Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Europe beat USA in CYDER CUP

It belongs to Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The prestigious Cyder Cup by the first Tee at Celebration Golf Course for the first ever annual event between Usa Residents and European Nationals in Celebration.

It was due to happen, I was due one memorable round this trip and cor blimey what a Time to have it. Having been asked to play in this event I was paired with local Helicopter Pilot Matt Gallagher against strong US Pairing of mein host from the Celebration Tavern, Billy Bona fresh from his outing at the Disney Classic with Justin Leonard and His partner Craig. In truth of the 76 shots I hit there was only one bad one, the very first tee shot, I did suffer from first up nerves big time. A couple of long 3 putts but apart from that this was the best I played for years. Losing the first we went one up after 4 but faced being 3 down at the turn until Matt nearly hold an unbelievable bunker shot which left us two down at he turn. The Back nine saw some spectacular golf, a lot of it from me. On 16 facing the loss of the hole I played a miraculous short chip and 6 foot putt to keep us level, but this was eclipsed on 17 by Craig and Bill, with both, Matt and I hitting the Green, Bill entered the water and Craig pulled his miles left but then produced the shot of the day which Bill then followed with a 30 foot putt. We should have been one up but were dormie one. ON 18 I played an impressive 80 yard gap wedge to 6 feet which gave us two putts for the hole and a half which effectively clinched he trophy. What a feeling! A wonderful evening of celebration in Celebration followed. Not many red shirts in site around the bars just our blue ones worn with immense pride.

The magnificent 12th at Celebration were we drew back level
This concludes my golf this trip, The Amateur Finals, Lakeland Classic and Cyder Cup, not bad on The Social Golfers resume, plus I played several courses here in Florida for the first time.
Back home for Christmas, then Around the World in 80 days, can you Adam and Eve it, it has come round that quick. But not to forget my return to WREST POINT for the MASTERS, which Social Golfer will turn up, the disappointment at Hilton Head and Diamondback or the Successor at Celebration. You will of course be kept informed thruout the trip.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. iwh

Thursday, 19 November 2009

THE Social Golfer discovers a GEM of a course at Diamondback

Today I took advantage of the super offers at this time of year and headed South to Diamondback, a 4 1/2Star rated Golf Digest Course at the cost of just 35 bucks inc buggy. Great Weather, super company and a quite exquisite course should have lent itself to my best golf. Did It, you guessed it, I was dire, hardly hit a fairway, chipped like a novice, was in more bunkers than Rommell. Did I enjoy it, you bet I did.
The approach to the 1st Hole
I was joined by a lovely couple from Pinehurst, North Carolina, what a golfing pedigree. Mr and Mrs Mark Young were great company and no mean golfers, they both kicked my butt big time. They had that day become Grand Parents again, congratulations and Good Health to new baby Young.

One of the few water holes on the course but it caught me out

At least I finished well, my only good drive and a strong chip leaves me ready for Saturdays CYDER Cup Contest at Celebration between Europe and the USA.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A LEGEND ( or is it leg end ) plays LEGENDS

It was inevitable that I would play the Grandly named Legends Course at Clermont one day. Sister course of the much vaunted and highly rated Celebration Course, I passed this every time I visited the Bank and like a magnet it eventually drew me in and by the crin, I was not disappointed. The glorious 16th a Par 3 of 140 yards.

I had booked this via the course web site and had found a late special just 27 dollars for the round, inc buggy and discount vouchers for the pro shop, TREMENDOUS VALUE. I arrived early and was fortuitously paired with a lovely couple from Buffalo thats north New York to my English friends, Noel and Jeanne. They also have a home in Lakeland at Shalamar Creek, so looks like another course will soon be ticked off. They as I usually find were quite great company during the round. 1st hole all down hill 380 yards with great views of Lake Louisa. What a splendid way to start a round. The course was quite well tended, Greens quite magnificent. Again! In truth I have not encountered any bad greens his trip. The course meanders thru the Legends Housing Complex without any of the intrusion that certain other Florida courses have. Every hole seemed to offer a different challenge and with the company I was keeping the five hours passed all too soon.

The view from the course entrance.
The whole complex ouses class and I advise any visitor to include this in their itinerary.

The shuttle takes off as I am about to drive at 17
Yes we also got a spectacular view of the shuttle take off, only place I would have rather been than on this course that day........... up with those Astronauts.

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Lakeland Golf classic for YOUTH in CHRIST (Polk County)

Friday the 13th was not unlucky for me as I had been invited to play in the Lakeland golf classic at The Prestigious Club at Bridgewater Course in Lakeland, in support of the Youth for Christ Movement. As you are aware I always try to support causes close to my heart and the Youth for Christ Mission Statement as follows is one I can give me wholehearted support.

" YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like minded partners to raise up life long followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement. " I can only say that if the youngsters I met today are typical of the members then the association are doing everything right and they should be suitably proud.

From the moment, I walked in the clubhouse, I was enveloped with a overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness and camaraderie that only occurs when an event is as well organised as this and the competitors so intent on fully supporting the relevant cause. I joined a team with 3 lovely gentlemen and fellow golfers the two Phils and Kermit and what a splendid day we had, shooting a competitive 71 but more importantly I hope established the beginning of a fond friendship. This is an event I hope to support regularly, and i was suitably proud and delighted with my golf designer lamp which i duly won.
Bridgewater is a typical parkland Florida Course with a links feel very similar to Southern Dunes. The Greens were excellent, my only complaint the lack of yardage markers around the course which certainly affected my short game. It is a relatively new course and facilities reflect this but the hospitality of the staff, compact nature of course, solid design and especially the Greens make this a very good value course. Today it complemented the competition, the people I met and played with. Further enjoyment, I felt truly blessed at the end of the day.

No Gators this time, but still enuff water to cause me trouble.

My team, Phil, Kermit and Phil........... 3 Great Guys

Colourful pants hey, aka John daly.... my outfit typified my joyous mood on this special day.
I wish all concerned the very best in the future, thanks to my team mates, all the very best guys and gals. A pack of my books are on the way and I hope these raise more funds for this worthy cause.
and so on to next week and THE CYDER ( Ryder Cup ) between Europe and the USA at Celebration Golf club sponsored by Shannons Irish Bar, when the Social Golfer represents Europe.........

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Ode To The Social Golfer "He who loves to Golf"

whilst in venice, I came across this poem by american poet and artist SUZY TORONTO, even Matron agrees this accurately reflects my approach to golf better than anything she has seen.

Some Golf for exercise
Some for the thrill of competition
Others for Social or business contacts


You play simply for the love of the game
Doesn't matter where or with whom
Golf is in your blood

You dont even care
who kicks the ball out the rough
or fudges the score card
because its all about being on the course
only in competition with yourself

Perfecting your swing
and sinking the putt
Playing the game it was meant to be

Yes Golf is in your blood


I commend this to all my fellow social golfers as our official anthem.

Whilst in Venice, I acquired two superb limited golf prints of HILTON HEAD, obviously to reflect my Tour Nationals visit and Pebble Beach to celebrate my round the world trip. i could have filled my case up such was the quality of the work, I was truly in my element. For evidence of this go to www.gregshermanart.com or http://GregShermanArtLLC.blogspot.com Thanks Greg, I could have cleaned you out if matron had not already butchered the card

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

KISSIMMEE GOLF CLUB, Venice, The Art Fest and No room for my clubs

To keep in form prior to my last competitive rounds this trip, on Friday 13th, hope thats not an omen, I am playing in the Lakeland Golf Classic. I decided to visit for the first time Kissimmee Golf Club. In the literature it expounds itself as probably the best value golf in the are, some claim that but its not without some foundation. For less than 40 bucks it really is quite good value. The course located next to Kissimmee Municipal Airport, really more of what we would call an aeredrome, the Sound of the planes can become a little tiresome as the course meanders around the airfield. Very untypical Florida course, more of a parkland uk style course, not over long, superbly maintained and with excellent greens, I joined a father and son, the two Georges, down from Pittsburg and had a most enjoyable day. I played the best first nine of my tour, shooting 38 and driving supremely. The Back nine reverted to type but I had a great day on a very nice if not too challenging track, thought the people most friendly and i would return. Approach to the 12th, only 280 yards,dare you go all the way.

Last weekend we returned to visit for the Art Fest Weekend. This was my penance for us missing the annual Craft Fayre at Mount Dora, I was in Hilton Head, so Karen and I booked in the magnificent Horse and Chaisse Inn just two blocks from Downtown Venice with mein hosts Jon and Lois. The B and B experience in Florida is a truly rewarding experience and at The Horse and Chaisse you are assured the best that southern home hospitality can muster. The breakfasts are a true social experience were every sweet toothbud is catered for, not one for the diabetics. The art Fest was very enjoyable with well over 100 stalls with the best of local crafts and arts on display. Matron was in her element and the cash card took plenty of clog. When she packed, matron even though we were only going for 3 nights, took two cases leaving no room for my clubs so clearly this was going to be a spend spend not golf golf weekend.

yes I did enjoy this, although my wallet did not !!!!!!!!!!

On the sunday with the continuing good weather and as matron needed some exercise, should have took her clubs, we went strolling down venices totally unspoiled beaches collecting shark teeth, why they all come up here, needs further research.
what a spectacular coast line.

This coast has many fine golf courses and as a social golfer it satisfies and ticks all the boxes including the main one of keeping matron happy.


Whilst travelling to Hilton Head, it was my great pleasure to come across a fellow golfer, Mr Vincent Lawler, Vinnie was traveling to the Island for an annual reunion with his brothers. On the hour long flight we exchanged many golf tales and it transpired that he was a budding poet having penned the following missive for his favorite club, that is till I cured his slice by simply suggesting dropping the right foot back a bit. Perhaps this most durable of clubs in his bag will now have a bit of a rest now the big boy has come to the aid of the party.

The Three-Wood

Whether fine-crafted persimmon or tempered metal, the Three-Wood is always prepared to play.
Perhaps, not the biggest club in the bag, but others never fail to acknowledge its durable presence.

The Three-Wood sails the straight and consistent route. Strong and versatile. Soaring just a little bit higher than most, providing a balanced perspective.
What a game!

Its mark is true whether in the fairway or in the low-rough. Adjusting to the conditions. Never complaining about the lie.
It’s a match with any “big stick” when things are teed up, but it has no equal when the ground is level.

No need to impress while there’s yardage unmet. The “click” of a true, clean strike, its sole proclamation of lofty performance. Deferring always to the strokes played by the other clubs in the bag.
A unified vision for the round. Passion for the game.

Over the years, the Three-Wood has hoisted its many spheres like delicate progeny. Respectfully. Occasionally, dimpled by discipline, but always better prepared for the journey ahead. A legacy without par.

The Three-Wood’s essence has remained unchanged over the years (though the times have brought some minor expansion on all).
It has always anticipated and adapted, though never yielding to the fads nor the clamor for excess. That’s not how the game was meant to be played.
Semper fidelis.

And, now the turn has been taken back to the clubhouse. Still, plenty of fairways left to play. But, time, nonetheless, to pass the scorecard to the upcoming foursome - it has served its purpose well. For a new measure of success has sprung from challenges met and wisdom gained in the years of competition.
Mastery of the game.

Today, triumph comes in looking back upon endless links of achievement. For This Three-Wood has gracefully conquered both distance and terrain throughout the years, and along the many miles traveled. Yet, the course most to be savored..... the one to be perfected, remains that familiar green meadow nearest to home. VL

Once again on my travels I was fortunate to meet such a fine fellow gentleman and golfer, thank you Vinnie for allowing me to use your splendid piece. In my bag of course its the 5 wood that takes the plaudits, it is still black and blue and battered after the constant use it had at Hilton Head were it was needed on every approach, It was crying it was used that much. Perhaps the above tribute will encourage me to do a similar for my 5 wood, the work horse of my bag, the John Deere Tractor, the Jimmy Bullard etc, etc.,