Archive for the ‘TSG News’ Category

Whos tipped for success in The Majors in 2017?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

the majors golf trophies 2

Every year we look forward to the start of the new golfing season, which is traditionally marked by the first of the Major’s, with tee shot being hit at The US Masters…..and 2017 will be no exception!

This event is quickly followed by the remaining ‘Grand Slam’ events including:

  • 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 2106) with the host city supplying the venue.

However, most of the discussion around these events in dominated each January by the talk of the pundits and on who will build on the success of the previous season and who is expected to break though into the top 50 and even the Top 10 and even win one of the above.

Predicting who the glory and trophies will go to isn’t as easy as you think!

In a series of article regarding The Majors in golf, we start with the first official event….


The-Open-Championship-The MajorsThe Majors – The Open Championship…

Golf’s Majors began with the introduction of The OPEN (only played in the UK) in 1860.

The Open was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland.

The Open Championship is the only major hosted in the UK (Great Britain & Northern Ireland) and not at a course in the United States.

The oldest and arguably the most prestigious of all the Majors, players compete for the now famous Claret Jug – first presented in 1873 – is one of the most iconic trophies in all of sport, but originally they players competed for the Challenge Belt.

The inaugural tournament was restricted to professionals and attracted a field of eight golfers who played three rounds of Prestwick’s twelve-hole course in a single day.

The event was won with a score of 174 by Willie Park Sr. who beat one of golf’s original luminaries in the game.

The following year the tournament was opened to amateurs; eight of them joined ten professionals in the field.

However, when Old Tom Morris won this for the third time in 1864, he was allowed to keep The Challenge Belt and thus the Claret Jug was commissioned!

In 1871, it agreed to organise it jointly with The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

In 1892 the event was doubled in length from 36 to 72 holes, four rounds of what was by then the standard complement of 18 holes.

The 1894 Open was the first held outside Scotland, at the Royal St George’s Golf Club in England.

Other key dates include:

  • 1898 – Cut introduced after 36 holes. Those 20 or more strokes behind the leader were excluded
  • 1904 – Extended to a third day with 18 holes on each of the first two days. Cut rule unchanged
  • 1905 – Cut rule changed to exclude those 15 or more strokes behind the leader
  • 1907 – Qualifying introduced, replacing the 36-hole cut and the contest reduced again to two days
  • 1910 – Cut reintroduced instead of qualifying, play extended to 3 days again. Top 60 and ties made the cut.
  • 1911 – An increase in the no. of entries, the first 2 rounds were spread over 3 days, with 36 holes on 4th day
  • 1912 – Qualifying reintroduced to replace the cut. Contest reduced again to two days
  • 1926 – Cut reintroduced. First Open with both qualifying and a cut. Extended again to a third day with 18 holes on the first two days. Those 15 or more strokes behind the leader were excluded from the final day. Days standardised as Wednesday to Friday
  • 1929 – Cut rule changed to ensure that at least 60 made the cut even if 15 or more strokes behind the leader
  • 1937 – Cut rule changed to top 40 and ties
  • 1946 – Cut rule changed to be a maximum of 40 players. Ties for 40th place did not make the cut
  • 1951 – Cut rule changed to be a maximum of 50 players. Ties for 50th place did not make the cut
  • 1957 – Leaders after 36 holes go off last, replacing the random draw
  • 1963 – Cut rule changed to top 45 and ties
  • 1964 – Playoff reduced from 36 holes to 18, followed by sudden-death if still level
  • 1966 – Play extended to four days, 18 holes per day from Wed to Sat. Cut rule changed to top 55 and ties
  • 1971 – Cut rule changed to top 80 and ties after 36 holes and then top 60 and ties after 54 holes
  • 1973 – Play in groups of three introduced for the first two rounds
  • 1974 – Use of “bigger ball” (1.68 in, 42.67 mm) made compulsory
  • 1978 – 10-shot rule introduced so that players within 10 shots of the leader make the cut even if outside the top 80/60
  • 1980 – Play changed to Thursday to Sunday
  • 1986 – 54-hole cut discontinued. Cut rule changed to top 70 and ties after 36 holes. 4 hole playoff introduced
  • 1996 – 10-shot rule dropped

 


Royal Birkdale 2017 - The MajorsThe Majors – Present Day…

Since the inaugural championship, the tournament has gone from strength to strength and journeyed to numerous locations in the UK but surprisingly has still only been hosted by ONLY 14 venues.

However, whilst the R&A look to add new venues to the list, in 2019, the event returns to Northern Ireland at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Not part of the roster since 1951.

In 2017, The OPEN Championship will be held on the Royal Birkdale course that is located in the town of Southport, just north of Liverpool.

This is the 146th Open Championship and the 10th time it will be hosted at the Royal Birkdale.

It has hosted the men’s championship nine times, first in 1954 and most recently in July 2008.

It is scheduled to host the 2017 Open Championship.

Previous winners of the Open at Royal Birkdale ionclude: Pádraig Harrington, Mark O’Meara, Ian Baker-Finch, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer and Peter Thomson (twice).

It hosted the women’s tournament for the sixth time in 2014, and was the site of the Senior Open Championship in 2013. Royal Birkdale has also hosted the

Royal Birkdale has also hosted the Ryder Cup (19651969), the Walker Cup (1951), and the Curtis Cup (1948).


The Majors – Making your own predictions…

With golf’s Majors generating a huge audience from around the globe (even when Tiger isn’t playing!) it creates a lot of column inches and conjecture.

So, choosing your winner is going to be difficult…I picked Danny Willet last year but didn’t place a bet!!

If you are thinking of getting in on the action this year here is some of what you need to know The Open and how best to place a bet.

Interestingly, as of November 2016, the Commission announced that online betting had overtaken localised betting in shops and casinos.

There are plenty of high street options but with smart phones now allowing us to predict winners from our armchair, it can only add to the viewing experience knowing you may get lucky.

However, before taking advantage of some of the advertised TV offers, check out the many great offers available online available e.g. Ladbrokes £50 free bet offer.

Something to consider given the additional value you can get from some of offers online gambling sites give, even providing you with the chance to bet heavier on your favourites.

Of course, like the Grand National, this may be your only bet of the year…. but who should you register with?


The Majors – How Best to Place a Bet…

Firstly, there’s never been an easier time than to place a bet but ensure you are only using a recognised bookmaker who is also regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.

Secondly, study the form…. many a bet has been wasted by not checking the recent form of the field.

A schoolboy error some would say, so also ways look for advice and help before committing to your bet.

There are plenty of pundits available via national press and on social media but we would also recommend you do your own research.


The Majors – Our favourites…

The Claret Jug - The Majors

One of the most difficult things for new betters to wrap their heads around is the fact that there will be few if any, new faces on the course because, most qualified for being previous 10 years of winners of the Open Championship and 30 from the European and PGA tours.

Then there are another 50 who are considered to be global greats who are not included in that number above so that only leaves a little over 60 golfers, many of whom are just making it to the limelight.

Some of the names we are tipping for honours for the first time or those looking to add a second or third major to their portfolio (15th in Tiger’s case!):

– Mark Fitzpatrick (New kid on the block with a win at Wentworth and Dubai in 2016

– Andrew ‘BEEF’ Johnstone (Won Spanish Open in 2016 and a crowd favourite)

– Alex Noren (Winner at British Masters & Nedbank Challenge)

– Rory McIlroy (Tipped to be a multiple Major winner, he’s now in his prime!)

– Lee Westwood (Could he finally break his duck after numerous Top 3 finishes)

– Tiger (Yes, we still rate him and he’s got some people to prove wrong!)

But, that’s about it for our tips!


The Majors – And finally…

It’s probably now easier to bet online than ever before, so if you want to step into the world of gambling on your favourite sporting events, begin watching possible entrants as early as possible.

By the time July rolls around, you’ll be ready to place your bet and then just sit back and watch the fun.

Lastly, we always recommend betting responsibly (like the ad says, When The Fun Stops, STOP!) but equally, when played properly, there’s a real incentive to bet online, for sure!

#havefun


By Ian Mullins

Discrimination in Golf – Game takes huge step back….

Monday, December 12th, 2016

discrimination in golfWe know golf is always some years behind the rest of the world in its moral outlook maybe it should have been no surprise, when I recently experienced a TRULY AWFUL SHOW OF IGNORANCE by my local council toward Paul Houghton – Disabled golfer.

Having got to know some disabled golfers pretty well over the last few years, we stupidly thought discrimination in golf was a thing of past….

Discrimination in Golf  – Setting the scene…

Now and Paul and myself play a couple of times a year together, so was very pleased when he agreed to play at my local municipal course (which is one of the best in the South East).

Having extolled the values of this super little course to Paul many times, he may have brought a little too much expectation with him on the day.

However, I had no idea what was about to unfold.

Here’s our story in Paul’s own words with some excerpts from the letter he sent to the local council officer (N.B. Real names and places have been replaced) …


discrimination in golfDiscrimination in Golf  –  The Story….

Dear Sir or Madam, 

I was invited to play golf at your municipal course by a resident of your borough.This is his local course but he is not a member.

On a Saturday in August, we arrived to play at the allotted tee time that we had booked. I introduced myself in the Pro shop and paid for my round.

I was told to present my chit to the starter in his hut.

As I left the Pro shop the man behind the counter ‘Dave’, followed me out and told me that I would not be allowed onto the golf course using my Electrokart.

A little surprised I asked why this was, as I possess my own public liability insurance for the vehicle and possess an EDGA tour card (European Disabled Golf Association) for which I had to have a medical for through England Golf.

‘Dave’ was very quick to reply, stating that without proper paperwork, he could only take ‘my word for it’ that I am disabled.

I replied asking “Could he not except the fact that my leg is missing as proof?”

“No, the Council say I must have the proper paperwork before we let you on the course”.

You won’t be surprised that my initial response is not printable.

Slightly rattled by my determination to not back down and slightly panicked by the thought a lawsuit was already winging its way to his employers….

‘Dave’ quickly scanned the council website (not the Golf Course website – which has no information!) and stated that all the information was available online.

Now the paragraph on the council site is less than clear but does state that a letter must be obtained from the players ‘Doctor’ to justify the use of a buggy. 

As I am an above knee amputee it seems pretty damn obvious of my impairment (my leg also make a tinny sound when you smack your driver against it) but ‘Dave’ stated that it was a ‘Council’ ruling and I would still not be allowed on the course without the proper documents.

(This document would take a matter of weeks to obtain and a Doctor would charge for the letter!).

He also indicated that I would be required to cross a road, which cuts through the course which can be dangerous, but surely that is the same for all golfers?

So how is this all helping golf to be seen a progressive, accessible sport for all?

At this stage, I thought it right to mention to ‘Dave’ that my day job is actually working as a Disability Officer for the neighbouring council and that I know the disability laws inside out.

At which point the blood drained from ‘Dave’s face! (Sorry, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned this at the start of the debate!)

The local council concerned needs to impact assess their procedure in this respect, in line with their Duties towards the Equality Act 2010.

What I experienced on that Saturday in August was gross ignorance as to attitudes towards disability, the situation was handled very poorly and much of my day was ruined. 

As a keen golfer, I have played all over Europe and have never been refused onto a course other when weather conditions inhibit it due to safety. 

To say I was stunned is an understatement. 

My playing partner and host were more shocked, not to mention embarrassed on his and my behalf!

To avoid any more stress for all parties, I decided to cut my losses and asked for my money back, ‘Dave’ retorted that ‘he’ was not discriminating against me.

When I said this was ‘blatant’ discrimination, he said you are only saying that because of ‘that’ pointing to my prosthetic leg”. 

Yours Sincerely….

 

Paul Houghton


discrimination in golfDiscrimination in Golf  – Our View…

You couldn’t make it up, could you!

Discrimination in any walk of life is unacceptable and discrimination in golf turns our stomachs just as much…..

Shortly after receiving his email and letter, Paul quickly received the council’s response……they offered him a free round of golf and have asked if could help them review their wording on their website – hang on, isn’t that your job!

As all TSG members know, we promote equally and diversity, so to hear and experience a day in the life of a disabled golfer ourselves was a shock, to say the least.

Sadly, after four months, Paul is still yet to receive any kind of response or justification from the council as to how they plan to prevent this issue in the future.

Paul is considering legal action but that requires a lot of self-motivation – something he would probably prefer to channel through his golf!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST WITH ALL YOUR GOLFING FRIENDS AND LET’S STOP THIS IGNORANCE NOW!

For more information on Golf for all, visit England Golf’s Equally and Diversity page.

By Ian Mullins


Footnote: Paul 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 later joined the Disabled Golf Association and has now represented his country 12 times, playing of a respectable handicap of 16. He works hard to promote understanding and empathy for disability and hates any form of discrimination in golf!

 

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

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….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

TSG Masters 2016 - Steve Slater.jpg 2

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

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

The TSG Masters 2016 – How they qualified…

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

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

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

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

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

The TSG Masters 2016 – The Winners…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATCH VIDEO NOW!

 

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

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament news…

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Register here for the TSG MatchPlay 2016

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament news

The TSG Masters 2016:

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

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

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

Register here for the TSG Masters 2016

Thesocialgolfer.com 2016 tournament newsTSG Par 3 Championship 2016:

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

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

Register here for the TSG Par 3 Championship 2016

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

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

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

More information to follow.

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

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Posted 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

TheSocialGolfer.com – Golfers Survey 2015…

Monday, June 15th, 2015

In January, we issued the TSG Golfers Survey questionnaire (sponsored by www.www.GolfGear247.co.uk), asking you to give us your views on the website, what we were getting right and what we were getting wrong. Your thoughts on how we can improve and your opinions on the golf industry as a whole.

We are very grateful to all those that took part, there were more than 130 respondents, 71% PRO members and 29% FREE members. 90% were male golfers with 10% of views coming from the ladies.

TSG Golfers Survey - Regions

TSG Golfers Survey – Regions

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – The Numbers….

Ok, lets start with the basics and the demographics of TSG:

– 84% of members are over 45

– 55% live in London or the South, 15% in the East, 7% in North West, 5.4% in the Midlands

– 56% of you have been playing for 5 years or more, 19% 1-4 years and 20% can’t remember!

– Over 67% of you play once a week or more!

– 63% of you DON’T belong to a golf club

– 64% DON’T belong to a golf society

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Your Game….

Nearly half claimed that ‘Time’ was the biggest factor to you playing more but the weather also plays a big part in things, with over 20% saying it affected them playing more often.

– 3 out of 10 of you play off a handicap of 10-18

– 4 out 10 of you are playing off a handicap of between 19-24

– Only 9% of you have a Handicap below 10

TSGers Preferred Golf Ball

TSGers Preferred Golf Ball

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – The Brands….

The most popular make of clubs within the TSG community was Callaway with 16.8%, closely followed by Ping with 16.4%, once again closely followed by TaylorMade.

– Fourth was Cobra, fifth was Mizuno and the rest was spread across a plethora of brands

When it came to choosing your golf balls, Srixon (25%) and Titleist (24%) were the clear favourites making up nearly half the survey results. However, Callaway put up a fight with 11% of you preferring this ball.

However, most amusing was that over 10% played with whatever was in your bag!!

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Travel….

With more and more golfers looking to take advantage of both cheaper air travel and an influx of golf travel operators entering the market, many of you are now taking more of your golfers currency further afield but just how often are you taking time out to take a golf trip?

– 38% of you are now taking a golf break each year

– 27% of you are taking 2 or more trips a year

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Media….

Whilst we are always working hard to grow the community on your behalf, its interesting to see how loyal members are and whether they visit any other websites?

– 77% of you have been a TSGer for a year or more

– 84% of don’t belong to any other golf community

– 9 out of 10 members use social media

– 37% of you have a facebook account, 19% use LinkedIn,  18% use Twitter, 7% G+, 5% use instagram

Golfers Survey - How are your treated by Golf Clubs

How are your treated by Golf Clubs?

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Golf Clubs….

We asked you a number of questions in our Golfers Survey about your views on golf Clubs and the golf industry as a whole. When asked why you wouldn’t join a golf club?

– 30% of you said you like playing different courses

– 38% of said there was no need as you play ‘society/social’ golf

– Over 16% of you said golf club membership was too expensive

Asked what would MAKE you join a golf club?

– 18% said to play in competitions and another 18% said to play close to home

– 15% said improved flexible membership options

– Only 15% commented to access a CONGU handicap certificate

– Finally, 12% of you said if there was a good social calender!

However, most importantly we asked you how you were treated by Golf Clubs as either non-members or Pay ‘n Players, as you went around the county.

– The good news is that over 40% of TSGers said they were treated ‘quite well’

– However, another 40% could only muster an’OK’

Most worryingly, 3% of you said you were treated ‘badly or very ‘badly’ by clubs – who are these clubs we wonder. In a age of ‘customer reviews’ and ‘testimonials’, why would any club treat visitors poorly!

Golfers Survey - How do you rate the atmosphere with TSG

How do you rate the atmosphere within TSG?

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – TSG….

Here’s the bit we were worried about, but we should never have had such reservations. Not only did you give us here at TSG HQ a glowing report, you also were prepared to be quoted.

– More than 60% felt TSG was a place to meet new golfers and organise your golf

– 21% saw us a place to share your passion and improve your golf

– 17% saw us as place to keep scores and read course reviews

– 86% of you felt the cost of being a Pro members was fair or superb value

There was no one area of the site that was used anymore than another with the Handicap Tracker, Course Reviews and the Games Calender the most popular. More stats:

– Over 50% of you ‘claim’ to have posted a game but 34% said there were plenty anyway but surprising over 15% of you ‘didn’t know you could’. However, 6% were honest enough to admit, you were ‘Too shy’.

– Nearly 6 out of 10 have used the Handicap tracker (What are the other 4 doing it?!)

– But again 17% ‘didn’t know you could’

– 8/10 of you rated monthly Newsletter as Interesting, Valuable or that you ‘Loved it!’

– However, more than 50% said they hadn’t read the TSG Newsblog or more worryingly, didn’t know there was one. Lets hope the fact we have now added this to the front page and the Members page this will now change.

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – And finally….

We invited you to tell us how YOU would describe TSG to your friends:

– Overwhelmingly 91% of you described the site as ‘Friendly’, ‘Welcoming’ and ‘Good Fun’. Which is very humbling.

70% gave us a scored of 8/10 or better.

We are very grateful to everyone that took the time to give us there views. We are very pleased that you gave us such a high overall approval rating but we also note there is still room to improve the service we provide.

However, we’ll leave the final say to you the members:

“Place to meet different people, play different courses – a must for all golfers!”

“An ideal way to meet new people, play different courses and enjoy more golf”

“A great place to socialise, meet new people in a non-cliquey environment”

“A well organised and friendly way to join or organise golf games especially for non club members”

“A friendly golfing hub”

“As far as I am aware there is nothing else like it!!”

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By Ian Mullins

 

Disabled golfer wins TSG Masters at Warley Park GC…

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Disabled golfer wins TSG Masters at Warley Park, Essex

The TSG Masters at Warley Park, Essex

TheSocialGolfer.com, celebrated its 2nd annual TSG Masters Championship (in association with GolfGear247.co.uk) at Warley Park Golf Club on 3rd May 2015…..

Golfers from all over the South East of England and from as far away as Lancashire gathered at the Essex based club, all hoping to be TSG Masters Champion golfer…

How they qualified for The TSG Masters?

The members of the online social network had all qualified via a number of different means, some via the website’s monthly leaderboard, some via other TSG Major events with the remaining spaces snapped up via the ballot and/or by special invitation with no one wishing to miss out on the first TSG ‘Major’ of the year.

This made for an exciting competition and while some TSGers were familiar with the course layout, most were totally alien to it. The field ranging from 11 handicappers to 27, played the Childerditch and the Warley ’10 to 18′ loop, two very different layouts offering their own challenges, the latter including the superb 18th Par 3 signature hole.

Disabled golfer wins TSG Masters at Warley Park, Essex

TheSocialGolfer.com Masters

Disabled golfer wins TSG Masters…

The event was won by well known disabled golfer Richard Saunders, who has been a great advocate of the site since its ‘official’ launch in 2010.  After 18 holes, Saunders (based in Essex) scored a fantastic 44 Pts off his 20 handicap with Judy Lilley 2nd (Kent – 39 Pts) and 3rd Tuan Nguyen (Kent – 35 Pts).

There was also some fun to be had with 2 x Nearest Pins and a ‘Straightest Drive’ keeping the day alive for those that were not troubling the leaderboard and a Par 3 Competition to add to the drama on the day. Other winners on the day included popular ‘TSGers’, Lee Benson (Herts), Paul Thorne (Essex), Matt Sutton (Kent) with Richard Saunders adding the Par 3 trophy to his haul.

However, we’ll leave the final words to our new TSG Masters Champion…

Disabled golfer wins TSG Masters at Warley Park, Essex

Richard Saunders – TSG Masters Champion 2015

This is the second TSG Masters that I have attended and I thoroughly enjoyed the event… It’s a great opportunity for the members of the TSG to get together and enjoy the camaraderie that exists between them. I would like to thank Warley Park Golf Club and their members for allowing us to play in what is a very tight and demanding golf course – where straight drives and correct club selection is most important to small undulating greens. I had one of those days were everything went right. The Social Golfer continues to raise the profile for disabled golfers in conjunction with BALASA, the national disabled golfing charity and the funds they raise helps BALASA members to have buggies at their National Championships, their support is very much appreciated.” 

Kevin Smith, Director of Golf at the venue said – “We were delighted to host the TSG Masters event for the second consecutive year. The TSG members are always very respectful to us and our members and they always compliment us on the condition and layout of the course. We are even more pleased a disabled golfer wins TSG Masters this year. We are equally delighted to be on the roster for their events and look forward to them returning to the club again 2016!”

THE PHOTOS

By Ian Mullins