Thursday, 28 January 2010


The Cape is probably one of the most photographed courses in the world and constantly rated in the top fifty world courses and not as I found out today without good reason. Home of the KIWI Challenge won by Anthony Kim this year it really is a supreme Championship Course in pristeen condition with a jaw dropping setting.The views probably were not quite as stunning as Kauri, I thought but the course offered a totally different challenge. I played it at probably its most benign and played it off the middle green tees still coming in at over 6100 yards. A birdie on the last gave me a 79 and I am truly elated as I write this.

Think Ill take a penalty drop!!!!!

Truly Spectacular backdrop, more pics on facebook for those interested

on THE SOCIAL GOLFER.......... fan site.............

we now move on to Auckland for a bit of R and R, and enjoy the Regatta. Then we leave for Hawaii and arrive before we leave by crossing the date line, thats a first for me. In Hawaii will be playing............................. KOOLAU, rated the hardest in the plenty of balls at the ready... KAPALAU, a PGA Course won by Geof Ogilvey the last two years, the latest this month, so expecting this to be in outstanding condition and finally Waikiki Beach, if I can get on as its the busiest municipal in the world, See you all Soon

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

THE SOCIAL GOLFER clinches another TITLE

The Social Golfer won the weekly putting Competition at the KAURI CLIFFS RESORT open to all Guests by shooting a level par 9 hole total of 18. Ok its not a major but it now completes a set of a victory of some kind of golfing event on every continent.

The winning putt, one over at the last , I take the tricky narrow line and nail the putt to finish level and no one can catch me.

Sartorially dressed in official club jacket, The Social Golfer
nails a 18 footer on the 6th for a hole in 1


Even have your picture taken with the US OPEN TROPHY

The famous Kauri Tree from which this course is named.

Now every Golfer will in one book or other have seen some pictures of this unique course right at the Top of New Zealand. With 12 holes facing out to the Pacific it is one of the most pictured and written about courses in the entire world and I am no different, this facility of excellence will feature strongly in the next book with a full explanation of how I struggled around this unbelievable terrain. Perennially rated in the worlds top 100, it did not fail to deliver as did the whole Kauri experience. he course due to the hot summer was according to the locals too dry but to me it played more like a true links, but this is more than a golf course its an experience with nature, a tantalising visual delight which quite frankly made it easy to forget the game and the score.

As stated earlier, I will be producing a chapter on this and its sister course at Cape Kidnappers when I hope to do true justice to this magnificent resort in a setting supreme and in a truly wonderful country.

Finally, a mention to Jason Henderson, another Canadian who played with me and despite a roller coaster round this competent player, here celebrating his 40th, finished birdie, par and eagle to show the course was responsive to good play. Jason like me now moves onto the Cape and is very well travelled in the Social Golfing Sense so I hope for his input in assessing the merits of both set ups and in comparison to other resorts.

I leave with a few pictures to hopefully wet your appetites, get here and enjoy the time of your life. Hope some of you get the opportunity to live this dream.

MOORE PARK Sydney NSW Australia

The superbly located, well maintained challenging, Moore park Golf club, Sydney City

Now as we were in Sydney for a week, I needed to find a course to play. On my last visit I had played the States top ranked course The New South wales at La Perouse and that remains one of my all time favourites and I urge any visitor to Sydney to make an effort to play this, you wont regret it. But as this trip is all about travel and new golfing opportunities I chose Moore Park as this is the closest course to the cbd and city centre and all the principal activities.

Located in Centennial Park next to the Magnificent Sydney Cricket Ground it is just ten mins by taxi from the centre costing about £ 10. Booking was easy one phone call the night before, note Internet Bookings 10 per cent reduction. The round and buggy cost $ 85 Aus Dollars so was very reasonable.
The course is a typical UK Parkland Course but with faster fairways and greens. It is a Grade A course and has held the NSW Open, so off the back Tees is quite long. The Course was very well maintained, views limited because of location but the staff very attentive and friendly m
aking it an enjoyable day, made better by pairing up with a Sprightly Canadian, John Borden from Ontario who pulled his own buggy in searing heat. Strong bunch our Colonial Cousins.
A particular nuance is a one off double green on the back nine which enhances e charecter of the course substantially.
Ideally located, easy access, relatively cheap, great way to beat the shopping.

UPDATE and Apology

Hi fellow social golfers from the magnificent kauri cliffs new zealand. I am behind on my golf reviews for two reasons................

1. im having a feckin shite hot time and too pie eyed to up date regularly ...........and

2. i have met soo many great guys this trip i want to write about and involve further..

so update on moore park, sydney and here at the unbelievable kauri cliffs will follow from auckland at weekend when i have a golf break. First I have to visit cape kidnappers on hawkes bay, what a put out that is, i think not, cant wait.P

Plenty of pics as usual on facebook, they get them first so kids can see i am ok and looking after matron. become either a friend of me ian william halliwell or the social golfer to access these.

There now follows a pictorial Tribute to some of those I have met on this trip, thanks guys it was a pleasure. good golfers great chaps.... best tribute i can give.
With John from Canada at moore Park a fine gentleman running round the course in retirement.

With Jason a London Financial Wiz again another Canadien at Kauri he finishes birdie, par, eagle awesome. good guy on his way to kidnappers to celebrate his 40th will see him there, hes the ultimate soc golf been to more places than me, will try to get him involved. ps kicked his butt in putting comp at kauri

First round at Tassy, 3 Great Guys, Paul Dent prodigious hitter from Queensland has to use a big stick and could be scratch.....Dave Page from Tassy only aussie prepared to talk cricket and Nick Ponris from NSW who played superbly to win his class. 3 GENTS
Last Day at Hobart, again a real pleasure to introduce Stephen Bakewell and Peter Barter from Victoria and Peter Jones frm Broome WA. We had plenty of fun in the bunkers, hey lads
Days 3 and what a jovial threesome and trust me they will appear in the book, what fun we had that day, would not talk cricket but never mind... Nick Ponris again, Warren Adam from Victoria and Gary Harwood from Tasmania ast but not least Ian Hoffman from Victoria who I had the pleasure of meeting in 08, Peter McClennan from Tassy, (Ned Kelly, Bandito) who stormed our category, well done pal O aint bitter and Peter Jones again who travelled 30oo miles to play, its a big country aus.

All winners in the Bar at the end, Great Time, Great Event, Great Guys

Just to wet your appetities coming soon Kauri Cliffs, awesome or what!

Saturday, 23 January 2010


After Singapore we flew straight to Tasmania for this prestigious event. I had last played in 2008 and finished way down the field after scoring 18, 25 at Royal Hobart followed by two 30 point hauls at the Tasmania Golf Club for just 93 points. After two rounds I was in fact last in 08 so clearly there was plenty of scope for improvement.

First the plain Statistics, starting at Tasmania this time I compiled 32 and 28 points, so exactly the same points as 08 at Hobart i round 3 I scored 35 points followed by a final round of 29 points finishing on an extremely credible 124 points finishing 4th. I was delighted with the end product which could have been higher had I played the easier stroke index holes better.

The 11th at Tasmania a Par 3 (SI 18) just 124 yds downhill

at Tasmania I compiled just one point at the 11th and 0 points at the first (SI 17) and these two effectively cost me second place. I had been using sponsored yellow top flite balls in all competition and on day 1 at the first sliced my ball on to the driving range which normally would have been a simple wedge on to the green except my yellow ball could not be found amid hundreds of yellow range balls, a costly error which at the time seemed very funny to my fellow competitors.

The magnificent 3rd at Tasmania often compared with the 18th at Pebble Beach, I will soon be able to pass accurate assessment on that!!!!!!!!

In 2008, I thought Tasmania in better condition than Hobart but not this year. The drought had made the fairways exceptionally dry and bare but in fairness the greens were quite exceptional. At Hobart I had played myself into position in the final round scoring 18 points on he back 9 but failing to score at the 18th when a par would have give me a share of 2nd.

the clubhouse at Hobart were Jack Nicklaus won the 1971 Australian Open and I blew runners up spot in the Wrest Point Masters.

Hobart played better and fairer this time and the Greens although a touch slower were again quite exceptional and very fair to all competitors. a could have, should have week, makes me want to return but guess thats one for the future. I would recommend anyone visiting Hobart to play both course as they do compliment one another, are both friendly approachable clubs with good practice facilities and very fine clubhouses and 19th hole, clearly essential to all Social Golfers. Finally thanks to all my playing partners, I met some lovely people again this trip.

Friday, 22 January 2010


First leg of our trip............ (multiple photos on facebook in my personal domain and The Social Golfer domain ) We stayed right on the beach at the superbly located eco lodge The Siluso Beach, just 5 mins by monorail from Singapore Centre and with free buses around Sentosa it was quite simply an ideal location for a Social and Golfing Vacation. Indeed in my opinion as a stop over too

Australia, I far prefer this destination to Hong Kong and Dubai. The place has Charecter, is not unsurprisingly the cleanest city in the world and the people unbelivably friendly. THE GOLF TOO at the Sentosa Golf Club Serapong Championship Course quite different class. Home of the Barclays Singapore Open won by Poults last sept is in the top 5 in Asia for a reason like Singapore it ouses quality and charm.

The best dressed golfer to play Sentosa, the Starter says I made Ian Poulter look dowdy and subdued.

The championship course is without doubt one of the best I have ever played, it eat me up and spat me out for 9 holes, but I had a run of 5 pars and two birdies on the back nine, playing quite sublimely. The Greens are magnificent, fairways pristeen, views sensational and all it will clearly be highly ranked in he next books ratings. Phenominal Day.

Sensational Serapong a MUST VISIT

and SO ON TO TASMANIA were I will finish 4th in THE WREST POINT MASTERS and tO Sydney were I will visirt MOORE PARK the citys central course next to THE Sydney Cricket Ground............ Updates to follow.

Got to go packing for my trip to Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers............. LIVIN THE DREAM