Sunday, 31 October 2010

and SO THE END IS NEAR

TSG with European Tour Legend and all round good Guy Mark Mouland.


TSG has had the pleasure of hosting mark and his good lady in florida as mark attempts to win his Champions Tour Card in Florida this month. Best of Luck chum and I will keep TSGers updated as to his progress. I played my last round of 2010 at Providence with Mark and what a great experience it was. I cant wait to put into practice the great number of tips and advice he gave me. Whilst I hope he enjoyed his week in the villa settling into the floridian lifestyle. With luck he may become a neigbour of mine when he gets his card. I introduced him to several small gators but have warned him there are bigger ones around ( see below)



video


a big GATOR, be careful MARK if hes about.


2010 was a great year for tsg featuring my round the world Trip, considerable success on the fairways but more than that meeting some exceptional people along the way. THANK YOU to everyone for making this year so special and in many ways completing my transition from stroke victim to stroke survivor.


A Highlight of the year my defence of the FLORIDA DIASABILITIES OPEN, Unsuccesful but totally rewarding.

I visited in 2010, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Vancouver, Califrnia, Vegas, Fllorida, Spain, Tenerife not bad for someone 4 years ago told he would never walk again.

Competively..... The TSG Team ( thanks Roger, Skitty, Rich and Clive ) won THE SHOW AM Classic, The Frank Worthington CLASSIC and finished 2nd on Countback at the British Par 3.

Individually I finished 4th at The Wrest Point Masters in Tasmania...

won The British Par 3 pro Am and can now look fwd in anticipation to Mauritious

Finished Runner up twice on Tour in Florida but ended up leading player at Nationals finishing 29th..

There were disapointments, my defence of the Florida Open despite a super start was not impressive. I never reached the heights of he first round in Tenerife at the JR Classic and fell away again in a alcholic stupor in rds 2 and 3.....

2010 saw the first SOCIAL GOLFER OPEN at Hever Castle, were tsg finished 5th in my own event.

My Weapons of Mass Destruction are now away till 2011 when i sincerely hope to meet up again with many of my great SGs around the Globe.

till my XMas and New Year Message, ALL THE VERY BEST>

THE AMATEUR TOUR NATIONAL Finals

Stunning Oyster Reef were the last round was played.

I returned to Hilton Head representing Orlando in the 2010 finals determined to improve on my 47th place in 2009. On that basis the trip was a success as I finished in the Top 30, (29th) and was the highest place Orlando golfer even beating tour Champ and housemate on the trip James Rearden. This event is more than Golf, it was fantastic to meet up again with friends from all over the states I had not seen since last years finals. This year I played with some great guys, particularly Tim who I played in rd1 and the final round. This is what Social Golf is all about, it would have been nice to finish higher but not to be, however we can but think of a return. James as usual was a fantastic companion and arranged the whole trip down to a fine detail, thanks mate.



Team Orlando, we finished 3rd out of 20 cities

The Magnificent Fazio at Palmetto Dunes were Rds 1 and 2 were played

Monday, 30 August 2010

Florida Swing 2010

Capt Dapper, just before my birdie stopped the rot at the PGA








el Campeons at Mission Inn





When I arrived in Florida to play the two events, i was fresh from my successin the bP 3 and felt ready to rumble as they say. My targets were simple on the Edwin Watts Tour Major at Mission Inn I was looking for the victory that would ensure my place in the E Tour finals at Hilton Head and down at Port St.Lucie it was simple as defending champion I was looking to retain this prestigious Florida open Title especially whilst it was at the PGA Headquarters. So as I return home to uk it has to be said my trip was only mildly succesful from a golfing perspective, however i have to say from the Social aspect it was quite a memorable two weeks.



Glorious Mission Inn


At Mission Inn, a fine purpose built golf resort twenty miles North of Orlando , I finished runner up by 3 shots to Flight Leader and Hilton Head Bound playing buddy James Rearden. I was quite happy with my performance in coming back from 7 down to twice get within 2 shots of the leader but in oppresive heat it was a bridge too far but I withheld promosing youngster Broderic Johnsons charge to clinch my place at the National Finals. My tour results a second in the opener and second and third in the majors. Hilton Head here we come.





View from my room at Mission



Mission Inn has two exceptional Courses and a fine clubhouse. facilities in Spanish Style are very conjusive to a good golfing break. Its very popular with golfers in Florida, I remember John mein host at the Horse and Chaisse in Venice saying it was his favourite golf break in Florida and who am I too argue. The course I played Los Colinas ( the Hilly course ) was great and the El Campeon ( The champions ) was apparently better and sure looked it too.


Tom,Carter the Caddy, steve and Brew all hot and bothered at the pga
Magnificent 18th at The Wanamaker at PGA Village

So off to PGA Village to play in The Florida Open for Golfers with Disabilities and defend my trophy. It was a great opportunity to meet up again with golfers from last year, my good mate Charles Brugh and Tom Walters and remarkably we were paired up again joined by Steve a local one armed golfer. This competition is far more than golf it is great fun, laughter guarenteed from first shot to the last, great comaraderie with people who despite their handicaps have an unbridalled passion for golf. I was determined to give a good account of myself in my defence and for 8 holes I did, Seven pars, one bogey but then the wheels came off as the noon time sun hit over 110, a birdie and a clutch of pairs later on ensured i finished on net 74 so a reasonable defense. At first I was disappointed but as the weekend developed again the ethos of the event far outstripped the competitive nature. I made many great new friends, renewed established acquantancies and I have to again repeat anyone playing this event will inevitably get spiritually fulfilled and a far greater perspective of life, the competive nature of golf that disadvantaged golfers can still participate in with humour and dignity and candour, despite their limitations. The fact it was held here at Golf headquarters enhanced the whole event and I shall return to renew friendships which I BELIEVE WILL BE LIFELONG THANKS TO THIS EVENT. A visit to the PGA Heritage Centre, with The Ryder Cup on display and a full documented history of Amrican Golf this put the cream on top of the cake for a wonderful golf weekend. The PGA Village with its 3 outstanding Courses, exceptional Range Facilities and Training Centre and a Golf Anoraks MUseum to boot... WOW What a weekend.



TSG with the Ryder Cup, come on europe..




TSG Tv times for the British Par 3

UK TV Coverage of The BP3seehttp://uk-tv-guide.com/show-times/713719/British+Par+3+Championship+Golf/Sport/


Show times for British Par 3 Championship Golf - UK TV Guide
uk-tv-guide.com
When is 'British Par 3 Championship Golf' on UK Televison

Monday, 23 August 2010

TSG NOW ON FACEBOOK

go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Social-Golfer/83335848305

Hope to see you there

TSG is a National British Champion at the British Par 3



TSG Tees off on the biggest round of his career watched far left by Jim Lilly

as you can see this goes straight down the middle leaving a twelve footer for

a birdie a great start to Round 2

The highlight of my Golfing year is always my week visit to glorious Nailcote Hall home of the British Par 3 Championship. This fun filled four day festival of golf features celebrities from stage screen music and the sporting arenas, pr golfers of the eniors and PGA Tours mingling with amateurs attempting to tame this 1100 yard nine hole beast of a course. THE CROMWELL at Nailcote. Mingle in TV coverage over 5000 spectators. It is a mesmeric golfing experience.




A blue outfit but not a blue day watched by peg leg another green hit

by THE SG on the way to a massive twenty under













This year, I had spent the 8 weeks leading up to the competition playing my local 9 hole course par 29 at Potters Wood in Wigan. This having Ideal practice facilities, 7 fine par 3s and great greens, I had never approached this event in a better physical or competitive state.



Watched by an expectant crowd TSG moves to 14 under






The BP 3 has 3 seperate events running during the week. On Tuesday a Celeb -Am where a celeb golfer joins a 3 man team in a 18 hole stableford competition. This year A Social Golfer Team of TSG, Roger Hurcombe along with his new artificial leg in tow and The ledge Steve Skitt, Davenport Ladies Driving Champ, more at home on these smaller holes and finally TSGs great buddy on the celeb tour fine golfer, entertainer and gentleman CLIVE ABBOTT of The Black abbots fame. In this event Clive was awesome, he played level par ( $ under his handicap) and Roger with no hinderance from his new pin... not far behing shooting 59... Fair to say TSG and The Ledge bit part players but who contributed big time on hole 9 each round. We scored twenty under for 92 points finishing joint first. A great start to the week.




video

TS sinks a 8 footer to tie at twenty under








Days 2 and 3 feature the main event, The Pro Competition and the main Pro Am Competition, this year competing for A weeks All INCLUSIVE for two to MAURITIOUS and The Prestigious HALLIWELL CUP for the winning Amateur. I had been delighted this event had accepted my offer to present the PGA Trophy used at our previous MRC Events which due to economic pressures had ceased. I had been originally paired with Phil Golding who dropped out to play in the Trilby Tour. Fortunately for me he was replaced by in form Midland Euro Pro Tour Champion Simon Lilly. On Day one Simon posted 1 over but as a Team thanks to my play behond my handicap resulted in a team score of 6 under. We were eclipsed by our playing partners on the day Mark Mouland, 2008 Champ here and leading after day 1 with a splendid 5 under and teenage prodigy and fine young lady 14 year old Charley Hull. What a talent this girl his. They posted 9 under. On day 2 , we were the last of the mid morning starters to go out and Simon stated quite clearly his aim was to set a target. We played really well to post 14 under. With his great encouragement, super putt reading by both Simon and his father Jim and Matrons calming influence, despite the pressure MY GAME STOOD THE TEST AND I posted 6 net birdies during the afternoon. We were as they say the club house leaders and suffered a three hour wait whilst the afternoon starters went out, bit of luck it began to piss down, my rain dance behind the 7th green working well. With Team Mouland and Marshall both on the 1th Tee on 13 under it really was a thrilling end as both also were only one adrift of Richrd O Hanlan in he pro event, sadly for them but not for me they could not fnd that elusive birdie and Team Lilly, win the Pro Am...... Yes Matron and I are off to Mauritious and guess who is the first winner of the HALLIWELL CUP... can you Adam and Eve it.

TSG receives The Halliwell Cup from Golfing legend Tony Jacklin and TV
Announcer moves in for Sky Sports Interview.









Its Green for Go, Another outfit leads to another Trophy.





The final day saw another celeb team event were I was invited to play in Martin Laings Team with nice guy Jim.... I was surprised just how nice and genorous these two Scots actually were and local Midland Crowd favourite fine guy great comedian and great company Mr Jasper Carrott. Jim really carried our team and we finished on 7 under surprisingly again in the places tied 3rd..... completing an unlikely treble of places in the weeks golf for IAN HALLIWELL Amateur Champion, THE BRITISH PAR 3...

Monday, 12 July 2010

BUNKER PLAY at The B P 3

video

First hole at Nailcote 125 yards, raised Green, deep bunkers, an Idea of how treacherous this Championship Course can be......... The Pro's after 36 holes will be delighted with Level Par, this gives an idea why. I hope to have many videos and pics from this year competition available daily from 11th August.

Here I slightly pull a 9 Iron into the left hand trap then as you can see have a bit of a problem, still I escaped with a 4.

this Years BP 3 at Nailcote Hall, 11th to 15th August 2010.... www.britishpar3championship.co.uk hosted Again by TONY JACKLIN>

THE BUSINESS END of the SEASON

August is my favourite golf month.......... not only is it the British Par 3 championship but also the 2nd Major on the Edwin Watts Tour back in Florida and now the month for the Florida Open for disabilities, into September and its The Celeb Event for my good friend Footballer Frank Worthingtons Charity and ending with the Annual trip to Tenerife for the JR Classic and WILD GEESE Charity Event. Then into October were I am spoiled for choice..... will I have picked up enough points to go to Hilton Head for The E Tour American National finals or will I head off to South africa for The Barney Barnato, not a bad consolation. I do feel like a Touring Pro this time of year, living out of a suitcase, passport in hand, clubs in travel case, I cant wait....

But it all starts at home with The British Par 3 at the magnificent Nailcote Hall from 11th to 15th August on SKY TV as well.... 2 celeb Events and the National 2 day 36 hole Championship. In the Pro Am last year, with a fine pro and gentleman Andrew Collinson, we finished 5th out of 64. Looking to go better this time.

Colourful, picturesque, immensely different and difficult, THE BP3

On the following Monday, Karen will accompany me back to Florida to play in the major at Mission Hills. This is a course new to me but very highly rated. I will need my a game in this two day event but I have finished 2nd and 3rd on Tour this year so I know what is needed. A top two place should ensure I'm back at Hilton Head for the Nationals.

hope I don't meet this guy again in Carolina at Hilton Head.

From there we will head down the Atlantic Coast to Palm Beach and the former Ryder Cup Venue at The PGA West, this year host to the Florida Open For Golfers with Disabilities. There I will meet up with many old acquaintances, particularly my owd mucker Charles Brugh as I attempt to retain the trophy.






with the impressive Florida open Championship Trophy.


Following my return, A social Golfer Team will return to West Midlands Golf Club to try and improve on our 3rd Place last year in the Frank Worthington/John Lowe Celebrity Classic. This fine course as a Sawgrass Type 18th as its signature hole and is a fitting location for such a prestigious event.




Steve, Tom and Ralph, hope there not all blaming each other this year.





The final hole in front of the majestic modern clubhouse..... 154 yards all carry and The Social Golfer nailed it last year and won nearest the pin.


The end of the month and I will head to Tenerife to play in a couple of events in this sunshine paradise in the Canary Islands.


The 18th at Los Americas, a fine risk and reward par5 again in front of the splendid Clubhouse, one of the best on the Islands
In 1998 The Social Golfer wins The Wild Geese Charity Event and Tsg team won the team prize. I have not had much success in The JR Classic finished 6th last year and looking to improve on that.
November and December will bring some much needed R and R and some serious book writing for the next Book...........LIVING THE DREAM...............

Monday, 14 June 2010

THE 2010 SHOW-AM Celebrity Classic at Henley on Arden


The TSG with the magnificent Houseman Trophy
previous celeb winners include Footballers Alan McInally, Johnny Giles, Tony Green, Tony Hateley, Frank Worthington and David Fairclough. From Snooker, Mike Hallett, boxer Pat Cowdell, Cricketer Dermott Reeve and TV Star Jasper Carrott and now joining this illustrious list THE SOCIAL GOLFER








I was fortunate enough to have been asked by Mr Des Blee to attend the above event as a celebrity with a 3 man team representing the Social Golfer ETHOS. With this in mind I put together a cosmopolitan 3 ball to join myself , from all over the UK. From Shropshire came my long time buddy and golfing legend, Steve Skitt, winner of the Davenport ladies long driving contest in 2008. From Brighton, I brought up Roger Hurcombe representing my support for golfers with disabilities and finally I invited Rich Poore from Oxford, my good friend who has played several times with me in Florida but this was to be our first knock in the UK together. joined by our good ladies for the weekend and culminating in a gala black tie evening meal and with Cancer charities benefiting, I approached the event with a certain degree of optimism as I knew my colleagues were all capable of shooting low.
The competition hosted by the magnificent Henley in Arden Country Club, a fine example of an English Parkland Course. It was in very fine condition, played very fairly until the heavens opened, luckily for us but not the teams with later tee times, we had reached the 16th. Our Team played superbly as a fourball, recording just one score of under 5 points at the short par 3 twelfth were my ball disappeared from next to the green! Roger an amputee following a major car accident in which he lost his leg, played a superb round, particularly the first nine when often his was the par that scored big. On the second nine big Ric started keeping the ball in play and with his awesome length ripped the par 5s apart. Skitty and I chipped in were needed and we accumulated 95 points with some ease. In an 18 team competition we finished 12 points ahead of second and clinched this prestigious event.
Pictured...........second left.... BIG HITTING RICH, Then THE LEDGE SKITTY, TSG, ROGER the Star Hurcombe........ with cup and superb crystal wine glasses as a permanent memento.
a small gap over July to get in some serious practice for the busiest month of the year in August were TSG attempts to better last years 5th place in the Televised Sky Sports British Par 3 Championship, then immediately off to Florida for the Summer major on the Edwin Watts Tour at Mission Hills, this is followed by my defence of the Florida Disabilities Open this year being held at the formidable exhilarating PGA headquarters at Port t.Lucie, playing the PGA which has hosted a Ryder Cup in its past. I cant wait..... more success I hope.

Monday, 31 May 2010

THE FLORIDA SWING

Having won the Edwin Watts Tour spring Major at Southern Dunes last year. I had planned my spring season around a defence of this title to be held at Grande Pines just off the famous International Drive in Orlando. The whole trip was more difficult than I had imagined as this venture I had to go solo, matron deciding after our 3 month road trip she had done enuff flying.
Grande Pines, those pesky bunkers cost me

Grande Pines was in pristine condition, the best of the 4 courses I played on this trip. Weather was scorching and despite an horrendous start to my last round when only trailing by two from class leade James Rearden, I tripled 1, 2 and 3 and at the turn was 8 adrift and tied 6th, when I put together a fantastic last nine which took me on to the brink of a play off with a putt on the last to force a tie with James. Still a spirited defence, a worthy winner and I shall return in August for a tilt at the Summer Major at Mission Inn, followed by my defence of the Florida Open at PGA West Palm Beach, former host of a Ryder Cup. Hopefully a reasonable place here will ensure with my two seconds so far, enough points to qualify for the Nationals at Hilton Head Again for a second tilt at The Biggest Crown on the E Tour Amateur circuit.

Harmony, superbly designed and maintained, must play if in Orlando

I also played on trip two of the renowned courses in Orlando that had so far over the years eluded me. Royal St.Cloud and Harmony Golf Preserve. both south East of Orlando along the famous US 192, so very handy for most tourists. I am pleased to report both are very fine tracks and should be on any visitors itinerary if visiting he land of Mickey.
Royal St Cloud 27 linksy style holes of great design and quality

Thoughts now turn to home, sadly because of my ewtour commitments it appears I may not be able to play in this Years Peoples Open, the final being in August when I am due back in Florida. I deeply regret this the opportunity to play at St.Andrews being one I had wanted to have a go at. Fortunately I will be able to return to the British Par 3 the week before I fly out to Florida. Strongly confident of going even better than my fifth place in the Pro Am last year.

My next outing sees me in the midlands at Henley in Arden playing as a guest celebrity in THE SHOW AM Charity Classic in a Social Golfer 4 man Team. Wish us Luck!!!!!!!!!!!






Saturday, 17 April 2010

STROKE AWARENESS PLEASE READ

Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue I will continue to forward this every time it comes around! STROKE: Remember the 1st Three Letters.... S. T. R. STROKE IDENTIFICATION:

During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

RECOGNIZING A STROKE Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today.) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue... If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

ACT FAST....................... face, Arms, Speech............ Lisa Burke did and I am evidence of the above

SCOTS NEW BOOK

My Toys for Tots Partner, general good guy, sound golfer and great wit SCOTT RAMEY sent me this........... ENJOY

Many of you may not realize it, but I've been very busy planning my retirement putting my thoughts and ideas together in a book.
I believe my new book on GOLF gives the reader valuable playing tips and insider information I've gained through my years of lessons, struggle and experiment.I am very proud of the results, and to assist with marketing, I am asking friends and family to help me out. I hope you find this a useful tool to help you enjoy your game much more while you enjoy the great outdoors. The cost is only $19.95.
Don't wait until they're all gone !!!!

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 - How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt..
Chapter 2 - How to Hit a Nike from the Rough, when you Hit a Titlist from the Tee.
Chapter 3 - How to Avoid the Water When You Lie 8 in a Bunker.
Chapter 4 - How to Get More Distance off the Shank.
Chapter 5 - When to Give the Ranger the Finger.
Chapter 6 - Using Your Shadow on the Greens to Maximize Earnings.
Chapter 7 - When to Implement Handicap "Management".
Chapter 8 - Proper Excuses for Drinking Beer Before 9:00 AM.
Chapter 9 - How to Rationalize a 6-Hour Round.
Chapter 10 - When Does a Divot Become Classified as Sod..
Chapter 11 - How to Find That Ball That Everyone Else Saw Go in the Water.
Chapter 12 - Why Your Girlfriend Doesn't Care that You Birdied the 5th Hole.
Chapter 13 - Using Curse Words Creatively to Control Ball Flight.
Chapter 14 - When to Let a Foursome Play through Your Twosome.
Chapter 15 - How to Relax When You Are Hitting Five Off the Tee.
Chapter 16 - When to Suggest Major Swing Corrections to Your Opponents..
Chapter 17 - God and the Meaning of the Birdie-to-Bogey-Three-Putt..
Chapter 18 - When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever.
Chapter 19 - Throwing Your Clubs: An Effective Stress-Reduction Technique.
Chapter 20 - Can You Purchase a Better Golf Game?
Chapter 21 - Why Male Golfers Will Pay $6 a Beer From the Cart Girl and Give Her a $4 Tip, but will balk at $4 a Beer at the 19th Hole and then Stiff the Bartender.

Thanking you in advance for your order.

You can see why we won the Toys for Tots......... Scot also sponsored The Mystery Hole Prize to Florida in The Social GOLF OPEN............ A TRUE SOCIAL GOLFER>>>

Thanks Mate

THE SOCIAL GOLFER OPEN at Hever Castle

After a hitch, the First Champion Andrew Siggs receives the
Trophy from The Social Golfer

On Friday 16th April, over 40 members of he Social Golfer Community, got together to play for THE SOCIAL GOLFER CUP in the Inaugural Event. On a Dry but breezy day a course of over 6700 yards proved the ultimate challenge with greens hard and firm and a penal rough which led to high scoring which produced lower net stableford Scores. However it certainly led to a highly competitive event, eventually after a Social Golfer mix up at the presentations there was a worthy winner Andrew Siggs with 33 points. He just pipped Tom Hurcombe (32) pts . Helen Harding 29pts was third. Ian Mullins , fourth on 28 points and mein host THE SOCIAL GOLFER, fifth on 27 points, a noble effort if I say so myself. A little cock up on the scorecards saw Tom about to be, well more accurately, being presented with then having it snatched back, the Trophy, when it transpired Andrew had come in with the last group at 33 pts.



Another challenging drive at Hever Castle

The Mystery Holes saw over £500 being raised with the sales of the book for The Stroke Association. A Great day and many thanks to each and everyone who participated and particular thanks to Pete Connon of The http://www.socialgolfer.com/ Community whose efforts were principally rewarded with a fine turn out and a quality event we all can be proud of.

The Social Golfer, in his new John Dalys, tees off in a further attempt to be like Tiger and win his own event, sadly like all his efforts to be like Tiger it would prove fruitless.

Lots of phots from the day on THE SOCIAL GOLFER facebook Site

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

THE FLORIDA SWING

Stonegate Solvita, a fine example of an Orlando Golfing Experience.





The last leg of our 30,000 mile trip saw us return to our Florida villa for a fortnight. To all intents and purposes both Karen and I effectively feel our journey is over, even though we have the Atlantic to cross before we can say officially we traversed the globe. so whilst it was a good chance to have some R and R, see what damage the Floridian Frost had done to the garden, not a pretty site. For me it had some important golfing matters to conclude the Golfing Odyssey. Firstly I would play in the season opener at Black Bear on the Edwin Watts Tour. In view of my restricted schedule this year, this event was far more important than a normal event as it would be imperative I finished up the field to gain vital points towards the end of season Nationals. I only intend to play both majors on tour so I have my work cut out. Secondly and very important on a personal note my final commitment was to meet up with my great buddy Brew to celebrate an important date in his ongoing recovery. as it turned out I also had opportunity to meet up with two great old golfing buddies, my Toys for Tots winning team partner Scott Ramey and Rich Poore from London who I first met 12 months ago at Championsgate. It gives me particular pleasure as The Social Golfer to meet up with fellow SGs ongoing. I also as part of important practice added to my Orlando resume by playing Kissimmee Oaks and Solvita Stonegate. I have now virtually played every Public or Semi Private Course in the Orlando Area giving me an unrivalled tourist position from which to comment.








Black Bear is a fine links style course just south of Eustis with undulating fairways and fast hard, quick breaking greens. A fine clubhouse, enhances an enjoyable experience. My fourball featured some of the best in our class on tour, my good mate James Rearden, third on last years standings and still waxing lyrical about our sessions at Hilton Head. Big Hitting Alberto Esperon and Steady Eddie, Jerry Harris. To be in the running, I clearly needed to win this particular 4 ball.


Jerry, Alberto and James



Jerry, Alberto and James, three great guys on tour. James in particular started like a house on fire then on the 12th when 5 ahead of me, put his approach ob and from then on imploded Alberto who led me all the way till the 15th where I get up and down from 130 yard bunker for a par 5 and he 3 putts from 3 feet for an 8. Not without some trouble the water on the fantastic 18th contributing to a 7, I come home one clear of both james and alberto and two clear of jerry, which enables me to finish second in the class, pick up 250 ranking points and my first check of the year. I go now to defend the first major of the Year, this time at Grande Pines in May in good heart and look forward to locking horns with these great guys again.

I played two new courses leading up to the tour event, in Kissimmee Oaks and Stonegate, Solvita. Both were fine tracks but had clearly suffered from the bad winter the Floridians had encountered, I will return in Summer when I feel both will have a lot more to offer. The bird life around Solvita literally had me salivating with pleasure. A final point there was no signs of economic recovery on either estate, no Legends or Ridgewood which I also played, with he no of foreclosures and sales growing from my last visit in October.

Kissimmee Oaks, fine track, super vfmoney.

As I stated earlier, whilst in Orlando I was contacted by two fellow Sgs down in the area for a bit of sun. Scott, whi I last saw when we won the Annual Toys for Tots at Mystic Dunes back in DEc 2008 invited me to Clermont for my second go at the Legends and with two business mates of his down from the North Ted and Mike two damn fine SGs we had a great day. I was also contacted by my Oxford pal Richard in Orlando for a break with his good lady and we had a fine day ar Ridgewood joined b John and Carol, snow birding down from North America. This day ended with Karen and I joining Rich and his party at Bergamos, to have a Great Italian and listen to the singing waiters. Social Golf at its best.


Mike, Scott and Ted at the impressive Legends Complex

Glorious Day at Ridgewood, John, Carol and mi good pal RICH
Carol is some putter, she made the Greens notoriously difficult look EASY!!!!

My final golf was a magical day up at Orange County near Jacksonville. My good Mate Brew had kept in regular contact during the RTW Trip and it had always been my intention to try and see him. He is for those not fully aware of his story a remarkable 45 year old who had a near fatal auto accident twenty years ago which he his still recovering from. A remarkable chap he pointed out it was exactly 20 years since that fateful day. He sent me the following...........
Friday, 12 March 2010
Greetings my friend!
I pray this note finds you and your loved ones eager in spirit and full in health. I have a few thoughts I wish to convey. I’m hopeful you find words of much interest.
…”when your new box of balls begins to disappear at a rate of knots; when the weather is as bad as your game, golf can seem both an aimless and costly game. No other sport has such a disparity in talent between the successful practitioner and the social golfer. However, when you’re faced with the realistic possibility that you have played your last round, then your worst round is better than no round at all”…
(Ian Halliwell – The Social Golfer)
My near- fatal, life-altering motor vehicle accident occurred on March 21st, 1990 (the first day of spring that year). I’m told I had a tee time scheduled the next day (22 March 1990). Instead of spending a glorious spring day in Florida, leisurely hacking my way through 18 holes of golf, I would spend that day comatose in the Critical Care Unit tenuously clinging to life. In fact, I would spend two comatose weeks fighting for my life.
At the time of my automobile accident I was an invincible 25-year old aspiring Naval Aviator and full-time student. I was also working full-time. What precious free time I had was usually spent at the beach or on a golf course.
When putting out that last hole, I never dreamed I may have just played the last round of golf in my life… “When you’re faced with the realistic possibility that you have played your last round, then your worst round is better than no round at all”. Ian, truer words have never been spoken!
I’ve spent two decades of prolonged, painful rehabilitation desperately rebuilding and recovering “me”. I’m reclaiming my physical, intellectual, and spiritual self neuron-by-neuron, synapse-by-synapse. My goal has always been to not merely learn to live with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but to conquer traumatic brain injury. It has never been easy. It is still not easy.
If your schedule allows, I would consider it a great honor to golf with you and my golfing instructor, former PGA TOUR Professional Charles Raulerson, at the Country Club of Orange Park (www.ccofop.com) on Monday, 22 March 2010.
Albeit 20 years late, I will finally make that tee time I had scheduled two decades prior.
I cannot think of a more fitting way to mark an anniversary of my near demise than to celebrate life on the links with my good friends, Ian and Charles!
Your pal –
Brugh
The Day after his accident he had booked a tee time at 12.15pm which he of course never made. Exactly 20 years to the day he did make that tee time and I was privileged to join him and a wonderful PGA PRO, Charles Raulerson, Head Pro and General Manager at the magnificent Orange Park Country Club, to celebrate his recovery by playing this long awaited round. In a trip of many highlights, this was up there with them all. Truly memorable and a Sensational ending to my once in a life time global golfing extravaganza.

20 years on, Brew tees off pushes into the water left recovers
to card a bogey 5 after sinking a 25 footer.





The TSG, Brew and Charles Raulerson who has played with TIGER,
NICK FALDO, SEVE and now The Social Golfer his resume is complete.





If in North Florida you must visit Orange Park, you wont regret it



AND SO THE END IS NEAR and so I reach the final curtain, and what a journey it was, Memorable in so many ways, Fantastic Golf, Sensational Vistas but for both Karen and I our long abiding memory will be the wonderful people we met along our travels, some I now consider much more than passing acquaintances. You all touched us deeply and I sincerely hope that was reciprocated.To each and every one of you, THANK YOU!In times of Economic and Social Turmoil, this trip gives me considerable optimism for the long term well being of our planet.


I have learned a lot about myself, a lot about my golf..... and a great deal about this majestic green and blue globe we call home. The work starts now as i try and take all these experiences and put them into something worth calling literature, naturally when published I will be in touch with you all.


I have swam in every ocean


watched the sun set from east to west


walked the lush green fairways


were my heroes have took the Test.


but I am pleased to back home in Wigan with my family


cuz they are simply the Best.



Despite my workload, Golf is still foremost in my mind....


I am pleased to say next week, The Social Golf Team returns to action in THE PUBLICAN Knockout hoping to go one better than last year.


The first ever SOCIAL GOLFER OPEN takes place at Hever Castle in Kent on Friday 16th April with over 60 competitors.



I return to the Celebrity Golf Tour in June at Henley in Arden.....


my Edwin Watts Tour will see me play both majors in May and August at Grande Pines and Mission Hills hopefully culminating in a return in Oct to Hilton Head. Failing that the Barney Barnato in Kimberley could beckon.


I expect to return to the British Par 3, hopefully to improve on the 5th position of last year


Also my annual trip to Tenerife in Sept to try and regain the Wild Geese Trophy is very much a goer.



So plenty to keep you updated about over Summer........




REMEMBER HEALTH not WEALTH


LOVE LIFE, ENJOY THE GOLF and ALWAYS SMELL THE ROSES.



The Social Golfer...... keep on LIVIN THE DREAM My friends

Full pictures for thi trip on FACEBOOK..................................




Friday, 12 March 2010

GOLF In the Desert Las Vegas Style

Golf on the Strip

Back to Vegas and at last some Golf to report.
Once again choosing the course closest to the City, led me too THE BALI HAI and a fantastic day and experience with two great German Guys Jens and Manfred and Jim from Wisconsin a fine 2 handicap golfer. Joined by our Caddy Mike, we had a wonderful day, some magic golf mixed with mediocrity as is SOCIAL GOLF. Established firm friendships and in Mikes case some exceptional Green reading gave me my best putting of the trip. Thanks!!!

Jim, Jens, Manfried and Mike, Gentlemen it was a pleasure

The course was in the shadows of the strip and despite being directly under the airport flight paths is quite stunning visually. Some Sensational holes and Course Conditioning despite unseasonable weather for Nevada was exceptional. Like everywhere this trip course bookings are down leading to some sensational offers available.


The stunning 16th aka sawgrass... just 110 yards and two balls lost

and a 6 for The Social Golfer

San Francisco No Golf Sadly






US Open Course at THE OLYMPIC Lakeside


As mentioned previously, I had been very much tied by dictates of the travel side as well as the Golf and San Francisco proved to be the most difficult to arrange. During our 3 days there, I had considered as usual the two main criteria for the Social Golfer.



Closest to the city, in this case the Presidio.....


Walking in the footsteps of heroes...... Hardings Park a Public Course that hosted the last Presidents Cup, The Olympic, regular US Open destination and the top twenty rated San Francisco Golf Club.



A mixture of atrocious weather, it hardly stopped raining and once again private non reciprocal arrangements... ie members only made it impossible to get a round in the small window of opportunity I had.




The Presidio redesigned by Arnold Palmer and open to the public since 1995 meanders thru the hills overlooking the city and golden gate and Alcatraz. For less than $90, George Fuller in Calafornia Golf places it in the top 30 in the State and describes it as a MUST PLAY. I tried but the weather beat us. A rolling Thunderstorm of the bay put paid to that.


Narrow fairways of The Presidio




According to all info I collected on San Francisco, The 3 finest courses were all located on a small stretch of land in South San Fran along The Pacific Coast. This terrain clearly similar to the Sandbelt in Melbourne hosts The Olympic, Hardings Park and The San Francisco Golf Courses.

Hardings Park, good enuff for Tiger, would be for me



It is also San Franciscos most affluent of Residential Areas. The former and latter are Private Courses and I was simply unable to sort out a Tee Time in the timescale we had. Hardings Public, was sadly another victim of the Terrible weather.

Hardings Park was available at the amazing price of $88 for a round, what value.

The Olympic has two courses. The Lakeside which hosted the Us Open in 1955,67,87 and 98 and the shorter,tighter and still highly rated Ocean Course. Guests can only play with a member.

San Francisco is rated the best of the three in all ratings I examined prior to the trip. Tom Doak renovated the course in 2002 and its now accepted as a true great. Hosted the 1974 Curtis Cup Match which no doubt the USA thrashed GB. Again Guest can only play with a member. Again disappointingly there is no reciprocal policy in place.


A place I must re visit in good weather and tie in with a trip up North to Oregon and Bandon Dunes perhaps. Dont tell Matron.


San Francisco, pretty and highly rated but not easily accessible