Archive for the ‘Clubs/Courses’ Category

TSG celebrate 10th Birthday at Celtic Manor…

Saturday, September 26th, 2020

Celtic Manor 2020 - The Social GolferCELTIC MANOR: The Anniversary Cup…

We left England expecting the true Welsh experience but, low and behold, the sun came out and we FINALLY held a TSG event in 2020!

x12 TSGers gather to play the Celtic Manor TWENTY-TEN course.

x10 Polo Shirt competition winners and two of the TSG Team

Plus our Host, Mike Jones, Celtic Manor Ambassador, and his two guests…

…and oh, how well we were looked after by Mike!


Celtic Manor - 10th Birthday - The Social Golfer - Mike Jones GolfCELTIC MANOR: The format…

The first thing to point out is you CAN’T get on the Twenty-Ten course before 10 am without booking through Mike.

In addition, Mike couldn’t have done any more for us, with the day/night including:

• Celtic Manor Goodie Bag for ALL, incl. PRO v1’s, Course Guide, Shoe bag and Tees

• One or two-night accommodation with a free upgrade to Deluxe Room

• Mike organised ALL our dinner reservations

• Photo on the first tee in front of Ryder Cup sign presented in a display sleeve after your round

• Celtic Manor branded Metal Bag tag with your name engraved on it

• Entry into Nearest Pin to win a free round on the TWENTY TEN or 10 years membership for a hole-in-one. Two of our group won free rounds (Damian Benstead & Dave Stevens)

TSG supplied the white Trilbys and TSG branded Polo Shirts and scorecards for everyone and TSG goodie bags for Mike’s guests.


Golfing in Wales, Mike Jones GolfAfter much debate (in the car on the way down) we separated the players into four 4-balls.

The teams in order of teeing off on were…

Group 1 – The Gatecrashers – Not strictly comp winners but they were very welcome (Mark Crane, Richard the Great,  Rob Appleby and Mark Davis – two Guests of Mike Jones)

Group 2 –  The Originals – Those that joined TSG before the official launch pre-2010 (Steve Goss, John Barber and Matt Coffey plus Dave Stevens who joined June 2020)

Group 3 – The Diehards – Those that joined after 2010 but before 2012 (Gary Wilson, Ruth Brand, Pete Mayo and Tuan Nguyen)

Group 4 – The Management – The organisers (Ian Mullins, Paul Houghton, Damian Benstead and Mike Jones)


Celtic Manor 2020 - The Social Golfer

However, we had a team event to win the inaugural TSG ‘Anniversary Cup’…

We deliberately chose not to have an individual competition, so that everyone could just enjoy the course in its full splendour!

After all the cards had been verified by Mr. Crane, he announced the winners. Who else but… THE GATECRASHERS!

Nearest Pin’s were won by No-One (8th hole), Dave Stevens (10th Hole) and Tuan Nguyen (17th hole).

The Wooden Spoon was picked up by Ian M, who scored a total of 7 pts (TOTAL!)

Golfing in Wales, Mike Jones GolfThis two-day ‘Birthday party’ was not about scores, but about spending time with a great team of people, and to thank some of those that have helped us to make The Social Golfer what it is today.

We cannot thank Mike Jones enough for his support and commitment to this event. If you want to play Celtic Manor, contact Mike directly and invite him to play on your day.

We couldn’t have enjoyed the iconic course any more and his knowledge of the fairways and greens, and his Ryder Cup anecdotes, only make you enjoy this track even more.


Celtic Manor 2020 - The Social Golfer

Here’s some of the feedback on Celtic Manor we have received since our return…

“Just had a wonderful couple of days, which would never have happened without TSG. Thank you. Not just for Celtic Manor, but for the last ten years and everything you do to keep the site up, running and relevant. It brings a lot of pleasure to a great many people”

———-

“I’d like to thank you so much TSG, for not only organising a great night/day out, with goodie bags and other assorted TSG & Celtic Manor merchandise, a fantastic venue to celebrate our 10 years of social golfing… since having a PC, joining TSG has been the best decision I ever made. Here’s to the next 10 years”

———-

“Having had time to catch my breath again at the end of an amazing week, I just wanted to say thank you again for an exceptional experience that will live with me to the grave. For me it’s all about the experience and everything about the Celtic Manor trip was perfect: The course (exceptional!), The weather (utterly un-welsh!) but more than anything it was the company. So thank you again from the bottom of my heart and here’s to the next 10 successful years of TSG”

———-

“Thank you TSG for organising such a fun event which I’m so happy to have been a part of… joining TSG was one of the best decisions I have made and I have met the loveliest people. Here’s to another ten years!”

———-

HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY TSG!


By Ian Mullins

Celtic Manor ‘The Movie’ to following October Newsletter…

The Social Golfer returns to South Essex Golf Club…

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

 

South Essex Golf Club - Brenwtood, Essex - The Social GolferTSG PARTNER CLUB: South Essex Golf Club…

We are incredibly pleased to confirm next year’s curtain-raiser to the season sees us return to our first-ever host venue, South Essex Golf Club, host of The Social Golfer 2011 OPEN Championship.

Back then, we had only just launched the website, but we still saw around 30 golfers attend.

A decade later, as we celebrate our 10th Birthday, the site has seen many changes and now boasts 10K+ registered users worldwide.

So, why return to South Essex Golf Club now?

 


South Essex Golf Club – The History…

The club as it is today first started life when landowner Russell Barlett decided to create a 27-hole golf facility in 1992. Back then, it was named Stonyhill Golf club and was a welcome addition to the area.

South Essex Golf Club was designed by Reg Plumridge in 1994 and presents three nine-hole loops with superb panoramic views over the Thames Valley and into Kent.

*Yardages shown from Yellow tees.

The Clubhouse is a unique barn-like structure with a terrace view over-looking the 18th Hole.

The course was renamed South Essex in 1998 and was subsequently leased to Crown Golf in 2006.

Since that time, South Essex has mainly been known as a Pay & Play facility, with a 14-bay Floodlit Driving range on-site too.

Footgolf was introduced on The Vixen course in 2015 but this has since been removed.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the course has recently seen ownership pass back to the Barlett family with Ed Barlett (son of Russell) taking over the day to day running of the business.

 


South Essex Golf Club - Brenwtood, Essex - The Social Golfer v2

South Essex Golf Club – Present Day…

First Golf Limited took over from Crown Golf in March 2020 and the new management team have ambitious plans to turn the club into one of Essex‘s leading golf facilities.

Ed is actively involved with the program of improvements currently underway.

Already, we have seen the road into the course resurfaced, a new undercover golf cleaning area built.

In addition, a new fleet of buggies with built-in GPS arrived in April, there is a newly refurbished upstairs bar and dining area AND a new outside decking area.

All this in three months!

However, Ed and the company also has plans to add a Gym and Fishing lakes to its portfolio, catering to a wider audience.

Ed is also supported by an experienced team, who all have great ambitions for the club, who all come with a fantastic pedigree!

 


South Essex Golf Club – The NEW Team…

Mark Davis – Director of Golf, Mark turned professional in 1986 and spent many years on the European Tour player with a distinguished playing record.

Mark finished in the top one hundred Order of Merit eight times, with a best of 31st in 1994.

He also won The Austrian Open in 1991 and 1994, and subsequently played on the Seniors Tour winning the Scottish Open in 2014.

 

Jason MacNiven – PGA Professional, offers a professional and personal service at South Essex Golf Club through his company Golf Principles.

Jason is renowned in the industry for his knowledge with over 20 years of experience.

His staff at Golf Principles are all specialists in club and shaft technology and tailor their services to suit their customers and welcome all ages and levels of golfers.

 

Other members of the south Essex Golf Club team include:

Peter Dawson – Course Manager, Peter knows the club as well as anyone having joined the staff as Head Greenkeeper in 1997.

Now having spent more than 23 years at the club, Peter oversees a team of greenkeepers.

This team plan to make all three 9-hole courses some of the best playing surfaces in the area.

 

Emily Perry – Emily is the Performance coach at South Essex. A former Tour Professional who has a degree in Psychology and is a certified NLP Practitioner.

 

Paul Holland – PGS Professional, Teaching for 22 years.

Paul’s coaching style is a mixture of Technical and Performance coaching.

Paul coached Richard McEvoy to the 2018 European Open.

Paul specialises in Performance Analysis using state of the art technology such as Trackman and Sam Putt Lab in his sessions.

 


Golf Range and membership prices - Soth Essex Golf Course

South Essex Golf Club – The Courses…

The Heron – Par 37

Our most challenging 9 holes at 3,176 yards and boasts spectacular views of the Essex countryside and Thames Valley.

The varied layout of The Heron features two par 5’s each over 550 yards.

The trio of holes 6, 7 and 8 are known as Barn Wood Corner and are the most scenic on the course.

It meanders around Barn Wood and brings into play three water features combining fantastic views through the woodland.

Hole number 8 is a favourite with many visitors to the course and potentially our signature hole.

A testing Par 3 at 243 yards from the elevated competition tee makes it one of the longest pars 3’s in the county.

On a clear day, it is possible to see across to the city of London from the tee.

The Heron combined with The Hawk to provide a truly demanding 18-hole championship course measuring 6,755 yards. ​

The Hawk – Par 36

This a picturesque parkland course at 3,165 yards in length.

The layout gently undulates through attractive parkland and around established woodlands.

Holes 4, 5 and 6 wind around Dog Wood, this collection of holes each offering a completely different challenge.

The home stretch begins at hole 7 which is the most demanding par 4 on the 27-hole complex.

The elevated tee position provides the view to a fairway sloping steeply from left to right rolling down to a small well-protected green.

The closing hole to complete the home stretch is a par 5 measuring 536 yards, with various hazards and features to test accuracy.

The two-tier green is positioned adjacent to the welcoming clubhouse and surrounding water features.

As a result, play The Hawk and Vixen for a truly memorable parkland layout.

The Vixen – Par 35

This 9 is an extremely attractive layout and provides a fair test for golfers of all standards.

The Vixen is immensely popular with our members and features a variety of unique holes 5 and 9 amongst the best.

Although shorter than the Heron and Hawk the prevailing winds come in to play, on the elevated holes of The Vixen to increase the challenge.

And the dramatic 9th hole boasts a change in the level of nearly 100ft from tee to green.

The fifth hole rises from road level up to Barn Wood and is worth the walk to the top for the spectacular views alone.

Furthermore, golfers can enjoy a close-up of the Bluebell carpet in the woods either side of the path from the 5th green to 6th tee, in April and May

So, combine The Vixen and Heron to provide a varied and challenging 18 even for the low handicapper.

 


Brentwood Golf range and golf course - membership pricesSouth Essex Golf Club – Membership fees…

PLATINUM – 7 DAY membership

  • 10-day advance tee booking
  • Discounted guest green fees
  • 10% off food and beverage in the clubhouse
  • 20% off buggy hire
  • 20% off range balls
  • Complimentary food and beverage credit of £50
  • Club competition calendar
  • Social events calendar
  • Eligibility for official CONGU handicap

GOLD – 5 DAY membership

  • 10-day advance tee booking
  • Discounted guest green fees
  • 10% off food and beverage in the clubhouse
  • 20% off buggy hire
  • 20% off range balls
  • Complimentary food and beverage credit of £35
  • Club competition calendar
  • Social events calendar
  • Eligibility for official CONGU handicap

 


Brentwood Golf Range - TopTracer

Golf Range – Pricing…

Our Golf Range is open to the public and provides an opportunity for both visitors and members to improve their game.

On the 16th September 2020, we welcome Top Tracer to the set-up.

Covered and floodlit with spacious bays, high-quality Srixon practice golf balls make South Essex Golf Range the best in the area. The Golf Range is open from 8am until 9pm daily*.

 Pricing for range balls:

  • 25 Balls   £4.00
  • 50 Balls   £6.50
  • 75 Balls   £8.00
  • 100 Balls £10.00

Golf Range tokens can be purchased in the pro shop or baskets of balls can be purchased at the range by contactless payment. Members can top-up swipe cards with driving range credits.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. *last balls are dispensed at 8.30pm

 


And finally,

So, there you have it, that’s why we are returning to South Essex Golf Club in 2021 for The Social Golfer Masters.

Commenting on the day, South Essex Golf Club Director, Ed Barlett said…

We are pleased to be able to continue our partnership and look forward to The Social Golfer returning to the home of its first-ever competition. We look forward to hosting their day and on sharing more great content and promotions with TSGers. The Social Golfer community is a unique platform for ‘nomadic golfers’ and we couldn’t be happier to be working with them again. We look forward to welcoming their members to South Essex in 2021!”

Managing Director of The Social Golfer, Ian Mullins went on to say…

“We are excited to be returning to South Essex, who not only hosted our first ever event but have been a friend of the site since day one. We are confident that Ed and his team will help us put on a fantastic event. The club is going through a major refurbishment, with huge investment plans to turn the venue into one of Essex’s premier golfing venues. And we can already see great signs of a first-class facility being established in the next few years. So, it seems fitting for us to return for our 6th TSG Masters Championship!”

By Ian Mullins

Join The Social Golfer at Celtic Manor in Sept 2020…

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Celtic Manor - celebrate 10 years of thesocialgolfer.com v3As we look back at TEN years of The Social Golfer, we felt it only right that we should find some way of celebrating this achievement!

Back in 2010, we were a fledgling website with only a few users and with a couple of games a week being organised.

Fast forward to 2020 and the site now sees over 1000 events posted on our game page every year, more than 14,000 monthly visitors to the site and over 100,000 page views a month.

In addition, we have more than 11,000 registered members in 60+ countries worldwide.

So, how did we think we could thank you all for your support and, in these uncertain times, STILL honour this landmark?

 


THE SOCIAL GOLFER 10th Birthday at CELTIC MANOR!

Celtic Manor - celebrate 10 years of thesocialgolfer.com nd Mike Jones - Disabled golfer and Ambassador

Over the period of our existence, we have made many friends along the way.

We have been lucky enough to attend many Pro-am golf events and have interviewed European tour Golfers, including Andrew ‘BEEF’ Johnson.

We have been retweeted by Sir Nick Faldo, met Bryson DeChambeau, attended the PGA show in Florida.

We exhibited at the London Golf Show, been to many product launches, and even played Le Golf National before the 2018 Ryder Cup team!

However, our biggest achievement has been the charities we have supported, including disability golf. We’ve raised over £10,000 in donations.

We have sponsored disabled golfers Paul Houghton and Roger Hurcombe at their EDGA events and Par 3 Championships.

Later, we supported B.I.G charity (British Inclusive Golf) and last year, Community Golf (Helping autism & Dementia).

It was at a B.I.G. event that we met Mike Jones – See Mike’s history below.

Mike is now an Ambassador for Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales – the Home of the 2010 Ryder Cup victory for Europe.

He is a Friend of Ottobock Associate, a Motek C-Mill Ambassador, ICC Wales Ambassador and Wales Golf inclusive Ambassador. Quite an achievement in such a short time!

The Celtic Manor Resort also has a special reason to celebrate as 2020 also marks their 10th anniversary since the only Ryder Cup ever staged in Wales.

So with this in mind, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get together with Mike and Celtic Manor to host a special TENTH-anniversary TSG members event.

Celtic Manor - Twenety Ten courrse - Ryder Cup - Thesocialgolfer.com

 


THE SOCIAL GOLFER 10th Birthday at CELTIC MANOR on the TWENTY-TEN…

WIN one of only TEN free rounds of golf with the TSG team and Mike Jones (worth £130pp)

Our special Golf Day is on Wednesday 16th September 2020, almost 10 years to the day of the Ryder cup and only a few days after our official TSG birthday (10/8/20).

Therefore, we have x10 rounds booked, for TEN lucky TSGers to find out what it is like to play on this historic golf course AND walk on the same hallowed ground as Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and many others.

Celtic Manor - Twenety Ten courrse - Ryder Cup - Thesocialgolfer.com.png - food & Restuarants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In addition, for those that join us the night before, you will have the chance to make more of your visit to Celtic Manor as Mike Jones will host a dinner in one of the EIGHT exclusive resort restaurants, including…

  • Steak on Six
  • The Rafters
  • The Grill
  • Sawyers Bar & Grill
  • PAD (Passionate Asian Dishes)
  • Newbridge on USK
  • The Rib smoke House & Grill
  • Orange Grill & Garden Room

Furthermore, those wishing to go down the night before and stay in the hotel will benefit from Mike’s preferential rates:

1-night stay – £90pp incl. breakfast (Prices to be confirmed POST-COVID)

2-nights’ stay – £180pp incl. breakfast (Prices to be confirmed POST-COVID)

Celtic Manor - celebrate 10 years of thesocialgolfer.com v2.png - Ryder cup - 10 years on TWENTY TEN

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HOW to ENTER

In July 2020, TSG launched its NEW Cool fibre Polo Shirt, which will soon be available to buy on the website.

Buy a TSG Polo shirt BEFORE 10th August 2020 for only £TWENTY (normally £25) and your name will be entered into a draw to WIN one of those TEN places on the TWENTY TEN.

TSG Polo Shirt is available in both Men’s & Ladies sizes.

  • Permanent wicking yarn technology
  • Regular fit with 2 button placket
  • 1×1 ribbed collar

Fabric Weight: 180gsm

Fabric Description: Micro-fine Pique in TSG Green or Black

Sizes: XXS – 3XL (green but up to 5XL in Black) – Ladies, S, M, L

 

Celtic Manor 2010 competition - TheSocialGolfer.com Merchandise 2020

*On Monday 10th August will mak the draw and immediately contact the winners.

 


For those that do wish to enter, please check you are able to attend the tee times reserved for TSG below:

September 16th 2020 Four-balls Times:

9.30 am – TSG Winners

9.40 am – TSG Winners

9.50 am – TSG Winners (+ Mike Jones & TSG Team)

Note – These tee times are normally only reserved for Celtic Manor members!

I WANT TO be at Celtic Manor in September, BUY a TSG polo Shirt for £20 and you could win…

xx

Celtic Manor - Twenety Ten courrse - Ryder Cup - Thesocialgolfer.com.png - TWENTY TEN - ENTER COMPETITION

Note: We will contact you regards sizing, once competition draw has been concluded.

 


About Celtic Manor and the Twenty Ten course…

Celtic Manor - Twenety Ten courrse - Ryder Cup - Thesocialgolfer.com.png - The Resort

Built to stage the 2010 Ryder Cup, it was the first course to be built specifically for golf’s greatest team tournament.

The Twenty Ten measures a robust 7,493 yards off the back tees and has a par of 71.

With water hazards on half of its holes, the course has six signature holes and presents many more memorable tests and risk-and-reward dilemmas.

One of the features of the spectacular course is its variety.

Many of the earlier holes having a links-like feel, with long rough and greenside swales, before the middle section reveals the full extent of the lake-lined challenge.

A tough finishing stretch culminates in a real sting in the tail at the 18th.

Celtic Manor Course Details:

  • 7,493 yards off the back tees
  • Built to stage the 2010 Ryder Cup
  • Par of 71

The Twenty Ten Clubhouse was purpose-built for the 2010 Ryder Cup and is a fitting venue to host the world’s top golfers.

As well as state of the art facilities, the clubhouse is situated to take full advantage of its prominent position overlooking the 18th green – a signature hole of The Twenty Ten course.

Members and visitors are treated to the most exhilarating and spectacular panorama of the course and an enviable view of the final hole from a private balcony which wraps around the building.

As luxurious as it is dramatic, this is surely a place to make an impression.


Celtic Manor - celebrate 10 years of thesocialgolfer.com nd Mike Jones - Disabled golfer and Ambassador v2

Mike Jones – Disabled Golfer

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WATCH MOVIE

In October 2015, proud Welshman Mike Jones, an electrical engineer, and single figure golfer, climbed astride his Yamaha MT09 Sports Tourer motorbike for the trip across the Severn Bridge from Cwmbran into England for a shift in Bristol.

With a toot of his horn, he said goodbye to wife Beth without a care in the world.

Four days later he would wake up in hospital in Swansea in severe pain and confusion.

Mike has been told he nearly died at the scene of the accident and lost a lot of blood.

A leg was badly crushed and his thighbone was rammed through his pelvis by the crash.

These bones could be rebuilt in complicated operations but his lower left leg had to be amputated three days after the accident.

This was the start of a long road, that would include 22 hours on the surgeon’s table, six months of regular out-patient visits and a hip replacement as recently as last November.

And even then, it could have been far worse.

His biker’s protective clothing may have saved his life.

Such was the injury that more exposure to the wound could easily have led to a fatal infection… READ MORE about Mike’s Journey to recovery!

 


By Ian Mullins

Golf games to play with golf partners…

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Whether you play in the same weekend fourball as a ritual or jump from group to group, the golf games or formats you chose to play, can spice up your round, especially if you like a bit of a wager.

All golfers love to moan about how we would have had two more Stableford points but for the unlucky bounce on the 7th and the stupid missed putt on the 16th.

All the time while forgetting the good fortune that went our way.

And that is because we all love to win. 

Whether it is a friendly two-ball with your mate after work, a game against a relative or that weekend fourball, it isn’t always about just playing well.

It is also about beating the guys you’ve just spent four hours in the company of.

Golf lends itself to make the most of the competitiveness between you and your playing partners.

So much so, you can set up a little wager before anyone has struck their opening tee shot.

And there are a few ways you can spice up a round and have something at stake to keep the interest throughout the 18 holes.

 
TSG Matchplay Champion 2018 - Dave Short

Strokeplay/Medalplay

The simplest and most widely played golf games to play is just you versus your opponent.

It’s just the least number of shots taken over course of 9 or 18 holes.

No handicaps are taken into account.

Its just a straight forward test, based on who takes the fewest shots, wins.

Matchplay

Arguably the most fun to play, here you score based on holes won.

Each player earns a point for each hole in which they have taken fewer shots than their opponents

You’re playing against one playing partner, in pairs.

The format varies, depending on whether you are using your Gross score.

Or after your handicap has been taken into account.

If you score early, the match could end early e.g. Dave won by seven holes, as there were only six left to play.

However, if the two playing partners are playing off the correct handicaps, the game should last to the last few holes.

 .
golf games to play with golf partners - thesocialgolfer.com
Foursomes

Ideal for your weekend fourball. 

Pick pairs, or throw the balls up to decide who plays with who. 

Decide if you’re giving any shots, what scoring system or format you are playing, and off you go. 

It’s the best score from each pair on a hole for a win, halve or loss. 

This format also lends itself to playing for a medal score or Stableford points to determine the winners of the side bet.

 

Greensomes

Not dissimilar to Foursomes but the only difference is that both players hit a tee shot.

The team then choose the best shot of the pair and then play alternate shots, until the completion of the hole.

This can be a quick game, as there will be a reduced number of shots taken per player over the course of the 18 holes.

 

Skins

Skins is the ultimate cash wager for golfers.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a two-ball, three-ball or four-ball for this format.

You just need to decide an amount per hole for the “skins” before teeing off.

Skins works with the “skin” bet amount for each hole going to the winner of that hole. 

If no player wins the hole outright, the money rolls onto the next one.

It makes for some serious testing putts when a 5 or 6 rollover is at stake!

By the end of the match, each player may have won some money from their playing partners…but there can only be one outright winner!

 

Animals

Another favourites of the golf games to play and one that is not played as much as it perhaps should be, is ‘Animals’.

You collect an animal for various incidents or shots on the course – a duck for a hook or slice finding the wrong fairway, a frog for finding water, a woodpecker for hitting a tree

Or a camel for finding the sand and so on.

The winner of a game of animals is the player with the fewest ticked off. 

Prepare for some arguments with your playing partners though.

 

Sandies

‘Sandies’ rewards players who produce the goods from the bunker. 

Anyone making a Par or better having found a sand trap on a hole, wins cash from their playing partners. 

Double ‘Sandies’ and triple ‘Sandies’ exist for two or three trips to the bunkers on a hole. 

Determine how much a Sandie is before you start and take your partners to the cleaners with good bunker play.  

 
Texas Scramble - Golf Games - thesocialgolfer.com

Texas Scramble

This format of the game lends itself to playing with multiple groups and can involve good play but some cunning strategy too.

Played in three or four balls, each member of the group takes in turns to be the ‘lead ball’. 

Once all the drives have been taken, you pick the best drive and all play from that spot.

You then pick the best shot or Putt and all group members play from the designated spot again until you have holded-out.

Only one score is recorded per team. 

However, you must all be responsible for an equal amount of drives…

e.g. if, in a fourball team, each player MUST have his or her drive used a minimum of four times in a round, with the remaining drives to be selected at will. 

4 x 4 drives = 16. Each member of the 4-person scramble team is required to = 2 random drives = 18.

Texas Scramble handicaps: Add up the combined handicaps of all players and divide by the number of players to establish an average e.g. 18, 23, 9 & 11 = 61 / 4 = 15.25.

Therefore your team will play off… 15.

Otherwise, mark your card as usual BUT ensure you keep a record of whose drive was used on which hole.


So that’s it, there are many ways to enjoy the game of golf other than standard strokeplay.

Of course,, if you want to make a wager that doesn’t upset your pals, then take advantage of the many gambling websites that offer the latest betting prices on the PGA Tour and European Tour tournaments.

Or if you don’t like alternative golf games but like a bet, take advantage of the free bets for golf lovers given away on many betting sites in the UK and Worldwide.

Alternatively, if your playing partners don’t like a side bet, just play for the honour!

#HaveFun!

By Gary Emmerson

Using a golf course guide to select a course to play…

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Finding a Golf Course Guide and a new golf course to play;

Whether played as a hobby or preparing for a competition using a Golf Course Guide is paramount to getting the most from your golf day.

In addition, while golf is without a doubt one of the most entertaining sports in the world, a day out can be ruined by playing a course that is either to hard or to easy to play – depending on your ability.

Golfers can be enjoyed by all age groups with endless courses options availble to all in the UK.

However, we also need to keep in mind that selecting the best golf course to play, suiting your skills and playing standards can be tricky. 

Do you start on a flat course, a short course or a Par 3 course? This is especially important when you are starting out. 

So,  what factors should you examine when choosing a golf course in your area to play?  

Golf Course Guide - Vilamoura

 

Golf Course Guide – Golf course deisgn and layout?

Many courses have been engineered around specific levels of skill and ability e.g.  holes with a par three, four or five will naturally be more challenging.

The same holds true in regards to any course hazards present, such as water and bunkers (sandtraps).

Check both the Par (and yardage) of the course and consider the ‘Slope Rating’ – the difficulty factor of the course.

The course you play can make a huge impact on both your scoring and your enjoyment. 

An ideal way to help in golf course selection is also by reading course reviews found in a relaible and recognised and golf course guide to see what your fellow golf lovers have to say.

Or navigate to the website of the course in question, as this generally provides a detailed overview of its physical layout, as well as information on green fees and food options.

Golf Course Guide - Crowborough Beacon GC

Golf Course Guide – Membership feees, Green Fees and other golfing expenses?

Golf can be a rather expensive sport.

This is why appreciating what Golf Club Annual Membership fees you will be required to pay, is another logical recommendation beofre choosing which course to play (or indeed join).

These tend to be paid on a yearly basis although some courses may allow you to increase the amount of the initial deposit in order to reduce future premiums.

However, the game in the UK is slowing moving more towards a ‘Pay & Play’ model. i.e You are a day visitor and you only have to pay for you single round on the day.

Let us also not fail to mention the cost of equipment such as clubs, balls and shoes.

A good set of clubs could cost you as £1,000 ($1500) and there is no doubt that this could eat into a tight budget.

But anyone starting out would be better advised to buy a second hand set before spending big.

This is why it is wise to ask if an anuual golf club membership also comes with a member discount card for use in the club Proshop.

Golf Course Guide - Brocket-Hall-Classic-Shot

Golf Course Guide – The Social Side?

Golf is a very social sport (hence the existence of this website golfing community!) and it is often quite easy to make friends while on the fairways and greens. 

However, some courses and clubs are more exclusive than others. and using an good up to date, golf course guide will also cover this side of the game.

Try to join a club/course that caters to individuals much like yourself. 

It is also prudent to study the local online forums before joining (see golf course guide customer reviews advice above) in order to better determine which venue is the most relevant for you. 

Professional golfers require years to master their skills and while you might not ever wish to ascend to this level, there are still many other considerations to consider when selecting the most appropriate course. 

Not only will its physical characteristics determine your overall experience, but the atmoshphere and the greeting received goes a long way to determining your overall enjoyment.

Above all, always remember to have fun while playing!

———————————————-

By Ian Mullins

 

Now read – Why golfers carry 14 clubs in their bag >>

Golfing in Vilamoura – Part Two…

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalIn the first of our two articles on ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’, we talked about our visits to The Laguna and The Millennium.

In this second of our two ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’ articles, now read about our visit to the world-renowned Vale do Lobo’s The Royal and The Ocean courses...

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – Vale Do Lobo – The Clubhouse…

You know on your way into the resort that you are approaching one of Europe’s premier golf destinations.
On arrival at The Clubhouse, pleasant and friendly staff immediately showed us to the Golf reception – an area that gives you an indication of your experience for the day.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalThat is where we met Daniel who has worked at the resort for 12 years.

Something not unusual among the staff here, as we find out.
In fact, many of the staff have been here for over 10 years which suggests it’s a well-run place.
On sharing a coffee in the Players lounge, Dan explains to us that the whole resort, including the two-courses, is roughly the size of Monaco.
Having worked in marketing for some 25+ years, I conclude (given the audience they wish to attract) this is a superb way to promote themselves. Especially if you want to appeal to the European golfers with a high disposable income.
Looking out from the lounge, we have a beautiful view of both the Putting Green and the Grandstand, which gives the place a very grand feel.
However, this theme continues as we take a tour of the facilities.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

They have it all covered here including a Private lounge for members, a Spa, an 8-bay driving bay (which is due for a refurb), a gym, snooker area and a yoga studio.
All surrounded by beautiful shady areas, cobbled paths, an outside bar area, scenic views across the sea – somewhere we return to after our round.
The changing room is large, trendy and immaculately clean, as you would expect from a high-end resort.
Dan goes on to tell me that whilst the membership is not cheap at 5,000 euros a year, there are a good 200+ members.
Both the corporate members and tourist day-trippers keep the place very busy.
If you’re going to visit Vale do Lobo, make sure you make a full day of it, enjoy the surroundings, the ambience and the friendly staff.
Give your self plenty of time to enjoy the views – and I haven’t even mentioned the golf yet…

Golfing in Vilamoura – Vale Do Lobo –  The Courses –  The Royal Course…

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

So, I guess all golfers with a number of years of playing under their belt have a ‘bucket list’ of courses they want to play.

Having heard about the famous 16th, Par 3, from many friends, ‘The Royal’ was one golf course I’ve wanted to play for a while.

However, to focus solely on this hole would do the rest of the course a disservice.
The course starts with some very straight but pretty holes, enclosed by whitewashed villas and I immediately felt at home and encouraged by what was to come.
The fairways are clean, soft and well maintained as you would expect and it’s a pleasure to be playing on firm fairways again (we really do have to put up with a lot back in ‘Blightly’ with its wet, damp and cold conditions) and I feel I will save a few shots today because of it! (I didn’t!)
The course is very walkable, despite some big inclines and declines, but there’s always a shady area close by under which to cool down.
The stand out hole on the front nine is definitely the 7th hole – 140 yards, 130 yards carry over water (see below) to a slightly sloping green.
Despite a pretty ropey scorecard up to this point, I just make it over and scramble a par, so I am happy!
This is quickly followed by another carry over water on the 150 yards, Par 3, ninth hole. Alas, here I was not so lucky. Splosh!
Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalSo, on to the back nine. More picturesque and with a more varied hole layout, the course now gets more interesting.
I won’t talk about each hole but I will say it’s beautiful, pretty tree-lined fairways and immaculate greens all run quickly.
And as we approach the sea and the Par 3, 16th signature hole, you really do feel you’re playing Millionaire’s golf!
At this point I must commend the club, as they run a ten-minute tee system, meaning we saw hardly any other golfers until the 17th hole.
If I had any criticism with the course at all, I would say some of the tee boxes could be flatter in places… but now I am picking ‘holes’.
This is both a well managed and beautifully presented golf resort, and they couldn’t have been more courteous to us.
I will definitely return here.

18 holes – Cost = Approx 100 euros


Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

Golfing in Vilamoura – The Courses – Vale Do Lobo – Ocean Course…

Now sadly, this is when I turn to my fellow TSGers for their feedback on the second (and less well-known) course, The Ocean, as I had to head for the airport.

The Ocean Course is composed of the two original 9-hole golf courses designed by Sir Henry Cotton.

The Course features undulating fairways which run alongside a nature reserve, before leading gently down to the shores of the Atlantic.

Its stand out holes are two very testing and spectacular Par 4s – the 11th and the 14th, as well as the Par 3 15th which runs alongside the beach.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalBeing much newer, this course is more of a challenge, as everyone we spoke to told us… it is a very ‘technical’ course to play.
I took this to mean longer, more bunkers, more wind and faster greens and they were right.
However, both the team reported back having enjoyed another sunny day on the fairways and in the bar (see picture) and having enjoyed the course hugely.
The good news is, I know I will be returning to the area again soon, so I will make the effort to revisit this Mecca of golf.

18 holes – Cost = Approx. 100 euros


 

By Ian Mullins

Missed Part 1 of our article on ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’ – see below

Why golfers can carry 14 golf clubs in their bag…

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

14 golf clubs - The Rules and The Penalties - The Social GoflerEver wondered why you are allowed to carry up to 14 clubs in your golf bag?

And who made this rule? And why?

Here we look at some of the history and rationale as to why 14 is the magic number…

 


The reasons why golfers carry 14 golf clubs in one bag – The History…

It doesn’t matter if you use a golf carry bag or a golf stand bag, Callaway, Sun Mountain or Ping golf bags, most golfers know that you can have up to 14 golf clubs in it.

However, it’s not so common for people to know why, and they don’t really ask.

The truth is, it hasn’t always been like this – the rule of carrying up to 14 clubs was first introduced in 1938.

Before that time, golfers could bring as many clubs as they wanted.

Did you want 20 or 30?

Well, as long as your caddie could carry it, it was alright.

Before the 1920s the number of carried clubs hadn’t even been an issue, but in 1924 the first player in the golf history decided to use a steel-shafted club in the US Open.

This new club could ensure a longer flight without making a golfer give up control over it.

However, many players didn’t want to drop the hickory-shafted clubs that they knew so well so they simply decided to bring them all to the tournaments.

So why did The USGA (the United States Golf Association) and the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) decided to regulate it?

There were several reasons, though all of them related…

 


Four reasons why golfers carry 14 golf clubs in one bag – When and why…

 

1.    To Unburden caddies…

The average number of golf clubs brought by a single player to the US Open and Amateur in 1935 was 18.

The highest total record was set in the same year when one golfer carried 35 clubs with him (a right-handed set and a left-handed set, just in case).

Or, to be precise, had his caddie carry them for him.

After that, the USGA decided that something needs to be done to limit the number of clubs a single player can bring to one match.

The caddies being overloaded and simply exhausted were one of the reasons for finally regulating it.

2.  To down-skill the game…

Since the very beginning, golf was primarily about the skills and the idea was to keep it that way.

The USGA and the PGA didn’t want some players to seem better than others simply because they may have had many various clubs.

The goal was to keep the game as challenging as possible and not to leave all the answers to technology and gear.

3.  To avoid inequality…

Apart from the caddies’ health, the USGA and the PGA also worried that too many different clubs carried by a single player can make him or her unjustly superior to those who couldn’t afford all kinds of different sets of clubs.

They wanted to avoid inequality based on social and financial background.

4.  Apparently, 14 is enough to have the whole set…

Steel-shafted clubs were much easier to customize than hickory-shafted ones, so when the steel finally appeared, matching sets were introduced to the market.

The very first set was created by a Scottish manufacturer, George Nicoll, who decided to number the clubs from one to nine – and other producers followed shortly after.

Then, all nine were traditionally played along with one putter and four wooden clubs. All that made up 14 clubs that we are allowed to use up until this day.

 


14 golf clubs - The Rules and The Penalties - The Social GoflerThe reasons why golfers carry 14 golf clubs in one bag – The Penalities…

Well, of course. If there’s an official rule, there must be a penalty for breaking it.

In this case, it’s two strokes for each hole where there were too many clubs in a golf bag.

It means that, even if you don’t know that you have too many clubs and you don’t realize until you’re playing the second hole, you will get penalized for both of them.

However, it’s the maximum penalty, so you won’t ever get more than four strokes.

If you realize in the middle of playing one hole, it will be assessed at the end of it, and to the last one if you’re between holes.

It’s a bit different during the Match Play where the penalty is one hole, and the total match score is changed, not only the hole you’re currently playing.

 


The reasons why golfers carry 14 golf clubs in one bag – Does the type of clubs matter…

No. As long as you keep the overall number of clubs up to 14 and they all conform to other regulations, it doesn’t matter how many of each type you have.

Choosing the types accordingly to the game, to your skills and preferences is the whole other thing that you should sacrifice your time to.

A lot of golfers still stick to the traditional set of nine irons, four kinds of wood or Hybrid and one putter.

 


 The bottom line…

It’s also worth noting that there’s no minimum as to the number of clubs you can carry in your bag.

But still, the bottom line is that, if you want to succeed, you don’t just have to be good at what you’re doing – you need to know all the rules.

Something, not all golfer seem to know!

 


By Haper Stanbridge

Read about the new rules of golf launched in 2019 >>

 

Golfing in Vilamoura – Part One…

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

In the first of two articles under the heading of ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’, we visited the renowned Algarve region of Portugal for four days.

We visited four golf courses including the world-famous, Vale de Lobo and two other local courses, The Laguna and The Millenium.


Golfing in Vilamoura – Getting There:

As with all golf In The Algarve, you will probably be flying using either one of the low-cost airlines or via BA or a Portuguese airline.

My travel partners flew with EasyJet without any hassle, while I was charged £55 by Ryanair for not printing my boarding pass and not checking-in more than two hours prior to my flight. Seriously!

However, my mood quickly lifted when I arrived at Faro airport.

As I was golfing in Vilamoura for the first time, I decided to try Uber rather than a traditional transfer service. 

Having been quoted 36 euros for a pick-up and drive to Vilamoura, I was very impressed to only pay 21 Euros and Jose was so helpful and polite.

For the four day trip, we never paid more than 4 euros to get anywhere in the area.

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – Accommodation/Room:

Laguna Resort apartments are walking distance from The Dom Pedro courses Including The Laguna, The Millennium and The Victoria (which was host to the Portuguese Masters in Autumn of 2019.)

Often on a golf trip, your priority is to pay as little as possible for your accommodation in order to afford more golf.

However, we couldn’t have been more impressed with our apartment chosen by golf specialist and TSG travel partner – Golf Escapes.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the layout and decor, twin balcony and two bathrooms, made this as good an apartment as I’ve had the pleasure of staying in, anywhere.

On a golf course or not….including Rocco Forte 5star golf complex in Sicily!

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – Laguna Clubhouse:

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

Having caught the early flight from Stansted, not wanting to waste any time, we headed for the Laguna resort which is home to the above mentioned, Millennium and Laguna courses.

The clubhouse and shop are large and clean and the changing rooms, while not as stunning as Vale De Lobo (see next month’s March newsletter for review), is still a step up from your average UK Clubhouse.

There is a large patio area overlooking four holes and they offer both reasonably priced and very tasty sandwiches as well as a full a la Carte menu.

As you know, with any club in Spain or Portugal, there is always a senior golf pro on hand to chat to, who can tell you the history of the place.

And it was here I met ‘Joaquin’, who was quick to ask where we were from and how long we were staying. He shared his stories of playing in the UK in his early years.

He was also keen to show me some of his vintage golf magazine from the ’80s.

I think Senhor Catarina would have happily talked all day but alas, I was due on the tee in 3 mins.

As much as I wanted to chat more, I really wanted to play.

However, I didn’t miss the opportunity to tell him about The Social Golfer Family but I fear the concept did not translate well.

The younger (much younger) staff member listening to our conversation, got it immediately “ah, so it’s like Tinder for golfers”, “not quite” I quickly retorted…but he had a point!!

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – The Courses – Millennium:

We opted to play the newest course, The Millennium, on our first day.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalWe had been advised it was flat and a good way to break yourself into a four-day tour.

Wow! I loved this course. With gentle undulation, playable fairways and although narrow for many courses in the Algarve, it was more forgiving than most of England’s courses.

This is the newer of the two courses – it was immaculate.

Dry fairways, fine grass, a plethora of shady areas and not a single pitch mark to be found on any green until the 17th hole.

The greenkeepers should be warmly applauded for preparing this course so well.

Note, the greens here are ‘lightning-fast’, so be prepared to three-putt a lot until you’ve been here a few days.

My only criticism would be that some of the tee boxes are not entirely flat, so place your tee peg wisely.

That said, each hole is very different and you would have to play this track many times before you got bored.

We teed off at 2pm (walking) and were finished by 6pm (sunset in February).

I will definitely return here.

18 holes – Cost = 71 euros


Golfing in Vilamoura – The Courses – Laguna:

On returning to The Clubhouse on day two, we choose to play late morning at 11am on Laguna.

The temperature was 19c, there was a cool breeze, but the strong sunshine still meant the need for sunscreen.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

Yet by 3.30pm I was pulling on a light jumper e.g perfect golf weather.

This course, despite being less distance on the card than the Millennium and with shorter distances between holes, it’s less forgiving, so took 40 minutes more to play.

One thing I do like here is the club’s insistence on how long you should take to go round. Something many clubs in the UK should adopt.

I know this a constant bone of contention all around the world but IMHO, it’s just considerate and good manners to keep up the pace of play.

If you’re holding up the groups behind, let them through.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

 

But back to the golf…

The Laguna (as the name suggests) is the ‘water’ course. I think it comes into play on at least seven holes, maybe more.

Beautiful open fairways, well-maintained greens (again, very few ‘pitch marks’ to be found here).

Whilst I didn’t find the greens quite as quick as the previous day, they were true.

Six one-putts on the front nine suggested I was getting the pace of the greens after a good night’s sleep.

18 holes – Cost = 85 euros

 


Food:

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalYou are never going to be short of choice for beautifully prepared, fresh and fragrant food in Portugal with seafood and steak in abundance.

One of the favourite places we visited was the Akvavit at Vilamoura Marina, run by a lovely Swedish lady.

Joining in with the theme, I was convinced to try the Rydberg steak, the dish is made up of cubed fillet steak, sautéed potato, in a bay leaf and onions sauce, with a raw egg yolk in the middle, yum.

Complimented with a light and sofa red wine from the Duora region.

However, the TSG best chef award goes to ‘O Jacatino’

This is a Portuguese family restaurant we frequented on our last evening, where you can sample home-cooked traditional Portuguese favourite, Cataplana (seafood stew).

While my travel partners enjoy this, I had the softest steak I’d tasted in ten years.

 


Six one-putts on the front nine suggested I was getting the pace of the greens after a good night’s sleep.

The Locals:

Having played golf in more than 12 countries now…

As such, I would probably say the Portuguese are up there with the best when it comes to making golfers feel welcome. 

They have both a gentle but passionate manner and are good-humoured.

They really do know how to do customer service too and we were made very welcome by everyone.

Especially the staff at The Laguna resort, who couldn’t do enough to help us enjoy our stay.

 


And Finally:

Is the Algarve still one of the most popular and tranquil places to play golf? Oh yes!

Is it expensive? Absolutely!

Will I be back for more, of course… I’m already thinking about where to play next year!

TSG VERDICT = 4.5 stars

 


By Ian Mullins

Look out for part 2 of our ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’ series in the TSG March Newsletter, including a review of both courses at Vale De Lobo…

NOW READ ABOUT THE BEST GOLF COURSES IN SPAIN>>

 

Golf Trivia at Xmas….

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

Golf Trivia - TheSocialGolfer.com - Golfing Facts v2So with the Xmas season upon us, we thought we would give you some golf trivia on which to impress your friends this Christmas!

As such, we turned to regular TSG Newsletter columnist ‘Scottish Bob’ to share with us some great golf trivia nuggets he’s been researching in 2019…


‘Scottish Bobs’ Golf Trivia – The Rules of golf…

In the few short years that I have been playing golf, and trying to come to terms with my inadequate knowledge of the rules.

I decided to delve a little deeper into how these rules came about.

The Earliest known rules of golf were drafted in Edinburgh in March 1744 for the worlds first “Open “ golf competition at Leith, by the Gentlemen Golfers of Edinburgh.

Who would later go on to become, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the draft consisted of only 13 rules.

John Rattray Captain 1744-1747 said…

Golf Trivia –  The First Set of Rules of Golf from 1744

  1. You must Tee your Ball within a Clubs length of the Hole.
  2. Your Tee must be upon the ground.
  3. You are not to change the Ball which you Strike of the Tee.
  4. You are not to remove, Stones, Bones, or any break Club, for the sake of playing your Ball, Except upon the fair green and that only/ within a Clubs length of your Ball.
  5. If your Ball comes among water or any watery filth, you are at liberty to take out your Ball & bringing it behind the hazard and Teeing it, you may play it with any Club and allow your Adversary a Stroke for so getting out your Ball.
  6. If your Balls be found anywhere touching one another, You are to lift the first Ball, till you play the Last.
  7. At Holling, you are to play your Ball, honestly for the hole, and not to play upon your Adversary’s ball, not lying in your way to the hole..
  8. If you should lose your Ball, by it’s taken up, or any other way, you are to go back to the Spot, where you struck last, and drop another ball, and allow your adversary a Stroke for the misfortune.
  9. No man at Holling his Ball is allowed, to mark his way to the hole with his club, or anything else.
  10. If a Ball is stopp’d by any person, Horse, Dog, or anything else, The Ball so stopp’d, must be played where it lyes.
  11. If you draw your club in Order to Strike, & proceed so far in the Stroke as to be e Accounted a Stroke.
  12. He whose Ball lyes farthest from the hole is obliged to play first.
  13. Neither Trench, Ditch, or Dyke, made for the preservation of the links, nor the Scholar’s Hole’s, or the Soldier’s Lines, Shall be accounted a Hazard, But the Ball is to be taken out teed/and played with any iron club.

Golf Trivia – Today’s Rules of Golf…

For many years there were two sets of rules golf, codified by the U.S.G.A. and the R.&.A., beginning in 1952 the two groups standardized the rules, publishing a new set every two years with minor changes.

However, it was not until 1990 that the two sets of Rules truly became one, as both groups settled upon a standard set of rules for the game of golf.

The biggest difference for many years was that the R.&.A. allowed play with a 1.62 inch diameter ball, while the U.S.G.A ball was standardized at 1.68 inches.

There are 3 basic premises governing the Rule of Golf 1) Play the ball as it lies. 2) Play the course as you find it. 3) If you are unable to do either 1 or 2 ,do what is fair.

Since these set of rules were set over 375 years ago there have been many changes, and today there are 34 rules of golf with many sub-rules, and sub-sub rules, and far to many to mention here today and you can see the original set of rules in the National Library of Scotland.

Golf Trivia - TheSocialGolfer.com - Golfing FactsGolf Trivia – Unique Golf Rules…

Many of you fellow golfers who are reading this have no doubt played golf in different parts Europe and other part of the world, and may have come across some different rules on your scorecard for that particular golf club and some of them can be quite unique and humorous.

While collecting scorecards for my collection I come across quite a few unique golf courses with some very humorous rules which I would like to share one with you all.

My first golf course Royal Toberua is on the beautiful island of Toberua in the Fijian Islands, it is quoted as the South Pacific’ s most exclusive club.

This 9 hole par 3, beach golf course was founded in 1985 by celebrated Australian artist Ken Done and is only playable at low tide.

Course rules include:

  1. Air swings are not counted.
  2. On the line is considered in the circle.
  3. The player with the lowest score is the winner.

‘Local’ rules include:

  1. Sea snakes may be lifted and dropped two club-lengths without penalty.
  2. It is absolutely forbidden to wear long socks with shorts.
  3. Guest out walking shall be treated as hazards.
  4. The sea shall be treated as casual water, and a ball may be retrieved and dropped no nearer to the hole without penalty.
  5. Taking the game to seriously shall incur a “Shout at the bar “

I hope that many of you fellow golfers find these local golf rules as amusing as I did.

However, it is a fact is that there are THREE species of sea snakes that are found along the waters of the rugged Fijian coastline

These include the highly venomous black & white banded sea krait.

While their venom is 20 times stronger than any land snake, it is reported that their little mouths are very small and cannot open them very wide.

In addition,  the sea snake is very docile. BUT be careful when & if you decide to pick one up to remove it.

“Til next time Happy Golfing”


 “Scottish Bob Davies”

    Golf Trivia - The Social golfer

Best Golf Courses in Spain…

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Best golf courses in Spain - Real Club Valderrama v1When it comes to knowing the best golf courses in Spain, there’s no better destination to ‘swat up’ on, than the most visited golf region in Europe…

Lush, rolling fairways, picturesque courses, an enjoyable climate and great cuisine combine to make the ultimate golf destination – and all of this only a few hours from London.

But with such a great selection of golf holidays in Spain, how do you choose a destination?

To make selecting your next golf break in Spain a breeze, here’s our pick of the eight best golf courses based on quality, value, and of course, player reviews.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at Spain’s best golf courses…

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #1 Real Club Valderrama, Torreguadiaro

One of the most famed golf courses in Spain, Valderrama famously played host to the 1997 Ryder Cup and is consistently voted among the best courses in Europe.

Thanks to the well-considered layout, conditions at Valderrama are perfect year-round.

Valderrama isn’t a course for the faint of heart, with plenty of doglegs to test your planning skills, and tree-lined fairways ready to claim any wayward drives.

As of 2019, the course has undergone extensive arborist work, removing many of the low-hanging branches that players had to contend with previously.

So if you haven’t visited recently, it’s well worth a return trip.

  • Year Built    1974
  • Par        71
  • Difficulty    Hard
  • Designer    Robert Trent Jones
  • Walkable?    Yes
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    6390 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Hilly in parts
  • Location    Cadiz, Andalucia
  • Facilities    Driving range, putting green, golf lessons, pro-shop, clubhouse, parking, bar and restaurant, changing rooms.

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #2 Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, Torreguadiaro

The first of Robert Trent Jones’ courses, Sotogrande is an undulating course that provides plenty in the way of challenges for the seasoned golfer.

With a number of elevated greens and a generous helping of hazards, Sotogrande is a course that will keep you on your toes.

Being a decade older than Jones’ Valderrama course, it isn’t as flawless and shows its age in places.

However,  Sotogrande is a course not to be missed for the golfer who enjoys the thrill of the game.

  • Year Built    1964
  • Par        72
  • Difficulty    Medium
  • Designer    Robert Trent Jones
  • Walkable?    Yes
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    6224 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Hilly
  • Location    Malaga, Andalucia
  • Facilities    Driving range, putting green, golf lessons, pro-shop, clubhouse, parking, bar and restaurant, changing rooms.

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #3 Torrequebrada Golf, Malaga

Taking the top spot for our best value golf course in Malaga, Torrequabrada Golf is truly a hidden gem.

Once host to the 1977 Spanish Open, this often overlooked course represents great value and is comparable to some of the Costa del Sol’s top golf courses.

The third hole is only 90 metres long end-to-end but provides a good challenge and sets the scene for the remaining course.

An equally enjoyable course for keen amateurs and seasoned professionals, the (admittedly ageing) course of Torrequebrada is a diamond in the rough.

  • Year Built    1976
  • Par        72
  • Difficulty    Medium
  • Designer    Pepe Cancedo
  • Walkable?    Yes though buggy advised
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    5,852 Metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Flat
  • Location    Benalmádena, Malaga
  • Facilities    Driving range, putting green, golf academy, group lessons, pro-shop, bar and restaurant, changing rooms.

 


Best golf courses in Spain - PGA Catalunya v1Best Golf Courses in Spain – #4 PGA de Catalunya (Stadium), Girona

Only 45 minutes drive from Barcelona, a visit to PGA de Catalunya is a must when visiting the region.

This championship course has played host to a number of Opens but is one which will be enjoyed by the amateur golfer too.

This dramatic course features a number of tight holes and plenty of variety.

Construction has many underway on and off over the past few years to upgrade areas of the course, but this means it’s likely to be even better each time you visit.

  • Year Built    1998
  • Par        72
  • Difficulty    Medium
  • Designer    Neil Coles, Angel Gallardo
  • Walkable?    Yes
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    6226 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Flat
  • Location    Girona, Costa Brava
  • Facilities    Driving range, putting green, golf academy, group lessons, pro-shop, bar and restaurant, changing rooms, massage, gym, pool, sauna.

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #5 Santana Golf, Mijas

As well as being one of the newer golf courses in the area, Santana is widely considered to be one of the best golf courses in the Costa del Sol, particularly when factoring in its low price-point.

Santana Golf isn’t a championship course, but that is part of what makes it so enjoyable to a wide range of golfers. The generously wide fairways make for a forgiving course, while the hospitality adds to the laidback experience.

  • Year Built    2003
  • Par        72
  • Difficulty    Difficult
  • Designer    Cabell B. Robinson
  • Walkable?    Yes
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    6,207 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Flat
  • Location    Malaga, Costa del Sol
  • Facilities    Clubhouse, golf school, pro-shop, putting green, chipping green, pitching green, practice bunker.

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #6 Santa Maria, Marbella

One of the best things about a golf holiday in Spain is the weather, the second best are the views.

You’ll have your fair share of both with the Santa Maria golf course which looks out over the Meditteranean sea and the oak-covered mountains.

With a flat terrain and fairly short length of only 5,325 metres, it’s a great day out for golfers of all levels.

  • Year Built    1991
  • Par        70
  • Difficulty    Medium
  • Designer    Antonio García Garrido
  • Walkable?    Yes
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    5,325 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Flat
  • Location    Marbella, Costa del Sol
  • Facilities    Clubhouse, practice area, tennis, bar, snack bar, pro-shop, beverage cart.

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #7 Parador de El Saler, València

Set in the El Saler Nature Reserve, the Parador de El Saler course (also known as Campo de Golf El Saler) has a thoughtful layout, encompassing both links-like and forested areas.

El Saler is a challenging and lengthy course; if you’re teeing off the white tee box you’ll be covering a total distance of 6355 metres.

With all that space, it’s not surprising that the greens are extremely generous, averaging a length of 40 metres.

It’s not all open fairways and sprawling greens though, with over 100 bunkers spread across the course.

For a quality architectural layout, look no further than Parador de El Saler.

  • Year Built    1968
  • Par        72
  • Difficulty    Medium
  • Designer    Javier Arana
  • Walkable?    Yes
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    6042 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Flat
  • Location    Valencia, Costa Blanca
  • Facilities    Driving range, putting green, golf academy, group lessons, pro-shop, bar and restaurant, changing rooms.

 


Best Golf Courses in Spain – #8 Finca Cortesin, Marbella

If you’re looking for a golfing break in the Costa del Sol that offers tremendous value for money, you’re in for a treat with Finca Cortesin.

With the Costa del Sol is one of Spain’s best-golfing destinations, any newer course has to offer something truly special to compete with the likes of Torrequebrada.

Finca Cortesin does just that. Designed by award-winning golf architect Cabell Robinson, it sets itself apart with attention to detail.

One of the longest courses in Europe, Finca Cortesin gives you plenty of golf for your green fee. Each hole has been designed to be of standalone championship quality, and boy does it deliver.

One not to miss on your next holiday in Spain’s sunshine coast.

  • Year Built    2007
  • Par        72
  • Difficulty    Medium
  • Designer    Cabell Robinson
  • Walkable?    Yes though buggy advised
  • Clubhouse    Yes
  • Length    6808 metres
  • Flat or Hilly    Hilly
  • Location    Malaga, Costa del Sol
  • Facilities    Driving range, putting green, golf academy, group lessons, pro-shop, bar and restaurant, changing rooms, massage, gym, pool, sauna.

There we have it, our list of the eight best golf courses to play in Spain.

How many have you crossed off your list?

 


By Sarah Todhunter

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