Archive for the ‘Golf Articles’ Category

Pebble Beach Golf Club – US Open 2019…

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Pebble Beach Golf Club - The Social GolferToday the third of 2019’s Golf’s major begins, with this year seeing the tournament return to Pebble Beach Golf Club for the first time since 2010.

Back then Tiger was about to enter the wilderness and it was Graeme McDowell who ended the week victorious!

However, let us take a closer look at the club and the course!

Pebble Beach Golf Club – The History…

Universally heralded as one of the finest and premier Public Course in the US.

Pebble Beach has hosted the US Open event on five previous occasions.

Previous winners include…

2010 – Graeme McDowell

2000 – Tiger Woods

1992 – Tom Kite

1982 – Tom Watson

1972 – Jack Nicklaus


However, here’s what the Pebble Beach Golf Club website said about its own history…

Pebble Beach Golf Club – The 20th Century…

February 1919 – In the early part of the 20th century, Samuel F.B. Morse is challenged with making the Pebble Beach area an attractive real estate investment in order to find a buyer.

He decides to create a one-of-a-kind golf course with unsurpassed beauty and an element of difficulty that will always be challenging.

Morse utilizes the extraordinary talent and vision of two great amateurs, Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, to design the course, and Pebble Beach Golf Club officially opens on February 22 1919.

Making 2019 its 100th birthday!

December 1926 – Del Monte hosts the 1926 Monterey Peninsula Open on Pebble Beach Golf Links, putting up a $5,000 purse and attracting most of the top golfers—professionals and amateurs (However, we’re not sure if there were any high handicappers involved!)

Harry “Light Horse” Cooper of Texas wins with a 72-hole score of 293, five over par.

September 1929 – Pebble Beach hosts its first “Major”: the U.S. Amateur.

Field favourite Bobby Jones ties for medalist honours but loses his first 18-hole match.

Minnesota’s Jimmy Johnston beats the field with a 4 & 3 win in the final 36-hole match against Oscar Willing.

August 1935 – In the heart of the Depression, Pebble Beach Golf Club hosts the California State Open after a long hiatus.

Pebble Beach head professional Cam Puget wins the event on his home course, pocketing the $300 first place money.

Pebble Beach hosts the event again in 1936 and 1948.

September 1940 – The USGA returns to Pebble Beach for the 1940 U.S. Women’s Amateur, which is won by defending champion Betty Jameson.

The USGA also schedules the 1942 U.S.

Men’s Amateur for Pebble Beach Golf Links, but it was cancelled due to World War II.

January 1947 – The Bing Crosby National Pro-Am golf tournament is played for the first time at Pebble Beach (after being played for six years at Rancho Santa Fe before World War II).

September 1947 – The U.S. Amateur returns to Pebble Beach and is won by Skee Riegel.

September 1948 – The U.S. Women’s Amateur returns to Pebble Beach. It is won by Grace Lenczyk.

April 1950 – Among the first of the tournaments of the newly formed LPGA is the Weathervane Transcontinental Women’s Open, which is won by Babe Zaharias at Pebble Beach in 1950.

It returns in 1951 and is won by Patty Berg.

Pebble Beach Golf Club - The Social Golfer v2

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January 1958 – For the first time, television covers the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am.

Bing Crosby hosts the broadcast of the final round live from the 18th green.

September 1961 – Pebble Beach again hosts the U.S. Amateur, attracting one of the top international showings to date, as it follows just weeks after the Walker Cup is held in Seattle.

Jack Nicklaus sees Pebble Beach Golf Links for the first time and decides he likes it—defeating Dudley Wysong 8 & 6 in the final match.

June 1972 – Pebble Beach Golf Links hosts its first U.S. Open golf championship.

After defeating Johnny Miller in the 1972 Crosby, Jack Nicklaus returns to Pebble Beach and wins the U.S.

Open by 3 strokes with a 2-over par 290.

August 1977 – The Company hosts its first PGA Championship tournament. Lanny Wadkins wins on the third hole of sudden death.

June 1982 – The U.S. Open is held at Pebble Beach Golf Links for the second time.

It features the battle between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus and the most talked about shot in golf.

Watson needs birdie to win but completely misses the 17th green.

To accomplish his mission, he sinks his legendary chip shot. He also birdies 18 and defeats Nicklaus by two strokes with a 6-under par 282.

January 1986 – The Crosby Clambake becomes the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament.

November 1988 -The 2nd Annual Nabisco Golf Championships—which in 1991 became The Tour Championship—brings the top 30 golfers to Pebble Beach.

A rain-delayed final round ends with Curtis Strange and Tom Kite tied; Strange wins on the second playoff hole and becomes the first golfer to win more than $1,000,000 (lifetime) on the PGA Tour.

June 1992 – Pebble Beach Resorts hosts the U.S. Open for the third time.

Under brutal winds, Tom Kite shoots an incredible par round and wins his first major with a 3-under 285.

November 1998 – Pebble Beach Company constructs the new 5th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links, as designed by Jack Nicklaus.

August 1999 – The 99th U.S. Amateur Championship becomes the ninth USGA championship held on Pebble Beach Golf Links and the first to also use Spyglass Hill for the medal-qualifying rounds.

In the final, Tennessee’s David Gossett defeats South Korea’s Sung Yoon Kim 9 and 8.

Pebble Beach Golf Club – The 21st Century…

June 2000 – The U.S. Open returns for the 100th playing of the championship.

Tiger Woods captures the trophy, besting his nearest competitor by 15 strokes and tying the lowest 72-hole score ever in the national championship.

July 2001Golf Digest ranks Pebble Beach Golf Links as the No. 1 Golf Course in America—the first time a public course has been so honoured.

June 2010 – The U.S. Open Championship returns for the fifth time to Pebble Beach Golf Club.

Furthermore, a number of course enhancements—all under the direction of legendary Arnold Palmer—are completed to strengthen player appreciation, heighten the challenge and exceed guest and championship expectations.

In a championship where a score of par is the most meaningful, the then 30-year-old McDowell posts an even-par 284 for the 72 holes.

He becomes the first European winner since England’s Tony Jacklin in 1970.

Pebble Beach Golf Club – The Future…

Regardless of who comes out top this weekend, you can be sure Pebble Beach Golf Club will continue to be at the forefront of world golf with future events including a first U.S. Women’s Open in 2023.

In addition, it will host a seventh U.S. Open in 2027.

Furthermore, every February, the PGA Tour visits for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a tradition that began in 1947.

 


Pebble Beach Golf Club US Open – Who’s your money on…

As with previous TSG articles on Golf’s majors, it’s always good to see who the favourites are and this year we have Tiger back in the mix!

Whilst his odds are much improved since his win at The Masters and given he has won here before, it could be argued he should be the favourite.

However, the betting at the time of going to press is as follows…

  • Johnson, Dustin – 7/1
  • McIlroy, Rory – 8/1
  • Koepka, Brooks – 10/1
  • Woods, Tiger – 11/1
  • Cantlay, Patrick – 18/1
  • Fowler, Rickie – 20/1
  • Spieth, Jordan – 20/1
  • Rose, Justin – 25/1
  • Schauffele, Xander – 25/1
  • Thomas, Justin – 25/1

Obviously, these odds are pre-tournament but there are many providers of live betting odds too, just search Google.

In the meantime, we look forward to watching the field compete on some of the best greens in the world!

UK TV coverage is available via Sky Sports.

Enjoy!


By Ian Mullins

 

Golf Rules in 2019 – Major changes made…

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

The Social Golfer - The Rules of Golf in 2019 2Did you know there were major changes to the Golf Rules in 2019?

After much debate over the last few years, the governing bodies sat down and made some drastic changes to the rules of golf.

But which ones were adopted by the R&A and which were made into ‘Local Rules’?

In addition, it is your job to know these rules and ignorance is not a defence!

Here’s a rough guide to the golf rules in 2019…

 


1. Golf rules in 2019 – When things happen to your ball in play…

– Ball at rest accidentally moves when you are looking for it.

There is no longer a penalty

– Marking your ball, you accidentally move it or the marker

There is no longer a penalty

– Replacing a moved or lifted ball (i.e. identifying your ball)

Ball is placed in the estimated spot not dropped

– Ball in motion hits a bag, club, cart etc

There is no longer a penalty (Ball is played from where it stops)

– Ball is double hit when a stroke is played

There is no longer a penalty

 


The Social Golfer - The Rules of Golf in 2019 22. Golf rules in 2019 – Taking relief…

– Drop in a specific drop zone or as near to a relief area as possible

– Ball is dropped from knee height

– Ball comes to rest within the club length or relief from the drop, if it does not after two attempts it is placed.

– Club length must be measured by the longest club in your bag.

– Searching for your ball is limited to 3 minutes.

– Any ball embedded (in the general playing area) may be lifted (but not cleaned).

– If you are taking relief you may change your ball

 


3. Golf rules in 2019 – Areas of the course…

– If a ball is blown by the wind or other, it can be replaced in its original spot.

– A player may repair any damage they see on the green, including spike marks.

– A player can now touch the line of the intended putt.

– A player can now putt with the flag in while on the green.

– Hazards Red and Yellow are now known as ‘Penalty Areas’.

– Players can now remove any debris they find in a ‘Penalty Area’.

– Relief from all ‘Penalty Area’s’ can be lateral if it is unreasonable to go back behind the ‘Penalty Area’. This may need a local ruling.

– Opposite side relief is now removed, so if your ball clears the ditch water hits the bank and fall back into the water. You take a drop within two club lengths from the marked Penalty Area

N.B. The R&A concluded you CANNOT drop for ‘3’ when you hit your ball Out of Bounds (from the Tee Box) unless a ‘local rule’ has been set at the Golf club at which you are playing. TSG has decided to accept this rule on social games BUT not at TSG Major events!

 


4. Golf rules in 2019 – Bunkers…

– Removal of special restrictions on moving loose impediments: 

There is no longer a penalty if you touch or move loose impediments in a bunker.

– Relaxed restrictions on touching the sand with your hand or club when your ball is in a bunker: 

You are now prohibited only from touching the sand (1) with your hand or club to test the condition of the bunker, (2) with your club in the area right behind or in front of the ball or (3) when making a practice swing or the backswing for your stroke.

– New unplayable ball relief option

For two penalty strokes, you may take relief outside the bunker by dropping a ball back on the line from the hole through where your ball was at rest in the bunker

 


5. Golf rules in 2019 – Damaged clubs…

– Use of damaged clubs:

You may keep using any club that is damaged during the round, no matter how it happens (for example, even if you damaged it in anger).

– A player may not replace a damaged club unless the player was not responsible for the damage

Current rule:  A player may replace a damaged club if it is “unfit for play” and was damaged in the “normal course of play.”

 


The Social Golfer - The Rules of Golf in 2019 2

6. Golf rules in 2019 – Damaged Ball…

– Substituting another ball for a cut or cracked ball:

You may substitute another ball if your ball in play on a hole has become cut or cracked while playing that hole; but you are no longer allowed to change balls solely because the ball has become “out of shape.”

 


7. Golf rules in 2019 – Other equipment…

– New rule: The use of DMDs (Distance Measuring Devices) is allowed unless a Local Rule has been adopted prohibiting their use.

 


8. Golf rules in 2019 – Advice and help…

– A caddie is not allowed to deliberately stand on or close to the extended line of play behind a player while the player is taking his or her stance until the stroke is made.

– A caddie may lift and replace the player’s ball on the putting green without the player’s specific authorization to do so

 


Did you know there were major changes to the Golf Rules in 2019?9. Golf rules in 2019 – Pace of play…

– Recommends that a player takes no longer than 40 seconds when set to make their shot.

– ‘Ready Golf’ is encouraged but only when it is safe and reasonable to do so.

– A new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play is recognized, where a player’s score for a hole is capped at a maximum score (such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey) that is set by the Committee.

 


10. Golf rules in 2019 – Playing in the spirit of the game…

– Explains and reinforces the high standards of conduct expected from players and gives Committees the discretion to disqualify players for serious misconduct.

– Committees are given authority to adopt their own code of player conduct and to set penalties for the breach of the standards in that code.

– When a player has good reason to mark and lift a ball to identify it, check for damage or see if it lies in a condition where relief is allowed (such as to see whether it is embedded), the player is no longer required first to announce to another player or his or her marker the intent to do so or to give that person an opportunity to observe the process.

– When determining a spot, point, line, area or other location under a Rule, a player’s reasonable judgment will not be second-guessed based on later evidence (such as video review) if the player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances to make an accurate estimation or measurement.

 


By  Paul Houghton

 

For more information on the rules of golf visit – www.randa.org/en/rulesoverview

 

 

Golf Participation in the UK in 2019 – Who’s to blame…

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Golf participation in the uk, The Social Golfer 5Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – Who’s to blame?

As many people have reported over the last few years, golf in the UK has seen a decline both in rounds played and in membership.

So, is the game in terminal decline or is there a renaissance around the corner?

Here, Ian Mullins (Managing Director of The Social Golfer) gives us his view…


Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – The stats…

Golf participation has been declining since its last heyday in the 1990s when you couldn’t move for new golf clubs being built at a rapid rate. But let’s look at the stats in the cold light of day…

There are approx. 3.9m* golfers in the UK and approx. 1.3m of those belong to a golf club.

This means 2.6m people that play the game DON’T belong to a golf club.

Meanwhile, according to data from Statista (the statistics portal regarding golf participation in England from 2007 to 2016), the conclusion is that, as of September 2016, approx. 1.1 million adults in England play golf on a monthly basis.

Since 2007, the number of golf players has thus been decreasing from about 1.5m players. This makes a decrease of about 27 per cent over eight years.

The biennial survey (by Sports Marketing Surveys) tries to paint a very positive picture for golf club membership in England, declaring since the 2016 survey, that club membership numbers on average, are up by 24 members.

In 2016, the average number was 460, in 2018 that was up to 484.

However, that doesn’t take into account the number of golf clubs that have closed, so it’s hardly a trend.Golf participation in the uk, The Social Golfer

Meanwhile, you don’t need statistics to know many of the golf clubs I know, are empty after 12 noon on a weekend.

And I’m not on my own: www.telegraph.co.uk/golf/2018/09/25/golf-needs-modernised-halt-steady-decline-experts-have-say/

Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – What’s changed…

Well, of course, no one can deny that there has been a seismic shift in our lifestyle and habits in the last 20 years.

Life is no longer lived in our local community and people are much keener to venture out and have new experiences.

However, Golf clubs have not only failed to move with the times, but some have even gone backwards.

Coupled with the ‘Global financial meltdown’ in 2008, it has become harder and harder for golfers to justify £1k a year in membership fees and that’s before they’ve even hit a ball.

Furthermore, clubs (and England Golf) have blindly and stubbornly failed to address the sexist and racist attitudes that still exist in many of these white middle-class fiefdoms.

And the professional game hardly covers itself in glory.

Yes, that’s right, despite having a black golfer at the helm of our professional game for over 20 years, how many of you can name another black golfer on the tour?

Vijay? (Asian), Tony Finau? (Asian). Steve Curry – yes!

But where is the BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethic) golfer from the UK? Sadly, in this respect, once again our governing bodies have failed us!

Coupled with the fact that in 2018, Georgia Hall won The Open Women’s Championship and yet no one outside of golf in the UK would know who she is.

So, while all other forms of sport have addressed the issues (or at least tried), Golf has at best ignored the change in attitudes.

As such, Golf Clubs are not seen as diverse places. On the contrary, that is deemed as unwelcoming and inaccessible by many.

Lastly, golf is still an expensive game to take up – e.g. A set of clubs, shoes, bags etc, start from £500.

Then I need to pay every time I play. Yet, I can buy a bike for £500 and be on the road, for free, within a few minutes.

Yet, to compete fairly, the industry says I HAVE to join a ‘bricks & mortar’ golf club to track my handicap.

Golf participation in the uk, The Social Golfer 2

A typical golf club committee in 2019!

Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – They just don’t get it…

I presented The Social Golfer concept to a panel of England Golf bigwigs back in 2014.

I am still in disbelief that the response to our innovative approach to making golf accessible was only met with mild interest, not to mention a little arrogance.

Why don’t you have more members I was asked?

“I’m sorry, we’ve just built a platform of 6,500 members (now over 10K) in over 140 countries without any help from anyone and with our own money… I thought we’d done pretty well.” 

The response I wanted to give would have been “What the hell have any of you done!”

But experience told me it would not be a professional response, after all, we’re here to make friends not enemies.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to leave the room, and, if anything, it made me more determined that we could, and would, do it without them.

So, despite issuing a brief to find commercial partners to help them ‘grow the game’, they finally settled on a partnership with Your Golf Travel.

Surely, they take people AWAY from the UK to play golf, rather than encourage people to take up the game in the UK?

In addition, given this was 2014, I was shocked to be introduced to a self-serving, blazer-wearing, back slapping brigade of executives.

Who shockingly, even 10 years after the invention of Facebook (now 15 years), couldn’t see the changing world around them. But they are not the only ones…

Oh no, their friends in the marketing department were busy pretending to the world they were forward-thinking when they commissioned a new ad campaign to promote the game aimed almost solely on increasing golf participation in the UK.

Just because you invest in a marketing campaign using diverse characters, doesn’t mean they will be welcomed with open arms.

Golf participation in the uk, The Social Golfer

This message is not effective unless it is backed up by action!

When the lumberjack shirt or pink leather jacket wearing Millennials turn up at a club, he or she is more likely to be sent away with a book of rules on golf attire.

How will this increase Golf participation in the UK?

My point is, the left arm doesn’t know what the right arm is doing – or if it’s even connected to the same body!

Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – The Media…

And another thing, (now you’ve got me started), why oh why is golf not being supported by terrestrial TV?

If Tiger’s Wood’s win at Augusta last weekend told us anything, it’s that golfers, and even non-golfers, will watch if the game if accessible.

So why do they keep doing deals with SKY TV, when they could be promoting golf to the next generation via the BBC or even ITV or Channel Four.

Why is there not even so much as a ‘highlights show’ of the European Tour on a Monday night?

That would keep the game ‘front of mind’ and encourage new audiences to find the game.

I have no doubts that this Easter weekend will see many kids pretending to be Tiger in their back garden, just like I pretended to be Seve in 1978, but I suspect few will make it to a course or range.

Furthermore, I have given up counting the number of times I have contacted a golf club to discuss them hosting one of our Major events (70 people + green fees) and often, I never even get my calls returned.

In short, having spent 25 years in the Advertising and Marketing industry before taking the helm at The Social Golfer, that’s nearly 9 years in the sector, I am still in shock at the lack of professionalism in the golf industry.

Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – What else has changed?

Well, whether the R&A or England Golf acknowledge it or not, the world has moved on around them.

We are now competing for consumers’ time against a whole plethora of other sports and pastimes.

Yes, traditional sports like football and cricket are still played but now there are others, like Basketball, NFL and Gaming (yes, I’m talking Sony Playstations), and then there’s Box Sets, Netflix and Experience days – think Adventure Golf – which is the modern-day equivalent of the Crazy Golf courses, I remember for my day trips to the seaside as a kid.

As well as online betting, casino websites and other 21st century distractions to amuse us.

Meanwhile, I can book a flight to Australia on my smartphone from the comfort of my sofa, yet at some golf clubs, I have to phone the club landline to book a tee time.

In addition, we are now living in the ‘Review Culture’, whereby many will not purchase anything before consulting other people’s views and experiences.

As such, it would seem no one has the expertise to lead golf out of the doldrums, and very few clubs have a clue about marketing.

Ask them what their current R.O.I (Return On Investment) is, or what the value of retweet versus an online banner campaign is and watch the bead of sweat appear on their forehead.

All I hear from golf club managers and industry figures (who should know better) is that it’s all about ‘social media’ these days.

Well, relying on a 22-year old with no experience in media, promotion or PR (except posting stuff on their Instagram feed), does not make them an expert in marketing.

As someone who has spent over £100m for my clients (including Emirates Airlines, the London Golf Show and others), if you think Social Media is the answer to your membership woes – you’re 15 years behind the curve.

I suspect most of them wouldn’t even know what a paid-for campaign on Facebook even looked like!

Golf participation in the UK in 2019 – So what’s the answer?

Firstly, the ‘powers that be’ need to put their egos and job titles to one side, and look at the game from the consumers’ point of view.

– Modern consumers want Choice, Experience, Value and Respect. Period.

– They don’t want gimmicks, they want equality and accessibility.

– Golf clubs need to relax dress codes and start treating visitors as customers, not interlopers

– They should invest in good photography before they invest in a new graduate with plenty of opinions but no experience.

– They need to up their game in terms of customer service

– The game MUST be on Terrestrial TV, reaching new audiences rather than preaching to the converted

Furthermore, a ‘Like’ is not ‘Engagement’.

Golf participation in the uk, The Social Golfer 4

A link to the club website from a like-minded golf website (a backlink), written in language consumers understand (not just the golf Pros) is much more valuable to your marketing.

And if you think a so-called ‘Social Media Influencer’ wearing ‘Jazzy’ leggings are going to save the game, you are deluded.

Yes, they might encourage a few, but it’s hardly a game changer.

Sadly, it seems to me that golf is so desperate that they’ll jump on any bandwagon that comes along, rather than taking a planned and rational approach to growing the game.

In my humble opinion, in the next 20 years, golf will move almost completely away from the membership model and be solely reliant on ‘Pay & Players’.

Which is when many golf clubs will be held to ransom by their lack of good course and service reviews.

The industry will become more akin to the restaurant industry too, whereby reviews on Trip Advisor make or break them.

Meanwhile, the clubs that recognise this shift in lifestyles and attitudes will thrive and prosper.

However, in the meantime, here at The Social Golfer we will continue to be a challenger to the traditional golf model.

Even if it’s only a small token effort to increase golf participation in the  UK, we’re doing something to provide an innovative and useful platform for golfers to enjoy their sport.

We are democratising the game, and we hope others follow!


By Ian Mullins

*Source: TGI

The Social Golfer is an Online Golf Club with over 5K golfers in the UK and over 10K worldwide.

Over 1,000 events and games were arranged by our members in 2018.

The site has over 4K Golf Club and course reviews and over 25K scorecard submissions.

Visit us at www.thesocialgolfer.com

Mongolian Golf (you couldn’t make it up!)…

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Mongolian Golf v3 - The Social GolferThis story is not only about our great game of golf and golf courses around the world and more specifically, Mongolian Golf!

However, it’s also about the two young men, Anthony Millet (English) and Patrick Colquhoun (Scottish) who both wanted to do something different.

As such, they set about trying to help others less fortunate and make a difference to lives on the other side of the world…


Mongolian Golf – You want to do what?

Anthony & Patrick decided to form a team and enter the 2015 Mongol Rally.

This rally first started in 2004 with just 6 teams, & by 2015 the rally had grown to 250 teams with between 2-4 people in each team.

The Rally starts in London and ends in Mongolia, and covering over 11,000 miles over mountains, desserts, & the Steppes of Europe & Asia.

The car that the two young men were driving in the rally was a 1986 Porsche 944, which they bought from a scrap yard for just $7000.

They proceeded to ensure that the car would meet the rigorous obstacles and very rough terrain, not to mention the difficulties they would have to overcome through the numerous border crossings.

Note: There is no backup system if you happen to break down you have to use your own initiative to rectify any problems that occur.

The whole idea of entering the rally was to raise money for their chosen charity which was The St Georges School in Ethiopia.

This had a huge impact on changing the lives of the local children at St Georges School for the better.

Anthony & Patrick had decided before they left that they would both have a bit of fun on the way by playing a round of golf in every one of the 17 countries on their route.

Mongolian Golf – Turkmeni-where?

Mongolian Golf v2 - The Social Golfer

However, after arriving in Turkmenistan and already knowing that there was no golf course there, the two men set about finding a good location to build a 9 hole course.

They found a very suitable spot called Derweze, which is also home to the infamous “Door to Hell” Gas crater and it is about 69 metres in diameter and 30 metres deep and it has been burning for over 40 years.

This live gas crater came about in 1971 when this natural gas field collapsed into a very large cavern which was venting a large amount of gas, the geologists decided to set the gas alight to try and stop the spread of the methane gas, and they thought that it would burn out in a couple of weeks.

However, it has been burning ever since and the locals gave it the name “Doors to Hell”.

Anthony & Patrick set about building their 9 hole golf course, making sure that four of the holes skirted near the dangerous gas crater.

The ground as you could imagine was very hard & rough and eventually after making their “Brown” greens and the holes they put in the flags that they had brought from home.

They used the roof of their car which was named “Shirley” to tee-off, four of the holes had to clear the gas-crater and they never tried to retrieve their lost balls which might have been “Hot Dots” and if there weren’t, they certainly are now.

Anthony and Patrick have left their hand-built 9-hole golf course intact so that any of the many visitors to the location can play a round of golf in what must be an amazing & unique experience.

Shortly after their game of golf their car (called “Shirley”) caught fire and was totally destroyed.

Mongolian Golf v1 - The Social Golfer

They both lost a lot of their personal equipment and belongings including their beloved golf clubs, it was a sad effort to their epic adventure as they could not continue to the finish.

However, to their credit, the two men raised over £26k pounds for their chosen charity.  “Well Done Lads!”

Ok, so it’s not really an article on Mongolian Golf but I would like to take the time to thank both Anthony & Patrick for their help and co-operation in helping me to write about this unique golfing experience.

Anthony designed their own golf club scorecards and he was kind enough to send me one of them which has taken a special place in my collection.

As a footnote, Anthony and his wife have now moved to Australia and live in Sydney.

Til next time TSGers…

 

‘Scottish Bob Davies’

 

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 


Read other stories by Scottish Bob including the March 2019 article on golf in Singapore

Golf in The City: Golf Singapore…

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Golf in the city - Golf Singapore - The Social Golfer v3

In a new series of articles, this month sees Scottish Bob turns his attention to explore golf in the city with the first focus on the south-east Asian in ‘Golf Singapore!’

Over to Bob…


Golf Singapore – The City…

So in a change to the usual focus on just one golf club per feature, I am starting this collection with the beautiful country (and city) of Singapore.

Singapore  is made up of a number of islands with the city being the largest island in the country as well as being the capital

There are a few of the smaller islands including Sentosa, Palau, Ubin, Palua Semakau, Sisters island plus few more.

All these islands can all be reached from the mainland by boat or ferry.

Golf has had a big influence in Singapore for over one hundred years starting with the founding of the Singapore Golf Club on the 17th of June 1891, and many clubs were formed shortly after.

However, while researching this article, I came across some interesting facts and figures which made me think…

Singapore Island is approx. 721sq kilometres and whilst land is at a premium.

The City now has 19 golf courses, including some of the most beautiful and interesting courses you could wish to play.

Most of these golf courses are approx. just around half an hour’s drive from one another.

The changing face of golf in Singapore could affect other golf clubs in towns & cities around the world too.

With a population of just under six and a half million people, there are approx only 36k golfers in the country which is less than 1% of the population.

Golf in the city - Golf Singapore - RafflesThis beautiful city of Singapore is a bustling & exciting city to live in.

Golf Singapore – The Clubs…

Unfortunately the Jurong Country Club which was founded in the early 70s was the first to close its doors on 31st of December 2016.

Alas, with over 40 years of history and fond memories, this beautiful Country Club was renowned for its hospitality and friendliness to all who came to play golf there.

The Raffles Country Club which only opened in 1988 and was one of Singapore’s oldest clubs, closed on 31 July 2018 soon due to the new High-Speed rail link project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

This project has seen the acquisition of the entire Raffles Country Club.

However, I am glad to say that the Famous Raffles Hotel which was established in 1887 by Armenian Hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers, and named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles the founder of Singapore is still operating.

New refurbished, the hotel will reopen sometime in 2019 after major renovations, needless to say, you will still be able to enjoy the famous Singapore Sling which is widely regarded as the national drink of the country.

The drink was created by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and I must admit I had the pleasure of indulging myself with one in 2011 and most enjoyable it was.

Rumours have it that by 2021 The Keppel Golf club with over 100 years of golfing history may also be gone.

But with other golf clubs like The Beautiful Tanah Merah Country Club and The Singapore Golf & Country Club also due to lose some of their prime lands, its a tough time for golf in Singapore.

Golf in The City –  The Future…

It is sad to say that both time and people’s attitudes are changing.

Some of the people are no longer in favour of the sport being played by an exclusive group, using so much land.

And sadly, while I am sorry to see the closure of these wonderful golf courses, I fully understand the reason why it had to happen.

There are still quite a good number of beautiful & prestigious golf courses open for business in Singapore though.

These include Sentosa Islands Serapong Course, which was ranked at 79th among the World’s greatest golf courses by Golf Digest 2018.

There is also The Singapore Island golf clubs “New Course”, The Laguna Nationals “Masters” & “Championships” courses.

The golf course – I was going to feature in this article –  The Changi Golf Course with plenty of its own history is only 5 kilometres from the infamous Changi Prison.

The institution still remains open today and would be well known to many allied soldiers, but that will require a whole new article!

that is a story for another day.

I hate to say it but Its “Bye Bye Birdie” from me and sorry to say from many of these golf courses.


Til Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

Scottish Bob
Read more articles by Scottish Bob…

Golfing in New Zealand >>

Begin playing golf – FIVE reasons to start in 2019…

Friday, March 8th, 2019

begin playing golfGolf is one of the oldest sports out there, yet a ton of people have a hard time with it because of the steep learning curve but why should you begin playing golf?

However, you can’t just pick up a set of clubs, head out on the course and shoot ‘Par’ on the day.

But there are some important upsides to the practice of golf.

So, for all of you out there who are looking into doing something different this summer, golf might just be the solution for you.

Here are five reasons why you begin playing golf in 2019:

Begin playing golf – 1. The great outdoors…

One of the major perks of golfing is enjoying the scenery and the sun beaming down on the luscious grass.

This winter was rough on everyone and there is no better way to fully take in the gorgeous weather than going out there.

Even on a bad day on the fairways, you can rejoice in the fact that you are breathing in some fresh air while taking in the best that mother nature has to offer.

You can opt for the fast cart ride to make your round a short and sweet one. But you can also go the healthy way and march the length of the course to admire your surroundings.

Begin playing golf – 2. Perfect for a healthy lifestyle…

But there are more than visual benefits to walking the course.

You also get a great deal of physical activity when you choose to go cartless for your 18 holes.

The average golfer will walk a total of 6 miles (9.6 kilometres!!) when they decide to leave the cart at the clubhouse.

But for our cart friends, do not despair, you can also get a good workout from using your explosive hip movement when striking the ball.

An 18-hole round will take 4-5 hours, but it will also become a great way to get some decent active time for your body and your mind.

begin playing golfBegin playing golf – 3. Fun for the whole family…

When you begin playing golf, one of the greatest perks of golf is that it can be played by everyone.

Golfers of all ages are welcome to most golf clubs allowing for a superb family activity on weekends.

Most of all getting started early is the key to becoming successful in golf. Starting early with the family will ensure a prosperous development through the years.

Best of all, you can find some pre-owned golf clubs in order to set up everyone’s equipment for a reasonable budget.

Begin playing golf – 4. Top of the chain equipment…

Talking about golf equipment, one of the greatest perks of golf is to use the newest and keep up to date with the most revolutionary technologies.

Technologies like adjustment weights twist face and the speed injected face have all revolutionized the sport in the last few years.

These innovations were created with the idea of helping golfers get into the game and make better contact on the ball.

It is the perfect time for you to get into the sport and take advantage of the best clubs in the world.

Begin playing golf – 5. Stay safe…

One of the most underrated advantages of golf is the conservation of the mind and the body.

Most physical team sports will expose the body to head trauma and possible severe physical injuries.

But golf will almost entirely shelter you from those dangers.

Of course, injuries are not entirely avoidable.

But if you make sure to stretch out properly, as you should always do before going out on the field, you will most likely never experience any pain from the sport.

As for head trauma, simply make sure to look out while you are on the course and open your ears to the “FORE!” calls of other golfers.

Finally, the only real enemy you’ll have on the course will be the sun.

Make sure to apply a good amount of sunscreen before heading out for the weekly round.

Begin playing golf – And finally…

Hopefully, this has convinced you to pick up the great sport that is golf.

It is the ultimate sport for the summer as you get to enjoy the beautiful weather.

You can also keep the legs fresh while walking around on the course.

Moreover, it is a great opportunity to bring the whole family together for an afternoon activity.

Finally, you get to benefit from the best engineering in the world while having the peace of mind that you are not slowly grinding your health away.

 

By Ian Mullins

Golfing in New Zealand…

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

In his series of Unique Golf Courses of the World, this month Scottish Bob turns his sights on Golfing in New Zealand!

Over to Bob…


Golfing in New Zealand – The Course…

Kia ora tatau & Nau Mai to Aotearoa” (that’s hello to everyone & welcome to the land of the Long White Cloud)

Today there are approximately 390 golf courses in New Zealand which puts it second in the world for golf courses per capita, from a population of only 4 million.

Only Scotland with approximately 543 golf courses per capita of around 5 million has more courses.

Golf has been played in New Zealand since 1871 when the Otago Golf Club was formed with many golf clubs forming shortly after.

However, I would like to bring what I myself would call, a unique golf course which was founded in 1906 and it is The Rotorua Golf Club and the Arikikapakapa course.

Rotorua-golf-Club-view-from-above

This means ‘The Gentle Sound of Plopping Mud’!

The Rotorua Golf Club is the only Geothermal golf course in New Zealand.

The Rotorua Golf Club and the Arikikapakapa course…

The course has 18 holes and is a par 70, each hole is played over and around both dormant and very active thermal areas.

This provides each golfer with a great variety and a very challenging round of golf.

The geothermal uniqueness of this golf course has earned it, an international reputation which you should not miss if you are golfing in New Zealand.

Whilst playing this golf course there are a number of bubbling hot mud pools & hot steam vents that are to be avoided, especially on the left of the 9th green.

In addition, there is a strange sulphur mound on the right side of the same green.

This unique golf hole was featured on a New Zealand stamp and has been written about by my many golf writers from around the world.

However, there is a Monster geothermal crater which guards the left side of the 14th hole and descending into the crater hole is forbidden.

This hole has also become the signature hole of  the Rotorua Golf Club

Among many of the other holes here, are the 14th 15th & 16th which are played alongside & across a lake.

Apart from the added danger of water, on a cold & chilly winters morning watching the steam rise from the lake into the air is something special to behold.

There is also no room for wayward shots on these three holes also known as “Amen Corner” by the locals where so many matches are won & lost by the smallest of errors.

The unique pumice ground of this golf course allows for rapid drainage even after heavy rainfall, where the course and greens recover in only a few minutes making it very rare for golfers to lose any time playing their game of golf.

The entire golf course was rebuilt in 1996 with new bunkers and undulating greens, there are four tees on every hole.

Red, Yellow, White, & Blue, to test the abilities of each & every golfer.

That’s it for now, more next month…

E Noho Ra & Whai I te ra pai

(Farewell & have a good day in Maori).

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish ‘Bob’ Davies

 


N.B. Facts & figures are as reliable at the time of writing.

More Unique Golf Course of The World From Bob…

Unique Golf Courses of The World – The Green Zone…

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Unique Golf Courses of The World - The Green Zone Golf Club - Torino Golf ClubUnique Golf Courses of The World – Two countries, One Golf Course…

In his latest blog, Scottish Bob investigates the phenomenon that you can pass through two times zones in one round of Golf…

The Green Zone Golf Club (also known as The Torino Golf Club) is roamed by beautiful reindeer was built & designed by Ake Persson in 1987 and is only an hour away from the Arctic Circle.

This 18 hole golf course (par 72) straddles two different countries and two different time zones, with nine holes in Finland & nine holes in Sweden!

With the river Torino (which is the border) running through the golf course, we believe this is the ONLY two nation golf course in the world…


Unique Golf Courses of The World – The course…

The river Torino requires crossing four times via footbridges, however, be aware that there is an additional factor of time zones to navigate too, as ‘technically’ you will gain & lose time while playing your round of golf!

The Signature Hole which is on the 6th hole and it is a par 3 of approximately 132 yards with two very deep bunkers of either side of the green.

When you tee-off in Sweden you have the opportunity to do the most memorable and longest ‘Hole in One’ in the world, and if the flag pin is positioned in its trickiest place, your ball will reach the putting green in Finland 1 hour later.

On the 7th Par 4 hole at 325m, your tee shot will have to be ‘up the middle’ of the fairway as you have a large body of water on both sides to trap a wayward shot but this expanse of water is a big feature on most of the holes on this golf course.

Due to the golf clubs unique location, it is possible to play golf at any time of the day or night in full sunshine during the summer, all due to the midnight sun which does not go down for months.

However, you can still play golf on this beautiful golf course in the winter but it will be on snow.

The Golf Club also hold the ‘Midnight Sun 90 hole’ Golf Event that is several days & nights of non-stop golf each year in late June & July.

I think this golf club is well and truly one of the unique golf courses of the world!

Til Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

Scottish Bob
xx

Read more Unique Golf Courses of The World -by Scottish Bob…

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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