As the players arrived at Farleigh Golf Club for The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 (sponsored by Golf News and Golf Escapes), it was clear from the smiles on the popular website’s members faces this was a day they had been looking forward to.
The Social Golfer OPEN was first held in 2011, following the launch of the online golf club in 2010. The event is now in its 7th year.
The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Championship…
The event is a great opportunity for TSG members to mingle and ‘be social’ with many of 5k strong UK members (10k+ worldwide) and compete for the much coveted Halliwell Cup donated by Stroke Survivor and British Inclusive Golf Ambassador, Ian Halliwell.
Furthermore, £5 from every entry fee was donated to disabled golf charities.
Despite its humble beginnings, the event is now sold out every year, with 70+ golfers travelling from around London and the UK, and with some from as far afield as Botswana attending.
Golf News was very proud to be the Official Media Partner of the day, as the event included a number of golfing challenges and tests.
The day’s events comprised, an Individual 18 hole Stableford Competition (Men & Ladies), a much enjoyed ‘Yellow Ball’ team event, run concurrently with the Straightest Drive, 2 x Nearest Pins, Putting competition, The Golf News Guest Trophy, Charity Auction and Raffle also on offer.
This year, the event also hosted an indoor ‘Nearest Pin’ competition on Farleigh Golf Club’s state of the art golf simulator, with the winner receiving 3 nights half board at the Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa, Sicily, Italy, courtesy of Golf Escapes.
In addition to the format above, there was also a chance for TSGers to play for “A Trevor”, paying homage to a former member who recently passed away, following a brave fight with Cancer.
Trevor Sandford was the man behind “A Month of Madness on the M25’, whereby he played a different golf course at 31 different junctions of the M25’s, over 31 days in the month of August 2011 raising money for Cancer Research, following the loss of his Pairs partner to the disease. He later wrote a book about his adventure.
Well known for his constant pursuit of the ‘Chip-In-Birdie’, anyone achieving this at future official TSG events , will have their name added to The Trevor Sandford Trophy (donated by TSG members Grge Butler).
They will also receive a medal commemorating the moment, which will be known as ‘A Trevor!’ On this particular day, this was achieved by London based member Pete Mayo!
The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Course…
Farleigh GC is part of the Foxhills Collection and is set on 350 acres in the North Surrey Downs and offers a 27 hole Championship golf holes.
Set in a valley, the course is well-known for its windy conditions and therefore every shot requires careful consideration.
The Social Golfer OPEN was played across the Yellow and Blue courses; the latter having recently seen over £1m of investment, so no surprise that the course played well. This combination boasts a Par 72, (6,212 yards) and was designed by John Jacobs Associates.
This combination boasts a Par 72, (6,212 yards) and was designed by John Jacobs Associates.
The greens on the day were running at approx. 12 on the stimp-meter meaning3 putts were common.
The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Winners…
This year’s Men’s winner was Roger Ireland (London) with 43 Pts, 2nd place was Greg Butler (Essex) with 41 Pts and 3rd was Phil Boyd (Kent) 37 Pts.
The Women’s Trophy was won by Judy Lilley (Royal Blackheath) with 35 Pts and 2nd place went to African based golfer, Hang Van Den Broeck (Botswana).
There was also Nearest Pin & Straightest Drive competitions. Winners included Lee Benson (Hertfordshire), Ron Woodham (Essex), Simon Lacey (Surrey), Damian Benstead (Surrey) with the Putting Competition going to Phil Boyd (Kent).
The 3-day golfing in Sicily prize was won by disabled golfer Paul Houghton, after putting his ball to within 5ft of the flag at the world famous 7th hole at Pebble Beach in the three man play-off final.
The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – The Charities…
As with all good golf society days, there is often a secondary purpose.
This year’s TSG OPEN championship was no exception.
The Social Golfer have always been big advocates in supporting disability golf and this year the members raised over £1k for English Disabled Golfers, Paul Houghton (Disabled Golf Association) and Roger Hurcombe (British Inclusive Golf).
These monies will help pay for their travel expenses and buggy hire fees. In addition, both Houghton and Hurcombe will be competing at this year’s Scottish Disabled Open between 21st-24th August 2017 at St. Andrews, wearing The Social Golfer’s team colours.
The Social Golfer OPEN 2017 – What they said…
Speaking to Golf News after the event here’s what some of the attendees said about the day…
“I really look forward to The Social Golfer ‘Majors’ when we all meet up for a superb day. Whether the golf’s good or bad; you cannot walk away from the day without happy memories and a big smile on your face. Thank you to The Social Golfer team; you have completely changed my golfing life!” Mark Crane (15 H’cap)
“There was definitely camaraderie out on the course and in the clubhouse today. We have made more good friends and always welcome new ones. The Social Golfer always brings us together!” Judy Lilley (20 H’cap)
“What a great day! Perhaps the best TSG Open ever. Great venue, food and company. Such a buzz about the whole day. We were all winners!” Damian Benstead (18 H’cap)
Ian Mullins, Event Director of The Social Golfer OPEN said “Being a golf day organiser can have its trials and tribulations but every year the atmosphere at our events just gets better and better. A big thanks to everyone at Golf News, Golf Escapes, RoboGolf and Golf Deals Group for putting up over £1k’s worth of prizes.”
He went on to say… “We hope to grow the event even further in the next 12 months in the hope we can broaden the appeal of the day beyond just our members and guests but include more golfers from all over the world!”