Archive for the ‘Golf Articles’ Category

Crown Golf News – Greenkeepers Off to TPC Sawgrass…

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Crown Golf News - TPC Sawgrass.png v2Every now and again we hear about a fantastic ‘good news’ golfing story and this time its the turn of the UK’s best Greenkeepers and it’s also TSG partner Crown Golf News...

TPC Sawgrass GC is in the southeastern United States located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

It is the HQ for the PGA America and annually hosts The Players Championships.

Each year BIGGA members can apply for the opportunity of a lifetime, joining the golf course maintenance team at TPC Sawgrass.

Greenkeepers from around the world get the chance to be part of ‘The Players’ backroom team and BIGGA (The British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association) has revealed the first two members who have been selected to take part in the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme for 2019.

In total, six BIGGA members will be selected to take part in the event, with one selected from each of BIGGA’s five regions and a sixth being selected from the ranks of international members.

Following the final day’s play, before heading home, the greenkeepers will get the opportunity to hit the 17th hole’s famous island green.

Each of the members underwent a rigorous application process, consisting of an online application, submission of a short video and an interview with BIGGA and John Deere representatives.

But why is this Crown Golf News?

Crown Golf News – Greenkeepers Off to TPC Sawgrass…

One BIGGA member selected from over 5,000 applicants, is Andy Copeland (above left) from Chesfield Downs in Hertfordshire.

Andy recently had an up-close look at course preparations for another massive tournament, being invited along with other greenkeepers to visit Le Golf National ahead of the Ryder Cup.

Andy will be out there volunteering for the full duration of the tournament helping to set up the golf course for play.

Since his arrival in June 2016 to Chesfield Downs GC, the course has seen vast improvements under his leadership of the course conditions.

And the Greens that have been quoted as ‘Best in the Area’ with nothing but positive comments coming from all that play the course.

Andy has created a team around him that share his passion and are striving for the same goals as Andy sets himself.

In 2019 The Players Championship will return to its former March date, necessitated by the shift of the PGA Championship from August to May.

Crown Golf News – Greenkeepers Off to TPC Sawgrass – and we know some others going…

However, with another link to The Social Golfer, head greenkeeper at Cleethorpes Golf Club (and Event Director at this year’s TSG Charity British Inclusive Golf) Matthew Shaul (above right) has also been selected to take part.

TSGers also wish both well…

#GoodLuckGuys


By Ian Mullins

For more Crown Golf NewsClick Here

World of Golf London sees Ryder Cup bounce…

Friday, October 12th, 2018

World of Golf London 2Following the success of the Ryder Cup in Paris last month, the world of golf (literally) is reporting a mini-boom in participation!

World of Golf London, one of the busiest driving ranges in Europe with an average of 13 million balls hit each year, is enjoying a record period and has seen its business boosted by Ryder Cup fever following Europe’s victory in Paris…

Already 20% up on the same period last year, the floodlit facility at New Malden in south-west London was packed during the week following the winning performance by the European Team with queues forming to access many of its 60 bays.

Visiting golfers can now have a haircut or take a lesson, as well as drive the balls from a two-tier setup and play virtual courses such as Pebble Beach with Toptracer technology to define each shot.

“We’ve bucked an industry trend with business booming in recent months and it was topped off by golfers turning out after the thrilling Ryder Cup contest said Tom Roberts, Marketing Manager at World of Golf London.

There has been an exceptional rate of return on the range this year as we’ve also ventured into new business opportunities to provide the ultimate customer experience.”

He added, “Virtual golf is constantly growing thanks to modern-day technology. It’s a fun way to enjoy the sport, while still staying in the warm and spending much less time than you would if you were out on the course

World of Golf - LondonAs well as the state-of-the-art driving range, World of Golf London offers golfers an in-depth analysis of their game at the Performance Centre, where top-of-the-range launch monitors are used to analyse swings with verifiable accuracy.

Group lessons have also played a key role in golf participation at the busy facility with its exclusive ‘Learn to Play Golf Free’ offering popular with beginners – 40% of which are women.

These lessons are conducted by fully qualified PGA Professionals, including teaching guru Jon Woodroffe who recently returned to the facility by popular request.

We deliver around 2,200 hours of free coaching to beginners and juniors every year,” said fellow PGA Teaching Professional Kevin McDonald.

We firmly believe that everyone no matter what age or ability, should have the opportunity to learn the basic skills to get started in this wonderful sport and what we offer here is far less intimidating than stepping straight onto a golf course.”

“Following the European success at the Ryder Cup, more and more people are taking an interest in golf and we’re so proud that the World of Golf can be a part of their journey and offer the very best in coaching and facilities,” he added.

World of Golf London also incorporates one of the biggest golf retail stores in the UK.

In addition, as well as an 18-hole Jurassic Adventure miniature golf course; a Costa Coffee shop; a Jacks of London barbers; and nine brand-new fully serviced offices available to rent.


By Ian Mullins

The Ryder Cup 2018 arrives in Paris – 25th- 30th Sept…

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v7So, with less than a month to go to the biggest spectacle in the golfing calendar commences and we now know who is playing in this year’s Ryder Cup 2018 Teams (well all but one wildcard pick from USA team).

Here we take a look at the history of the competition and some other interesting facts to wow your friends with.

Ever wondered how and where The Ryder Cup came to into being? Read on…


The Ryder Cup – The History…

The home of the Ryder Cup is none other than Verulam Golf Club in St Albans, Hertfordshire where Samuel Ryder played…

It’s a little-known fact but the official home of the Ryder Cup is not St Andrews, The Belfry or any other well-known clubs in

the UK. But it is at the club where Samuel Ryder was a member along with his coach Abe Micthell.

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v1

Although 2018 will see the first time ‘The Ryder Cup’ has been contested on mainland Europe the origins of the tournament can be traced back to a meeting in 1921 – six years before the famous trophy was first contested.

On September 27th 1920, Golf Illustrated wrote a letter to the PGA of America suggesting that a team of US professionals should take part in the British Open with a 12-a-side international warm-up match to be played at Gleneagles.

The USA lost that weekend, but when it really counted a little over six years later in Worcester, Massachusetts, it was a runaway victory for the Stars and Stripes who secured a 9 ½ – 2 ½, victory.

However, it was as captain in 1927 that Ryder presented ‘a cup’ to promote matches between the USA and Great Britain.

It is, of course, a matter of history that the cup was named after this great man.

The home team won the first five contests, but with the competition’s resumption after the Second World War, repeated American dominance eventually led to a decision to extend the representation of “Great Britain and Ireland” to include continental Europe from 1979.

The event is jointly administered by the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe, the latter a joint venture of the PGA European Tour, the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, and the PGA of Europe.

The Ryder Cup 2018 – The Venue…Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v2

Although only built in 1990, Le Golf National is a much more established than its age suggests…

Designed by architects Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge. It’s located in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, southwest of central Paris, just 10k from the world-renowned Palace of Versailles, and only 4 hours’ drive from Calais.

However, Le Golf National differs from any other Ryder Cup venue in that it is a Public course.

This means that there is no ‘club’ as such, and no ‘members’, only Pay & Players.

The course is also unique in the sense that it is owned by the French Golf Federation (FFG). In September 1985 the President – Claude Roger Cartier – with his committee approved the creation and development of a “National Golf” venue and it was quickly completed and opened by the French Minister for Sports by R. Bambuck in October 1990.

The management team is small but effective and is headed up by Englishman Paul Armitage (who has been at the club since 2014).

Paul, who along with his very dedicated team has – over the last four years – This means it now rates among the best in the world.

The grounds, which cover 139 hectares, were originally flat and bare having been used as agricultural land since Louis XIV and the Château de Versailles when it was one of the areas where wheat was farmed.

Constructed to give a ‘stadium like’ feel to events and in time for the 1991 Open de France, L’Albatros course has been their near-permanent home for the past 25 years.

The venue has recently undergone a €7 million renovation programme to transform this national golf centre.

The Championship L’Albatros course is now a globally recognised course with slick greens and vast undulating fairways dotted with large and small water hazards and innumerable links-style bunkers.

The course is consistently ranked in the World’s Top 100 Courses and Europe’s Top 10 by Golf World (UK) magazine.

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v3The Ryder Cup 2018 – The Captains…

The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States.

The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe.

The Ryder Cup is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated the trophy – see above.

The inclusion of continental European golfers was partly prompted by the success of a new generation of Spanish golfers, led by Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido.

USA – James Michael Furyk (born May 12, 1970). Furyk was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His ancestry is Czech and Polish on his mother’s side and Ukrainian and Hungarian on his father’s side.

His father, Mike, was an assistant pro at Edgmont Country Club.

His early years were spent in the Pittsburgh suburbs learning the game from his father, who was also head pro at Uniontown Country Club. In 2010, he was the Fed-Ex Champion and PGA Tour Player of The Year.

He has won one Major – the US Open in 2003. Furyk also holds the record for the lowest score in PGA Tour history with a 58 which he shot during the final round of the 2016 Traveler Championship.

Furyk played in 9 Ryder Cups as a player winning in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008. he also played in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Europe – Thomas Bjørn (born 18 February 1971).  Bjørn is from Denmark.

He is the most successful Danish golfer to have played the game having won fifteen tournaments worldwide on the European Tour.

Bjørn is most remembered for his collapse at The Open at Royal St. George’s in 2003 when he led by two strokes with three holes to play but took three attempts to get out of a greenside bunker on the par three 16th, handing the tournament to Ben Curtis.

In 1997 he also became the first Dane to qualify for a European Ryder Cup team.

Bjørn made the Europe team winning in 1997, 2002 and 2014. In fact, his only defeat came in 2016 not as a player but as Vice-Captain.

The Ryder Cup 2018 – The Format…

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v7

The Ryder Cup is a match play event, with each match worth one point. The competition format is as follows:

  • Day 1(Friday) – 4 foursomes (alternate shot) matches and 4 fourballs (better ball) matches
  • Day 2(Saturday) – 4 foursomes matches and 4 fourball matches
  • Day 3(Sunday) – 12 singles matches

On the first two days, there are 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches with the home captain choosing which are played in the morning and which in the afternoon.

With a total of 28 points available, 14½ points are required to win the Cup, and 14 points are required for the defending champion, Europe, to retain the Cup.

All matches are played to a maximum of 18 holes according to the current format

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v9The Ryder Cup 2018 – The Teams…

Anticipation has never been higher, The Ryder Cup, the most prestigious and distinguished tournament in golf, is now just a few short weeks away and this year’s event couldn’t be more hotly contested.

Experts are tipping the USA as Ryder Cup favourites this time around following their win in 2016…

Europe’s dominance over the last few decades was diminished at Hazeltine, but the return of Ian Poulter who, renowned for his passion and spectacular under-pressure performances, could give the European’s the edge.

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v10

Although some may argue that the inclusion of Tiger Woods in this year’s team could inspire them to back to back victories.

2016 has a lot to live up to, but you can guarantee that whatever happens a new chapter in the Cup’s glittering history will be written.

Oh, and if having a flutter is your thing, why not head over to The Ryder Cup betting guide at 888, where you can select your prefer odds of each match from the comfort of your armchair.

The Ryder Cup 2018 – How to Watch & Follow…

As with previous year’s the Ryder Cup 2018 will be broadcast on Sky Sports HD with coverage starting as early Monday the 25th.

In addition, the event will be covered by BBC Radio 5 live and of course, you can also follow the event via social media feeds such as Team Europe on Facebook…

We just can wait now!

#TeamEurope

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By Ian Mullins

Le Golf National – TSG Ryder Cup Course Review

 

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer & TSGer sues Brentwood Council…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Paul Houghton on buggy

TSGer Paul Houghton and his case against Brentwood Borough Council for discrimination on account of him not being allowed to use his buggy at Hartswood Golf Club have now been taken on by top lawyer Chris Fry…

The BBC interviewed Paul on 3rd September 2018 and all the major news organisations have picked up on the story we first highlighted in 2016…

Dec 2016 – Discrimination-in-Golf…

Paul joined The Social Golfer in 2014 and has been an active and welcomed member ever since.

In 2017, The Social Golfer sponsored Paul and fellow disabled golfer Roger Hurcombe, helping them to fund their competitive golf.

Here’s what the BBC wrote about Paul Houghton’s case….

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Golfer Paul Houghton who is disabled and who uses a prosthetic leg is suing a local council for refusing to let him play on its course using a buggy.

Paul Houghton’s right leg was amputated in 2000 after he was affected by a lethal tissue-eating bacteria.

Mr Houghton learned to walk again – and golf became an important part of life but he still also uses crutches and a wheelchair.

He claims Brentwood Council in Essex discriminated against him but the council is defending the legal action.

Paul is lucky to be alive.

In November 2000, while working as a roofer, he knelt in contaminated water and contracted the deadly flesh-eating bug necrotizing fasciitis. It consumes muscle and body tissue at a rate of 0.75in (2cm) an hour.

“The surgeon told me he had to operate immediately,” Paul told the BBC.

“He said that he had no choice but to continue cutting until he was certain he had removed all the infected tissue.

“I had just two hours to prepare myself for an operation that at best I would survive with a leg missing, but at worst I would not survive at all.”

His right leg was amputated above the knee, and he received the last rites in hospital.

In all he had five operations, some for skin grafts because his amputation was very rushed and the perfect stump could not be formed.

Paul could not continue to work as a roofer and his business was wound up.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – Represented England…

He requalified and now works for Chelmsford Council as its access officer in building control.

He learned to walk with a prosthetic limb and switches between it, wheelchairs and crutches.

However, overuse of the crutches causes shoulder injuries, while the prosthetic leg can cause pressure sores that are difficult to cure.

Paul has represented England at disability golf 13 times, with a handicap of 14, and has played on courses across Europe.

Because of his disability, he needs a buggy in order to play an 18-hole course.

In August 2016, Paul had booked to play a round with a friend at Hartswood Golf Course in Essex.

It is owned and operated by Brentwood Council.

Paul Houghton sues Brentwood Council - Hartswood Golf club

On his way to the first tee, he claims he was told he would not be allowed on to the course without a letter from his doctor justifying the medical need for a buggy.

If he obtained such a letter he was told he would be given a certificate allowing him to use his buggy.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – What he said…

“I was gobsmacked he told the BBC.

“I’ve played over 100 courses around England, I’ve played all around the world and I’ve not been treated in this way before.”

Paul says he explained that he had his own insurance, a European Disabled Golf Association card, and a medical exemption, but the club insisted that he needed a letter from a doctor to justify the use of a buggy.

It sends the message that disabled people aren’t welcome, that we are not part of society, not included, but are segregated and can’t join in a sport that’s accessible to everybody, because we need to use other equipment to play the game,” Paul says.

In his legal claim, Paul argues that by refusing to allow him to use a buggy without a doctor’s letter, the council discriminated against him because of his inability to walk around the golf course.

In effect, he claims the council was applying a policy that indirectly discriminates against all disabled people who need a buggy to play golf.

Brentwood Council denies any discrimination and is defending the legal action.

The council said it was “committed to ensuring safe access for everyone to all its facilities” and would issue a full statement when legal action had concluded.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – Lawyer’s view…

Paul Houghton’s solicitor, Chris Fry from the firm Fry Law, said: “This case is more than just about making a service more accessible; it’s a reminder of the importance of the benefits which sport brings to social inclusion, together with physical and mental health.”

“This is especially important for people with a range of disabilities, and not least mobility impairments.”

“A simple adjustment in this case will benefit Paul, and thousands of others in a multitude of ways.”

In its “Buggy Use Policy”, England Golf, the governing body of amateur golf, says it “wishes to encourage the participation in golf of all players regardless of disabilities”.

This, it says, is in accordance with its obligations under the Equality Act.

Cae Menai-Davis, co-founder of the Golf Trust, a charity that works with disabled groups to make golf more inclusive, commented: “Golf is a sport for everyone.”

“Making it difficult for a disabled golfer to use a buggy isn’t just bad policy, it is bad business.”

“There is a huge untapped group of people with learning and physical disabilities that want to play the game and will benefit hugely from it.”


Paul with trophies

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Just some of the new outlets that have covered Paul Houghton in the last 24 hours…

The BBC

The Times

The Sun

The Telegraph

The Independent

The Week

The Daily Mail

The Metro

Epping Guardian

 

Thorpeness Golf Club – TSG Review…

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel v1Thorpeness Golf Club is set on the Suffolk coast, a few miles south of Southwold and is most famous for its unique landmark, the ‘House in the Clouds’. Located just off the A12, it is within easy reach of Ipswich and Lowestoft.

We sent TSG course reviewer Ian Mullins to check out the course and share with his fellow TSGers, his view on the set-up….


Thorpeness Golf Club – The Hotel, Clubhouse & Shop…

The entrance to Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel is welcoming and the long drive up to the main hotel gives you a real sense of anticipation that you are about to have a good day.

The Clubhouse and hotel are combined meaning that you are likely to encounter walkers, runners, cyclists, as well as those the favour the little white ball.

However, whilst the hotel is modern, light and airy (as you would expect) once you enter the bar area you get a sense of the club’s history.

The idea for the golf club was first conceived in 1910 by the Scottish Barrister Stuart Ogilvie but the first world war postponed the building of the course until James Braid was invited to design the layout in 1922.

Widley accepted as one of the great golf course architects he went on to design over 200 golf courses in the UK.

By July 1922 ten holes were finished, with the remaining 8 completed in 1923.

Some of the trophies on display in the bar area are the oldest in British golf club history, including the ‘silver Frigate’, a replica ship cast in the purest silver.

The Pro-shop is situated by the putting green and we were welcomed with a big smile (some clubs could learn from this!) from Senior Club Professional Christine Langford.

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel v4Christine is from good pedigree, having turned professional in 1976 to pursue a career as a tournament player, she was one of the first players to qualify to play on the US LPGA Tour she is a founder member of the Ladies European Tour where she won 5 tournaments.

With over 40 years working in her sport Christine has been recognised by the PGA twice, once by being awarded Advanced Fellow status and earlier this year she was made an Honorary Life Member of the Association.

Membership starts from as little as £51.50 a year for juniors, with Adult membership around the £1200 mark. Special concessions are in place for Seniors over 80 too.

Thorpeness is not the cheapest course to play for visitors BUT it is good value.

Rates for 18 holes is £60 before 12pm, £40 after 12pm with twilight rates also available.  The Shop is stocked with all the usual bits and pieces and their embroidered club wear is very smart.

All the staff were friendly and very laid back (we are in Suffolk) and whilst I do object to being asked to pay £14 for breakfast (in the main hotel), a simple bacon roll can be bought at the bar for much much less.

Thorpeness Golf Club – The ‘House in the Clouds’…

Arguably, Thorpeness Golf club is most well-known and quirky landmark – The House in the Clouds.

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel v2

Originally a water tower, it was built in 1923 to receive water pumped from Thorpeness Windmill and was designed to improve the looks of the water tower, disguising its tank with the appearance of a weatherboarded building more in keeping with Thorpeness’s mock-Tudor and Jacobean style village.

The original capacity of the water tank was 50,000 imperial gallons (230,000 l) but during the Second World War, the House in the Clouds was hit by gunfire from anti-aircraft guns based at Thorpeness.

In 1977 the water tower was made redundant by a mains water supply to the village, and additional living space was created. In 1979 the main water tank was removed to fully convert the building into a house.

The building currently has five bedrooms and three bathrooms; it contains a total of 85 steps from top to bottom and is around 70 ft high and can be rented out by anyone

Thorpeness Golf Club – The Course…

As mentioned above, designed and built by James Braid, the course is an interesting mix of heathland, linkland, parkland and woodland.

Oh yes, and its narrow! I was warned before teeing off (on an immaculately presented first tee box) I would lose golf balls at this course and with my game, I didn’t disappoint them.

However, don’t be afraid, if you play this course conservatively and straight, it can be beaten.

The course is 6,421 yards but feels much less as most holes as on flat ground but watch out for the bunkers, they are all perfectly placed to catch your ball.

I played here at the height of the dry summer of 2018, so we got plenty of ‘run’ but I suspect the course can turn on you in Winter.

All the Greens were what you would expect from a Top 100 golf courses (no.83) and with every hole presenting a different challenge from the last, it requires playing a few times before you will score well.

However, golf isn’t supposed to be easy and there is a real sense of authenticity to this layout.

The stand-out holes as I recall:

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel v3

7th – Par 3, 139 yards over water to sloping green

9th – Par 4, 469 yards, dog-leg left to raised green

15th – Par 4, 405 yards dog-leg left to flat protected green

18th – Par 4, 408 yards, dog-leg right finishing under ‘House in the Clouds’

 

All in all, Thorpeness Golf Club is a pretty and welcoming club and course and is a delight to play.

I would highly recommend this course to any local people, or, like me from further afield (or in my case, only the neighbouring county of Essex).

A pretty course full of fauna and mature parkland and I can’t think of anything to criticise.

Thorpeness Golf Club – And Finally…

Christine explained that they were very keen on providing golf and hotel packages for all standards of player, whilst also catering to Mixed Couples, Women’s Golf and Juniors.

More information can be found on their website.

TSG Verdict: 4.5 out of 5!

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel v5

 

 

 


By Ian Mullins

More Course Reviews from The Social Golfer

PGA Championship – 8th-12th Aug 2018…

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 - Bellerive Country ClubThe PGA Championship is almost upon us again and this year’s event is more special as it gives all the tour Pro’s that last minute opportunity on which to stake a claim for the final Ryder Cup place!

This is PGA Championship, also has the added attraction of Tiger Woods returning to form and it’s the last time the vent will be played in August. Yep, that right, as of 2019 the event moves to its new home in the golfing calendar – May.

Finally, this year’s PGA Championship, taking place next week on August 9–12 at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri but it will also mark a landmark year as the event reaches its century.

This will be the second PGA Championship and third major at Bellerive.

It will also be the last held in the month of August; just before the 2017 tournament, the PGA announced that the Championship will move to May in 2019.


The PGA Championship – The Club…

What can we tell you about Bellerive Country Club though is (excerpts from their website) …

“Bellerive Country Club began in 1897 in north St. Louis as a nine-hole course with 166 members. In 1910, the membership incorporated as Bellerive Country Club, naming the club after Louis St. Ange De Bellerive, the last French commander in North America. That same year, Scotsman Robert Foulis designed the “new Bellerive” in Normandy where the club remained for 50 years. Led by Hord Hardin and Clark Gamble, the membership decided to move west in 1955, and allowed renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. to pick a prime farm location for the new site.  In 1965, Bellerive became the “youngest” course to ever host the US Open. The ’65 Open was the first of many national and world championships to be held at Bellerive.

PGA Championship 2018 - bellerive_country_club

“Nick Price captured his first major by winning the PGA Championship here in 1992. Major championship golf returned to Bellerive in 2004 when our club played host to the U.S. Senior Open. The golf course then underwent a year-long renovation and reopened in October 2006. Rees Jones, son of original architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., was entrusted with this project. In 2008, Bellerive hosted the BMW Championship, as part of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The PGA of America returned to Bellerive with the 74th Senior PGA Championship in the spring of 2013 making Bellerive the third club in history to host all four men’s Major Championships (US Open, PGA Championship, US Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship)”

The PGA Championship – Celebrating 100th Birthday…

In February 1916 the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was established in New York City. The first PGA Championship was held in October that year at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville in New York. Jim Barnes finished ahead of the field and received $500 and a diamond-studded gold medal donated by department store owner Rodman Wanamaker hence the name of the huge Trophy still being played for today!

The PGA Championship – Winning…

The benefit of winning The PGA Championship means you are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, and The Open Championship) for the next five years. However, as mentioned above, the top ten golfers in the field at Bellerive GC will all be looking to add to their Ryder Cup points tally.

As of 1st August 2018, the current European and US players are:

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 - Ryder Cup placings - Europe

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 - Ryder Cup placings - USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, who are the favourites and what are the bookmakers predicting who will win in Missouri. With 156 golfers in the mix, it’s it’s anybody’s guess.

The list of past champions includes; Davis Love III, Rich Beem, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and in yesteryear, Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Snead, Hogan, Hagen, Nelson, Sarazen but interesting, not Palmer!

We’re no experts but here are a few players TheSocialGolfer.com Team think to watch out for in this years’ PGA Championship…

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

Rory McIIroy – Played well at The OPEN and due a good event

Tiger Woods – Now injury free he has won this tournament four times previously

Jordan Spieth – Always in the mix on the last day

Patrick Reed – Current US Masters Champion

Justin Thomas – Defending Champion

Tommy Fleetwood – Yet to win a major but this could be the one!

However, may be better to peek at the ACTUAL betting odds before picking the player you wish to follow, they have a plenty more knowledge than us on who is and isn’t on form. For more up to date information on The PGA Championship betting odds, check a reputable and trusted bookmaker.

The PGA Championship – TV coverage…

Last year saw the BBC host the event for the first time but the 2019 event goes to ‘new kid on the block’ Eleven Sports TV via an app and/or it Facebook page. Eleven Sports won the exclusive rights to the 2018 PGA Championship in the UK.   Coverage will also be available via their website.


By Ian Mullins

 

Golf Destination – Isla Canela Golf Hotel in Spain…

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Isla Canela Golf Hotel

To celebrate their sponsorship of the ‘Nearest to the Sim Pin’ at the 2018 TSG OPEN, ourselves and Official TSG Travel Partner Golf Escapes, would like to tell you more about Isla Canela Golf Hotel in Huelva in Spain…


Isla Canela Golf Hotel – The Location…

The region of Huelva in Spain is full of unspoilt natural beauty, interesting historical sites, wonderful golden beaches, great hotels and even better golf courses.

The region is equidistance between both Faro airport and Seville airport making it easily accessible and we all know that less time travelling means more time holidaying!

Huelva is an up and coming region in terms of the golfing opportunities with the already established Islantilla resort, as well as Isla Canela and the new championship course at El Rompido.

With more and more plans for new golfing opportunities here every year it is a perfect destination for your next golf holiday to sunny Spain.

Isla Canela Golf Hotel – The Hotel…

isla-canela-golf-hotel

A great place to stay and enjoy in Huelva is the Isla Canela Golf Hotel.

This four-star hotel is modern and luxurious and is just a five minutes’ drive from Isla Canela as well as only a mile or so from the beach.

With a traditional style restaurant, a Tapas bar and a café there is always somewhere to relax and eat at this hotel.

The hotel also features a beautiful outdoor pool area as well as a fantastic golf course on site.

Isla Canela Golf Hotel – The Course…

The Isla Canela Golf course is a great course for golfers with a higher handicap as it is a more straightforward course but of course, can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities.

There are some beautiful views of the beach and the forests which are intermingled with some fantastic dog-leg holes and stunning greens.

This course has little undulation so is perfect if you’re looking for a lovely course that you can walk and take in the scenery whilst playing an enjoyable round of golf.

It’s a perfect destination for your next golf escape to Huelva.


By James Bryan

For more information and some great packages visit www.golf-escapes.com/isla-canela-golf

Unique Golf Courses of the World – Kilimanjaro Golf…

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate

In a continuation of his series on Unique Golf Courses of the world TSG contributor – Scottish Bob – now turns his attention to some of the lesser known courses around the world, this time it’s the turn of Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate

As I have stated before, it never seems to amaze me the never-ending list of spectacular golf clubs & courses around the world, each one of them have their very own characteristics & uniqueness about them.

And this stunning golf club is worthy of joining that list…


Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate – The Course…

The first 18 hole par 72 Championship golf course was built in Tanzania on the east coast of The African Continent by the world-renowned golf course designer, David Jones.

It opened in 2003, with the man himself a Kenyan Open Golf Champion, and a former Irish National Golf Coach.

The course is 1400 metres above sea level and is set in 1000 acres of the African bush near the small town of Usa River which is only a 30-minute drive from Kilimanjaro airport.Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate v4

The Championship course has been designed to benefit golfers of different skill levels, from the championship level of approximately 6,500 metres to a gentler 5,400 metres.

The Clubhouse sits slightly higher, meaning you can look down and enjoy the stunning’s views of Mount Kilimanjaro while golfers are practising their golf shots. The golf course is unique, in that each hole blends effortlessly into the natural surrounds of the local terrain.

In addition, the individuality of the landscape with its own indigenous plants, native grasses and trees make this a wonderful experience for any golfer.

The Greens are large with very subtle changes in elevation, and each hole demands thought with bunkers strategically placed to allow golfers a fair shot at the fairways & greens. The 11th through to the 13th holes share a beautiful lake running the length of these holes.

However, on the 18th hole, you have a risk versus reward shot, which requires a bold shot onto the wonderful island green, and what a way to finish your round of golf.

Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate – The Scenery & Wildlife…

After you have had a relaxing rest, you might have been giving a lot of thought about the beautiful and stunning snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro that you have been seeing on your round of golf.

You might even have considered ticking another box on your “Bucket list” by just maybe… having a go at climbing the highest free-standing mountain in the world!

Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate v3

As well as being the highest mountain on the African Continent (It currently stands at a height of 5892 metres) and it is also the fourth highest mountain in the world. Nearby Mt Meru can also be seen in the distance at a height of 4566 metres.

Nevertheless, if you are too exhausted after your round of golf to consider the climb, you could always relax in this beautiful Estate with a cold drink in your hand, and maybe try some of the local Tanzanian food or try some other exotic African cuisine.

This can be done while watching the abundance of African wildlife that is roaming around the bush and scrub surrounding the course, from the graceful Gazelles, Dik Dik, Duiker and some of the smaller wild cats including the Civet, the African Cerval, Jackals, and the very elusive Aardvarks!

With the larger animals like Wildebeest, Zebras Kudu’s also to be seen in the Wildlife Estate, not to mention the plethora of wild native birdlife of which their are just too many to mention.

This amazing & unique golfing experience and much more can be had in just one place …“The Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate”.

Til next time

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Scottish Bob” Davies.


Unique Golf Courses of the World – Christmas Island…

 

Spanish Golf Accommodation (Sleeps SIX)…

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, Spain Spanish Golf Accommodation – Zeniamar, Orihuela Costa – Golf Apartment…

– Superb apartment in Orihuela, Spain

– 20 mins from Murcia airport

– Sleeps up to six golfers

– From only £50 pp per week

Spacious two-bed apartment located in one of the most famous urbanizations like Zeniamar in Orihuela Costa, just 20k from Murcia International airport.

This is a beautiful quiet residential area is located inland but all local beaches can be reached in less than 20 minutes.

The property has a generous living room with kitchen, terrace, 1 double bedroom, Twin room with bunk beds and two sofa beds and bathroom.


Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, Spain

Spanish Golf Accommodation – Apartment Amenities include…

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– 2 x double bedroom one with double bed and one with 2 x single beds

– 3rd bedroom/landing has the bunk beds with the en-suite shower room

– 1 x family bathroom

– 1 x laundry room

– 1x kitchen/diner

– 1 x lounge with a double sofa bed

– Lower level balcony

– Rooftop terrace with shower, barbecue, fridge and sink

– Fully furnished

– Beach is only 10 mins

– La Zenia Boulevard is 15 mins

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Spanish Golf Accommodation – There are more than 14 superb Golf Courses in the local area including:

– Golf La Finca

– Las Colinas Golf & Country Club

– Hacienda Riquelme Golf

– Club de Golf Las Ramblas

– Golf Club Villamartín

– El Valle Golf

– La Torre Golf


Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, SpainSpanish Golf Accommodation – Orihuela Costa & History…

Orihuela Costa is a coastal region situated on the Costa Blanca in the province of Alicante.

It sits close to the border with Murcia, near La Manga and the beautiful Mar Menor.

Despite its name, it is actually around 20 kilometres away from the main resort of Orihuela.

The region covers several seaside resorts including Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Villamartin, Campoamor and Mil Palmeras. Orihuela Costa is an ideal destination for those looking for a beach family holiday, with 16 kilometres of diverse coastline.

It is also an excellent choice for golf holidays; in fact, Orihuela Costa is well equipped for all needs, with lots of amenities, facilities and leisure attractions.

Spanish Golf Accommodation – Surrounding Areas…

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, SpainThe seaside resort of Cabo Roig is located at the southern end of the Costa Blanca in Orihuela Costa.

The charming town is home to several blue flag beaches and enjoys a spectacular mountainous backdrop.

Just 10 kilometres from Torrevieja, the town itself has wide palm-lined avenues and delightful lush gardens, with views to the Mediterranean and to the La Manga Peninsula and Mar Menor.

The tranquil resort urbanisation of Playa Flamenca is situated close to the lively town of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca.

The area is home to delightful beaches, golf and lots of recreational facilities such as water parks, tennis, go-carting and tennis.

Again close to Torrevieja is the popular resort of La Zenia.

The town has everything one needs to enjoy a perfect holiday: blue flag beaches, golf, good amenities, lots of Spanish and international restaurants and a beautiful surrounding countryside to explore. La Zenia is one of the most famous resorts on the Costa Blanca.

The local beaches around Punta Prima have been awarded 67 European Blue Flags and range from natural sand dunes with a pinewood backdrop to long stretches of golden, sandy beaches.

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, SpainPunta Prima is really an urbanisation, rather than town; made up of apartments, townhouses and villas, situated some 5 kilometres to the south west of Torrevieja.

Campoamor is an excellent location close by for people who want to appreciate an element of real Spanish culture. The stunning scenery, green woodland and beautiful beaches make Campoamor a premier destination on the Orihuela Costa for tourists.

The prestigious golf development of Villamartin is situated just south of Alicante on the Orihuela Costa.

The complex has the feel of a charming Mediterranean village, with apartments, townhouses and villas, and all the amenities you could wish for, including shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, and of course two 18-hole golf courses.

There are also beautiful sandy beaches close by, that never get too crowded.

Mil Palmeras is the most southerly resort on the Orihuela Costa. It’s an attractive and popular seaside resort boasting fine, sandy beaches, rocky coves and bays, and lots of water sports and beach facilities.

Spanish Golf Accommodation – Climate…

Orihuela Costa enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with cool sea breezes in summer and protection by surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter.

The area averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees.

In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world – neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter.

On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all-year-round destination.

 


Rental rates for 2018/19 based on 7 nights…

– April/May = £300.00 (£65.00 Per Night)

– June/July/August = £400.00 (£80.00 Per Night)

– September = £350.00 (£70.00 Per Night)

– October = £300.00 (£65.00 Per Night)

– November/December = £250.00 (£50.00 Per Night)

 


Spanish Golf Accommodation – What people said about this apartment complex…

“A very good place to holiday. Nice and clean. Nice apartments.” Google Reviews

“The house is great. Perfectly equipped, all new and of quality…which makes you can enjoy the outdoors anywhere. sunny and bright, in a super quiet urbanization with a large pool in which we were practically alone. Not a noise. The overall assessment is perfect!” – Booking.com

Spanish Golf Accommodation

 

 

 

 

The Social Golfer - Highly Recommended - 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, Spain

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, Spain

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, Spain

Spanish Golf Accommodation - Rental Apartment - Pino Pinero, Los Onus, Orihulea, Spain

 

 

 

 

 

xx


 

For more information on booking your next golf trip, please contact…

xxx

louise.hart@aes-uk.co.uk

xxx

Or call 07753 787 270 

 


 

Terms & Conditions…

  • Minimum 5 night stay
  • These prices include the A/C and Heating
  • The only other cost will be for the cleaner
  • Up to 4 Persons 55.00 Euros payable direct to the cleaner
  • Up to 6 Persons 70.00 Euros payable direct to the cleaner
  • This is a strict no smoking property
  • There will be a £500 breakage deposit required which will be refunded on check out
  • Up to 4 Persons 55.00 Euros payable direct to the cleaner
  • Up to 6 Persons 70.00 Euros payable direct to the cleaner
  • This is a strict no smoking property
  • There will be a £500 breakage deposit required which will be refunded on check out

xx


Read about TSG member Paul Houghton’s trip to Sicily

 

 

Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – TSG Review…

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Paul Houghton - The Social golfer - Il Piccolo Etna - Sicily 4Having planted my ball on the 7th green at Peeble Beach (at the TSG Open Championship on a simulator!), the next thing I know I’ve won a golfing trip to Sicily courtesy of Golf Escapes and Il Picciolo Golf Resort.

And having added a few dates to our trip, here’s my review for my fellow Social Golfer members to enjoy….

By Paul Houghton


Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – location and accommodation, Facilities…

Il Picciolo Golf Resort in the centre of the Mediterranean island of Sicily is situated roughly 50 miles from Catania Airport.

The hotel is over half way up Mount Etna the scenery is spectacular.

The transfer cost is 120 Euros (one way) and takes 50+ minutes.

The hotel and course itself were built in 1989 but sadly the outside of the hotel reflects this and is badly in need of refurbishment.

On arrival you approach a rather dated reception, where details are taken, language is not a barrier but no help with luggage was offered?

Sadly, the first thing to note is the hotel is not overly disabled friendly, some steps are not accompanied with handrails.  However, the rooms are of a good size with on suite bathroom facilities.

Paul Houghton - The Social golfer - Il Piccolo Etna - Sicily 5

They are clean and the chambermaid service is very good.  Towels and shower gel etc changed every day. The room boasts Sky television and a mini bar.  Only four coat hangers per person encourage you to travel light, but there’s plenty of space for clothing and storage is available.

The restaurant was very spacious but a little dark, the staff were courteous but surely on occasion.

The three-course evening meal costs 29 Euros and was very good, most of the time.  The Saturday evening buffet was superb, only the last night did I feel the food was of a poor standard.  The breakfast layout is bland but of good quality.

The service during breakfast seemed more relaxed.  I fell one evening slipping on a discarded cucumber slice and the staff were very quick to act, cleaning up the debris, but alas did not follow up to ask if this disabled man was injured, so we felt could have been handled better.

The hotel catered for coach parties which stayed one or two nights at the hotel, staff seemed more attentive towards them than the longer staying cliental.

The cocktail bar was run by a very efficient member of staff for most of our stay (7 nights) but when she was not on duty, she was replaced by staff who obviously did not enjoy the role.

The drinks were not cheap at £7 for a G & T, we were never offered a complimentary appetiser even though it was part of our deal?! As far as entertainment goes it karaoke style.

Paul Houghton - The Social golfer - Il Piccolo Etna - SicilyOne evening a singer sang along to backing tracks until midnight (about 5 hours), alas she was the only entertainment of the week and whilst it was ok, New York New York wears a bit thin after a while!

The spa was very tranquil and ticked many boxes as to treatments.

The staff there were helpful and made it a very enjoyable experience.  Information on the few trips (3) offered was sparse, no leaflets were offered.  A trip up Etna was offered for £100 but no meal made it seem very expensive.  Getting a taxi return to Taormina was over a £100 it was 30 minutes away.

Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – The staff…

To be brutally honest, overall, the staff communication was a problem the whole week.

There was a power cut one day, no explanation was offered to the guests and we only got into our room by seeking help from a cleaner?

The resort manager (Guy) did make an effort to discuss how our experience was going, he was very friendly and chatted whenever we saw him (he was English) but surprisingly, no other staff engaged to that level, instead, they saved their conversation for Italian guests

Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – The Golf Course…

Paul Houghton - The Social golfer - Il Piccolo Etna - Sicily 2

The Clubhouse is situated a few hundred yards from the hotel.  Your round can be booked through the hotel, but buggies have to be paid for at the club. The Pro at the club is friendly and his staff are very helpful.

The office doubles with helicopter rides up Etna, so they are not only focussed with the golfers. A spacious locker room is accompanied by shower facilities.  There are drinks machines for refreshments and confectionary.

There had been a fire in the kitchens, so no other food was available at the golf club which was a little disappointing.

However, the Practise facilities are VERY good, a driving range, practice bunker with plenty of sand in it, a dedicated chipping green and practice putting green.  I was given free practise balls – refreshing as that wouldn’t happen in the UK.

A round of golf is not cheap at 85 Euros buggies are 45 Euros.  The course is nicely set out with some challenging holes but the clover (just off the fairways) is four inches long and thick.

 

Lost balls are inevitable as the fairways are no more than 20 paces.  I felt this was too penial, looking for balls becomes a bit of a chore when you’ve hit a good shot.

It’s a shame as the course has some dramatic holes, but its let down by unkept rough, clover, daisies and very poor signage. A stroke saver is essential for 5 Euros. The slope index does give the average golfer two shots, but it’s the looking for balls that effects your game. #

Paul Houghton - The Social golfer - Il Piccolo Etna - Sicily 3

This is a very undulating course so if you’re going to walk be prepared, the temperature can fluctuate 10 or 12 degrees while you are out there. A fair bit of work needs to address these issues to bring the course up to its best.

However, one thing I will always remember is the scenic backdrop, the views of Mount Etna are spectacular…. and would make me return just to view again.

In summary, Il Picciolo Golf Resort could be an exceptional course but it really needs a lot of work on it to get it above a 3 out of 5 rating.

Would I revisit Il Picciolo?  Probably not until I see improvement in the course, its nowhere near the standard of courses for the same money in Spain or Portugal.

I think its pricing its self out of the market of the average golfer if it wants to attract the better player a lot of work needs to be done to compete with the Algarve etc.

TSG Verdict – 3 out of 5 stars