Archive for the ‘Golf History’ Category

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.

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By Tim Taylor

Golf Ball Dimples – Why do golf balls have them?

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Ever wondered how or why the golf ball dimples came about?

We did. So we did some research into both the history and science behind the reasons…

Wooden golf balls dimples not in sight

Wooden golf balls dimples not in sight

Golf Ball Dimples – The history…

The reason why golf balls have dimples is based on both science and evolution.

Originally, all golf balls were completely smooth.

However, once the ball had been used a few times and they were peppered with cuts and nicks.

Then Golfers started to notice these ‘damaged balls’ travelled further than new ones.

Those little bumps and cuts while not looking good ‘on the eye’, meant there was an advantage to be had….

Golfers naturally gravitate toward anything that gives them the edge on the golf course, so old golf balls became the norm.

However, Golf Ball dimples really started to take off after English engineer and manufacturer William Taylor, co-founder of the Taylor-Hobson company, registered a patent for a dimple design in 1905.

Golf Ball Dimples

Image courtesy of www.aerospaceweb.org

Golf Ball Dimples – The science…

With all things aerodynamic, it takes a little knowledge to understand the core principles.

When a golf ball is hit, the impact, which lasts less than a millisecond, determines the ball’s velocity, launch angle and spin rate.

In turn, this influences its trajectory (and its behaviour when it hits the ground).

Essentially, the nick and cuts in the ball make the balls ‘oscillate‘ in flight.

This allows the smoothly flowing air to follow the ball’s surface a little farther around the back side of the ball.

As such, a layer of air acts as a ‘turbulator’, otherwise known as the “boundary layer”.

The benefit is that a turbulent boundary layer reduces drag.

And naturally, the less drag, the quicker the ball travels and the closer you are to the hole after your shot!

Golf Ball Dimples – The design…

Most golf balls on sale today have about 250–450 dimples though there have been balls with more than 1000 dimples.

The record holder was a ball with 1,070 dimples—414 larger ones (in four different sizes) and 656 pinhead-sized ones

The two balls shown on the right are disclosed in U.S. Patent 4,560,168. They are both easily made with a two-piece mould.

Golf Ball Dimples - designs

Golf Ball Dimples – designs

Officially sanctioned balls are designed to be as symmetrical as possible.

This symmetry is the result of a dispute that stemmed from the Polara Golf Ball

This ball sold in the late 1970s that had six rows of normal dimples on its equator but very shallow dimples elsewhere.

This asymmetrical design helped the ball self-adjust its spin axis during the flight.

The USGA refused to sanction it for tournament play and, in 1981, changed the rules to ban aerodynamic asymmetrical balls.

Golf Ball Dimples – The Movie

Anyway, enough of our ramblings, there are plenty of great videos to watch on the subject, here’s one we found earlier….Golf Ball Dimples Video

So now you know!

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By Ian Mullins

 

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

Peter Alliss returns to St.Mellion…

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Peter Alliss, the legendary ‘Voice of Golf’ will be making a welcome return to St Mellion in April to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic Cornish Golf resort…

Crown Golf February Offer

Crown Golf February Offer

As part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations taking place throughout 2016 on Friday 29th April, St Mellion are hosting “An Evening with Peter Alliss” where he will relay some golfing anecdotes of his time as a top class golfer, his 40-years as the ‘Voice of Golf’ and of course, a few memories from his visits to St Mellion.

Alliss said, “Having spent many happy hours at St Mellion, both playing and working for the BBC, it’s with great anticipation that I look forward to revisiting and meeting up with old friends and having a very enjoyable evening to celebrate 40 wonderful years of golf”.

Peter Alliss’s first of many visits to St Mellion was in the late 1980’s when the Bond Brothers had the vision to contact the greatest ever golfer, Jack Nicklaus, and asked him to design a world-class golf course.

In 1987, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course was officially opened to rave reviews with a unique ‘USA versus Great Britain’ match that pitted four multi Major winning golfing Legends.

For the USA the course designer Jack Nicklaus was accompanied by Tom Watson, playing against the British duo of Nick Faldo & Sandy Lyle.

This match was broadcast by the BBC Golf and was so successful it was played again the following year.

After playing the golf course for the first time, Nicklaus was so proud of the golf course he created he was quoted “potentially St Mellion is the finest golf course in Europe”.

In 1990, the first of six Benson & Hedges International Opens were played on the Nicklaus Course, all of which were broadcast live by the BBC with Peter Alliss at the helm in the commentary box.

These tournaments proved to be a great showcase for the golf course, with so many people watching all over the UK getting a chance to view so many unique and beautiful holes.

During those six years some of golf’s greatest ever players including Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Bernhard Langer played down the famous 18th finishing hole to win the prestigious European Tour event.

David Moon Golf Manager at St Mellion said, “We are delighted to be welcoming Peter Alliss back to St Mellion, the BBC and the wonderful commentaries of Peter Alliss were instrumental in getting St Mellion on the golfing map. Many of our Members, who are still here today, were such an integral part of those tournaments and they are delighted to have a true golfing icon here, to join with them to celebrate 40 very memorable years”.

St Mellion has continued to be a “golfing mecca” with a thriving Golf Membership and a new 4* star Hotel, Health Club and Spa, which attracts visitors from around the UK and abroad.

The accolades have also continued to be bestowed for both the golf course and the resort….

The Nicklaus Course is regularly featured in the Top 100 and has won “Best golf course in the West of England” on numerous occasions and the Resort has won Large Hotel of the Year and The South West Golf Resort awards.

Crown Golf February Offer

Best golf courses in London…

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Although living the UK’s capital can have many benefits, it’s always a good feeling to get out on the fairways and refresh the mind with a good game of golf. However, as space in this global city is always at a premium, finding a great golf course requires some know how…

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best golf courses in London for you to check out.

best golf courses in London - The Grove

The Grove

Best golf courses in London – The Grove…

Tucked just inside the M25 north of Watford is the luxurious golf course, The Grove.

This 7,152-yard championship golf course offers all of the premium golfing opportunities that you could wish for, but what makes it all the more inviting is the fact that it doesn’t have a restrictive membership system, so anyone can play whenever they choose.

Set in the 300-acre grounds of an 18th-century mansion, it’s definitely one of the best-looking golf courses in the London area. And with a string of tournaments being held throughout the year, it’s definitely one of the most highly recommended courses out there.

What differentiates The Grove from other courses, is that there is no membership and it is only open to ‘Pay and Play’ and corporate golfer.

And The Grove has recently been named as the host of the 2016 British Masters.

Now whilst its way too early to start thinking about the potential winners of this event, there are plenty of places to find the latest golfing odds. Betway is just one of the sites where you can get all of the latest news, tips, and sporting information including the current Turkish Airline Open.

 

best golf courses in London - The Shire

The Shire

Best golf courses in London – The Shire…

Located just outside of Barnet, the Shire golf course offers another great treat to all golf enthusiasts who are looking for something a little extra.

At the turn of the Millennium the Menai-Davis family invited Severiano Ballesteros to visit England to look at a large piece of land north of London, on which they planned to create a spectacular golf course.

In 2001, just 72 hours after Seve’s first visit, a deal was agreed. Shortly afterwards, the Spanish maestro and his Trajectory team set about creating what would become The Shire London.

Several key principles of golf course design, honed by the Spaniard at over 20 previous locations around the world, were applied: Seve’s insistence that there should be an even mix of par threes, fours and fives, and that no two consecutive holes should play to the same par, being but two examples.

As such, the course is unique in the sense that it has 6 x Par 3’s, 6x Par 5’s and 6 x Par 4’s.

The course has a fantastic layout with many water features that can cause the occasional upset for the amateur, and the separation between the fairways means that it never feels too crowded.

As the course was the only course developed by golfing legend Seve Ballesteros in the UK, it provides the perfect opportunity to try and play like a pro.

The clubhouse itself is also very fresh and modern and the food is very reasonably priced and to a great standard.

 

Best golf courses in London – Walton Heath…

best golf courses in London - Walton Heath Golf Club

Walton Heath Golf Club

If you’re looking to play on one of London’s most iconic courses, then take a trip to the Walton Heath which is located just within the southern edge of the M25.

Walton Heath is one of the world’s most famous and prestigious clubs.

The members are delighted to share the outstanding facilities with visitors from all over the world.

Established in 1903, the two courses at Walton Health provide some interesting playing options with the rough heather features making play particularly stimulating.

The course was opened in May 1904, with an exhibition match between the legendary Triumvirate of Harry Vardon, J.H.Taylor and James Braid.

The course was laid out by W. Herbert Fowler, a leading amateur golfer. It was his first golf course venture and he went on to become one of the leading golf course architects of his era, both in the U.K. and America.

It is a tribute to his genius that he created one of the finest examples of heathland golf, which so closely resembles the traditional seaside links courses, out of a jungle of heather, gorse and bracken.

Likewise, it is a testament of his creativity that, what became known as, the Old course is still, today, ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the world.

Although the entry fee might be a little extravagant, the sheer peace and tranquility offered on the golfing greens more than makes up for the cost.

Known for its wild heather and tricky greens, this venue has hosted some great competitions including The Walker Cup.

And with the historic clubhouse offering unparalleled levels of luxurious hospitality, Walton Heath provides the perfect way to play and relax like a professional and truly is one of the best course in London.

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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!

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By Ian Mullins

The TSG OPEN Championship 2015 – The Winners…

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

TSG OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

TheSocialGolfer.com, the online social networking community for golfers celebrated its annual TSG OPEN Championship (in association with londongolfshow.com) at Bletchingley Golf Club in Surrey on 11th July 2015….

Celebrating its 5th year, the now much coveted Halliwell Cup (donated by stroke victim Ian Halliwell) was won by Harlow & Essex based TSG member Steve Slater, with the Ladies Trophy won by Blackheath & Kent member Judy Lilley.

The TSG OPEN Championship 2015…

The day was attended by over 40+ able-bodied and disabled golfers from all over the South East of England and from as far away as Poland and New Zealand. The winners on the day also donated all the monies raised on the day to their two selected charities; Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre, providing activity-based ‘fun’ for 8-16yr olds in Essex and Bromley Sparks, a self-advocacy group run by people in Kent with a learning difficulties.

TSG OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

The silverware…

The tournament began with the usual briefing and course orientation but as well as the individual Stableford competition; there was a Yellow Ball event, Straightest Drive, 2 x Nearest Pins, Beat The Pro, a Putting Comp and Team Event. The event was sponsored by the London Golf Show.

The day’s events continued into the early evening with a dinner and raffle and we are very grateful to Alan Haywood and Steve Slater for their help on the day. Of course, we must also thank Anna Guss and Brigitte Lockwood for their wonderful donation of a day with them at Wentworth.

What our winners said;

Just a brief note to thank the guys at Bletchingley for taking good care of the TSGers again. Always made to feel welcome here, hospitality always top notch.  In the words of Steve Cookson the Head Pro, greens were ‘sporty’, is a bit of an understatement and proved much more of a challenge than usual. Dry and hard – good for long drives, not quite so good for short putts – Congratulations to winners in all categories!” Men’s winner – Steve Slater

“Heartfelt thanks to The Social Golfer for a wonderful day and all the organisation and time put into making it such a success…many thanks to Bletchingley for their hospitality and to Beat The Pro Ben for a cheery welcome and showing most of us how it should be done. I would like to nominate Bromley Sparks as my chosen charity. They are small and every little helps. I know they will be so grateful for the donation….hope to see a good turnout at the TSG Par 3 Championship at Pedham Place in August –  Bring it on!” Ladies winner – Judy Lilley

TSG OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Some of the Winners…

The other results off 3/4 Handicap:

Mens – 2nd – Martyn Miller – 27 Pts, 3rd – Roger Hurcombe – 24 Pts

Ladies – 2nd – Ruth Brand – 24 Pts

Guest Trophy – John Benstead – 27 Pts

Other winners on the day included:

Nearest Pin – Barry Hill

Nearest Pin 2nd shot – No winners

Straightest Drive – Anna Guss

Putting Champion – Tom Hurcombe

Yellow Ball Comp – Steve Duffy, Martyn Miller & Judy Lilley

Team Event – Steve Duffy, Martyn Miller & Judy Lilley

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Other comments regarding the day included:

Ian Mullins, Managing Director of TheSocialGolfer.com said;“The event is now well established and whilst it wasn’t intended, Bletchingley is fast becoming the Augusta of the TSG OPEN Championship. As always we were hugely impressed with the way the club supported the event. It is key that we do we can also raise the profile of disabled golfers and this is the TSGers doing their little bit for the cause!”

“Would like to echo what Steve has said. It was a great day, well organised and thoroughly enjoyable. The course was very nice with some challenging greens which we were all tested on. Thanks Ian for organising this and I look forward to entering many more of these days and meeting up with the fabulous TSG members…..” – Martyn ‘Speedy’ Miller

“The  sunniest TSG OPEN Championship yet, the most challenging greens, a great crowd, an excellent organisation from Mr Mullins and as always a most pleasant welcome from Bletchingley staff. Lovely to see some new faces (and not so new), some friendly guests and a record attendance from TSG Ladies. Warm congratulations to the worthy winners, thank you to all those who contributed to making this a great day to remember. Vive Le TSG!”  – Brigitte Lockwood

“What a special event it was! Beautiful sunny weather, great crowd, great company for the game, good money raised for charities. And all very well organised….THANK YOU VERY MUCH 🙂 Congratulations to all the winners especially to Judy and Steve. Well done guys. See you all again next year!” – Anna Guss

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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

18th Green at 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 –  Getty Images

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.

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By Ian Mullins

Society Golfing…

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

There is numerous ways to enjoy golf in 2015 and one of the most popular is to play golf through a society or a online golf club such as The Social Golfer.

The History of Society Golfing…

Society golfing first started back in the 16th & 17th centuries and were normally incorporated by a collection of keen golfers who didn’t necessarily have a golf club to play at.

This led to a number of those early societies arranging both the land and finance on which to build a course for themselves.

Many compete for the coveted title of THE oldest society in the UK, but whilst it will always remain in dispute, some would argue that Royal Blackheath Golf Club in South East London was certainly one of the first.

“Blackheath Golf Club is known wherever golf is played as having been instituted in 1608. Whilst we know that golf was being played on Blackheath prior to that time, by individuals with a uniquely common bond to all intents and purposes a ‘club’ – no documentary evidence of this inception date has yet been unearthed (and no explanation offered for the selection of 1608 rather than 1603) since the Club’s accounts prior to 1787, and the minutes prior to 1800, are missing.  

The Club’s own artefacts evidence its existence as early as 1745, and the Edinburgh Almanac which has listed the dates of formation of the leading golfing societies since the early 1800s – records Blackheath as having been established “prior to 1745” from as long ago as 1830….. 

….No less an authority than Bernard Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin, golf correspondent of The Times for 46 years, past Captain of the Royal & Ancient and the most revered of all golf writers) began his introduction to a guide to the Club (published in the 1940s) with the following words: “The Royal Blackheath Golf Club, as all the world knows, is the oldest golf club in the world.” excerpt courtesy of the Royal Blackheath website.

However, many would argue that the Scottish were also there around this time including the Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society of Edinburgh.

Once the game grew, these groups, with there increasing numbers, became ever more ‘nomadic’ and started to use their critical mass to move from club to club, thus the modern ‘Golf Society’ was born.

Of course, no one can really be sure of who was first, but what we do know, is it caught on!

 

Royal Burgess Golfing Society

Society golfing in 2015….

Today with people working longer hours than ever before and people living further spread out from family and friends, there is no denying that there has been a downturn in the no. of golfing societies in the UK.

In recent years, many golf clubs have had to work very hard to maintain the number of golf societies visiting their clubs and the numbers in those societies has reduced significantly too. Unofficially, most clubs now consider as little as eight golfers making a booking, a golfing society.

Why the decline in golf societies?

Well many self employed workers in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s would happily take time off to gather on a weekday afternoon at the local club but this is no longer an option (unless retired).

In addition, many company Directors would happily have meetings ‘on the course’ but this is often no longer seen as acceptable way to do business by their co-workers.

Coupled with the fact that there has been an overall drop in club membership of golf since 2006, it’s a sign that golf needs to act and fast.

Many clubs for too long have got fat on the traditional 5 and 7 day membership model and clubs themselves can often be seen as unfriendly and unwelcoming places. Of course, all clubs deny this is the case but how often do they take the time to ask golfers why they don’t return.

However, all this opens the door wider for sites such as TSG to flourish!

What we are doing to improve Society golfing?

The Social Golfer - Online Golf Club

Firstly, because we do not own a course, we are in the unique position to be able to keep our membership fees to a minimum. Compare the TSG fee of £25 per year to that of a golf club, charging between £800 – £1200.

Secondly, we have worked very hard to create as welcoming and inclusive atmosphere on the site and the site function allows you to arrange games with other members in a very simple fashion…. unlike some clubs whereby you’d only get to know golfers by introduction or by signing up to the Captain’s medal day and hoping you get in a four-ball you like.

Of course, our model is not new, in some ways it is not dissimilar to those early society golfing models.

As we grow, we hope that we too can use our critical mass to source better deals for our members, whether when booking Green fees or when buying golf holidays.

How can I fulfill my society golfing needs with TSG?

Well, there are a numbers of ways.

You can either see us a one BIG golfing society, whereby you can join independent games posted by your fellow TSG members on the TSG games calendar OR you can start your own society….

We have a number of successful societies that have grown on TSG including South East SwingThe Epping Bandits and others that have regulars meets at a designated club.

Alternatively, we have TSGers who have brought their golf society to TSG and watched it grow. A great example of this is Roger Akerman’s Group – The Pine Tree Golf Society

Finally, there are plenty of charity golf days organised through the site including our very own TSG OPEN GOLF DAY Championship, which are normally free to join.

So, is Society Golfing dying?

Absolutely not!

We believe that over the next few years, sites like ours will lead the way in golf and golf clubs will be forced to improve their offering and service levels, in order to accommodate the nomadic golfer!

Join TSG today – Register Here

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By Ian Mullins