Posts Tagged ‘golf’

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics…

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Golf returns to the 2016 OlympicsIs it really 1461 days ago since the great British public were all sitting on our sofa’s preparing for the greatest show on earth to descend upon London?

Good as it was, there was always one thing missing for the London 2012 Olympic games?

But what? Fast forward four years and we have the answer – golf returns to the 2016 Olympics!

Forget the Zika virus, forget those players not travelling to Rio, forget  the problems that have plagued the course forget the debates about whether the format should be individual or team based…

…GOLF is back on terrestrial TV and that can only be a good thing for the game!

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – The Dates…

It’s been over 100 years since golf last appeared in the Olympics and it was St. Louis, USA, that hosted the event that year.

This year the tournament will take place at the ‘The Rio’ course purpose built for the event in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood in western Rio.

The Men’s quest for gold will begin on Thu 11th and run through to the Sun 14th, much the same as all PGA/European tournaments. The Ladies quest will begin on Wed 17th and finish on Sat 20th – check TV listings for more details.

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – The Venue… 

Olympic golf course, Reserva de Marapendi, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The new Olympic golf course was built by Hanse Golf Course Design, who was chosen from eight contenders to build the course.

The President of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 Carlos Arthur Nuzman said: “As the 2016 Games marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport.”

He went on to say…“It will enable Rio to host important events in the international calendar and it will be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area.

“This course will be an excellent facility for the practice and development of golf and will inspire millions of youth across Brazil and the globe. We look forward to welcoming the athletes and spectators to the course in 2016.”

After the games, the course will become a public facility and will be used to enhance golf’s profile within Brazil and, according to the organising committee, this would represent “one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country.”

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – Qualification…

Qualification to Rio is based on world ranking as of 11 July 2016, with a total of 60 players qualifying in each of the men’s and women’s events.

The top 15 players of each event (Men’s and Ladies) will qualify, with a maximum of four golfers allowed to enter.

Once all countries have selected their players any remaining spots will go the highest-ranked players from countries that do not already have two golfers qualified.

Furthermore, at least one golfer from the host nation and each geographical region (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania) will play.

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – The favourites…

Unfortunately, many of the world’s best golfers are sitting out the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio due to the threat of the Zika virus, there will be a limited field for those who like a flutter  when the games get underway.

As always we have visited a number of betting sites to gauge the market, this time we have taken our lead from 888sport

Among the biggest names competing for the gold medal in men’s golf for the first time in the Olympics since 1904 is favourite Henrik Stenson of Sweden.

Stenson won the 2016 British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland last month, it was his first major victory of his career, and he now hopes to repeat the feat at the new Olympic Golf Course in Barra da Tijuca.

Stenson placed seventh at the PGA Championship last weekend and is expected to battle Sergio Garcia of Spain for the gold. Garcia is the second choice on the Rio Olympics odds and missed the cut at the PGA Championship following fifth-place in each of the previous events: the British Open and U.S. Open.

The other contenders for gold include Justin Rose of England, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar of the United States, along with Martin Kaymer of Germany.

Of those golfers, Rose, Watson and Kaymer have won majors while Reed, Fowler and Kuchar have all yet to prove themselves on major events, although maybe the Olympics will change that.

To be considered as well, reigning Masters winner Danny Willett of England.

The Olympic format will be a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament in accordance with PGA rules. A three-hole playoff will then take place if there are any ties for the first three places in order to award gold, silver and bronze medals.

Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics – TSG Prediction…

OK, we may be a tad bias, but  as golf returns to the 2016 Olympics, we think it’s going to be Justin Rose’s year – remember where you heard it first!


By Ian Mullins


Free TSG PRO Golf Membership …

Friday, January 9th, 2015
Free TSG PRO Golf Membership

Free TSG PRO Golf Membership


Free TSG PRO Golf Membership for THREE months!

Over the last five years we have worked hard to grow the TSG community and whilst the members have played a huge part in this growth, we have now decided it is time that rewarded those members. As such, in our 2014 November newsletter we launched our MEMBER get MEMBER scheme.


We at believe that golfers should be able to play anywhere in the world, at any time, regardless of whether they belong to a golf club or not…..

By joining TSG community, members can arrange games with golfers close to home or with over 8,500k+ golfers in the UK and worldwide…

The website allows golfers to join golf games in their area, find other golfers in their county, join golf societies in their area, establish a Handicap, get a Handicap certificate, review 25,000 golf courses worldwide, book Tee Times online and lets them join the monthly league, annual events and tournaments.

The site also allows members to upload videos, join in forum chat, shop at the internet golf store, and receive exclusive member offers and competitions and much more. The team also produce the TSG Newsblog and a monthly newsletter that is sent to over 5k golfers every month.


Claiming your Free TSG PRO Golf Membership …

We want to thank those who have already taken part and reaped the rewards. However, if you weren’t aware of the offer, here’s how you can get Free TSG PRO Golf Membership for three months …

All you have to do is introduce a brand new PRO member to the site and we immediately add an additional three months to the end of your own PRO membership subscription when it expires.

Just ask the newly joining member to email us at ahead of signing up with his/her name.

In addition, in order to help us to grow the site further and improve the member experience, in January 2015, we will be launching our brand new TSG user survey. Please help us to build a bigger and better community by taking five minutes to complete.

However, until then….

Happy Golfing!

Ian & the TSG Team

TSG MatchPlay Championship…

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Mark Crane - TSG MatchPlay Championship Final

Mark Crane – TSG MatchPlay Champion, the online social networking community for golfers, held the TSG MatchPlay Championship Final (Sponsored by The Altonwood Group) at Westerham Golf Club, on Sunday 21st September 2014.

The finalists Mark Crane and Matt Taylor (both Kent based golfers) had spent the summer working their way through a field of 64 to secure their place at Westerham, having played six matches throughout the South East.

TSG MatchPlay Championship – The Final…

The match was full of up and downs with Crane – whose singing son has appeared on the X-Factor in recent years -proving that HE has it, finally claiming victory on the 16th hole after Taylor conceded to match 3 & 2.

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 The Altonwood Group offering preferential green fees at its venues including Westerham, Woldingham and Surrey National throughout the summer for TSG members.

The game began nip and tuck over the first six holes with Taylor dropping a one shot lead on the 7th after having played the wrong ball, immediately resulting in the loss of hole. Crane capitalised on Taylor’s misfortune by taking a commanding lead into the back nine with a two shot advantage after the 10th. However, looking for his second TSG Major title this year, reigning TSG Masters Champion pulled back to within one shot after 12.

TSG MatchPlay Championship Final 2014

Matt Taylor (Left), Mark Crane (Right)

TSG MatchPlay Championship  – the winner …

Many amateur golfers dream of what it’s like to play under such tense conditions, so it was time to see who could hold their nerve … Crane then dug deep and refocused and won two of the next three holes.

The game concluded when in real gentlemanly fashion, Taylor gave Crane his putt on 16 and the two shook hands.

With the light fading the other TSGers who had joined the finalists for the round, gathered to watch their new champion crowned. Taylor was magnanimous in defeat but Crane proved he was well worth his victory ….

What they said …

Crane, commenting on his win said Many thanks to The Social Golfer for all the time and energy they put into organising this competition, and for marshalling Matt and I throughout our final. Having a match referee was a new experience for me! I would also like to thank all my opponents for our enjoyable matches … we all watch golf on TV but now I know what’s really like to putt under pressure. I hardly slept last night thinking about the match and I couldn’t have played against a nicer guy!”  Crane now qualifies for the 2015 TSG Masters at Warley Park.

TSG MatchPlay Champion 2014 (Right ) & Runner Up (Left)

TSG MatchPlay Champion 2014 (Right)

Taylor, said “Thank you to Mark for making the matchplay final such a great event, despite coming runner up, hand on heart, I enjoyed every minute of it”

The competition ran from April 2014 with amateur golfers from all over the UK competing in the event. The organisers hope that the event will grow into a flagship competition for the innovative and forward thinking website, alongside its already established TSG Masters and the TSG Open Golf Day Championship, held annually in aid of disabled golf charity

Ian Mullins, owner of said “Wow, what another fantastic event for TSG. The guys were such gentlemen throughout the game. I really take my hat off to them for coping under the pressure. And certainly Westerham proved to be a fitting venue for the final. Can’t wait for next year!”

By Ian Mullins

Greenkeeper of the Year …

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Muswell Hill Golf Club

Muswell Hill Golf Club

Each year their is a competition to find the student greenkeeper of the year and this year that accolade has been goes to TSG Partner club Muswell Hill and Deputy Head Greenekeeper at the north London Club – Kevin O’Neill.

Greenkeeper of The Year – Press Release …

The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year 2014 was named just days before Kevin heads to Gleneagles to join other greenkeeping volunteers at the Ryder Cup.

Proud Kevin, pipped runners-up Tom Freeman from Kingsdown Golf Club and Wesley Lenihan from Ealing Golf Club. The other three finalists who narrowly missed out on the top three were Aaron Bowen from Ipswich Golf Club (Purdis Heath), Andy Foulds from Wimbledon Park Golf Club and Daire Higgins from St Andrews Links.

Kevin will head to America next year for a six-week study course at the University of Massachusetts and will also visit the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio all courtesy of Toro. He will also get the chance to explore Toro’s Californian base. This year’s final had a celebratory air as a special event was held to mark 25 years of the competition.

The Rochdale-born greenkeeper, who attends Oaklands College, said: “I’m very proud, I put a lot of work into this! The final was an amazing experience. I don’t think there was much between the six of us.

Greenkeeper of The Year – What they said…

“When you look at the names of the previous winners and the careers they’ve gone on to have it’s brought home to me how important this competition is, it’s the highlight of my career so far. I can’t wait to head to America and before that I’m very excited to be heading to Gleneagles.”

Kevin began his greenkeeping career at Gleneagles before spells as a groundsman at Charlton Athletic and Barnet football clubs. He joined Muswell Hill in 2008, and this week will head back to Scotland as he joins the rest of the greenkeeper volunteers for the Ryder Cup.

Matt Plested, Course Manager at Muswell Hill, said: “Kevin’s the best greenkeeper I’ve ever worked with, he’s so dedicated and professional. I’m so pleased that he will now get the opportunity to study in America because he deserves it. When he called me to tell me he’d won I felt like a proud parent on X Factor!”

In addition to his trip, all finalists will be given free BIGGA membership for a year and they have also all been awarded a place on the Turf Managers’ Conference at BTME 2015.

Greenkeeper of The Year – The Final…

Before the final itself, a special event was held at Aldwark Manor Hotel, adjacent to BIGGA House, to mark a quarter of a century of Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year.

This unique evening attracted almost every winner in the competition’s history along with key figures through the decades. All the winners who attended were presented with a special watch as a memento.

Lely’s UK Managing Director Graham Dale addressed the attendees explaining how the competition began and how it has evolved before Euan Grant, 1994 winner and now Course Manager at Turnberry, outlined how much his win has helped his career and that of many others.

The speeches were concluded by BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton, who thanked Toro for their hugely generous quarter century of sponsorship, and Barry Beckett, Toro’s Senior Marketing Manager. The Toro Company and Lely UK were instrumental in creating the awards with BIGGA in 1989, and have sponsored the competition throughout its entire 25-year history.

Barry added: “Toro and Lely are proud to be associated with such a worthwhile scheme that recognises young and rising talent in the greenkeeping industry. We thought it fitting to mark the awards’ 25th anniversary with a special celebration – bringing together winners, judges and others, past and present – and I’m delighted the occasion was such an outstanding success.”

Thanks to all the winners who travelled from far and wide to attend and everyone else who contributed to the event. Keep an eye out for an interview with Kevin, and full coverage of the final and the 25th anniversary event, in October’s Greenkeeper International magazine.

By Caroline MacAskill

Photo by Jonathan Pow/

Golf Insurance … Do I need it?

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Golf Insurance Online

As many TSGers know, Golf Insurance is one of those things we have all talked about at some time or another but rarely do anything about?

We here at TSG HQ have spent the last few months researching the why and wherefores of this industry and after much research, we have finally settled on a recommendation for us all ….

From 1st August 2014, all TSGers will be able to purchase this comprehensive insurance at 10% below the advertised rates.

Why do we need Golf Insurance?

No matter how many years you have been playing golf, accidents do happen and it’s surprising just how many accidents do occur on a golf course, around the clubhouse or on your way to the course…

With so many golf balls being sprayed around at upwards of 100 miles an hour, at thousands of courses every day, it’s surprising we don’t hear of more fatal or costly injuries!

In addition, there is a probable chance that if you do cause an accident, you will be potentially hit with a liability claim could also evolve from this enjoyable sport.

As such, more and more golfers are seeking peace of mind by having golf insurance in place.

And in this world of ‘litigation’ and ‘ambulance chasing’, it is all the more important to ensure you are covered when you step out onto a golf course.

Saying  the risk of being injured is just ‘part of the game’ (which unfortunately it is not) is no longer an option and you have to accept the consequences in a society, where people will make every effort to pursue a claim if an injury has occurred.

Some might say there is also a ‘moral requirement’ to having such cover in place.

Can you imagine hitting a fellow TSGers with a golf ball?

Having good golf insurance would make the situation, much more calming for both parties concerned.

Don’t take our word for it, here is the details of a case that recent took place in Ireland …

Woman sues golfer after being hit by golf ball and suffers a stroke


So what are the options available through Golf Insurance Online?

Silver – Cover up to £1,000 for golf equipment, up to 90 days European Cover, Personal liability up to £5,000,000, Personal accident up to £25,000, Accidental damage up to £2,500, ‘Hole in One’ cover up to £150.  

Prices starting from £24.99

Gold – Cover up to £2,500 for golf equipment, up to 90 days European Cover, Personal liability up to £5,000,000, Personal accident up to £30,000, Accidental damage up to £2,500, ‘Hole in One’ cover up to £300.

Prices starting from £34.99

Platinum – Cover up to £5,000 for golf equipment, up to 90 days European Cover, Personal liability up to £5,000,000, Personal accident up to £50,000, Accidental damage up to £2,500, ‘Hole in One’ cover up to £500.

Prices starting from £44.99


Why are TSG recommending Golf Insurance Online?

Golf Insurance Online are a small family business and very pro-active. They offer a selection of comprehensive covers to support all budgets As such we have decided to enter into a partnership with them.

– They insure your golf clubs, golf bag, trolley and your golf clothing
– They also protect you with our Personal Liability and Personal Accident cover – against any third party damage
– Includes European or Worldwide cover
– Don’t use fancy marketing techniques to draw you in
– They are golfers themselves!


Finally, it’s worth pointing out that TSG makes NO COMMISSIONS on ANY transactions between our members and Golf Insurance Online. This discount has been negotiated on your behalf as part of ALL TSGers in our community!

In order to claim your DISCOUNT, please go to GolfInsuranceOnline and  use the following code when purchasing: TSG102014

Or visit

If you require any further information on our policies or this offer, please do not hesitate to contact Sergio on 01903 209903


With over 30 years experience in the insurance industry, we provide travel, medical screening insurance, wedding insurance, airline failure insurance, gadget insurance, vehicle breakdown insurance and car and home insurance.

At Golf Insurance Online we pride ourselves on service and competitive prices, without compromising cover.

Our aim is to always provide quality insurance at amazing prices. is a trading style of Insure for travel Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

FCA Register number 458950

By Ian Mullins

USA PGA Championship – The favourites…

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Rory McIlroy - Getty Images

Rory McIlroy – 15/2

The final major of the year and prestigious USA PGA Championship is just days away and golf fans from around the world will be flocking to Kentucky’s Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville to watch their favourite golfing superstars take to the fairways …

Many of this year’s golfing professionals have recently battled it out for the top prize at the Golf World Championships – The Bridgestone Invitational, but all eyes are really on the USA PGA Championship ….

The bookmakers have chosen their favourites across a variety of nationalities, ages and skill levels, with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson all predicted to be in with a chance of getting their hands on the coveted prize …

The contenders for the USA PGA Championship title* …

Rory McIlroy – 15/2

Having just tasted the sweet smell of success at the British Open, 25-year-old Rory McIlroy has been tipped as this year’s favourite to win the USA PGA Championship title.

Winning major tournaments is nothing new for the Irish native, at such a young age, he’s already won three, and has told reporters, “The next number in my head is four”.

With his current track record, there’s nothing stopping him from completing the ‘Slam’ (winning all fur majors) in the next 12 months…

Tiger Woods – 11/1

With a stunning career and a huge string of accolades including more career major wins than any other golfer still playing, it’s easy to see why Tiger Woods is still a second favourite to take the title.

However, the 38-year-old has not won a USA PGA Championship  title since 2007, and it could be argued that he’s no match for the fresh young talent appearing on the golfing scene today …

Adam Scott – 14/1

Having recently taken on the aforementioned Tiger Woods at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational, Adam Scott takes third place favourite for bookmakers to win this year’s tournament.

The 34-year-old certainly has experience on his side –  he’s won 11 PGA Tours in his time, but is he a match for up and comer Rory McIlroy?

Phil Mickelson – 20/1

As the oldest of the favourites, 44-year-old Phil Mickelson could be the outsider. The ‘leftie’ also recently joined his PGA counterparts at Bridgestone this weekend, so he knows exactly what kind of competition he is up against but will a little prior knowledge be as useful as years of professional experience?

He has won 42 events on the PGA Tour including The OPEN Championship last year (2013), so he’s not going to let a little thing like age get in his way …

So, who will you be putting your money on?

By Ian Mullins


*Prices courtesy of Coral bookmakers, were correct at the time of posting. launch on talkSPORT

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 (TSG), the online social networking community for golfers celebrates its fourth year in existence, by launching its first ‘Above the line’ marketing campaign.

The website run by ex-Media Director Ian Mullins will be running a series of 10 second commercials throughout July and August using the world’s biggest Sports Radio station – talkSPORT.

The commercials written and produced by Mullins’ own marketing consultancy MC2 Marketing, launches on the station the same day as The OPEN commences. airtime will run for approximately seven weeks and plays on the theme of ‘being let down by your mates’.

The campaign has been planned to target an ABC1 35+ male audience and will reach over 3/4 million individuals with each listener hearing the campaign approximately 6 times. grows up …

Talking about the campaign Mullins said “It was always our intention to eventually launch the TSG brand to the masses but we have deliberately waited until such time as the website was a busy and much used resource before tempting a wider audience to try our service. In 2013 the site hosted over 700 golf events and had more than 4,500 rounds played. However, we recently hit the 8k+ users and feel now is the time to grow the community further”.

Mullins has worked across a number of blue chip brands in his career including managing the Emirates Airlines media activity for 7 years, Hitachi for 7 years and launched the Daily Star Sunday for the infamous Richard Desmond in his 11 years at the UK’s largest Media Independent MediaCom.

More recently he was responsible for managing The London Golf Show marketing activity including the launch of the Manchester Golf Show in 2013. He was also responsible for launch of the ‘Altonwood Season Ticket’ for the late Ron Noades’ Altonwood Group in the same year. He has also advised William Hunt of Trilby Tour fame on sponsorship matters.

He went on to say “When I first started planning and buying media on behalf of clients twenty years ago, I never thought for one second I would ever be spending my own money, on my own brand in mainstream media but here we are and I feel very excited. I am immensely proud of the unique service we have created for golfers and our ambition is to eventually be the biggest golf club in the UK … we’re certainly on our way!” is a unique platform …

The radio campaign has been bought via Radio Experts, the UK’s second biggest radio buying point and by an old media friend of Mullins’ Radio Experts MD – Steve Ramsay. “I was so excited for Ian when he called and told us it was time to go public with his creation. We started out trading radio together in the early 90’s, so it was a real thrill to plan a campaign in an sector so close to both our hearts…. as a avid golfer myself, In my humble opinion, Ian’s creation is the future of the sport!”

Another old media pal of Mullins’ Adam Mills – talkSPORT Ad Director said “We are thrilled to be helping Ian launch his brand and we believe talkSPORT to be the perfect platform for We have established ourselves as the world leading Sports Radio Station and it’s important that we continue to support new up and coming sports brands as well as the more established ones. I wish Ian every success this new and useful social media platform.” radio campaign – listen here …

The Social Golfer Newsblog…

Monday, April 14th, 2014
The Social Golfer Newsblog

The Social Golfer Newsblog

Our new blog pages named the ‘The Social Golfer Newsblog‘ is where we will be posting articles and original content and we are inviting ALL TSGers to submit their very own written pieces for review.

We’ll be focusing on both golf clubs, product reviews, the latest news on all golf’s four majors and guest blogs from our site partners.

However, it’s not just about us…

Yep, this is your chance to tell us about the latest gadgets, your society news, your progress in lessons or just a good old yarn.

The Social Golfer Newsblog is for members and by members!

Please contact us at

Kind Regards


Ian & The TSG Team