It's Show Time...
October provides golf professionals with the opportunity to view all that's new and wonderful in the golf equipment world for 2016. In Harrogate, the game's top brands showcase a number of new products yet to hit our store; it's an exciting time of the year for those in the industry, if not a little busy!
It's a great opportunity to meet with manufactures and get the lowdown on how they've been working to improve their products, and hopefully make this game a little easier. From drivers and irons, to balls and putters, technology is moving on - and we take great pleasure in helping to translate all of this information so we can present new line-ups to you as and when they arrive.
To help do that, look out for our exclusive video content in the coming months in both our newsletters and on our website where we will have all our latest shop offerings to help guide you if you're in the market for anything new.
For now, let's concentrate on the remainder of this year, there's still a lot of golf to be played but if you would like to see something new in the shop for 2016 click here to let me know what it is...
SWGC 2015 Seniors Tour saga
By Monday, 14 September the draw was done, the hotel, golf courses and buggies booked for 24 of us to go away on our Annual tour. By Tuesday afternoon closely followed by Wednesday the 24 golfers were whittled down to 22 as Andy Barker had cracked 3 ribs and Eric Fordham ricked his back, so suddenly a well-organised event became chaotic! Luckily, both Andy and Eric are on the mend so we didn't have to worry about their health but the daily draw had to be made again, to include two 2 balls to go with the remainder playing in 3 balls. The next question was how to arrange the daily scores as "Best two scores to count" was the tour rule for the first two days. However when this was applied to the two balls, it didn't work too well but tour organiser Hugh stuck to his guns and the tour rules remained the same. There were some grumbles but no Mutiny - luckily!
So by 10.30am on Monday, 21 September, 22 of us assembled at Swaffham GC and a reasonable round was had by all on what is a very pleasant course, coupled with the fact that the weather was kind. After enjoying sandwiches back in the clubhouse plus a beer or two, we then drove to Overstrand and checked in at the Sea Marge Hotel which has a unique Gothic splendour and provided us with excellent accommodation and food for the next three days and nights. Prizes for the day were presented during dinner that evening including a nearest the pin prize with compliments from Rob at SWGC to Roger Forster. After the meal and a joke or two from Hugh and others there was much cheerful banter that moved from the dining room to the bar until bed called, in some cases, a fair bit later.
On Tuesday morning we played Royal Cromer and enjoyed sunshine with light winds that provided a good day's golf followed by, in our team's case thanks to Bill Sandford, a scone with Cornish clotted cream & jam helped down by best bitter, which proved to be a very tasty cocktail! The evening meal at the hotel was again enjoyable and the day's prizes were presented with the draw for the next day's play when individual scores were to count.
Wednesday's golf at Sheringham was also enjoyable in similarly good weather, and on completion of the day's round we congregated in their club house in time to watch some of the match between Japan and Scotland in the Rugby World Cup. We then ventured back to the Sea Marge for dinner when the day's prizes were distributed including another nearest the pin prize for Roger Forster - his prize was some special West Country cider kindly provided by our perennial tour guest and ex SWGC member, Paul Millard. By the end of play on this 3rd day, the potential tour winners were starting to rise to the surface ready to succeed as Tour Champion during the next day's play at Bawburgh. The draw for the final day's play was made with the lowest scorers going out first and the highest last.
When we checked out of the Sea Marge there was a light drizzle in the air, but as tour organiser Hugh obviously had a way with the Norfolk weather Gods, by the time we got to Bawburgh GC it was a nice sunny day. However, the Gods were not smiling on David Wiseman who had 'Alternator belt trouble' en route to Bawburgh. By the time David had sorted out his mechanical problems with the aid of a local garage, he decided not to come and play so he went home to 'Do the beans', which we understand is a farming expression!
So again, the number of tourists was reduced to 21 involving a slight alteration to the draw. Bawburgh turned out to be a tough slightly muddy course with some interesting, some long and some boring holes so it became a challenge coupled with the fact that we probably walked about 10% further than the course length on paths between holes, so it was quite a tiring round. At the end of play, food and drink was enjoyed whilst Hugh checked the scores. The final result was that Peter Fisk took the nearest the pin prize that day and Denis Brown was crowned Tour Champion with Roger Forster runner-up and Paul Millard in third place. Luckily for him, Roger Forster was the 'most decorated' Tourist as he won NTP and a first place prize at Swaffham, at Royal Cromer he won a third place prize, at Sheringham he won the NTP prize and at Bawburgh he was best on the day and second overall, so well done to him, with a total of 6 prizes in 4 rounds!
At the end of the prize giving, Barry Kingsley presented Hugh with a nice golf bag, two Greg Norman golf shirts and 24 golf balls on behalf of the other tourists, which was very much appreciated. For the record, this year's tourists were David Boatman, Denis Brown, Bernard Clark, Tony Collett, Peter Fisk, Roger Forster, Anthony Gold, Tony Gomes, Derek Green, John Hann, Ian Hassall, Barry Kingsley, Roger McNaught, Paul Millard, Sean Murphy, Colin Murrant, Hugh Paton, Adrian Richardson, Keith Willey, David Wiseman and Geoff Woollerson - rumour has it that the tour was very much enjoyed by all who took part and that next year a similar tour will go down well.
Tony Collett has kindly assembled a montage of this year's tour as the photos with this article, so many thanks to him for arranging these so well.
Click here to view the montage
Luckily for him, next year Hugh is being assisted by Eric Grant and the tour is now more or less organised with the courses and hotel booked. All that remains to be done is to find 24 fit, non-accident prone SWGC Seniors Golfers willing to tour from 19th to 22nd Sept 2016 and that's it, job done for next year.
Retiring Tour Organiser.
It's been another great week for our newly formed pro shop team out on the course, so here is the latest update from your professional staff's endeavours:
Sarah is currently playing at the WPGA International Challenge final which is a fantastic achievement. If you want to stay up to date with her progress, click here.
Callum has qualified for the national college finals to be held at Close House.
Here is his report:
I didn't have any practice when I arrived at Bawburgh GC because we were running late, so I turned up and went straight to the tee. The weather wasn't good and it was tipping it down with rain for the 20 man field.
I was 3 over through 9 holes, but then started the back nine double bogey 7, bogey 5, then bogey 4. I then got up and down from 100 yards for a par 4, and went on to a birdie 3 on the next after puting a 9 iron from 140 yards away to just 5 foot. I then bogeyed a 150 yard par 3 after not managing to get up and down from the short side. However I then hit it too 6 feet from 100 yards on the next and managed to hole the putt for a birdie 3. Then hit a big drive on the long par 4 18th hole (480 yards) with out of bounds tight on the right hand side. I then hit a 3 iron to 10feet left of the pin and proceeded to hole the putt for a birdie 3 and to make it inside the top 4 coming 2nd, 1 shot behind the leader who shot 76.