Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

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

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

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


The Ryder Cup – The History…

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

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

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

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ryder Cup 2018 – The Format…

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryder Cup 2018 - The Social Golfer - Paris v10

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

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

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

The Ryder Cup 2018 – How to Watch & Follow…

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

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

We just can wait now!

#TeamEurope

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By Ian Mullins

Le Golf National – TSG Ryder Cup Course Review

 

Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – TSG Review…

Monday, May 14th, 2018

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

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

By Paul Houghton


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – The staff…

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

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

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

Il Picciolo Golf Resort, Sicily – The Golf Course…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSG Verdict – 3 out of 5 stars

 

 

The Social Golfer Golf Partner Offers…

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

The Social Golfer PRO member Partner OffersDid you know, that you receive a FREE ROUND of golf courtesy of CROWN GOLF (worth up to £35) when you renew or upgrade to a TSG PRO account for £29.98 in 2018-2019* + many other Golf Partner Offers.

Did you also know that ALL TSGers, can take advantage of discounts on Golf Balls, Insurance, Trophies and Travel – See below

More TSG Golf Partner Offers…

xxx


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N.B. You MUST mention this at the time of booking! (T&C’s apply) 

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Trophies & Medals is the UK’s leading Trophy specialist – Visit Trophies & Medals

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Chateau Des Vigiers is better than ever…

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

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


Chateau des Vigiers – The Resort…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chateau des Vigiers Golf Club – What They Said…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

Ends.

Unique Golf Courses – Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club …

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club

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


Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club –  Golfing China…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club – The Locals …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish Bob’ Davies

More articles from Bob… Golfing in The Antartica …

 

Golfing in Northern Ireland…

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Golfing in Northern IrelandThere are numerous destinations around the world to visit and play golf but closer to home, have you ever consider golfing in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland may be famed for its championship links golf but it also possesses glorious parkland courses.

Beyond capital Belfast’s five parkland beauties there’s a wealth of inland courses for golfers to play throughout the region.

Some of them are at golf resorts where the fairways are just steps away from your room, while others are unsung jewels just waiting to be discovered by visitors.

Golfing in Northern Ireland – The Resorts…

There are three main golfing resorts in Northern Ireland, all of them offering extensive golf facilities as well as accommodation, bars, restaurants, recreational activities – and full-service spas with massage treatments, to help ease those aching muscles after a round or prepare the body for the next golfing foray.

Just 20 minutes from Belfast, and only 10 minutes from Belfast International Airport, the Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf & Country Club incorporates a 129-room four-star hotel and a par-72 golf course that stretches to over 7,000 yards.

Designed by former European Tour pros David Jones and David Feherty, it opened in 1999 and challenges golfers with a mix of lakes and mature trees. Other golf facilities include a floodlit driving range, short game practice area and two practice putting greens.

The resort also has a spa and health club, both of which were refurbished in 2014.

Located on a 600-acre peninsula between Lower Lough Erne and Castle Hume Lough in the Fermanagh Lakelands, Lough Erne Resort comprises a five-star hotel and the Faldo Championship Course – six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo’s first design in Ireland – that opened in 2009, as well as a second 18-hole course, the Castle Hume.

The resort also has a golf academy featuring a private golf studio equipped with video and ball-tracking analysis.
Lough Erne Resort opened in 2010 and has 120 rooms, suites and loughside lodges.

Its Thai Spa offers a dual treatment room ideal for couples, with treatments including a two-hour Golfers Tonic massage.

The resort’s Catalina Restaurant is named after the World War II flying boats that were based on Lough Erne.

Lough Erne Resort welcomed world leaders including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and David Cameron when it hosted the G8 summit in 2013.

The Roe Park Resort lies in the beautiful surroundings of the Roe Valley Country Park. It is just a short drive from 2019 Open Championship venue Royal Portrush and other top links layouts as well as the Causeway Coast’s world-class visitor attractions, among them the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 18-hole parkland course gives golfers views of the Sperrin Mountains and Lough Foyle from elevated holes. Its par-3 6th hole recently underwent extensive work including a new two-tier green as part of £1 million renovations to the course. Facilities also include an academy
and high-tech indoor teaching studio.

Formerly a stately country house dating to 1729, Roe Park Resort’s four-star hotel opened in 1995 and offers 118 rooms and suites, two restaurants, including its restored 18th century Coach House, and a spa that is a teaching academy for Elemis. The resort offers a Couples Escape package that includes dinner, bed and breakfast plus a mud skin treatment for two followed by a couples massage.

Although not connected, Galgorm Resort & Spa is close by for those playing golf at Galgorm Castle Golf Club and it features a new riverside Thermal Village. A couples package includes bubbly and truffles on arrival, use of the Thermal Village and a Deluxe Duo treatment, with optional four-course meal and a cocktail or glass of wine. The resort was the host hotel for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
in 2017, played at Portstewart Golf Club.

Golfing in Northern IrelandGolfing in Northern Ireland – Other clubs in the Area…

Galgorm Castle Golf Club is laid-out through mature wooded grounds in the heart of the 220-acre Galgorm Castle Estate, alongside its 17th-century castle.

It stages the annual Northern Ireland Open, part of the European Tour’s Challenge Tour.

More than 40,000 people watched the free-to-enter the tournament in 2017, a record for the tour.

A new Fun Golf Area at Galgorm is aimed at families and features a six-hole pitch and putt course and the Himalayas putting green, a scaled replica of the famous St Andrews attraction.

Among Northern Ireland’s best-kept golfing secrets, Kilkeel Golf Club is a picturesque parkland layout at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in the far south-west that has played host to qualifiers for the British Amateur and Senior British Open events.

When golfing in Northern Ireland, the region also boasts several centenarians outside of Belfast.

They include: Massereene Golf Club, established in 1895 and offering a challenging course on the shore of Lough Neagh; Newtownstewart Golf Club, founded in 1914 and laid out through venerable oaks and beech trees in the Baronscourt Estate, home of the Duke of Abercorn; Tandragee Golf Club, dating back to 1911 on the Duke of Manchester’s Estate with bunkers including some resembling America’s Great Lakes that were designed by the Cincinnati-born Duchess of Manchester; and Omagh Golf Club, which was extended from a nine-hole course built in 1910 to 18 holes in 1983.

Other gems include County Down golf clubs Rockmount, St Patrick’s, Warrenpoint, Edenmore and 36-hole Clandeboye, County Antrim’s Lisburn Golf Club and Country Tyrone’s Dungannon Golf Club.

Golfing in Northern Ireland

Golfing in Northern Ireland – The seaside courses…

Several excellent seaside courses lie in the shadows of renowned venues.

Just around the coast from the celebrated Royal County Down, the short but spectacular Ardglass Golf Club links hugs the rocky shore and cliffs, with several holes offering views across the bay to Coney Island.

Golfers can enjoy the craic after their round in the bar of the oldest clubhouse in the world, originally built as a castle over 600 years ago and with cannons pointing out over the fairways just in front.

Kirkistown Castle Golf Club, on the Ards Peninsula, is the closest links course to Belfast and was designed by legendary architect James Braid, while Ballycastle Golf Club, a mix of parkland and links, lies opposite Rathlin Island on the Causeway Coast alongside the ruins of 500-year-old Bonamargy Friary.

Cairndhu Golf Club is a parkland course with several holes right by the sea, its signature, par-3 2nd hole ending in a green perched on a rocky headland.

However, few courses can match the historic connection enjoyed by Foyle Golf Centre, on the outskirts of Derry below the Donegal Hills.

Its championship parkland course is named after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

She made an emergency landing at the end of her historic flight in 1932 on what is now the 6th green of the Earhart Course.

Whatever your preference, golfing in Northern Ireland is a hit!


By Ian Mullins

Golf Events in Ireland…

Countdown to Ryder Cup at Le Golf National begins …

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Ryder Cup 2018-Le Golf-National launchThere is less than a year to go until the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, France (September 28-30, 2018).

As such, golf fans and commuters enjoyed their own rendezvous with one of the world’s most famous sports trophies, when it went on public display at London St Pancras International….

The Ryder Cup & Le Golf National …

Having returned from Paris and the ‘Year to Go’ celebrations, which saw European and the United States Team Captains Thomas Bjørn and Jim Furyk engage in a range of promotional activities including hitting balls off the Eiffel Tower.

However, the trophy was the star attraction at Eurostar’s London terminus on Thursday, October 26th.

Fans were able to sit on the European Captain’s golf car and have ‘selfie’ photographs taken with the trophy (#FeelFranceRC18).

The event also showcased France, next year’s host of the biennial match between Europe and the United States, as the perfect destination for international golfers before, during and after The 2018 Ryder Cup

In 2016, France welcomed 82.6 million international tourists, including 11.9 million from the UK via convenient train, ferry and air links.

Figures for the first half of 2017 indicate a 5% year-on-year increase in the number of visitors to France from the UK.

Among the most popular golf regions for UK golfers, are Normandy, Brittany and Provence, as well as the Paris region. Le Golf National is just 21 miles from the centre of Paris.

The number of golfers travelling to France could be boosted further after Eurostar was announced as Official Supplier of The 2018 Ryder Cup, carrying representatives of the European Team to Paris next September.

Ryder Cup - Le Golf National - Brigitte LockwoodThe Ryder Cup to Le Golf National countdown begins – What they said…

Gwénaëlle Maret-Delos, Managing Director of Atout France UK & Ireland, the France Tourism Development Agency, which hosted the Ryder Cup Rendezvous event, said…

“There are 600 golf courses in France including some of the most beautiful courses in Europe. While France is the most visited country in the world, it remains less well known as a golf destination”

“The 2018 Ryder Cup, broadcasting from Le Golf National to the world, will no doubt encourage more golfers to choose France, our golf courses and, of course, our ‘après-golf’, for their golf holidays.”

Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Europe Director, said…

“Le Golf National, Paris and France is ready for The Ryder Cup and will be a wonderful host for the 42nd edition of this match, which has become one of the greatest sports events in the world.” 

“In just under a year’s time, representatives of the European Team will set off from London St Pancras International and travel by Eurostar train to Paris”.

“I have no doubt fans and golfers will be making their own journeys to France in the coming months, to play on the country’s beautiful courses and support the team next September.”

Le Golf National, France, will host The 2018 Ryder Cup from September 28-30, 2018, when Europe will try to regain the trophy following defeat at Hazeltine National in the United States, last year.

The team, under the captaincy of Thomas Bjørn, will be looking to extend an impressive winning record on home soil which stretches back to 1997.


By Ian Mullins

Golfing in Antarctica …

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Golfing in AntarcticaNo doubt you will all be aware that there aren’t any ‘traditional’ golf courses at the South Pole but can you go golfing in Antarctica?

Rest assured, golf is played on this cold and wind-torn continent, more frequently than you think!

Golfing in Antarctica – McMurdo Station…

The residents of McMurdo Station (if the weather permits) improvise and build themselves a make-shift golf course, around all the huts and buildings of their surrounding area.

In the freezing conditions (which is most of the time!) they hold their golf tournaments, like the “The Winter’s End Classic”. 

The McMurdo Station is built on the bare volcanic rock on Ross Island and it is the farthest south solid ground that is accessible by ship, and it was built in 1956.

In 2009 I was lucky enough to make friends with a couple of workers based there via email and they were kind enough to send me one of their scorecards which I have in my special scorecard collection.

Which is the Oldest Golf Club in Antarctica – Scott Base Sation…

The same applies to the residents and workers at Scott Base Station where they hold their own golf tournaments, including the 2007 “Ross Island Masters International Invitational”.

Unfortunately, I do not know when golf first started being played on this part of the Antarctica but I am sure it was well before 2006.

I will try and do my best to find this out, and who knows maybe any of the readers of The Social Golfer might be able to let me know if they have any knowledge of golf being plated before these dates?

Til next time…

Scottish Bob

Next – The Oldest Golf Course in Asia…

Golf Escapes Promotion…

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The Social Golfer & Golf Escapes

Welcome to The Social Golfer Golf Escapes Page…

Thank you for visiting our growing website community of golfers via Golf Escapes*.

In order to claim your new annual PRO Account subscription, register using the link below and follow the instructions given.

Following your booking with Golf Escapes, you will have been given a Voucher Code for which to redeem your 12-month TSG Annual Golf Membership.

In addition, once your account is set-up, please join the Golf Escapes Society Page by clicking here

Here you will be able to join games posted by like-minded golf travellers, exchange tips, offers and advice!

If you have any problem during this process, please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our team will be happy to help.

Call 01277 200 207

(Office Hours Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm)

GroupOn Registration button

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The Social Golfer - GroupOn Promotion

Looking for new golf partners? Can’t rely on friends to play? Want a handicap certificate?

“We believe that you should be able to play golf anywhere in the world at any time regardless of whether you belong to a golf club or not.”

“By joining our community you can arrange games with golfers in your area and with over 9,500 golfers worldwide…… right now, our ambition is to be the BIGGEST Golf Club in the UK!”

More about The Social Golfer PRO Account…

– The Social Golfer (TSG) is an online golf community with nearly 10k registered users…

– Receive Exclusive discounted green fees at over 40+ clubs in London & around the UK

– Get an official TSG Handicap Certificate

– Analyse and track your scores

– Receive exclusive travel offers from our partners

– Arrange games and find golfers in your areas via TSG email

– Read our 5K+ Golf Course Reviews

– Join in Official TSG Majors Tournaments

– Receive a monthly newsletter with Tips, instruction and offers from PGA Golf Professionals

 


 

The Social Golfer is the fast growing internet golf community run and managed by people who are genuinely passionate about golf!

Not simply another one of the all too common golf oriented “social networking” sites – The Social Golfer is aReal social network, where you actually leave your PC and get out and meet people and of course, play more golf!

Originally conceived by a team of web developers in 2007, the site is now owned and run by a team golf lovers, who want to make golf more accessible and affordable for all.

For more information on the site and its functions, please visit the FAQs section here

 


*N.B. This GOLF ESCAPES Promotion is only available to NEW members of The Social Golfer.

 

Golf Escapes & The Social Golfer partner in new alliance…

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Il-Picciolo-Etna-Golf-Resort-Spa-Golf-EscapesThe online golf networking community TheSocialGolfer.com (TSG) has announced that itself and leading provider of Golf Holidays, Golf Escapes, have formed a strategic partnership which they hope will provide unique and great value to their respective followers…

Both companies have agreed on a one-year, detailed and unique activity plan whereby The Social Golfer will promote Golf Escapes packages and offers in its monthly newsletter and via the onsite TSG email.

All TSG members will receive a £25 discount on every booking made through Golf Escapes (T&C’s apply)*

In return, Golf Escapes will be offering everyone that books a golf package with them during the agreement, FREE annual membership to the popular online golf club worth £25 each.**

Furthermore, Golf Escapes will be an Official Partner at all TSG’s Major competitions throughout the year including their flagship event The Social Golfer OPEN which attracts over 70+ golfers from all over the south-east and as far away as Botswana!

This year, the event takes place at Farleigh GC (Part of the Foxhills Collection) in Surrey, on 30th July and Golf Escapes and their hotel partners will give all TSGers attending, the chance to win a luxury golf trip to Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa in Sicily.

Finally, as part of the agreement, The Social Golfer will host a Golf Escapes Society page, whereby the Golf Escapes team will be able to liaise directly with its own customers, posting additional offers and packages in the co-branded space.

Thus providing the Golf Escapes team, with the opportunity to have a great dialogue with its customers even when they are not travelling.

In addition, both parties will be sharing golf editorial and articles and social media content across their networks.

The deal, negotiated between Golf Escapes Commercial Director, James Bryan and TSG Managing Director, Ian Mullins will run from June 2017 to May 2017 with the option to extend beyond this period.

The Social Golfer & Golf EscapesCommenting on the partnership Bryan said “We first met with Ian in March this year and it quickly became obvious that their way great synergy between our two brands. Ian and his team are growing a fantastic interactive platform on which golfers can participate in golf games in the UK and abroad, and we have no doubt that this kind of agreement can only help us to grow the awareness of the Golf Escapes name among a very golf savvy audience. The Social Golfer is already providing superb value to its users and we can compliment this perfectly. I can’t wait to start working together!”

Mullins said “We have been working on finding a right golf travel partner for TSG for a while now but as soon as we sat down with James, we knew immediately we were talking to the right partners, with the same approach to customer service that we like to offer our members. James is the consummate professional and has already demonstrated that he does what he says he’s going to do. We are so pleased to be partnering with a company with such history and focus on providing golfers with a depth of information and expertise – it’s going to be fun!

For more information, please contact, theteam@thesocialgolfer.com or james@golf-escapes.com


Terms & Conditions…

Below are the T&Cs of the £25 discount as promised;

– This promotion entitles TSG members to a £25 discount from any Golf Escapes Ltd holiday booked for 2 nights or more for a group of 4 or more

– This promotion is valid for all TSG members but may be stopped without general notice

– Only one discount per booking may be used

– This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other Golf Escapes offers, promotions or vouchers

– This discount is not exchangeable for cash or another voucher

– Any additional cost exceeding the value of this voucher will be paid by the redeemer

– This discount is exclusive to TSG and cannot be transferred or used by non-TSG members and cannot be used retrospectively

– This discount is valid only at Golf Escapes Ltd and can only be used towards the balance payment of a holiday and cannot be used for a deposit payment


** Only open to new members of TSG