Archive for the ‘Clubs/Courses’ Category

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

NOW READ ABOUT GOLF IN AUSTRALIA >>

Night Golf Events – What’s it all about?

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Night Golf Events, thesocialgolfer.com v2From the outside, night golf events or tournaments are run similar to a regular daytime golf event.

However, once you have produced a couple of them it becomes very clear that there are some clear differences that are like night and day!

It is a completely new opportunity for charity fundraisers, event promoters, golf course, and players.

Here, our friends at Premier Glow discuss the new opportunities, in addition to the differences and restrictions that playing night golf can offer…

#FORE!


Night Golf – Advantages of hosting a nocturnal event?

Chance To Access More Potential Players…

Given the fact that 90 per cent of people work, the best time for people to get out and participate in a golf event, night golf league, or golf fundraiser is in the evening.

Most people, whether they are rich or poor cannot take time off of work to participate in a daytime golf event or fundraiser.

Chance To Access A Younger Golfer Demographic…

There are many young golfers, non-golfers and recreational golfers searching for evening sports to participate in.

So you now have an even broader range of recreational athletes that can be reached through sports website registration engines like ezlinks.com, teemasters.com, golfnow.com, and active.com.

They will also enjoy the fun night golf supplies that make night golf so enjoyable.

Increased Revenue For Golf Fundraiser/Course…

Since it takes place in the evening you will discover that night golf can result in a significant increase in beverage and food sales, and that can really help to benefit the bottom line of a golf course or golf charity event.

Get More Golfers To Participate…

When you combine course play along with a cosmetic skills competition or night ‘cosmic’ putting, you can bring in friends and family as well.

This can make a golf event be more than simply a pure pay to play player event.

Cosmic putting, in particular, will bring in families and kids.


Night Golf – Disadvantages of organising a nocturnal event?

Significant Time Constraints…

During the evening many people just want to have a 2-3 hour experience that is fun and social.

One important thing to consider is that it takes about twice as much time to play night golf as it does day golf since players are walking around a lot and it simply takes more time.

This means it can be a good idea to limit on-course play to just 5-7 holes to limit player attention fatigue and overall time.

Another thing you can do is host a creative urban golf event, which we will be discussing below.

There Are Restrictions Associated With Darkness…

In the good old day – like last year – the only thing that we had were ‘glow sticks’, as well as ‘LED golf balls’ that would hit like rocks.

And they didn’t provide enough light to do more than simply braille your way around a golf course.

Yes, it is true that black lighting and mobile light make a big difference.

However, we still are really out in the dark.

That is what makes it difficult on the eyes more compared to playing in the day.

The solution to this is limiting your events to a maximum of 7 holes.

Managing Expectations…

You will have a different crowd at night that are searching for plenty of razzle and dazzle in their night golf events.

So try to think of ways of lighting up their experiences during the event or as they are leaving.

Nighttime is more about enjoying a fun party than it is about playing high precision golf.

It is more about fun. So view your golf course as a night club or event venture more than being just a golf course.

Timing…

There is less time compared to during the day.

A majority of golf events begin at 7 pm and shouldn’t go any later than 11:30 pm.

We have discovered that getting everybody back to the night putting green or clubhouse by around 10:30 is optimal.

That is why implementing a cosmetic putting event as your tie breaker can be highly effective.

It can help to extend the evening, provide another competition as players are being social, and change the pace.

Also, it adds energy rather than simply having players out on the golf course.

Tighten Up Your Event…

People at night don’t like playing an entire 9 holes.

It is simply too much to play golf in the dark that long.

We have discovered that older players will tend to quit after playing about 6 holes, especially when you start after 8 pm.

People need to have their beauty sleep.

That is why we recommend that you limit your night golf events to just 6 or 7 holes.

Add Night Putting…

To add more involvement and a more dynamic event you can incorporate cosmic night putting into your event with 6 to 9 holes.

They are easy to get set up and is an excellent way to bring in kids and families.

Players can now compete in about 2 hours over 6 holes, and then do a quick 9-hole putt off after enjoying a nice cool drink and socialising with their friends.

Night Golf Events, thesocialgolfer.com v3

 

Urban Golf Ideas…

Think about having a modified putting or urban golf even using Glow Tour V2 or Glowgear limited distance night balls.

On-course urban golf events involve bringing just two to three clubs with you and playing each of the holes from 100 yards or closer.

We recommend that you place target lights on the fairway and a cosmic putting track ring.

So now each hole is 100 yards and scoring shots involves players just needing to chip into a circle in order to hole out.

This distance at night is plenty far enough and enables hot shots to truly dial into their game.

And at the same time allows beginners to avoid the long irons and drivers that they have a hard time hitting even during the day.

It also helps to save on lost balls since most players lose night golf balls while hitting them using long irons and drivers.

Golfers can now safely walk around the course and hit their shots without having to search around for lost balls.

Hit And Chip Golf Course Designs…

Another advantage to playing this type of hit and chip target golf is it makes it possible for you to play more than 6 to 9 holes at night if you want to.

Best of all, the course is opened up to an entirely new level of shot-making where you are able to avoid water hazards that have a tendency to eat up night golf balls.

This also provides regular players with an entirely new series of hazards and holes to play against compared to a day course.

You can now have golfers hitting shots that they never dreamed of since you create shots they wouldn’t ever play in the daytime.

Create Events That Are Memorable…

Night golf event photography- and action shots in particular – can really help to make your event memorable.

Using cosmic black lights and GlowGear night golf lighting can allow players to see one another in the tee box.

In addition, on the greens, it helps allow attendees to photograph one another using their mobile phones.

When these photos are combined with your event shots, you will have the photos that you need to post on social media accounts like Facebook to promote upcoming events.

Traditional glow stick night golf events are similar to wandering around in the dark.

This means it can be very hard to capture victorious putts along with all of the antics that can take place whenever you get a crowd of people gathered around a cosmetic putting green.

 


By Cormac Reynolds

Now READ ABOUT WINTER GOLF EVENTS >>

Great golf courses of the world…

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Great Golf Courses, Portugal, Arizona, Ireland - thesocialgolfer.com v1One of the very best aspects of golf is that you can plan a trip around the sport and visit some of the great golf courses of the world…

You can pinpoint a course that you want to play on and then travel there and enjoy the beautiful surroundings while topping up your tan and improving your game.

However, where should you look to go for your next golfing holiday?

Here we look at just three of the most popular golfing destinations you may have heard of…


Great Golf courses of The World – The Algarve…

Located in the beautiful country of Portugal you will find the scenic Algarve.

This relatively small European country (population 10m) has some of the Great Golf courses of The World located here.

It has always been among the favourites for European players because of the beautiful local towns, climate and of course, stunning golf resorts.

Whenever people are looking to go away for a weekend or week of playing golf, this is almost always the place where they end up.

The most notable of which is Vilamoura.

The harbour town has been transformed into a golfing complex and houses some of the best courses in the country such as Victoria, Oceanico Old and Laguna.

This is also the perfect place to unwind after a day on the course with a variety of different bars and restaurant options available.

Great Golf courses of The World – Arizona…

The scenery of the Sonoran Desert may not have seemed like the best place to build a golf course.

But over the last few years, we have seen a rise in the high-quality courses that are being made here.

The mountains and landscapes have created the perfect backdrop and canvas for these courses, and it is the ideal location to perfect your game.

It also offers a unique travel experience with many of the courses located in Scottsdale.

The locals around here rely on the influx of visitors brought by the golf resorts.

So it should come as little surprise that you’re treated like royalty for the duration of your stay.

If you come here, then you should check out the TPC Scottsdale and Dove Mountain.

Great Golf courses of The World – Ireland…

It remains no question that Scotland is the rightful home of the best links courses.

However, Ireland is quickly catching up with the Scots as they boast an array of wonderful courses.

Some of them maybe the best outside of the home of golf.

The south-west area of Ireland is the best place to be for these courses.

This part of Ireland is fast becoming the perfect location for golf in the country.

Aside from playing host to some of the best links courses, you will also find some of the most beautifully scenic spots imaginable.

Well known for its scenery and friendly locals, you can enjoy a Guinness in the local pub, have flutter on the races (or even the golf!).

Using today’s modern technologically, you can even place a bet on your favourite sport without even leaving the pub.

However, if you’re looking for the best links courses, then you should head to County Claire and County Kerry.

Here you will find the world-famous Ballybunion, as well as the Doonbeg and Lahinch.

Also, you should be sure to check out some of the lesser-known courses such as Waterville and Tralee.

Either way, playing golf at any of these great golf courses, will undoubtedly make sure that your trip to Ireland is a memorable one.


By Ian Mullins

MORE GOLF TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD >>

Golfing in South Africa – The Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland)…

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Golf in south Africa - Eswatini Kingdon - The Social GolferWhile searching the countries around the world that play golf, TSG regular columnist Scottish Bob took at another look at Golfing in South Africa and came across a country called The Kingdom of Eswatini!


As TSGers who read my golf articles know, I am always on the hunt for rare and exclusive places to play golf.

Now I have to admit I had not heard of this country under that name, so I decided to look a little bit deeper into its origin…

Golfing in South Africa – The Kingdom of Eswatini…

Up until April the 19th 2018 the country was formally known as Swaziland, however, King Mswati III decided that he would change the name of his country to The Kingdom of Eswatini.

In fact, unlike a lot of other countries around the world that completely changed their name, he named Eswatini in their spoken native name for “Swaziland.”

Of course, I then recognised the country in question.

Eswantini has a population of just under 1.5 million people as of 2019, it is approximately  17,364 sq kilometres and no larger than 200km from North to East & 130 across from East to West.

It is the smallest country in Africa as well as the Southern Hemisphere, I believe that it is also the last monarchy in sub-Saharan Africa.

However, while being a small country it has a very diverse and wide variety of landscapes, from the mountains along the border with Mozambique to the Savannah’s of the North East and the rain forest to the North West.

The Capital of Eswatini is Mbabane.

It is the largest city in the country with a population of just under 95,000 people in 2010.

Golf was first played in Mbabane in about 1923, the golf course had no prepared fairways, the veld grass was kept short and the greens were made of stamped earth as were the golfing tees.

The course still existed into the early thirties until the outbreak of the 2nd world war.

Interest in golf was revived in Mbabane following the 1939/45 war and the re-opening of the main club in 1947, to which the United Kingdom Government donated 3000.00 rand.

A subcommittee was formed to construct a golf course of which Bob Rankin (R.I.P.) and many other members contributed their time and passion for the love of golf.

The golf course took 18 months to finish with many members of the community helping out in many ways.

The 9 hole golf course was opened in 1949 which, I believe, is the oldest golf club in The Kingdom of Eswantini.

Meanwhile, several rivers also run through this beautiful country including the Great Usutu River and there are quite a few wildlife reserves & big game parks.

these have a wide variety of flora, fauna and of course, there are the Lions, Elephants, Hippos and the endangered Black-faced Rhino.

Golfing in south Africa - Eswatini Kingdon - The Social Golfer

It is also known that there are 507 bird species in the country of Eswatini.

Needless to say, I think we might be more interested in the golfing birdies.

And there is always someone wanting to “hog the greens”

Golfing in South Africa – The Kingdom of Eswatini – The Golf Clubs…

I knew a little bit about the varying options of Golfing in South Africa and I had heard of the Royal Swazi Sun Hotel Golf Club, founded in 1965.

This epic 18 hole par 72 sprawls out onto the dramatic slopes of the Lebombo Range.

An 800 kilometre stretch of narrow mountainous highland, before curving gracefully down into the lush valley where the Swazi Sun Hotels are set in the Ezulwini Valley (Valley of Heaven).

The first 9 holes of this spectacular golf course are comparatively level, however, the back 9 holes take full advantage of the imposing mountainous terrain.

There are many challenging features on this course including glossy lakes, rustic gullies and wickedly sited bunkers dot the landscape.

One of which is so deep that they had to incorporate railway sleeper steps.

Nkonyeni Lodge & Golf Estate is another one of those spectacular golfing experiences you can only dream about, set in 1200 hectares of the African bush and overlooking the Great Usutu river and surrounded by mountains.

The 18 hole championship course, with the spectacular Golden Eagle Links Course and the Bush-veld Course, are in absolutely pristine condition.

Thus making your round of golf an absolute pleasure with their very own game reserve right at your doorstep.

Golfing in south Africa - Eswatini Kingdon - The Social Golfer

There are many more fantastic golf courses in this wonderful & very diverse country including The Big Bend Golf Club, The Simunye Country Club, The Mananga Golf Club, The Manzini Golf Club, The Usutu Forest Golf Club, The Ubombo Country Club… and I could go on.

I never realised when starting this small article just how many beautiful & exciting golf courses there were and this also applies to the wildlife game reserves.

I had always thought of Kenya, South Africa & Tanzania as the haven for those, however, I can now add The Kingdom of Eswatini to that list.

I would like especially to thank Dorrie & Martin Litschka and their many friends from other Golf Clubs in Eswatini for supplying me with information on the area.

In addition, there’s a special mention to the personnel of the Mbabane Golf Club & The Nkonyeni Lodge & Golf Estate.

These clubs were very kind in helping me with a lot of local knowledge, which helped me in many ways to find out more about the country and its surrounds but a lot about this new fledgeling country itself.

Ngiyabonga & Salani Kahle (Thank you & Goodbye!).

Til next time from Scottish Bob

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


More From Bob…

Unique Golf Courses of the World – Kilimanjaro Golf…

The Open 2019 – Will American’s continue to dominate…

Friday, June 28th, 2019

Brooks Koepka - the Open 2019 - The Social GolferWith only a few weeks until The Open 2019, we look at the continued domination of Golf Majors by the Americans and discuss if the trend is set to continue into this year’s tournament…


Looking ahead to The Open 2019 – The stats…

When Gary Woodland birdied the 18th at Pebble Beach a few weeks ago he did more than secure his first career major.

Woodland’s lengthy putt brought all four men’s majors back into American hands.

It’s a quite unusual spell of dominance from the US players which hasn’t been repeated for several decades.

A victory for an American at The Open 2019 Championship in July will make history but will it happen?

Not since 1982 have all four men’s golf majors in a calendar year been won by players from the same country.

Craig Stadler, Raymond Floyd, and two Tom Watson titles secured American dominance that year.

The game is very different over 35 years later but it seems as if the US superiority has returned.

It caps an unusual run of wins which was continued by 35-year-old Gary Woodland who secured his first major.

It was an impressive final round for Woodland.

The Kansas-born golfer hadn’t made the top ten of a major championship prior to his weekend at Pebble Beach.

A second-round 65 gave him the lead over his rivals which held out until Sunday morning.

Englishman Justin Rose teed off in second-place with PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka not too far behind.

Koepka birdied four of the first five holes to go joint-second with Rose at -11.

The 12th proved an important hole with Koepka failing to take advantage of Woodland’s bogey and remaining one behind.

The eventual winner survived this mid-round stumble to push clear of the pack with a birdie on 14.

A lengthy cross-green pitch gave him confidence on 17 before Woodland sealed the win on the final hole.

“Once the putt on 18 went in, I let it come out of me, it’s special to win here at Pebble Beach

“I probably feel more nervous now than I was all day today”

“I really felt good all week”.

We’ve been preparing for this, we’ve worked hard”

“It’s obviously uncomfortable to be in the lead at a major, but I am trying to enjoy being uncomfortable! I tried to enjoy the pressure and really thrived on it”.

“Rosey’s a good buddy, so playing with him helped me. And Koepka, what he’s done lately is unbelievable. He got off to a hot start, and I was just trying to keep that cushion”

Woodland is right about Koepka.

His countryman has been on an incredible run of results in majors lately.

Koepka has won the last two US Open Championships.

The last man to do that was Curtis Strange back in the 1980s and a time of American dominance.

Some things remain the same as we enter another round of US superiority in men’s majors, with 9 of the last 11 men’s major titles have been won by Americans.

Koepka has four of them but the variety is impressive.

Woodland joined Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, and Tiger Woods in that list of recent winners.

Francesco Molinari’s 2018 Open win and Sergio Garcia’s success in the 2017 Masters at Augusta National were the sole successes for the rest of the world.

Gary Woodland - the Open 2019 - The Social GolferLooking ahead to The Open 2019 – The Favourites…

But will that continue in July?

The tour heads to the United Kingdom and the Open 2019 Championship in July.

The 148th edition of the tournament will take place at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Taking into account the above, its no surprise that Koepka is the early favourite to lift the Claret Jug at 15/2 on Betway as of 25 June.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy is in second at 9/1 and cannot be counted out on home soil.

The recent major winners will continue to threaten.

Tiger Woods cannot be dismissed after his US Masters victory but the American dominance goes beyond that.

Seven of the top ten ranked men’s golfers are American with Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele joining their countrymen.

The pair turned pro this decade but both are already challenging the leaderboard.

Schauffele looks on the cusp of his first major with three top-five finishes in his last five.

The 148th Open 2019 Championship will be as fiercely contested as ever.

Recent history suggests the Claret Jug is heading back across the Atlantic with a spell of real American dominance.

Nine of the last 11 men’s majors have been won by golfers from the United States.

Gary Woodland will want to add to his victory on Pebble Beach but he faces a tough field dominated by countrymen.

Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, and Dustin Johnson won’t be far behind, as will Rory McIlroy on home soil.

If this continues then the Americans should have a decent Ryder Cup team next year!


By Ian Mullins