Archive for the ‘Golf News’ Category

Best Winter Golf Events…

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Best Winter Golf Events v1 Finding the Best Winter Golf Events in the world to play can be a difficult exercise. Furthermore, as winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, many golfers put their golf bags and clubs away until spring.

However, there are many intrepid golfers around the world who find the winter months a challenge and like to participate in the snow and ice!

Best Winter Golf Events – The History…

According to historians, there was a short game in Holland called “Kolf” which was played on frozen canals and ponds around the 17th century.

It is also rumoured that a form of snow golf was played in Scotland around the same time.

In 1892 the renowned English Author & Poet Rudyard Kipling (famous for the Jungle Book stories) married American lady, Carolyn Balestier.

They both later settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, in America with Kipling’s very good friend Sir Arthur Conon Doyle joining them.

Kipling who lived a great deal of his life in India was not a great lover of the hot temperatures, however, he revelled in the cooler climate.

One cold winter’s day in a snow-covered paddock Kipling was seen to be hitting something with a white birch branch, this became a very familiar site for the local people around the area.

One day he came out dressed in black boots, knee-high socks, green knicker- like pants, a red plaid cap, carrying a bag with a few mixed clubs in it.

He then proceeded to make a small mound out of the snow and placed his red ball(he had painted)on the top of the mound and thus winter golf was invented (#Discuss).

Best Winter Golf Events v2

 

Best Winter Golf Events – The Courses…

The Chivas Snow golf Championship took place in January 2007 in St Moritz, with the victorious Ryder Cup winner Sam Torrance, winning the Chivas Snow Golf Championship.

Not to be outdone, in March of 2010, the famous French Champagne House of Boerl & Kroff held the 1st Boerl & Kroff  Snow Golf Cup in Gstaad in Switzerland.

The Drambuie Ice Golf Championship was first held in Greenland in 1997 and was the brainchild of Mr Arnie Neiman, who asked Mr Rolf Henning-Jenson to design an 18 hole golf course.

So began a great golfing experience with golfers from all over the world coming to participate in this unique frozen golf tournament.

The Megeve BMW Winter Golf Cup was a crazy idea created by an avid and passionate golf enthusiast by the name of Philippe Guilhem in 2000.

This tournament has been now running for 18 years, set in the Mont D’Arbois Domain, which belongs to the Rothchild’s family.

Phlippe Guilhem was also involved with the famous Swiss watch designer Vacheron Constantin in organizing “The Vacheron Constantin Snow Golf Cup” which was held in St Moritz Switzerland.

However, something a little bit riskier and dangerous, there is also The Snow Golf Championship held on The Aletsch Glacier on the Jungfrau Mountain in the Swiss Alps.

You tee-off at an altitude of 3465 metres with many Swiss sporting personalities taking part in this truly unique tournament.

 

Best Winter Golf Events v3Best Winter Golf Events – And there’s more…

These are just some of the best winter golf events in the world I have found and there are many more Snow Golf Tournaments and Championships taking place.

In places like Argentina, Austria, Germany, Italy, Canada, America, Sweden, Finland as well as the UK.

A great many of these tournaments are arranged to raise funds for needy charities all around the world.

One of my favourite Tournaments was The 2010 Utukkuu Snow Golf Challenge which was held in Anchorage, Alaska, Canada.

The great sum of $36,500 was raised by the local people for the Aqqaluk Trust, which preserves the culture, language, and dignity of the local Inupiat people.

While there are so many more I could mention, I will finish with the Rockwell Police Department in Texas, who organise The Santa Snow Flight Golf. 

Here, they fly in Santa to play golf in the snow!

All of the money that is raised by these great people is used to buy toys for the underprivileged children in the local area.

These, along with many related snow & ice golf stories, are just a small sample of work (and kindness) that is carried out by golfing fraternities all over the world.

But unfortunately, so often we never get to hear about their fantastic achievements and the people who run them.

 

Best Winter Golf Events – And Finally…

I would like to wish all the staff & readers everywhere of The Social Golfer a VERY Merry Christmas and a wonderful and safe 2019.

And I would love to hear from anyone about any snow golf tournaments held in the UK.

Email me at justus96@bigpond.com

Til next time

“Scottish (Santa) Bob” 

 

More articles from Scottish Bob… Christmas-island

Phoenix Cup 2018 – Europe wins against all odds…

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018…

USA v Europe

Long Marsh Golf Club, Florida, USA  – October 15th—17th

Team Europe win Disabled Ryder Cup following a hurricane scare and despite tragically losing one of there team the day before event…

The Phoenix Cup 2108 is a “RYDER CUP” style competition played between disabled golfers from the USA & Europe.

It was played over 3 days the format being 6 x foursomes on day 1, 6 x 4 ball better ball on day 2 and finally on day 3, 12 x singles.

This event was the idea of Mr Jim Gales MBE of the Scottish Disability Golf & Curling (SDGC) and Mr Ian Halliwell, Chairman of British Inclusive Golf (BIG)…


Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Tragedy…

Each team for Inclusivity had to field players with a variety of disabilities and showcase all golf handicaps by having 4 players with handicaps in each range 0 –10, 11-20 & 21 plus. This proved successful as 80% of the games went to the 17th & 18th Hole.

The inaugural Phoenix Cup was a great success and was enjoyed by all participant’s, however, the financial support for the USA team was evident to see.

Team Europe’s aptly named “Dads Army” all made the trip at their own cost. However, tragedy struck the Europe team the day before the event.

Sadly, Mr Billy Cairns from Kilmarnock suddenly had a heart attack in his hotel room and passed away.

This sad event devastated the team, it was unanimous that we would continue and win it for Billy #doitforbilly.

Billy was a very cheerful funny guy and brought a smile to most faces at any event he attended he will be sadly missed and both SDGC & BIG are planning to have an award in his memory in the future.

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Match – Captains Diary…

Thurs 11th OCTOBER… arrive in hotel…. terrible journey from Orlando and our team already have issues…. Celtic contingent, transfer issues at Tampa…our German player delayed by the hurricane in Atlanta, not exactly the start I had hoped for…

…all the past Ryder Cup players had stressed the overriding importance of team spirit and camaraderie, hardly an auspicious start.

Friday 12th October optional practice day…. again not a great start, missed lifts, changing tee times, the team all over the place, but all this paled into insignificance as we heard the devastating, tragic news that our popular charismatic colleague Billy Cairns had sadly passed away whilst chilling at the hotel.

That evening many a tear was shed but equally many a humorous anecdote about our fallen hero.

It was this evening that this rambling, ragtag dads army collection of guys became a team…. #doingitforbilly… even then more hassle the boss Jim Gales arrives minus clubs.

Saturday 13th October… Florida open day, surprisingly all the team elect to play but its clear golf is the last thing on everybody’s mind…only 3 of the side break par, but as the news about billy has broken back in the UK, we are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement, particularly from Billy’s family.

Sunday 14th October… meet the teams and draw for foursomes.

If we were in any doubt about the challenge ahead, we soon realised it as our USA opposition turned out superbly attired, well kitted out and clearly a very young and extremely talented bunch of golfers…but we had billy looking down on us and that night our Team again joined together as billy’s team and we were clearly ready to rumble…. The team, wives and supporters clearly up for the battle ahead.

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfMonday 15th October… the opening ceremony and foursomes…. sounds of bagpipes, a moving ceremony and fitting tribute to Billy started this Ryder cup style-match.

First tee following opening ceremony and there’s a minute silence for billy…

I was really emotional and chocked up but mighty proud of my opening shot cracked down the middle.

Personally, I still don’t know how I hit the first opening tee shot but it set the tone for a magnificent effort by all the Team Europe players…the strains of ‘Ole Ole Ole, billy, billy’ strained around the course as we took the session 5 points to 1…. we where #doingitforbilly

Tuesday 16th October… we expected a backlash and got it, in the fourballs, we were beaten 5 to 1, levelling the tie 6 each….. not that we played badly 3 games went to last and we could have had a lead going into last day.

There was some good news, the boss clubs and the case turned up and Mr Gales, at last, had some clean clothes and more importantly body spray.

That night the whole team met and partied just for billy and despite our huge underdog status, I personally, at last, felt quite confident of success, indeed I felt it was inevitable we would #doitforbilly

Wednesday 17th October the final 12 singles…

Two players notify us they aren’t feeling up for it… it had been 42 degrees each day on a long dry course and it was beginning to take its toll on our Dads Army.

This honesty was to play a big part in our teams’ success on the day along with some inspirational Team Placings by the gaffer Jim Gales…

To the strains of ‘ole ole’ ALL the guys played out their skins…. it was even hotter today, but not as hot as our golf out on the course and the rest is history.

Phoenix Cup 2018 Result:

Team Europe 7.5 –  Team USA 4.5

…. and the Phoenix Cup is coming back to Europe… we had #doneitforbilly.

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018 – In Summary…

I was delighted and proud to lead this magnificent collection of gentlemen…

we will be comrades in arms forevermore.

The Cairns family, your support and encouragement in your darkest hour was a significant contribution. Billy Cairns RIP, teammate, friend, gone but will never EVER be forgotten.

FROM DEVASTATION AND DESPAIR TO ELATION AND JOY!

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Presentation…

A great meal and celebration followed, our hosts maintain dignity despite their defeat and there were so many friendships made…

Ian Halliwell – Receiving ‘The Phoenix Cup’ from USA Captain Tracy Ramin

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

And Finally…

Team Europe fought and played hard against a much younger USA team, every team member playing their part in the victory, some even forfeiting their place in the singles for the better of the team.

The winning putt was sunk by our oldest team member Jim Thompson, however, it was sadly missed by most, as we were watching the captain close out his match, we all thought this was the match that would win it for EUROPE.

However, without the camaraderie and losing Billy, I doubt the result would have been the same, each player digging into inner strength to ‘DO IT FOR BILLY’.  The whole team are so proud to have won for our lost comrade.

New friends were made across the pond and sure that people will be making many trips both ways to compete in each other competitions in the future

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Legacy…

This competition is NOT ABOUT ELITE GOLFERS it’s about “INCLUSIVITY” and getting more disabled people playing golf at the highest level they can achieve.

The competition, the format was a total success however if this event is to grow we need more financial support to get younger people involved in the future. This competition is NOT ABOUT ELITE GOLFERS it’s about “INCLUSIVITY” and getting more disabled people playing golf at the highest level they can achieve.

Thanks to all Team Europe Sponsors

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

 

 

Anyone wishing to get involved please contact www.scottishdgc.org.uk or www.britishinclusivegolf.org reports and videos can be found on both websites and Facebook pages of both organisations.

 


Pheonix Cup 2018 – OFFICIAL MATCH RESULTS

Day 1 Foursomes

Booth & Halliwell bt Aldrich & Shipelski 7 & 6
Irvine & McNeily bt Clay & Holland 3 & 2
Hilleen & Ross bt Bizer & Fairclough 2up
Riordan & Thomson lst Miller & Hooks 2 dwn
Jones & Sorber bt Canezi & Ramin 4 & 3 4 & 3
Clifford & Milne bt Snyder & Bell 2up

Europe 5 USA 1


Day 2 Fourballs

Booth & Halliwell bt Bizer & Ford 3 & 1
Hilleen & Milne lst Snyder & Hooper 2 down
Riordan & Ross lst Aldrich & Hooks 1 down
Clifford & Thomson lst Clay & Holland 3 & 2
Jones & Sorber lst Bell & Shipelski 1 down
Irvine & McNeily lst Ramin & Rojas 1 down

EUROPE 1 USA 5

Match score Europe 6. USA 6


Day 3 SINGLES

Booth bt Bell 2 & 1
Gales lst Hooper 5 & 4
Irvine halve Shipelski
Jones bt Hooks 1up
Munoz lst Canezi 6 & 5Ross lst Bizer 2 & 1
Riordan lst Ford 1 down
Sorber bt Clay 5 & 4
McNeily bt. Fairclough 3 & 2
Thomson bt Miller 2 up
Halliwell bt Holland 3 & 2
Milne bt Snyder 8 & 7

Europe 7.5 USA 4.5


British Inclusive Golf is the chosen TSG Charity for 2018…

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

Short plays long game to win TSG MatchPlay at Pine Ridge Golf Club…

Monday, November 12th, 2018

The Social golfer matchPlay Final Video at Pine Ridge 28.10.2018TheSocialGolfer.com, the online golf club and social golf network website, held its sixth TSG MatchPlay Championship Final (Sponsored by Crown Golf) at their flagship course Pine Ridge Golf Club in Surrey, on Sunday 28th October 2018…

The TSG MatchPlay Championship ran similarly to an FA Cup style knockout with participants arranging each round of matches at a course of their choice.

With clubs in the Crown Golf offering preferential green fees at its venues including Hampton Court GC, Chesfield Downs GC, throughout the summer for TSG members.


The Social Golfer MatchPlay Final 2018 at Pine Ridge Golf Club…

The finalists Dave Short (Essex) and Ollie McCormack (London) both worked their way through a field of 64 to secure their place at Pine Ridge, having played six matches across the year.

In addition, the two losing Semi-finalists Brigitte Lockwood (London) and Andy King (Kent) competed in the third-place play-off.

TSG Matchplay Champion 2018 - Dave ShortThe final began with Short (11 Handicap) going 3up after three holes, meaning veteran TSG match-player McCormack (10 Handicap) had a mountain to climb to get the game back.

After a valiant effort, McCormack pegged two holes back only to lose them again by the turn.

However, with gritty determination, McCormack clawed his way back to all square on the 18th green with his final putt forcing a sudden death play-off…

The pair then played the first hole again, twice, before Short holed out for a Par to clinch victory!

Meanwhile, the third-place trophy went to Kent TSGer Andy King, who’s game was settled on the 17th.

The Social Golfer MatchPlay Final 2018 at Pine Ridge Golf Club – what they said…

Mentally exhausted from the battle, Short, commenting on his win said Many thanks to The Social Golfer for all the time and energy they put into organising this golf event.”

“The online platform is a fantastic concept and I have met so many golfers and played so many courses, that I would otherwise have never visited.”

He went on to say…

“This is such an honour. Well done to the Pine Ridge staff and greenkeepers for making it such a great day. And of course, commiserations to Ollie, who really pushed me all the way. I am over the moon!”


For more information contact us at theteam@thesocialgolfer.com OR call 01277 200 207

By Ian Mullins

World of Golf London sees Ryder Cup bounce…

Friday, October 12th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Ian Mullins

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

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

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

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

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


The Ryder Cup – The History…

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

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

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

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ryder Cup 2018 – The Format…

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v10

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

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

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

The Ryder Cup 2018 – How to Watch & Follow…

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

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

We just can wait now!

#TeamEurope

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By Ian Mullins

Le Golf National – TSG Ryder Cup Course Review

 

The Social Golfer OPEN 2018 – The Winners…

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The Social Golfer OPEN 2018 ChampionshipOnce again, The Social Golfer online golf club and golf community gathered from all over the UK and with some players flying in from Africa for the 8th The Social Golfer OPEN 2018 (sponsored by Golf News and Golf Escapes).

First held in 2010, this year’s event was held at North Downs Golf Club in South London…

 


The Social Golfer OPEN Championship…

Despite the driest British Summer in 60 years, the heavens decided that it was 29th July that the dry spell was to end.

And didn’t we know about it!

However, this didn’t stop 64 golfers battling 30mph winds, squalling rain and, at times only 200 yards visibility.

The event is a great opportunity for TSG members to mingle and ‘be social’ with many of 5k strong UK members (10k+ worldwide) and compete for the much coveted Halliwell Cup donated by Stroke Survivor and British Inclusive Golf Ambassador, Ian Halliwell.

Furthermore, £5 from every entry fee was donated to British Inclusive Golf.

Golf News was very proud to be the Official Media Partner of the day, as the event included a number of golfing challenges and tests.

 


The Social Golfer OPEN

The Social Golfer OPEN Championship – The Day…

The day’s events comprised, an Individual 18-hole Stableford Competition (Men & Ladies).

A much enjoyed ‘Yellow Ball’ team event, run concurrently with the Straightest Drive and 2 x Nearest Pins.

The Golf News Guest Trophy, Charity Auction and Raffle also on offer.

This year, the event also hosted an indoor ‘Nearest Pin’ competition on North Downs golf simulator, with the winner receiving 2 nights half board at the Isla Canela Golf Hotel in Spain courtesy of Golf Escapes.

 


The Social Golfer OPEN Championship –  The Winners…

This year’s Men’s winner was Peter Hammond (Hampshire) with 37 Pts and the Women’s winner was Anna Guss (West London & Poland) with 29 Pts. Full results as follows:

The Social Golfer OPEN Men’s Trophy (Halliwell Cup) …

1st – Peter Hammond – 37 Pts (Won on countback)

2nd – Roger Hurcombe – 37 Pts (British Inclusive Golf)

3rd – Speedy Miller – 34 Pts

 

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The Social Golfer OPEN Women’s Trophy…

1st – Anna Guss – 29 Pts (Won on countback)

2nd – Judy Lilley – 29 Pts

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The Social Golfer OPEN

Golf News Guest Trophy…

1st – Jay Penfold (British Inclusive Golf)

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Other winners included…

  • NP (3rd hole) – Michael Hanley
  • NP(9th Hole) – Paul Langford
  • NP in 2(11th hole) – Ian Smith
  • Straightest Drive(18th hole) – Judy Lilley
  • Nearest to the Sim Pin(sponsored by Golf Escapes) winning a 2-day golfing trip to Spain – Tony Moss
  • Yellow Ball Team Winners– Ian Halliwell, Roger Hurcombe, Gary Wilson, Mark Reeves
  • Trevor Sandford Trophy – Chip in Birdie – Steve Hunt
  • Outstanding Contribution to TSG Award– Brigitte Lockwood

 


The Social Golfer OPEN

The Social Golfer OPEN Championship – The Charity…

As with all good golf society days, there is often a secondary purpose.

This year’s championship was no exception.

The Social Golfer have always been big advocates in supporting disability golf and this year the members raised over £1200 for British Inclusive Golf.

These monies will go towards helping young kids with autism and other mental and physical disabilities through the game of golf.

 


 The Social Golfer OPEN The Social Golfer OPEN Championship – What they said…

Speaking to Golf News after the event here’s what some of the attendees said about the day…

On behalf of British Inclusive Golf, may I thank you and The Social Golfer community at the TSG 2018 Open, for the warm welcome we received and of course the considerable financial support through the funds raised on our behalf.”

“We are totally overwhelmed by the level of support! All our guys had a marvellous time despite the inclement weather and many new friendships were forged.”  Ian Halliwell – Chairman – British Inclusive Golf

Ian Mullins, Event Director of The Social Golfer OPEN saidBeing a golf day organiser can have its trials and tribulations but every year the atmosphere at our events just gets better and better. A big thanks to everyone at Golf News, Golf Escapes and Golf Deals Group for putting up over £1k’s worth of prizes. “

“We hope to grow the event even further in the next 12 months in the hope we can broaden the appeal of the day beyond just our members and guests but include more golfers from all over the world!

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The Social Golfer OPEN

The Social Golfer OPEN

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The Social Golfer OPEN

 

 

 

 

 

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By Ian Mullins

Read about TSG OPEN 2017 Championship – Click Here

Matt Stables returns to South Essex Golf Club…

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Matt Stables - South Essex Golf Club v2One of Essex golf’s most popular figures, Matt Stables, has returned to South Essex Golf Club as Golf Development Professional with a positive message to all golfers – and a promise to improve their game.

Friend and member of The Social Golfer, Matt is an Advanced PGA Professional and has returned this summer after six years away from the club to develop a brand-new series of activities, aimed at growing the game and attracting golfers of all ages to the 27-hole golf complex….


Matt Stables returns to South Essex Golf Club…

To me, golf is the best sport in the world, and for millions of people pure happiness is a day at the golf club with friends” said Matt Stables. “So I’m back here to engage local people not only with South Essex but also with this amazing sport.”

And if your golf game is getting you down, Stables has this for you…

I’ll help you shoot four shots lower in the next 12 months”

He promises as he heads into the summer with new initiatives already established such as a Practice Club where both members and visiting golfers mingle with the common goal of shooting lower scores.

He has also started new Junior Classes at the weekends starting with Tiny Tots from four years of age and is also hosting new coaching programmes for female golfers and seniors at South Essex Golf Club.

To back up his new coaching plans, one of Stables’ first acts on his return to South Essex was to dramatically improve the Driving Range at the golf centre.

His range-refurbishment programme has already seen the introduction of all-new golf balls, hitting mats and lighting to the golf centre’s covered 14-bay range, with new range targets and fairway shaping on the outfield.

Matt Stables - South Essex Golf ClubThe 42-year-old pro feels like he is back at home – he was the Head Professional at South Essex Golf Club from 2009 to 2012 and has been welcomed back warmly by many of the club’s regulars.

“South Essex Golf Club is known as a great place for visitors” he said

“However, we’re actually also a great place to be a member. 27 holes playable all year round, a good range, and a great atmosphere in the clubhouse – it’s always buzzing here, which is one of the reasons I’m back in this new role.

Stables’ methods have made seismic changes to people’s golfing skills.

There’s no limit to how well you can play this game ” he said.

I have a pupil who cut a massive 32 shots off his golf game this year! I just gave him a personalised plan of action, and it really paid off.”

“If you want it badly enough, I can get you there.

Stables has also coached other professional golfers, and also elite amateurs, but although it is seen mainly as a competitive sport he stresses that the emotional benefits of golf are also very important.

“At a golf club like South Essex you make friends, you get fitter, you discover new things about yourself, and you set and achieve new goals – whatever your age”

“Playing golf is an intense emotional experience, and you feel truly alive out there on the course. That’s why we all love it so much. I’m back at South Essex to channel that passion and energy, into better performance. My goal here is to help you enjoy your golf more than ever!”

Contact Matt at 01277 811289


For more information, visit the TSG club Partners Page –  Crown Golf

By Andy Hiseman

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

 

Which Golf Ball is right for me?

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Which golf ball is right for me? Premier Lake Balls - Hard or Soft...Which Golf Ball is right for me?

It’s a pretty simple premise that using the same golf ball in practice as you do in competitions, will help heighten your feel.

It also makes for a more reliable short game but what golf ball will suit your best? And what do you need to consider?

We asked Scott from Premier Lake Balls for his thoughts…


Which golf ball is right for me – Soft or firm? 

A lot of the best golf balls 2018 has to offer come in alternative versions that spin slightly less for players, who prefer a firmer feel or more control off the tee.

Try both types from a range of distances to find your preference. As a guide, the softer the ball, the higher the price tag will be!

Which golf ball is right for me – Cover material?

Urethane covers offer the best spin control and feel but do cost more.

Experiment to see if you notice enough of a difference to validate the extra cost, you may find losing 20 yards off the tee for more spin does not benefit your game.

After all, spinning an 8 iron rather than a wedge is tougher even for the better players.

Which golf ball is right for me – Long game or short game?

With conflicting fitting messages from different brands, consider if your game will benefit most from extra yards off the tee or better feel and control around the greens.

A mid-range ball that offers a bit of length and also a little bit of spin is quite often the best way to go.


Receive 5% discount on all purchases at Premier Lake Balls by click on this link…

For more information on the type of golf ball you should be using… email scott@premierlakeballs.com or visit www.premierlakeballs.com 

TSG Interview – Paul Armitage at Le Golf National…

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

Paul Armitage - General Manager at Le Golf National, ParisFollowing our round on L’ Albatros we sat down with Englishmen, Paul Armitage (General Manager of Le Golf National) to discuss his vision for the course and his excitement at being one of the few people in golf to experience, and deliver, the greatest show on earth this September…


Afternoon Paul and thank you for giving up your time for The Social Golfer. Firstly, you don’t need me to tell you, but I think the course playing  superbly. 

The Ryder Cup layout not only provides the event with a natural amphitheater, but I have no doubt that it will also prove a hit with the spectators too. There’s a real sense of theatre about the viewing positions, which will generate a superb atmosphere.

So, what’s an Englishmen doing in Paris running a Ryder up venue, how did you get here and what has been your greatest challenge since taking over the helm in 2014?

“Well, I was born and bred in Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire and whilst I was an avid golfer, I was never good enough to think about being a golf professional and I never wanted to be an assistant pro.

So, I went to Northumbria University and studied international business finance. This included a year in France as part of the Erasmus program, meaning I discovered continental Europe at an early age.

Meanwhile, I was there, I was volunteering at a local golf course at the kid’s school and was later asked if I would be interested taking care of the competitions and events….

I did that job for three years, very happily, developing the turnover, membership programme, when a very exclusive private members club approached me to work for them.

However, as I was only 27, I was really far too young to take it through the change that was needed at that golf course.

As an Englishman, the Continentals assume you know everything about Golf, which of course you don’t but I coped and four years later we had created a Challenge Tour event and many high-end business events.

Paul Armitage - Le Golf National 1

This then became a golf events agency, which turned into a marketing agency.

Later I worked for Le Club Golf, which is a network of 130 clubs (in France there is 700+ golf club with 50% of these belonging to a commercial group).

I was then asked to join the team at Le Golf National.  I started in August 2014 (after the bidding process) – the flagship venue for the French Golf Federation.”

What an opportunity, so what has been the Paul Armitage strategy at putting Le Golf National at the heart of the French Golf network?

“It’s been a creative process but ultimately, we can sum this up in a four-letter word. It’s not the one that you’re thinking of…. It’s LOVE!

It’s been about instilling this in all the staff minds and the visiting public. (Yes, Le Golf National is a PUBLIC course! – Ed.).

We concluded that we must put the customer at the heart of everything we do, and demonstrate to visitors, how much we LOVE the venue too

This follows through from the marketing staff through to the greenkeepers. The current Greenkeeping team is headed up by hugely talented and young man from Spain, who was working there for Jack Nicklaus design.

He also spent long periods in America. He is very passionate about the course and I think he’s brought 15 centimeters of extra sand on both fairways and greens.

We were very good from tee to green before 2014, but you wouldn’t recognize this place compared to today and that Is a credit to the team.”

So as a Public course, what is the business model?

Le Golf National - L' Albatros, Paris - Ryder Cup 2018 v2“When I started there was little difference on price across our three courses, so we immediately invested in L’Albatros (now circa 120 euros), which appealed to a higher end audience with the L’ Aigle (now circa 60 euros) providing visitors with a  more affordable green fee option.

This has allowed us to raise the quality of the flagship course hugely.

Previously the course has hosted more than 20 French Opens, meaning we are top of mind for French visitors but The Ryder Cup will allow us to reach golfers from further afield e.g. the UK.

In addition, the venue will be host to the 2024 Paris Olympics meaning there is a legacy for the course beyond September”

How and why was Le Golf National chosen as this year’s host venue and can you describe the course to potential visitors?

“Well one of the things going for us was the course was both established and proven in hosting big European tour events.

In addition, it’s also a good reward risk or reward golf course meaning that it is much loved by the European tour players, a big help when convincing the ‘powers that be’ to choose us.

Our well-earned reputation was also underpinned by the support from the French government and the French Golf Federation.

There was immediate state support ensuring the event was also secure and credible and not a financial risk.

In addition, all French golfers were part of a crowd-funding project whereby every golfer paid a levy on their membership fee to the tune of 3 euros per year.

Some of these funds were also channeled into the next generation of French academy golfers. The final reason is the proximity to Paris.

This will be the first Ryder Cup to be played in a capital city, meaning transport links, accommodation, are already in place”

Paul Armitage - Le Golf National 1

So, if you had to sum of Le Golf National in one sentence what would you say and how much does it cost to be a member and what level of golfer do I need to be to play here?

“I want Le Golf National to be the MOST exclusive public golf course in the world!”

“We don’t have any members. We have a small number of subscribers who buy different Flexi memberships from around. 200 euros a month.

However, you have a handicap of 28 or below to play L’Albatros” (very reasonable! Ed.) Whilst it’s unfair to compare any golf course to another, we see Bethpage Golf Club as who we can aspire to be.

Bethpage is publicly owned by the Public Parks Council in New York. So, they’re very similar to us.”

Let’s talk about the competition, what are you really looking forward to most and what has been your most memorable moment so far?

“You know, I haven’t thought about this one. Hmmm…Of course, I am really looking forward to welcoming all the players on the first day.

However, I am very excited, about the first day when we will host the BIGGEST ever grandstand on the first tee in the history of the event but there is so much to do between now and then.

I guess the proudest moment of my career to date was to be asked to MC at the ‘One Year to Go’ event and Gala Dinner – a very proud moment indeed!

But now I think about it, I think there are many moments already which would have been amazing. It’s really a massive honour to do this job. I’m not joking.

Paul Armitage - Le Golf National 1

You know, I don’t do it for free obviously, but it is an achievement in life that you look back on with huge pride.

What’s the best so far? Maybe working with the 800 kids in a match between Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk.

They didn’t actually play with a Captain of the USA and European teams, but they followed the youngsters in buggies with microphones, interviews, that was fun!

I am also looking forward to seeing how the teams react, The US team have got a young and friendly generation coming up who were changing things a bit American golf and they have built close relationships with each other than before.

Like our guys (European Team) 10, 15 years ago when Rose, Poulter, Westwood, and Rory were coming through, we were a team”.

The feeling we get from Bjorn and Furyk is there will be a friendlier atmosphere at this year’s cup but who is going to win?        

“Hmmm…. I’m going to send that one back to you. You must ask them that. It’s not for me to say. All I can say is they will both want to win!

I don’t mean to suggest that anyone will be unfriendly, but they are both wonderful people and highly motivated.”

Paul Armitage - Le Golf National 1

And finally? What is your message to TSGers who want to come and play L’Albatros?

“Please come! We welcome all golfers to visit and enjoy a great experience. Play both a Ryder Cup AND the 2024 Olympic Games golf course.

And hopefully, you will fall in LOVE with Le Golf National too”.

Paul Armitage was talking to Ian Mullins for TheSocialGolfer.com

 


 

Our TSG Verdict: We couldn’t have been welcomed more by the staff and team at Le Golf National – our thanks to everyone there – we wish Paul Armitage and all his team well for September. We’ll all be glued to our screens cheering you, and European Team on to victory!