Archive for the ‘Golf History’ Category

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

 

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

 

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…

 

The Social Golfer Par 3 Championship 2018…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

The Social Golfer - Par 3 Championship 2018 Slater wins TSG PAR 3 Championship and takes 3rd TSG Major title… and now only requires one more for the TSG Slam!

Once again members of The Social Golfer (Online Golf Club & Golf Society) gathered from all over the South East of England to meet and compete at Kent-based Pedham Place Academy on Saturday 9th June 2018, all hoping to be this year’s TSG Par 3 Championship golfer….


The Social Golfer – Par 3 Championship…

The unique event is played over 27 holes, with the top six players going through to an 18th hole shoot-out!

More than 30 members of the popular online golf club signed up to the day, making for an exciting competition with…..

  • Mark Tucknott (Essex),
  • Gary Cartlidge (Surrey),
  • Mark Crane (Kent),
  • Steve Slater (Essex),
  • Chris Ford (Hertfordshire),
  • Mike Sleeman (London)

Each finalist had two balls to win their place in the Grand Final, with the two players nearest to the pin on the 18th Green qualifying!

The Social Golfer - Par 3 Championship 2018 v4

With only one hitting the green it took a third ball from 5 of the 6 before settling on two finalists Steve Slater (former TSG Masters and TSG Open Champion) and first-time TSG major finalist Mike Sleeman (London).

The Social Golfer – Par 3 Championship – The Winners…

The field ranging from 12 handicappers to 28 and the course (one of the best Par 3 in the South of England) proved to make for a hugely enjoyable contest with Mr Steve Slater winning through!

Other prizes on the day included Wooden Spoon – Ruth Brand, Guest Prize – Val Hammond, NP1 – Peter Hammond, NP2 – Paul Houghton, NP3 – Peter Hammond, NP4 – Chris Ford and Quiz Winner – Peter Hammond

 


The Social Golfer - Par 3 Championship 2018 v4

The Social Golfer – Par 3 Championship – What they said…

Speaking after the event Ian Mullins, Managing Director of The Social Golfer said;

“ Once again members joined in with our innovative shoot-out format giving an average golfer the taste of what it’s like to play sudden death. I still can’t believe how nervous some of them looked as they stood on the tee.”

“However, I thoroughly enjoy watching grown men turn into jelly.”

“Well done to Steve, I have no doubts his sights are now set on becoming the TSG MatchPlay champion next!”

“Many thanks to Pedham Place and Tim Milford and his team for once again looking after us so well!”

The Social Golfer - Par 3 Championship 2018 v4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read about our TSG Masters 2018 winner…

Gaudet Luce Golf Club – TSG Review…

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

Gaude Luce Golf ClubGaudet Luce Golf club (pronounced Gore-day Loose) is set in a very nice part of rural Worcestershire.

Located on the edge of Droitwich Spa, the club is very easy to locate as it is only 5mins from the M5 and has named signs from the town centre.

Worcester is only 20mins away, and Birmingham about 40mins.

As a new TSG Club Partner, we sent TSGer Andy King to check out the course and share with his fellow TSGers, his view on the course.

Over to you Andy…


Gaudet Luce Golf Club – The Clubhouse & Shop…

It is thought Gaudet Luce is Latin for something like ‘Rejoiceful Light‘ as we were told by the Company Director whos family has always owned this course since its start in the late 90’s.

I personally love a golf course you drive through part of to get to the clubhouse, you get a little taster, and Gaudet Luce doesn’t disappoint.

Gaude Luce Golf Club 2

The car park is big but there are several other businesses onsite, so parking might be a problem at certain times.  We had no issue, and probably will be fine most times….

The course and clubhouse are relatively new, established in 1995. So, as you’d expect, the clubhouse is very modern, clean and tidy.

However, their trophy cabinet in the welcoming and comfortable bar, is as impressive as you’d find in a club a hundred years old.  #

 

All staff, bar, shop, and just generally were friendly and helpful (not only to us, but we noticed they stopped to chat, and were as helpful as they could be to members we saw onsite as well ).

We had some food and drinks after, which were very nice and reasonably priced, the bar area although good, if it was used to cater to a large society might get a bit cramped, 30 or so would be fine but hey may have other areas for larger groups.

The Pro shop is not huge but is well stocked, and recently incorporates the retail company, American Golf, so you know what you’re going to have on offer.

Speaking to the shop staff about the course was informative about 150yrd markers etc, however, the weather lately had been so good, there was nothing for them to warn us about by the way of wet or muddy parts.

There’s a teaching school available with details on the Gaudet Luce Golf Club website.

 


Gaudet Luce Golf Club – The Courses…

Gaude Luce Golf Club 2

There are two courses, the 9 hole Par 3 ‘Hazdor’ course which looked very nice and is used for a quick round, practice, and lessons etc by members and guests.

However, the absolute star of the show is the full 18 hole ‘Phoenix’ course.

Off the Whites, it is 6053yrds Par 70.  Yellows  5869yrds Par 70. Reds 5392yrds Par 73

This may not seem to be ‘long’ by modern standards, but if you don’t bring your ‘A’ game, you may go home shaking your head.

However, you WILL want to come back for another go…frankly, it’s a stunner!

A beautiful Parkland course that’s got the balance just right.  Not too daunting for high handicappers, not too easy for low handicappers.

The condition in early May was excellent.

Good quality Tee boxes with lovely features like box hedge surround, fairways that were springy and lush, just the right amount, and Greens that were true and a good speed.

There is some water to negotiate, but again, it’s not too much. Everything was high quality.

It is quite tree lined (especially the front 9), but not too punishing, and the trees etc. frame the course beautifully.

It is a course of two halves, the front nine being tight in places but shorter.

The back nine more open but longer and with more water and some slopes to contend with.

From the first nice wide downhill tee, although OOB down the right, the course unfolds in front of you, with all holes offering something different.

The 2nd being a gentle downhill Par 3, but watch out for the pin placement.

However, the tricky 4th demonstrates the ‘short/tight’ idea though.  At only 263 yards from the yellows this Par 4 seems easy…it’s not.

With an entrance to the green through the eye of a needle, you need to be pinpoint accurate.

The 353 yard, 7th is quite straightforward…IF you get a good intimidating drive away.

Quite a carry over water to the fairway will worry some.  The Par 5, 8th will get the grey matter going, calculating distances over ( or not ) brooks, and around ( or NOT ) ponds to a very very shallow green.

The more open back nine starts with a great Par 3, but straight away, you see the water coming into play.

The downhill 11th is also worthy of a special mention, as again the view sweeping down is fabulous.

Another Par 3 at 12 shows a very popular hole that has DANGER written all over it.

I’ll say little about the monster that is the 14th (421yrds mostly uphill par 4 at ‘only’ stroke index 13. Ouch !!!)

ALL of the Par 3 holes stood out as special, but my favourite hole was the 17th.  Off the yellow tee, a 502yrd Par 5, that the 2nd half is STEEPLY uphill to a platform green.

However after all that effort, turn around and look back down the hole….the view will take your breath away (even if you might need a buggy to be ABLE to breathe after that climb!).

The course is easy to find your way around, as most tees are within sight of the previous green, and where they weren’t, there were good signs showing the way.

There ARE birdies out there to be had, but you need to play carefully to benefit.  A real thinkers course!


Gaude Luce Golf Club 4

Gaudet Luce Golf Club – Other stuff…

Practise facilities are also very well catered for.  A good full range, practise putting areas and the helpful shop Pro’s all there to prepare you for your round.  Lessons are available, and the club seems very well set up for societies etc.

In fact, the clubs website is one of the most detailed I have ever seen.

From their price range to play and other offers onsite, like FootGolf, membership, and group golf days ( even to the opening and closing times of the kitchen, and online menu’s!!).

There also looks like a lot going on away from the golf.

With special offer meal deals, and entertainment galore.  I would seriously look into membership here…if only it wasn’t nearly 200miles from home !!

Coming from the London area, I thought the cost was very good value for money, even at the weekend.

Two of my group came from about 1hrs drive away and were already thinking of it as a great venue for their society to come to because of the cost and the quality of the ‘Phoenix’. Visit – Gaude Luce Golf Club – TSG Club Partner Offers

 


Gaudet Luce Golf Club – Conclusion…

All in all, Gaudet Luce is a fantastic club and course making us feel very welcome and is a delight to play.

A real gem, well worth a trip. Really struggling to think of ANYTHING to criticise.

Yes, some may argue you can hear the M5 most of the way around, but personally, it’s not too loud and I managed to ‘blot’ that out after a few holes.

I would highly recommend this course to any local people, or, like me, a visitor from further away. You’ll love it.

TSG Verdict: 4.5 out of 5!

By Andy King


Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – TSG Review…

 

 

Unique Golf Courses of the World – Christmas Island…

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Christmas Island Golf CourseFollowing on from Scottish Bob’s blog series on the Oldest Golf Courses of the World by continent in 2017, Bob now turns his attention to some of the lesser known courses around the world, this time its the turn of Christmas Island, Australia (Indian Ocean)…


Christmas Island, Australia (Indian Ocean)…

We have all heard the saying “All your Christmas’s come at once” but this can be true while playing golf on Australia’s most northern golf course!

Situated just 2,600 km, North, North-West of Perth, Western Australia and is Australia’s jewel in the beautiful Indian ocean.

Golf on Christmas Island golf is amazing, the course sits on top a volcanic seamount, pushed up by the volcanic eruptions many millions of years ago.

It is a 18 hole par 64 layout, with fully grassed fairways & greens and it is set on an eastern, gently sloping plateau.

The course is bordered by the Indian Ocean on the east and tropical rainforest jungle to the west.

The golf course was first established by Mr Jack Pettigrew in 1955, who many years earlier had cleared the area while being held prisoner by the invading Japanese forces.

The club is run entirely by volunteers and the course ideally located to catch the south-east trade winds.

Christmas Island Golf Course v2Christmas Island, Australia (Indian Ocean) – Thr rules…

The beautiful Clubhouse is perfectly placed overlooking the golf course and Indian Ocean, and according to one of the members, men are NOT allowed on the course on a Wednesday afternoon… and the women are NOT allowed on the course on a Friday afternoon.

If this rule is disobeyed the offending male/female will have to pay for the drinks.

While playing your round of golf, the flora & fauna will amaze you, as will the abundance of Frigate birds & Fruit bats and ‘Abbotts Booby’s’ nesting in the tall trees nearby. NO, it’s not what you are thinking, these are real birds.

However, at certain times of the year, you will come across the “infamous Red Crabs” or the largest land crab, “The Robber Crab”. This unique and endemic species has resulted in local rule concerning the crabs “pinching your balls”.

And at times, the golf course can be a sea of red, with tens of thousands of crabs making their way to the Ocean. During the months of November through to early January, the red crabs migrate from the jungle to the ocean to mate and spawn their eggs.

Breeding is usually synchronized island wide and it is estimated that there are around 40-50 million crabs around the island in total.

No, you can’t have “Chilli Mud Crab” as you can’t eat them, there are a further 14 different species of crabs on the island.

Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary (a shipping Vessel which was owned by The East India Company) named the island when his ship passed it on Christmas Day 1643. So now you know!

Till Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

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Scottish Bob Davies


Other Unique Golf Course articles from around the world – courtesy of Bob…

Chateau Des Vigiers is better than ever…

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Chateau des Vigiers Golf ClubOne of France’s leading golf resorts Chateau des Vigiers has prepared for the country’s first Ryder Cup year by making a wide range of improvements…


Chateau des Vigiers – The Resort…

Chateau des Vigiers, the 27-hole golf resort in the heart of the Dordogne wine region of south-west France, now promises ‘visiting golfers’ an even better experience.

With upgraded golf & leisure facilities, renovated bedrooms, and a sumptuous new wine cellar in the chateau’s Michelin Star restaurant, “Les Fresques”.

Known as ‘Petit Versailles’, the resort’s 16th-century chateau forms an enchanting backdrop when you check into one of the hotel’s 65 four-star rooms.

And if you’re a golfer you will find new-look changing rooms, a much more comprehensive pro shop and upgraded golf buggy tracks this season, as well as improved bunkers out on the golf course.

The latest Callaway and Titleist golf equipment is now available to test and buy from the Chateau des Vigiers pro shop, with the 2018 range of FootJoy golf shoes plus golf apparel from Under Armour, Adidas, Glenmuir, Rohnisch and Brax all on show.

Chateau des Vigiers Golf ClubChateau des Vigiers Golf Club – Property…

For those looking for a more permanent ‘home away from home’ in beautiful south-west France, Chateau des Vigiers also now has five brand-new golf homes for sale overlooking the 7th and 8th greens, each individually-designed by French architect Didier Griffoul.

The one, two and three-bedroom properties come complete with their own golf buggy, and give owners direct access both to 27 holes of French resort golf and to the estate’s many facilities, right on the doorstep.

If you are seeking to relax as well as play golf, the newly-renovated Spa at Chateau des Vigiers will reopen in May 2018 with a new hydrotherapy pool.

Three new treatment rooms and a new team of beauticians on hand with the 2018 range of Sothys Paris beauty products.

Chateau des Vigiers Golf Club – What They Said…

2018 is a significant year for golf in France, with the eyes of the world upon us when The Ryder Cup visits our country this September, and we are expecting to welcome record numbers of golfers to our wonderful facility.” said Niels Koetsier, Managing Director at Chateau des Vigiers.

Our goal is to end 2018 ranked well inside Europe’s Top 50 golf resorts, and among the top five places to stay & play golf in France.”

“Our enchanting location, our beautiful accommodation, our gourmet dining and of course our majestic golf course and chateau all make Chateau des Vigiers a unique experience, and these recent improvements will make your memories even more magical.”

Director of Golf Matthew Storm said: “Alongside the other golf facility improvements which we have made over the winter, we have also recently invested in our greenkeeping team. “

“As a result, all 27 holes will be in stunning condition for the new season. Our greens, tees and fairways offer truly wonderful playing surfaces, and golfers will find one of France’s best-maintained golf courses when they come here in 2018.”

New shareholders took a controlling interest in Chateau des Vigiers in July 2017, and have already spent in excess of one million Euros on improvements.

The resort is now under new management, headed by Niels Koetsier who took over as the resort’s new Managing Director, also in July 2017.


Visit www.vigiers.com to book your next trip to Chateau des Vigiers, or call the resort on +33 (0)553 61 5000.

 

Ends.

Unique Golf Courses – Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club …

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club

Following on from Scottish Bob’s blog series on the Oldest Golf Courses of the World by continent in 2017, Bob now turns his attention to some of the lesser known courses around the world, this time its the turn of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club…


Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club –  Golfing China…

This magnificent golf course set in the bottom of a valley which faces the famous Snow Dragon Mountains which stands at 18,360 feet in the Yunnan Province of China.

The course was designed by renowned golf course architects Robin Nelson & Neil Hawthorn.

This 18 hole par 72 golf course was opened in 2001 and is the longest regulation golf course in the world, measuring 8548 yards from the pro tees & earning themselves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Situated at a height of over 10,000 feet above sea level making it the highest golf course in China and the second highest in the world after La Paz in Bolivia standing at 10,964 feet.

However, when playing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club, at this height, the ball is known to travel 20 percent further due to the thinness of the mountain air.

The front nine of this golf course has a Scottish feel to it, while the back nine is undulating and mountainous, the back nine couldn’t be more contrasting.

The two sets of nine have completely different characteristics, with the Par 5, 5th hole, standing at 711 yards which is the longest par 5 in the world (Seriously!!).

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club – The Locals …

The caddies are from the Local “Naxi” people who have lived in the area for generations and who wear their traditional costumes.

And no matter where you are playing your shot from you will have spectacular views of the snow -capped mountains.

The 13 peaks of the Snow -covered and sometimes fog-enlaced mountain resembles a Jade Dragon, lying in the clouds, hence the name “Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club”.

In addition, this is also the Southern Most Glacier in the Northern Hemisphere, the mountain range stretches for 22 miles and has a width of 13 miles.

This beautiful place is not just for golfer’s, but with an abundance of different plant species on show and wildlife.

No matter what part of the Snow Capped Mountain you visit, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club is a truly unique place.

Till Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish Bob’ Davies

More articles from Bob… Golfing in The Antartica …

 

The Social Golfer Website Review – Ladies have their say…

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Ruth Brand - The Social Golfer Website Review

The online golf club The Social Golfer (TSG) has been growing steadily since its official launch back in 2010 and much of that is down to the continued support we have from our lady golfers.

However, as a pro-active promoter of women’s golf, we asked long term TSG member Ruth Brand for her comments regarding her TSG experience since joining our community.

N.B. These are Ruth’s words, not ours….!!


The Social Golfer Website Review – Why TSG?

As a keen (obsessed) golfer and having arrived back in the UK from living overseas for 12 years, I was looking to find a local golf club, which wasn’t very expensive.

As with most things these days, the first place to start was with my computer.

On my internet travels, I came across The Social Golfer.

I went onto their site and read what they were all about and it was perfect (or so it seemed), and I had found what I was looking for.

I signed up there and then and paid my £25 annual membership fee.

Essentially, TSG is no different to any other golf club.

Its front door just happens to be on my PC/iPad rather than a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ club.

It’s a golf club for golfers of all levels; members post a game/tee time in their area and, if spaces are available, you join the game by clicking on the link invitation.

If any changes are made to the game or if more people join up then you are advised by email so you are always kept informed.

After returning from the game, you then enter your scorecard and keep a handicap – brilliant!

The Social Golfer Website Review – Is it safe and female friendly?Ruth Brand - TSG Masters 2017 Champion

Now, I will mention here that I am a lady of a certain age and the very thought of meeting a bunch of totally new people was a tad daunting but I bit the bullet and put my name down for my very first game at Lingfield Park in Surrey.

I arrived on a dreary Saturday morning not really quite knowing what to expect but it was very straightforward and it was where I first met Ian – the chief honcho of TSG!

Jump forward six years and I have played many courses I would never have played, met people I definitely wouldn’t have met and it is one of the best decisions I have EVER made by joining!!

The Social Golfer Website Review – Is it overly competitive or cliquey?

One of the best parts about using this website is the ‘official’ TSG competitions that Ian arranges throughout the year.

These are entered straight into my diary and family holidays have to be arranged around them!

They are fabulous days where you meet up with old friends and make new ones and there is a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, especially for new members

This year’s event was sponsored by Golf News and Golf Escapes and there were prizes also to be won and titles to win or retain.

However, most of the TSG events I join are no more than a friendly game of golf with other members and the best bit, there are no petty politics to be found or heard anywhere.

I will also just put it out there, that I have on many occasions been the only lady golfer playing but not once have I felt uncomfortable – we are just there to play golf.

The Social Golfer Website Review – In summary…

Ruth Brand - The Social Golfer Website Review

It really is a club for like-minded, relaxed and fun golfers, who enjoy the flexibility of playing at lots of different clubs and generally, at discounted rates.

I also know Ian is very active at encouraging more women to take up the game, so everyone is welcomed, whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out.

So for any ladies out there reading this, I urge you to go and have a look at the site, sign up and come and meet lots of lovely new people and experience golf as it should be – a truly social day out!!!


By Ruth Brand