Archive for the ‘TSG Course Reviews’ Category

The Social Golfer returns to South Essex Golf Club…

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

 

South Essex Golf Club - Brenwtood, Essex - The Social GolferTSG PARTNER CLUB: South Essex Golf Club…

We are incredibly pleased to confirm next year’s curtain-raiser to the season sees us return to our first-ever host venue, South Essex Golf Club, host of The Social Golfer 2011 OPEN Championship.

Back then, we had only just launched the website, but we still saw around 30 golfers attend.

A decade later, as we celebrate our 10th Birthday, the site has seen many changes and now boasts 10K+ registered users worldwide.

So, why return to South Essex Golf Club now?

 


South Essex Golf Club – The History…

The club as it is today first started life when landowner Russell Barlett decided to create a 27-hole golf facility in 1992. Back then, it was named Stonyhill Golf club and was a welcome addition to the area.

South Essex Golf Club was designed by Reg Plumridge in 1994 and presents three nine-hole loops with superb panoramic views over the Thames Valley and into Kent.

*Yardages shown from Yellow tees.

The Clubhouse is a unique barn-like structure with a terrace view over-looking the 18th Hole.

The course was renamed South Essex in 1998 and was subsequently leased to Crown Golf in 2006.

Since that time, South Essex has mainly been known as a Pay & Play facility, with a 14-bay Floodlit Driving range on-site too.

Footgolf was introduced on The Vixen course in 2015 but this has since been removed.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the course has recently seen ownership pass back to the Barlett family with Ed Barlett (son of Russell) taking over the day to day running of the business.

 


South Essex Golf Club - Brenwtood, Essex - The Social Golfer v2

South Essex Golf Club – Present Day…

First Golf Limited took over from Crown Golf in March 2020 and the new management team have ambitious plans to turn the club into one of Essex‘s leading golf facilities.

Ed is actively involved with the program of improvements currently underway.

Already, we have seen the road into the course resurfaced, a new undercover golf cleaning area built.

In addition, a new fleet of buggies with built-in GPS arrived in April, there is a newly refurbished upstairs bar and dining area AND a new outside decking area.

All this in three months!

However, Ed and the company also has plans to add a Gym and Fishing lakes to its portfolio, catering to a wider audience.

Ed is also supported by an experienced team, who all have great ambitions for the club, who all come with a fantastic pedigree!

 


South Essex Golf Club – The NEW Team…

Mark Davis – Director of Golf, Mark turned professional in 1986 and spent many years on the European Tour player with a distinguished playing record.

Mark finished in the top one hundred Order of Merit eight times, with a best of 31st in 1994.

He also won The Austrian Open in 1991 and 1994, and subsequently played on the Seniors Tour winning the Scottish Open in 2014.

 

Jason MacNiven – PGA Professional, offers a professional and personal service at South Essex Golf Club through his company Golf Principles.

Jason is renowned in the industry for his knowledge with over 20 years of experience.

His staff at Golf Principles are all specialists in club and shaft technology and tailor their services to suit their customers and welcome all ages and levels of golfers.

 

Other members of the south Essex Golf Club team include:

Peter Dawson – Course Manager, Peter knows the club as well as anyone having joined the staff as Head Greenkeeper in 1997.

Now having spent more than 23 years at the club, Peter oversees a team of greenkeepers.

This team plan to make all three 9-hole courses some of the best playing surfaces in the area.

 

Emily Perry – Emily is the Performance coach at South Essex. A former Tour Professional who has a degree in Psychology and is a certified NLP Practitioner.

 

Paul Holland – PGS Professional, Teaching for 22 years.

Paul’s coaching style is a mixture of Technical and Performance coaching.

Paul coached Richard McEvoy to the 2018 European Open.

Paul specialises in Performance Analysis using state of the art technology such as Trackman and Sam Putt Lab in his sessions.

 


Golf Range and membership prices - Soth Essex Golf Course

South Essex Golf Club – The Courses…

The Heron – Par 37

Our most challenging 9 holes at 3,176 yards and boasts spectacular views of the Essex countryside and Thames Valley.

The varied layout of The Heron features two par 5’s each over 550 yards.

The trio of holes 6, 7 and 8 are known as Barn Wood Corner and are the most scenic on the course.

It meanders around Barn Wood and brings into play three water features combining fantastic views through the woodland.

Hole number 8 is a favourite with many visitors to the course and potentially our signature hole.

A testing Par 3 at 243 yards from the elevated competition tee makes it one of the longest pars 3’s in the county.

On a clear day, it is possible to see across to the city of London from the tee.

The Heron combined with The Hawk to provide a truly demanding 18-hole championship course measuring 6,755 yards. ​

The Hawk – Par 36

This a picturesque parkland course at 3,165 yards in length.

The layout gently undulates through attractive parkland and around established woodlands.

Holes 4, 5 and 6 wind around Dog Wood, this collection of holes each offering a completely different challenge.

The home stretch begins at hole 7 which is the most demanding par 4 on the 27-hole complex.

The elevated tee position provides the view to a fairway sloping steeply from left to right rolling down to a small well-protected green.

The closing hole to complete the home stretch is a par 5 measuring 536 yards, with various hazards and features to test accuracy.

The two-tier green is positioned adjacent to the welcoming clubhouse and surrounding water features.

As a result, play The Hawk and Vixen for a truly memorable parkland layout.

The Vixen – Par 35

This 9 is an extremely attractive layout and provides a fair test for golfers of all standards.

The Vixen is immensely popular with our members and features a variety of unique holes 5 and 9 amongst the best.

Although shorter than the Heron and Hawk the prevailing winds come in to play, on the elevated holes of The Vixen to increase the challenge.

And the dramatic 9th hole boasts a change in the level of nearly 100ft from tee to green.

The fifth hole rises from road level up to Barn Wood and is worth the walk to the top for the spectacular views alone.

Furthermore, golfers can enjoy a close-up of the Bluebell carpet in the woods either side of the path from the 5th green to 6th tee, in April and May

So, combine The Vixen and Heron to provide a varied and challenging 18 even for the low handicapper.

 


Brentwood Golf range and golf course - membership pricesSouth Essex Golf Club – Membership fees…

PLATINUM – 7 DAY membership

  • 10-day advance tee booking
  • Discounted guest green fees
  • 10% off food and beverage in the clubhouse
  • 20% off buggy hire
  • 20% off range balls
  • Complimentary food and beverage credit of £50
  • Club competition calendar
  • Social events calendar
  • Eligibility for official CONGU handicap

GOLD – 5 DAY membership

  • 10-day advance tee booking
  • Discounted guest green fees
  • 10% off food and beverage in the clubhouse
  • 20% off buggy hire
  • 20% off range balls
  • Complimentary food and beverage credit of £35
  • Club competition calendar
  • Social events calendar
  • Eligibility for official CONGU handicap

 


Brentwood Golf Range - TopTracer

Golf Range – Pricing…

Our Golf Range is open to the public and provides an opportunity for both visitors and members to improve their game.

On the 16th September 2020, we welcome Top Tracer to the set-up.

Covered and floodlit with spacious bays, high-quality Srixon practice golf balls make South Essex Golf Range the best in the area. The Golf Range is open from 8am until 9pm daily*.

 Pricing for range balls:

  • 25 Balls   £4.00
  • 50 Balls   £6.50
  • 75 Balls   £8.00
  • 100 Balls £10.00

Golf Range tokens can be purchased in the pro shop or baskets of balls can be purchased at the range by contactless payment. Members can top-up swipe cards with driving range credits.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. *last balls are dispensed at 8.30pm

 


And finally,

So, there you have it, that’s why we are returning to South Essex Golf Club in 2021 for The Social Golfer Masters.

Commenting on the day, South Essex Golf Club Director, Ed Barlett said…

We are pleased to be able to continue our partnership and look forward to The Social Golfer returning to the home of its first-ever competition. We look forward to hosting their day and on sharing more great content and promotions with TSGers. The Social Golfer community is a unique platform for ‘nomadic golfers’ and we couldn’t be happier to be working with them again. We look forward to welcoming their members to South Essex in 2021!”

Managing Director of The Social Golfer, Ian Mullins went on to say…

“We are excited to be returning to South Essex, who not only hosted our first ever event but have been a friend of the site since day one. We are confident that Ed and his team will help us put on a fantastic event. The club is going through a major refurbishment, with huge investment plans to turn the venue into one of Essex’s premier golfing venues. And we can already see great signs of a first-class facility being established in the next few years. So, it seems fitting for us to return for our 6th TSG Masters Championship!”

By Ian Mullins

Golf games to play with golf partners…

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Whether you play in the same weekend fourball as a ritual or jump from group to group, the golf games or formats you chose to play, can spice up your round, especially if you like a bit of a wager.

All golfers love to moan about how we would have had two more Stableford points but for the unlucky bounce on the 7th and the stupid missed putt on the 16th.

All the time while forgetting the good fortune that went our way.

And that is because we all love to win. 

Whether it is a friendly two-ball with your mate after work, a game against a relative or that weekend fourball, it isn’t always about just playing well.

It is also about beating the guys you’ve just spent four hours in the company of.

Golf lends itself to make the most of the competitiveness between you and your playing partners.

So much so, you can set up a little wager before anyone has struck their opening tee shot.

And there are a few ways you can spice up a round and have something at stake to keep the interest throughout the 18 holes.

 
TSG Matchplay Champion 2018 - Dave Short

Strokeplay/Medalplay

The simplest and most widely played golf games to play is just you versus your opponent.

It’s just the least number of shots taken over course of 9 or 18 holes.

No handicaps are taken into account.

Its just a straight forward test, based on who takes the fewest shots, wins.

Matchplay

Arguably the most fun to play, here you score based on holes won.

Each player earns a point for each hole in which they have taken fewer shots than their opponents

You’re playing against one playing partner, in pairs.

The format varies, depending on whether you are using your Gross score.

Or after your handicap has been taken into account.

If you score early, the match could end early e.g. Dave won by seven holes, as there were only six left to play.

However, if the two playing partners are playing off the correct handicaps, the game should last to the last few holes.

 .
golf games to play with golf partners - thesocialgolfer.com
Foursomes

Ideal for your weekend fourball. 

Pick pairs, or throw the balls up to decide who plays with who. 

Decide if you’re giving any shots, what scoring system or format you are playing, and off you go. 

It’s the best score from each pair on a hole for a win, halve or loss. 

This format also lends itself to playing for a medal score or Stableford points to determine the winners of the side bet.

 

Greensomes

Not dissimilar to Foursomes but the only difference is that both players hit a tee shot.

The team then choose the best shot of the pair and then play alternate shots, until the completion of the hole.

This can be a quick game, as there will be a reduced number of shots taken per player over the course of the 18 holes.

 

Skins

Skins is the ultimate cash wager for golfers.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a two-ball, three-ball or four-ball for this format.

You just need to decide an amount per hole for the “skins” before teeing off.

Skins works with the “skin” bet amount for each hole going to the winner of that hole. 

If no player wins the hole outright, the money rolls onto the next one.

It makes for some serious testing putts when a 5 or 6 rollover is at stake!

By the end of the match, each player may have won some money from their playing partners…but there can only be one outright winner!

 

Animals

Another favourites of the golf games to play and one that is not played as much as it perhaps should be, is ‘Animals’.

You collect an animal for various incidents or shots on the course – a duck for a hook or slice finding the wrong fairway, a frog for finding water, a woodpecker for hitting a tree

Or a camel for finding the sand and so on.

The winner of a game of animals is the player with the fewest ticked off. 

Prepare for some arguments with your playing partners though.

 

Sandies

‘Sandies’ rewards players who produce the goods from the bunker. 

Anyone making a Par or better having found a sand trap on a hole, wins cash from their playing partners. 

Double ‘Sandies’ and triple ‘Sandies’ exist for two or three trips to the bunkers on a hole. 

Determine how much a Sandie is before you start and take your partners to the cleaners with good bunker play.  

 
Texas Scramble - Golf Games - thesocialgolfer.com

Texas Scramble

This format of the game lends itself to playing with multiple groups and can involve good play but some cunning strategy too.

Played in three or four balls, each member of the group takes in turns to be the ‘lead ball’. 

Once all the drives have been taken, you pick the best drive and all play from that spot.

You then pick the best shot or Putt and all group members play from the designated spot again until you have holded-out.

Only one score is recorded per team. 

However, you must all be responsible for an equal amount of drives…

e.g. if, in a fourball team, each player MUST have his or her drive used a minimum of four times in a round, with the remaining drives to be selected at will. 

4 x 4 drives = 16. Each member of the 4-person scramble team is required to = 2 random drives = 18.

Texas Scramble handicaps: Add up the combined handicaps of all players and divide by the number of players to establish an average e.g. 18, 23, 9 & 11 = 61 / 4 = 15.25.

Therefore your team will play off… 15.

Otherwise, mark your card as usual BUT ensure you keep a record of whose drive was used on which hole.


So that’s it, there are many ways to enjoy the game of golf other than standard strokeplay.

Of course,, if you want to make a wager that doesn’t upset your pals, then take advantage of the many gambling websites that offer the latest betting prices on the PGA Tour and European Tour tournaments.

Or if you don’t like alternative golf games but like a bet, take advantage of the free bets for golf lovers given away on many betting sites in the UK and Worldwide.

Alternatively, if your playing partners don’t like a side bet, just play for the honour!

#HaveFun!

By Gary Emmerson

Using a golf course guide to select a course to play…

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Finding a Golf Course Guide and a new golf course to play;

Whether played as a hobby or preparing for a competition using a Golf Course Guide is paramount to getting the most from your golf day.

In addition, while golf is without a doubt one of the most entertaining sports in the world, a day out can be ruined by playing a course that is either to hard or to easy to play – depending on your ability.

Golfers can be enjoyed by all age groups with endless courses options availble to all in the UK.

However, we also need to keep in mind that selecting the best golf course to play, suiting your skills and playing standards can be tricky. 

Do you start on a flat course, a short course or a Par 3 course? This is especially important when you are starting out. 

So,  what factors should you examine when choosing a golf course in your area to play?  

Golf Course Guide - Vilamoura

 

Golf Course Guide – Golf course deisgn and layout?

Many courses have been engineered around specific levels of skill and ability e.g.  holes with a par three, four or five will naturally be more challenging.

The same holds true in regards to any course hazards present, such as water and bunkers (sandtraps).

Check both the Par (and yardage) of the course and consider the ‘Slope Rating’ – the difficulty factor of the course.

The course you play can make a huge impact on both your scoring and your enjoyment. 

An ideal way to help in golf course selection is also by reading course reviews found in a relaible and recognised and golf course guide to see what your fellow golf lovers have to say.

Or navigate to the website of the course in question, as this generally provides a detailed overview of its physical layout, as well as information on green fees and food options.

Golf Course Guide - Crowborough Beacon GC

Golf Course Guide – Membership feees, Green Fees and other golfing expenses?

Golf can be a rather expensive sport.

This is why appreciating what Golf Club Annual Membership fees you will be required to pay, is another logical recommendation beofre choosing which course to play (or indeed join).

These tend to be paid on a yearly basis although some courses may allow you to increase the amount of the initial deposit in order to reduce future premiums.

However, the game in the UK is slowing moving more towards a ‘Pay & Play’ model. i.e You are a day visitor and you only have to pay for you single round on the day.

Let us also not fail to mention the cost of equipment such as clubs, balls and shoes.

A good set of clubs could cost you as £1,000 ($1500) and there is no doubt that this could eat into a tight budget.

But anyone starting out would be better advised to buy a second hand set before spending big.

This is why it is wise to ask if an anuual golf club membership also comes with a member discount card for use in the club Proshop.

Golf Course Guide - Brocket-Hall-Classic-Shot

Golf Course Guide – The Social Side?

Golf is a very social sport (hence the existence of this website golfing community!) and it is often quite easy to make friends while on the fairways and greens. 

However, some courses and clubs are more exclusive than others. and using an good up to date, golf course guide will also cover this side of the game.

Try to join a club/course that caters to individuals much like yourself. 

It is also prudent to study the local online forums before joining (see golf course guide customer reviews advice above) in order to better determine which venue is the most relevant for you. 

Professional golfers require years to master their skills and while you might not ever wish to ascend to this level, there are still many other considerations to consider when selecting the most appropriate course. 

Not only will its physical characteristics determine your overall experience, but the atmoshphere and the greeting received goes a long way to determining your overall enjoyment.

Above all, always remember to have fun while playing!

———————————————-

By Ian Mullins

 

Now read – Why golfers carry 14 clubs in their bag >>

Golfing in Vilamoura – Part Two…

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalIn the first of our two articles on ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’, we talked about our visits to The Laguna and The Millennium.

In this second of our two ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’ articles, now read about our visit to the world-renowned Vale do Lobo’s The Royal and The Ocean courses...

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – Vale Do Lobo – The Clubhouse…

You know on your way into the resort that you are approaching one of Europe’s premier golf destinations.
On arrival at The Clubhouse, pleasant and friendly staff immediately showed us to the Golf reception – an area that gives you an indication of your experience for the day.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalThat is where we met Daniel who has worked at the resort for 12 years.

Something not unusual among the staff here, as we find out.
In fact, many of the staff have been here for over 10 years which suggests it’s a well-run place.
On sharing a coffee in the Players lounge, Dan explains to us that the whole resort, including the two-courses, is roughly the size of Monaco.
Having worked in marketing for some 25+ years, I conclude (given the audience they wish to attract) this is a superb way to promote themselves. Especially if you want to appeal to the European golfers with a high disposable income.
Looking out from the lounge, we have a beautiful view of both the Putting Green and the Grandstand, which gives the place a very grand feel.
However, this theme continues as we take a tour of the facilities.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

They have it all covered here including a Private lounge for members, a Spa, an 8-bay driving bay (which is due for a refurb), a gym, snooker area and a yoga studio.
All surrounded by beautiful shady areas, cobbled paths, an outside bar area, scenic views across the sea – somewhere we return to after our round.
The changing room is large, trendy and immaculately clean, as you would expect from a high-end resort.
Dan goes on to tell me that whilst the membership is not cheap at 5,000 euros a year, there are a good 200+ members.
Both the corporate members and tourist day-trippers keep the place very busy.
If you’re going to visit Vale do Lobo, make sure you make a full day of it, enjoy the surroundings, the ambience and the friendly staff.
Give your self plenty of time to enjoy the views – and I haven’t even mentioned the golf yet…

Golfing in Vilamoura – Vale Do Lobo –  The Courses –  The Royal Course…

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

So, I guess all golfers with a number of years of playing under their belt have a ‘bucket list’ of courses they want to play.

Having heard about the famous 16th, Par 3, from many friends, ‘The Royal’ was one golf course I’ve wanted to play for a while.

However, to focus solely on this hole would do the rest of the course a disservice.
The course starts with some very straight but pretty holes, enclosed by whitewashed villas and I immediately felt at home and encouraged by what was to come.
The fairways are clean, soft and well maintained as you would expect and it’s a pleasure to be playing on firm fairways again (we really do have to put up with a lot back in ‘Blightly’ with its wet, damp and cold conditions) and I feel I will save a few shots today because of it! (I didn’t!)
The course is very walkable, despite some big inclines and declines, but there’s always a shady area close by under which to cool down.
The stand out hole on the front nine is definitely the 7th hole – 140 yards, 130 yards carry over water (see below) to a slightly sloping green.
Despite a pretty ropey scorecard up to this point, I just make it over and scramble a par, so I am happy!
This is quickly followed by another carry over water on the 150 yards, Par 3, ninth hole. Alas, here I was not so lucky. Splosh!
Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalSo, on to the back nine. More picturesque and with a more varied hole layout, the course now gets more interesting.
I won’t talk about each hole but I will say it’s beautiful, pretty tree-lined fairways and immaculate greens all run quickly.
And as we approach the sea and the Par 3, 16th signature hole, you really do feel you’re playing Millionaire’s golf!
At this point I must commend the club, as they run a ten-minute tee system, meaning we saw hardly any other golfers until the 17th hole.
If I had any criticism with the course at all, I would say some of the tee boxes could be flatter in places… but now I am picking ‘holes’.
This is both a well managed and beautifully presented golf resort, and they couldn’t have been more courteous to us.
I will definitely return here.

18 holes – Cost = Approx 100 euros


Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

Golfing in Vilamoura – The Courses – Vale Do Lobo – Ocean Course…

Now sadly, this is when I turn to my fellow TSGers for their feedback on the second (and less well-known) course, The Ocean, as I had to head for the airport.

The Ocean Course is composed of the two original 9-hole golf courses designed by Sir Henry Cotton.

The Course features undulating fairways which run alongside a nature reserve, before leading gently down to the shores of the Atlantic.

Its stand out holes are two very testing and spectacular Par 4s – the 11th and the 14th, as well as the Par 3 15th which runs alongside the beach.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalBeing much newer, this course is more of a challenge, as everyone we spoke to told us… it is a very ‘technical’ course to play.
I took this to mean longer, more bunkers, more wind and faster greens and they were right.
However, both the team reported back having enjoyed another sunny day on the fairways and in the bar (see picture) and having enjoyed the course hugely.
The good news is, I know I will be returning to the area again soon, so I will make the effort to revisit this Mecca of golf.

18 holes – Cost = Approx. 100 euros


 

By Ian Mullins

Missed Part 1 of our article on ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’ – see below

Golfing in Vilamoura – Part One…

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

In the first of two articles under the heading of ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’, we visited the renowned Algarve region of Portugal for four days.

We visited four golf courses including the world-famous, Vale de Lobo and two other local courses, The Laguna and The Millenium.


Golfing in Vilamoura – Getting There:

As with all golf In The Algarve, you will probably be flying using either one of the low-cost airlines or via BA or a Portuguese airline.

My travel partners flew with EasyJet without any hassle, while I was charged £55 by Ryanair for not printing my boarding pass and not checking-in more than two hours prior to my flight. Seriously!

However, my mood quickly lifted when I arrived at Faro airport.

As I was golfing in Vilamoura for the first time, I decided to try Uber rather than a traditional transfer service. 

Having been quoted 36 euros for a pick-up and drive to Vilamoura, I was very impressed to only pay 21 Euros and Jose was so helpful and polite.

For the four day trip, we never paid more than 4 euros to get anywhere in the area.

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – Accommodation/Room:

Laguna Resort apartments are walking distance from The Dom Pedro courses Including The Laguna, The Millennium and The Victoria (which was host to the Portuguese Masters in Autumn of 2019.)

Often on a golf trip, your priority is to pay as little as possible for your accommodation in order to afford more golf.

However, we couldn’t have been more impressed with our apartment chosen by golf specialist and TSG travel partner – Golf Escapes.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the layout and decor, twin balcony and two bathrooms, made this as good an apartment as I’ve had the pleasure of staying in, anywhere.

On a golf course or not….including Rocco Forte 5star golf complex in Sicily!

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – Laguna Clubhouse:

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

Having caught the early flight from Stansted, not wanting to waste any time, we headed for the Laguna resort which is home to the above mentioned, Millennium and Laguna courses.

The clubhouse and shop are large and clean and the changing rooms, while not as stunning as Vale De Lobo (see next month’s March newsletter for review), is still a step up from your average UK Clubhouse.

There is a large patio area overlooking four holes and they offer both reasonably priced and very tasty sandwiches as well as a full a la Carte menu.

As you know, with any club in Spain or Portugal, there is always a senior golf pro on hand to chat to, who can tell you the history of the place.

And it was here I met ‘Joaquin’, who was quick to ask where we were from and how long we were staying. He shared his stories of playing in the UK in his early years.

He was also keen to show me some of his vintage golf magazine from the ’80s.

I think Senhor Catarina would have happily talked all day but alas, I was due on the tee in 3 mins.

As much as I wanted to chat more, I really wanted to play.

However, I didn’t miss the opportunity to tell him about The Social Golfer Family but I fear the concept did not translate well.

The younger (much younger) staff member listening to our conversation, got it immediately “ah, so it’s like Tinder for golfers”, “not quite” I quickly retorted…but he had a point!!

 


Golfing in Vilamoura – The Courses – Millennium:

We opted to play the newest course, The Millennium, on our first day.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalWe had been advised it was flat and a good way to break yourself into a four-day tour.

Wow! I loved this course. With gentle undulation, playable fairways and although narrow for many courses in the Algarve, it was more forgiving than most of England’s courses.

This is the newer of the two courses – it was immaculate.

Dry fairways, fine grass, a plethora of shady areas and not a single pitch mark to be found on any green until the 17th hole.

The greenkeepers should be warmly applauded for preparing this course so well.

Note, the greens here are ‘lightning-fast’, so be prepared to three-putt a lot until you’ve been here a few days.

My only criticism would be that some of the tee boxes are not entirely flat, so place your tee peg wisely.

That said, each hole is very different and you would have to play this track many times before you got bored.

We teed off at 2pm (walking) and were finished by 6pm (sunset in February).

I will definitely return here.

18 holes – Cost = 71 euros


Golfing in Vilamoura – The Courses – Laguna:

On returning to The Clubhouse on day two, we choose to play late morning at 11am on Laguna.

The temperature was 19c, there was a cool breeze, but the strong sunshine still meant the need for sunscreen.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

Yet by 3.30pm I was pulling on a light jumper e.g perfect golf weather.

This course, despite being less distance on the card than the Millennium and with shorter distances between holes, it’s less forgiving, so took 40 minutes more to play.

One thing I do like here is the club’s insistence on how long you should take to go round. Something many clubs in the UK should adopt.

I know this a constant bone of contention all around the world but IMHO, it’s just considerate and good manners to keep up the pace of play.

If you’re holding up the groups behind, let them through.

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, Portugal

 

But back to the golf…

The Laguna (as the name suggests) is the ‘water’ course. I think it comes into play on at least seven holes, maybe more.

Beautiful open fairways, well-maintained greens (again, very few ‘pitch marks’ to be found here).

Whilst I didn’t find the greens quite as quick as the previous day, they were true.

Six one-putts on the front nine suggested I was getting the pace of the greens after a good night’s sleep.

18 holes – Cost = 85 euros

 


Food:

Golfing in Vilamoura, Laguna Resort, The Algarve, PortugalYou are never going to be short of choice for beautifully prepared, fresh and fragrant food in Portugal with seafood and steak in abundance.

One of the favourite places we visited was the Akvavit at Vilamoura Marina, run by a lovely Swedish lady.

Joining in with the theme, I was convinced to try the Rydberg steak, the dish is made up of cubed fillet steak, sautéed potato, in a bay leaf and onions sauce, with a raw egg yolk in the middle, yum.

Complimented with a light and sofa red wine from the Duora region.

However, the TSG best chef award goes to ‘O Jacatino’

This is a Portuguese family restaurant we frequented on our last evening, where you can sample home-cooked traditional Portuguese favourite, Cataplana (seafood stew).

While my travel partners enjoy this, I had the softest steak I’d tasted in ten years.

 


Six one-putts on the front nine suggested I was getting the pace of the greens after a good night’s sleep.

The Locals:

Having played golf in more than 12 countries now…

As such, I would probably say the Portuguese are up there with the best when it comes to making golfers feel welcome. 

They have both a gentle but passionate manner and are good-humoured.

They really do know how to do customer service too and we were made very welcome by everyone.

Especially the staff at The Laguna resort, who couldn’t do enough to help us enjoy our stay.

 


And Finally:

Is the Algarve still one of the most popular and tranquil places to play golf? Oh yes!

Is it expensive? Absolutely!

Will I be back for more, of course… I’m already thinking about where to play next year!

TSG VERDICT = 4.5 stars

 


By Ian Mullins

Look out for part 2 of our ‘Golfing in Vilamoura’ series in the TSG March Newsletter, including a review of both courses at Vale De Lobo…

NOW READ ABOUT THE BEST GOLF COURSES IN SPAIN>>

 

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…

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

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…

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

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