Archive for the ‘Golf Travel’ Category

Golf in Australia…

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Golf in Austrailia - Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Resort - The Social Golfer v2For the last couple of years or so of being a member of The Social Golfer and writing about all the beautiful & interesting golf clubs and golf courses around the world, I thought I would tell you a little more about Golf in Australia…

More specifically my own club here in New South Wales!


My wife Judy and I recently relocated from Melbourne to Yarrawonga in Victoria because the warmer climate suits us both, and since Judy has relatives and family living here, it made settling in that much easier.

I knew that for me the best way to make new friends would be to get involved with some sort of sport whether it be football, cricket, fishing or golf and I decided on playing golf…

Unlike a lot of Scotsman, I don’t drink whiskey and I never touched a golf club until I was 55 years old.

I played golf with a social golf club on the North East Coast of New South Wales for 10 years, however, it was only a very small golf course with a par 31.

But, on reaching our new home, I decided it was time for me to ‘take’ the game more seriously, so I joined the Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Resort, which is just over the border in neighbouring New South Wales.

Golf In Australia – The Region…

Since 1886 the Yarrawonga golfers had graduated from a 3-hole course in the centre of town, to a 9 hole course laid out around the local racecourse.

Latterly, it was relocated to the site of an old dairy farm in Mulwala.

Here it has been now for the last 90 years, and just like cream rising to the top, so has this beautiful golf resort.

The two nearby towns are separated by the Mighty Murray river which is approx 2500 Kilometres long.

It is the 3rd longest navigatable river on the planet with only the Amazon & Nile ahead of it.

The river starts in the Southern Alps of New South Wales and Victoria, it flows in a westerly direction before reaching its outlet near the town of Goolwa on the South Australian coast.

The Mighty Murray river (also the state border between N.S.W & Victoria) is approx 1880 Km long and there are approx 37 golf clubs lining the historic banks of this river.

The Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Resort - The Social GolferGolf In Australia – The Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf ‘club’…

The Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Resort has grown to be the largest public access golf resort in Australia, boasting 45 holes.

It consists of 3 golf courses, the 9-hole Executive Course, the 18-hole Lakes course and the mighty 18-hole Murray Course.

They hold 9-hole & 18-hole competitions which are played on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

The Classic Golfers play on Fridays, The Morning Glory Golfers also play a 9-hole comp, and there is separate Competition for the ladies.

The Golf Resort also has a driving range, extra putting greens to practice on, bunkers to master getting out of.

In addition, the resort also caters to other sports with its own Tennis Courts, Croquet,  movie theatre, restaurants, bars and much much more.

I would like to mention a very special group of golfers Bill Brear, Jack Elliot, Des Miller & Jack Corboy, who all used to play golf regularly on a Friday Chicken Run Comp.

However, in their wisdom, they decided to abandon this and try and expand their group to include more golfing members.

Which they did, and the group of golfers grew very rapidly under their supervision to now include over 50 members and still growing

The group became officially known as “The Friday Classic Golfers”, however, I believe that there was another name that was bandied about for a short time being called “The Dun Rootin Golfers” which is not used much now.

I also heard a rumour that quite a few of the golfers were keen gardeners, who used to tease the roots of Rose Bushes before they were dun planting them, hence the name!

I am very fortunate to be a member of this illustrious group of senior golfers.

They play golf by the rules whilst at the same time laughing & joking with plenty of friendly banter between one another.

And most of all having a very enjoyable game of golf.

At 75 years of age, I am one of the younger members of the group and must say far behind them in their golfing skills.

The Classic Golfers are a very social group where we have B.B.Q’s every so often weather permitting.

Golf in Austrailia - Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Resort - The Social Golfer v3

At Christmas, we have the Christmas presentation as well as The Annual Awards night.

One of the awards which I think is very interesting was formally known as “The Order of the Skirt” and is now known as “The Belle of the Fairway”.

Winning this prestigious award entails the ”lucky or unlucky” golfer who, when teeing off must hit his golf ball PAST the ladies tee.

If he fails to do this he could & would be a contender for the title of ‘Belle of the Ball’ Award.

Unfortunately  I am in the running for this award” (I might go away for my Christmas vacation.)

Every one of The Classic Golfers including the staff of the Yarrawonga- Mulwala Golf Resort has made me more than welcome to their golf club.

This is due to two gentlemen Captain Travis of the Paradise Queen pleasure boat, who was kind enough to tell me about the Classic Golfers playing golf on Fridays.

On being introduced, Jock Healy nominated me to become a member of the Classic Golfers which was happily granted.

Golf In Australia – The Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Courses…

At this point, I will explain more about the course using the clubs own words…

– LAKE COURSE (18 holes)

With spectacular views across beautiful Lake Mulwala, the Lake Course has strategically placed lakes, undulating greens, 56 bunkers and is designed to test the keenest player, requiring precision around the greens to make par. 18 Holes / Par 72 / ACR 71 – 5957m – Par 72 / AWCR 73 / 5158m

MURRAY COURSE (18 holes)

The finest in Murray river golf courses and packages – Favouring the straight hitter, the popular Murray Course sits adjacent to the Murray River and meanders through towering river gums and sandy river flats where numerous lakes and lagoons are ready to swallow an errant shot. One of the most popular golf courses in all our packages. 18 Holes / Par 72 / ACR 72 -6095m – Par 72 / AWCR 73 / 5197m

EXECUTIVE COURSE (9 Holes)

yarrwonga golf resort - the social golferThe shorter and picturesque Executive Course is kinder to the beginner whilst providing a worthy and enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels in a natural parkland setting. 9 Holes / Par 33 / ACR 32 – 2248m – Par 33 / 1940m

Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Club caters to golfers of all abilities, from beginners and social golfers to professionals”

“Our courses have something for everyone and in order to really experience all that we have to offer, we have several packages available that allow you to have the golf resort holiday of your dreams.”

“Located alongside the Murray River, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort is the largest of the public access golf resorts in Australia”

“Less than 3 hours drive from Melbourne, it is also an elegant alternative to Victorian golf resorts providing a luxury vacation close to home!”

I hope to play many happy rounds of golf with my new found friends at The Yarrawonga -Mulwala Golf Resort.

“Til next time “Scottish Bob” Davies

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enjoyed this article – Now read Golf in Africa…

Great golf courses of the world…

Monday, August 12th, 2019

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

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

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

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


Great Golf courses of The World – The Algarve…

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

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

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

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

The most notable of which is Vilamoura.

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

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

Great Golf courses of The World – Arizona…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Golf courses of The World – Ireland…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Ian Mullins

MORE GOLF TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD >>

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

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

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


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

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

Golfing in South Africa – The Kingdom of Eswatini…

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

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

Of course, I then recognised the country in question.

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

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

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

The Capital of Eswatini is Mbabane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golfing in south Africa - Eswatini Kingdon - The Social Golfer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golfing in south Africa - Eswatini Kingdon - The Social Golfer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time from Scottish Bob

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


More From Bob…

Unique Golf Courses of the World – Kilimanjaro Golf…

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

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

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

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

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


Mongolian Golf – You want to do what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mongolian Golf – Turkmeni-where?

Mongolian Golf v2 - The Social Golfer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mongolian Golf v1 - The Social Golfer

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time TSGers…

 

‘Scottish Bob Davies’

 

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 


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

Golf in The City: Golf Singapore…

Monday, March 18th, 2019

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

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

Over to Bob…


Golf Singapore – The City…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golf Singapore – The Clubs…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golf in The City –  The Future…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that is a story for another day.

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


Til Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

Scottish Bob
Read more articles by Scottish Bob…

Golfing in New Zealand >>

Golfing in New Zealand…

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

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

Over to Bob…


Golfing in New Zealand – The Course…

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

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

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

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

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

Rotorua-golf-Club-view-from-above

This means ‘The Gentle Sound of Plopping Mud’!

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

The Rotorua Golf Club and the Arikikapakapa course…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s it for now, more next month…

E Noho Ra & Whai I te ra pai

(Farewell & have a good day in Maori).

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish ‘Bob’ Davies

 


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

More Unique Golf Course of The World From Bob…

Unique Golf Courses of The World – The Green Zone…

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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


Unique Golf Courses of The World – The course…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

Scottish Bob
xx

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

Unique-golf-courses-of-the-world-kilimanjaro-golf-wildlife-estate

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

Golf Destination – Isla Canela Golf Hotel in Spain…

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Isla Canela Golf Hotel

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


Isla Canela Golf Hotel – The Location…

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

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

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

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

Isla Canela Golf Hotel – The Hotel…

isla-canela-golf-hotel

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

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

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

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

Isla Canela Golf Hotel – The Course…

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

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

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

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


By James Bryan

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