of Kent, in Headcorn; Westerham, Kent; and Woldingham, near Whyteleafe – will give a FREE green fee to every visitor to their stand.

The London Golf Show 2016 – The background…

Launched in 2005, the London Golf Show is the UK’s longest-running consumer golf show and was designed to appeal to golfers – and potential golfers – of all ages and abilities.

With myriad interactive stands – including nearest-the-pin, long-drive and Long-Putt contests; free PGA tuition; a massive indoor driving range featuring the majority of golf’s best-known club brands.

They’ll be custom fitting; club testing; trick-shot displays; simulators; the latest golf gadgets; extensive retail; and the opportunity to win everything from a packet of tees to an exotic golf holiday, it is the ultimate day out for any golf enthusiast.

The London Golf Show’s Events Director, Simon Jones, said…

When we sat down at our initial planning meeting for the show, our first topic of conversation was how we could work together with our exhibitors to get more people playing golf – because that’s a major talking point in the golf industry currently. And we have been delighted by the response from exhibitors to our initiative to give away free round”.

Members are most likely to play at their own club, but occasional golfers – or people who may not have played for a while – are much more likely to play if it’s not going to cost them. And now they can with each show visitor able to walk away with more than £300-worth of free golf.”

“The London Golf Show is the longest-running consumer golf show in the UK – and this constitutes our best ticket offer ever. No question. It’s extraordinary value thanks to the generosity of our exhibitors.”

London Golf Show 2016 – How do I buy tickets…

Tickets to the London Golf Show 2016 are FREE for accompanied under-16s, and also for lady golfers, until August 25.

Tickets cost just £7.50 – until July 31 – for everybody else.

Entry will cost £15 on the door

www.londongolfshow.com

The London Golf Show takes place at Glow, Bluewater, in Kent, from August 26-28, 2016. Tickets can be purchased from www.londongolfshow.com/buy-tickets/

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By Ian Mullins

The Social Golfer Polo Shirts – ON SALE…

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

The Social Golfer Polo Shirt It’s always nice to look stylish these days on the fairways and now you have the opportunity to model the TSG team colours yourself by purchasing one of The Social Golfer Polo Shirts …

The Social Golfer Polo Shirt – The Design…

After receiving many samples from lots of different Polo shirt companies, we were clear on the look and feel of the shirts we wanted.

We had five key criteria;

    – Good quality breathable material

    – Comfort and design

    – Affordability

    – Appeal to both sexes

    – Availability in The Social Golfer brand colours

The shirt we have chosen and are all 100% cotton and comes in two variations for men and women

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The Social Golfer Polo Shirt – Our Selection…

– Super long chunky placket details with matching buttons

– Contrast piping detail on collar, cuff and placket

– Twin needle hem provides added strength to the garment and improves durability

– Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) Certified Production

– Fabric: 96% Cotton, 4% Elastane stretch micro pique.

– Weight: 200 gsm

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The Social Golfer Polo Shirt – Costs/Ordering…

– Single Shirt with Embroidered TSG Logo – Left Breast

– We have sourced a very reputable provider of branded merchandise

Cost = £25 (including free delivery)

PLEASE NOTE: In order to keep costs down, will we ONLY be making orders on a bi-monthly basis OR when we reach the minimum order of TEN shirts.

NEXT ORDER BEING PLACED –  Feb 2017

Unfortunately, due to the nature of embroidery, once the shirt has been made up, the shirt cannot be sold again, so please be very careful when choosing the sizing.

However, there is a quality guarantee and if you are not satisfied with your order, you have 14 days in which to return the product. Contact us on 01277 – 200207

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The Social Golfer Polo Shirt – Sizing…

 

TSG Polo shirt sizing MEN

The Social Golfer Polo Shirt - Mens

 

 

 

 

TSG Polo shirt sizing LADIES

 The Social Golfer Polo Shirt - Ladies

xxx

 

 

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The Social Golfer Polo Shirt – How do I buy one…

That’s the easy bit.

Just click on any of the following links and pay using a credit card/ debit card or via PayPal account via the PayPal gateway.

So what you waiting for….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Crossfield to host London Golf Show 2016…

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Mark Crossfield

                                Mark Crossfield

YouTube sensation Mark Crossfield, whose golf coaching videos have received more than 90 million views, will host August’s London Golf Show and will give away six free lessons every day via his social media channels.

Mark Crossfield – Background…

Crossfield is one of social media’s most popular golfing figures, with almost 200,000 followers on YouTube, in excess of 34,000 Twitter devotees, and nearly 60,000 Facebook ‘likes’.

He is also one of the presenters of the new Sky Sports show Golf Juice. His videos cover coaching, equipment and course reviews, all delivered in his individual – often irreverent – style.

And he will be joined at the show by PGA professional Matt Lockey, who also enjoys a substantial following on social media, where he’s better known as ‘Coach Lockey‘.

The duo often work together to produce YouTube videos and will be reunited once more to entertain visitors at the show.

Mark Crossfield – Meet the man/men…

London Golf Show

                     London Golf Show 2015

Six lucky show visitors will, each day, win the chance to have a 30-minute lesson with Crossfield and Lockey, which will be recorded and shown on the former’s YouTube channel.

Mark Crossfield, who has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, will also host the daily ‘Innovations in Golf’ section on stage, which focuses on gadgets and equipment new to the market.

Welcoming Crossfield to the show, Events Director Simon Jones said: “Mark is the epitome of the social media star: somebody with excellent knowledge to impart, in an engaging way, on a specialist subject.”

He went on to sayIn just a few short years, his ever-expanding fan base has enabled him to become an established part of the modern golf media landscape and a ‘golf guru’ to the digital generationHis unique, enthusiastic style will enhance the event and add another interactive level to the show.

Mark Crossfield added: “I love golf shows. I love the excitement and the buzz about them, and the enthusiasm for the sport that visitors generate. So I was delighted to be asked to work with the guys from the London Golf Show.”

He addedIt will give me the opportunity to meet some of the many people who watch us on YouTube and to give a few lessons to show visitors. Also, and this is a great one for me because I love playing with gadgets. I’ll also be presenting the ‘Innovations in Golf’ section, which will highlight some of the great new ideas in the game – and also some of the wackiest. I can’t wait to get started.

London Golf Show 2016 – August 26-28th…

London Golf Show 2016

Launched in 2005, the London Golf Show is the UK’s longest-running consumer golf show and was designed to appeal to golfers – and potential golfers – of all ages and abilities.

With myriad interactive stands – including Nearest-the-Pin, Long-drive and Long-Putt contests; free PGA tuition; a massive indoor driving range featuring the majority of golf’s best-known club brands; custom fitting; club testing; trick-shot displays; simulators; the latest golf gadgets; extensive retail; and the opportunity to win everything from a packet of tees to an exotic golf holiday, it is the ultimate day out for any golf enthusiast.

London Golf Show – Purchasing Tickets…

Tickets to the London Golf Show, which takes place at Glow, Bluewater, in Kent are FREE for accompanied under-16s, and also for lady golfers, until August 25th.

Book your tickets before the 31st July and get them for the discount rate of just £7.50!

Entry will cost £15 on the door.

The London Golf Show takes place at Glow, Bluewater, in Kent, from August 26-28, 2016.

Tickets can be purchased from www.londongolfshow.com/buy-tickets

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For information on the show or on Mark Crossfield on Twitter at @4golfonline, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskGolfGuru.

For further information please contact Dave Bowers (dave@theazaleagroup.com) or Andy Barwell (andy@theazaleagroup.com) at the Azalea Group on +44 (0) 1730 711920.

National Golf Month – May 2016

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

National Golf Month 2016

Last week saw the start of the third annual National Golf Month

The initiative, created by golf event specialist Doug Poole and the British Golf Industry Association (BGIA) aims to increase the participation in golf getting the 100,000 new or lapsed golfers to try golf in May 2016.

Funded by the ‘Grow Golf’ Trustees and in partnership with amongst others Bauer Media (Today’s Golfer & Golf World)  + all the major Golf Unions and Associations, Golf Clubs, Driving Ranges, Golf Manufacturers and PGA Professionals – the aim is to reverse the trend and get more people playing golf and having fun …

National Golf Month – What’s it all about?

Firstly, there is a new National Golf Month website promoting the month hosted by newly launched activity booking site – www.fibodo.com. This will host all the offers available at your nearest club/range.

Secondly, free coaching will be available at selected venues. And finally, there will be plenty of other golf discounts to take advantage of.

In order to get this event in the public psyche, there will also be a media campaign combining radio, magazine and social media hitting over 25 million people, creating customers who wish to return to golf or learn to play.

However, there are also some heavyweights putting their names behind the cause, including Paul McGinley, Ian Poulter and new kid on the block Charley Hull.

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National Golf Month – Here’s what some of them had to say:

Paul McGinley – Ryder Cup Winning Captain

“I am delighted to be supporting National Golf Month of May 2016. Golf faces many challenges in these times as competition with other sport and social activities intensifies. Golf is a game that has given me, and my family, great pleasure, health benefits and opportunities to meet some amazing people. I would encourage everybody to get behind this”

Ian Poulter – Pro Golfer

““I’m fully behind the great initiative that is National Golf Month. The more people we can get out playing, the better, and hopefully this will help people realise that it’s a fun, healthy and sociable thing to do!”.”

Georgie Bingham – Sports Presenter

“I’ve always been quite sporty but I didn’t find my match until I found golf – I am now a complete addict! Golf is the ultimate leveller; a sport that caters for all abilities – a sport you’ll never be good enough at to be satisfied AND one that is sociable, outdoors and as much about playing against.”  

Charley Hull – Pro Golfer

“I am delighted to be able to support National Golf Month (NGM2016) again this year. It is great to be a part of an event which raises awareness and participation of golf across the UK. I hope to inspire more people to try golf this year. Keep an eye out for all the deals on offer and enjoy getting out on the course!

Melissa Reid – Pro Golfer

“National Golf Month is a great initiative and I am excited to support it in 2016. Golf is an incredibly rewarding sport and I have been lucky enough to travel the world and make lifelong friends through it. I look forward to being a part of NGM2016 and introducing more people to this great game.”

 

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US Masters 2016 – TSG Tips Fowler, Mickleson & Rose…

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
US Masters 2016 - Green Jacket

US Masters 2016 – Green Jacket

Come Thursday, April 7th 2016 we’ll all be sitting down to watch the now infamous ceremonial tee shots of the US Masters 2016.

As the world’s best golfers begin their way down the first fairway at Augusta (assuming they hit the opening hole fairway that is) all the competing players will be looking to don the famous Green Jacket at the end of the tournament …

In 2015 Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer kick-started one of the most remarkable performances from a young man Augusta National has ever seen.

A man who has since projected himself to the top of the world, reaching peaks that can only be compared to the two most successful players in history; Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

The new wonder kid of golf now has seven titles on the PGA Tour, and has finished in the top ten, 34 times in the past 3 years; let’s not forget he has only played in 79!

That young man was Mr.Jordan Spieth.

After winning by 4 shots last year we know that Spieth will be battling whoever decides to turn up for the first Major of the year with his best golf.

However, the last few weeks, we have witnessed some issues with his swing, inconsistency and those putts have not been dropping.

Therefore, Jordan Spieth, may not be passing the US Masters 2016 title and green jacket back to himself this April.

US Masters 2016 – TSG Predictions…

So who is going to win? We asked TSG blogger, Craig Murray on his favorites for the US Masters 2016…

US Masters 2016 - Mickleson

US Masters 2016 – Mickleson

Phil Mickleson?

One of the sport’s most loved players of all time has found his mojo!

After ditching Butch Harmon in the autumn, Phil has hired a new swing coach in Andrew Getson. A fairly unknown character in the world of golf, Getson’s first few months have supplied big Phil with some superb results.

Slumping to his lowest overall world golf ranking (OWR) since 1995 last year, Phil has already knocked up a 2nd, 3rd and 11th spot in just 4 starts this calendar year.

This 3 times masters champion chased Jordan to the end last season, finishing 2nd, and definitely has another major left!

If the putts drop, Phil could easily bag himself a 4th green jacket.

US Masters 2016 - Rickie Fowler

US Masters 2016 – Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler?

Once voted, ‘The most overrated golfer on tour’, this young heartthrob has found himself sitting just 3 spots away from the best player in the world.

Not a bad year for Rickie with 4 victories including the Players Championship in 2015.

Known for his eccentric clothing, he is now one of the most feared players on tour with an ‘incredible’ short game, just what Augusta asks for.

T12th in 2015 and T5th in 2014 this guy knows what is needed here and could well find his first Major. Augusta could be Orange come April 10th.

Justin Rose?

US Masters 2016 - Justin Rose

US Masters 2016 – Justin Rose

With one of the best swings on tour, one major in the bag and a solid start to the new season, Justin could be the man to follow around Augusta.

In 10 appearances at The Masters, Justin has only finished outside the top 25 twice, including a tied 2nd place last year behind Jordan Spieth.

A couple of poor putting performances have cost him a title or two this year however he has a few weeks to get this sorted.

If you are looking at following a Brit, here’s your man!

There you go, there’s the three tips for the US Masters 2016, Good luck!

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by Craig Murray

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!

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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…

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Posted by Ian Mullins