Tickets go on sale today across all American Golf stores for the charity Christmas raffle in support of On Course Foundation. With just 20,000 tickets available at £1 a time - and prizes donated by some of golf’s biggest names - chances are they will fly off the shelves. Ticket sales from this raffle are set to help the retailer break previous money raising efforts for its nominated charity, which uses golf to help in the rehabilitation of wounded, sick and injured Servicemen and women.
With a top prize of a golf break, including golf and dinner, at one of the 5 Marriot UK venues, the lucky winner will certainly be beating the January blues. The runners up won’t be disappointed either with prizes up for grabs from Taylormade, Odyssey, PowaKaddy, Cobra and Titleist – a clear indication of the industry-wide support On Course Foundation enjoys for the important role it plays in supporting current and ex Service Personnel.
The charity raffle is just one way in which American Golf and On Course Foundation work together throughout the year as Scott Jefferson, Chief Marketing Officer from American Golf explains, “This year we are on target to raise over £50,000 for On Course Foundation, which is fantastic. This is significantly more than we have raised in the past, but our relationship goes way beyond fundraising. This year our team have delivered insight days for OCF members and members have taken part in work placements, which are an essential part of the support system the charity has in place. We even helped one member break a world record!”
Tickets will be available to buy in store from November 19th until 31st December (or until they sell out) with the draw taking place on Monday January 14th. “We are incredibly grateful to American Golf and its customers whose generosity continues to allow us to achieve our aims. As golfers we all know how much the sport enhances our physical and emotional wellbeing, which is why it has such a significant impact on members’ rehabilitation. £50,000 will go a long way to helping us reaching even more men and women,” comments Alistair McKay Forbes, Managing Director at On Course Foundation.
Full details of the prizes are:
1st 1 night stay for 2 with DBB at a Marriot UK venue including 2 rounds of golf
2nd TaylorMade M4 driver
3rd Odyssey Putter
4th PowaKaddy Cart Bag
5th Cobra Standbag
6th 1 year’s supply of Titleist golf balls
7th-10th 1 box of OC crested Titleist DT TruSoft golf balls
The three winners of Bridgestone’s Chase Your Dream Trophy are reminiscing on the round of a lifetime with Ryder Cup hero Thorbjørn Olesen at the Sky Sports British Masters.
Martin Derrick, Spencer Burlingham and 12-year-old Isabelle Badger won the prestigious competition last month in partnership with England Golf and as the money-can’t-buy headline prize, they were invited to play at the pro-am of the Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath on Wednesday (10th).
The competition, now in its second year, was created by the world’s number one tyre and rubber company with England Golf in an attempt to give something back to the ‘grassroots’ of the sport and to elevate Bridgestone’s range of premium tyre products with thousands of amateur players up and down England.
The trio enjoyed an occasion to savour in front of thousands of spectators at the European Tour event with Dane Olesen – the conqueror of Jordan Spieth in his Ryder Cup single match on Sunday – who was on hand to give his expert advice and tips during the 18 holes.
Olesen said: “It was great to play with Isabelle, Martin and Spencer. I hope they had a memorable day. It is always nice to be able to play with amateurs and help provide an experience like this. They were lovely company and I hope they enjoyed themselves.”
Isabelle said: “I loved every second. I felt more confident than I thought I would. There were lots of people watching and clapping. It’s usually only Dad with me, so this was a bit different.
“I watched Thorbjørn on television last week when he played in the Ryder Cup, so it was crazy to be playing alongside him today. He was such a nice man. All of my friends back at school are really proud of me and have supported me during the different stages to get here, so I can’t wait to see them again and tell them all about it.”
Spencer Burlingham, aged 34 from Saffron Walden, said: “It was just like playing with one of my mates out on the course. Thorbjørn was such a lovely guy. He was such an easy, down-to-earth man and was always helping with yardages and lines to take on the greens.
Martin Derrick, aged 59, from Hove said: “The round flew by. Thorbjørn made it such a magical day and the experience is something that will live with me forever.”
Now in its second year, the Chase Your Dream Trophy has continued to capture the imaginations of thousands of amateur golfers in clubs affiliated to England Golf, just as it did in its inaugural year 12 months ago.
Bridgestone’s North Region Marketing Communications Manager Andy Mathias said: “Isabelle, Spencer and Martin were the stars of the pro-am. Their ball striking and calmness in such an environment really was incredible and to see them laughing and joking with a Ryder Cup star like they’d known him all their lives was a highlight of the day for us. We’re thrilled for them and to see them chasing their dreams with Bridgestone made the whole competition worthwhile – that’s what it is all about for us.”
For more information about Bridgestone and its Chase Your Dream concept, visit www.nomatterwhat.uk.com
With the new World Handicapping System (WHS) to be introduced in 2020, Club Systems International's PSiTouch screen looks set to become a fixture in English clubhouses after the company was awarded ‘preferred partner' status by England Golf.
Club Systems International (CSI) is Europe's leading golf club IT specialist, and, as the governing body of amateur golf in England looks to prepare small clubs for the introduction of WHS, the availability of grants towards a purchase would seem to herald the widespread use of CSI's 10" PSiTouch screen.
The screen allows members to input their own competition and casual scores for handicap calculation purposes, which is a prerequisite for WHS.
Grants of more than £500 are available to smaller clubs, which need to meet at least one of three criteria to qualify for a grant: having fewer than 300 members, an annual revenue of less than £250,000, or employing fewer than three full-time staff. Clubs meeting the required criteria will qualify for a grant totalling 25, 50, or 75 per cent of the normal PSiTouch price of £695 (+vat).
CSI, which owns and administrates Europe's largest online golfing community, HowDidiDo, is actively helping clubs prepare for the introduction of WHS and recently attended each of more than 40 England Golf workshops for club administrators and committee members.
Richard Peabody, CSI's managing director said: "We are delighted to be working so closely with England Golf on this initiative. Giving something back and helping to grow and progress the game, is very much at the heart of CSI's philosophy.
"Our financial support of World Handicapping in England will help smaller clubs introduce this cutting-edge technology, in line with their larger counterparts. To be awarded ‘Preferred Partner' status confirms England Golf's endorsement of our products and services. It is a huge honour for all 50-plus staff at CSI, and recognises our long-term commitment to the golf industry."
Gemma Hunter, England Golf's handicap and course rating manager, added: "This partnership brings us the opportunity to give back to clubs and make a positive contribution to the costs of introducing the WHS.
"A major part of the WHS will involve players inputting their own scores and these grants will be of great benefit to clubs which are struggling to afford a touch screen. The screens will also benefit club administrators who will save time by not having to manually input scores or manage supplementary scores."
CSI is currently engaged in a series of 16 roadshow events, with officials demonstrating its new technologies and updates - including the 10" inch PSiTouch - to club officials and administrators. The roadshows run until November 14.
Club Systems International Ltd has been designing, building and supporting IT systems for golf clubs since 1982. Now, with nearly 2,000 golf clubs in the UK and Ireland - along with customers as far afield as Dubai, Ghana and Sri Lanka - CSI has grown to lead the UK and Ireland golf club market.
To apply for a grant, clubs should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
www.clubsystems.com | www.englandgolf.org
A teenage golfer from Brentwood is the envy of his friends after securing a place in the Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) grand final and a visit to next year's US Masters.
James Jensen, 17, took part in the popular competition on the seventh hole on Vale do Lobo's Royal course in the Algarve, and he aced the 138-yard hole with a pitching wedge.
And his success earned him a trip to the USA, next April, where he will compete in a shootout for $1m and take in a day's play at the 2019 US Masters.
Jensen said: "I couldn't believe it when it happened - I've never been this lucky before. I have been to the USA once before - we went to Florida when I was a bit younger.
"I'm excited about making the trip and hoping we can stop off in New York and Florida as well … although I haven't decided who to take with me yet," he smiled.
Although not a member, Jensen, a student, plays regularly at Brentwood Golf Club. He will participate in the grand final in Augusta during the Masters weekend, in April 2019.
MDHIO's popular par-three challenge allows competitors to win a selection of golf-related prizes: from balls to pitch-mark repairers for landing on the green, while a hole-in-one at one of the 40 associated courses across Europe earns the chance to shoot for a $1m jackpot.
MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in the USA and since 2000 in Europe, has steadily grown in popularity with more than 50,000 people each year trying their luck at the various par-three holes at courses across Portugal, mainland Spain, Mallorca and the UK. More than 50 golfers have achieved their ace while playing MDHIO in Europe, while more than twice that number missed out by not entering and, subsequently, acing the hole.
To discover where MDHIO can be played visit www.mdhio.net/golf-courses.
Santiago Luna stayed in control throughout the final round as he marched to victory at the Farmfoods European Senior Masters.
The Spaniard began the day in a share of the lead alongside Englishman Peter T Wilson, but he almost immediately pulled away from the pack.
Thanks to birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh holes, Luna built a three-stroke advantage that he maintained almost all the way around the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club.
No tournament is without its theatrics however, and when the 55 year old made bogey on the par four 16th hole, his lead was suddenly reduced to one when Ian Woosnam, birdied the par five 17th.
The Madrid native immediately responded to his blunder with a birdie on the next, which restored his cushion and allowed him to play the final hole in relative comfort.
“This week was fantastic,” he said. “I have a good relationship with the golf course. I hit it fantastic and I had a good feeling on the greens and that was really important because the greens were unbelievable. They were really fast but really nice, the golf course was unbelievable and I played really well. I kept a good attitude and everything was with me.”
The win is Luna’s fourth of his Staysure Tour career, his first of 2018 and moves him up to 14th on the Order of Merit, which he was quick to point out is becoming more competitive by the day.
“Every year it is becoming more difficult out here,” he said. “I’m really happy, I have four wins at the moment and I’m happy with that and I know it’s going to be more difficult every year because this generation is the one I played with on the European Tour for many years and they are great players.”
The triumph was extra-special for Luna whose wife, Mamen Luna, was by his side all week, and on hand to watch him strike the winning putt.
“I’ll tell you one thing for sure,” he said. “I’m more happy for her than for me, honestly. It’s a tournament, it’s a great tournament, I played fantastic and I’m really happy, but I’m really more happy for her than for me, honestly.”
The two nearly-men, Austrian Markus Brier and Wilson, both recorded their best results of the season by finishing in a tie for second place on eight under par.
The 1993 Ryder Cup teammates Ian Woosnam and tournament host Peter Baker, who celebrated his 51st birthday today, each took a share of fourth place on seven under par.
The Staysure Tour now heads to France for the Paris Legends Championship at Racing Club de France La Boulie as the International Schedule marches on from October 11-13 in Paris.
Santiago Luna and Peter T Wilson battled the elements on a difficult day for scoring and will take a share of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters lead into the final round.
The overnight rain continued throughout the morning delaying the second round. A 1:15 pm shotgun start was scheduled following monumental effort from the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club grounds crew to prepare the course for play.
The rain, wind and single digit temperatures ensured that the players faced a brutal encounter with only five players carding under par rounds. One player who made the most of his chances was Santiago Luna.
“It was a hard day, it was a different golf course today with a different wind,” Luna said. “It was wet, and it was cold, especially for someone from Spain, so I’m really happy.”
The Spaniard held sole possession of the lead and was piecing together the round of the day before two late blemishes dropped him down towards the field.
“I missed a few greens, but I was really good out of the bunkers,” he said. “I made a lot of up and downs from the sand, which was really good because it gave me a lot of confidence, and I was really good with the putter. I finished with two three-putts on nine and ten, but it’s okay, I’m really happy because it was a tough day — I’ll sign for that score on a day like this.”
Wilson kept up the pace with the best round of the day signing for a 69. The two men now hold a slender advantage over the overnight leader, Markus Brier. Two shots behind Brier are Ian Woosnam, Barry Lane and Jarmo Sandelin who will aim to overturn the leaders three shot over them.
It is all well placed to be another eventful finish at the Forest of Arden.
As the Ryder Cup showdown between Europe and the U.S.A. captures the sporting headlines for Team Europe’s emphatic win inside the ropes at Le Golf National, Paris, the success of the event for fans and sponsors outside the ropes has been hailed as unprecedented by organisers.
U.K. fan experience specialists Provision Events (PVE) were selected to design and deliver four of the experiences that entertained fans across Paris, the biggest of which was the French Golf Federation’s (FFG) fan zone outside the Hotel de Ville in the city centre. Managing Director of Communication, Media, Marketing and Partnerships at the French Golf Federation (FFG) Olivier Denis Masse said, “When we first bid to host the Ryder cup 8 years ago a fan zone was an important part of the global project. Provision Events have brought a great deal of international experience to the delivery of the fan zone, which was officially inaugurated by the Deputy Mayor last week. The Sports Minister also came to visit the village and congratulated the French Golf Federation for the quality of the facilities. She even took her first ever golf lesson here! The number and variety of people coming to the experience is incredible. Around 35,000 people have been to the fan zone, trying golf often for the first time and taking lessons with the Professionals on site.”
Inside the ropes fans got a real taste of the action as PVE immersed golf fans in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Ryder Cup first tee in the event fan village. On behalf of Aberdeen Asset Investments, PVE teamed up with digital sports agency Seven League (7L) to bring the drama of the first tee to life when they took fans into a mock-up locker room to be inspired by video messages from Ryder Cup stars past and present. Next, in groups of 20, fans went through to the first tee tent to become the crowd as each fan took their turn to tee it up for Team Europe or Team USA. There, they were fitted with heart-rate monitors, a concept conceived and delivered by 7L, to visualise the high-pressure environment that the players and caddies went through themselves on the actual first tee. With video, audio, real life crowd and the quickening beat of their own heart ramping up the pressure, putting points on the board tested every golfer’s nerves and left them happy to merge back into the crowd to put the pressure on the next fan to tee it up.
Nick Clemens, Founder & Managing Partner, Provision Events was delighted with his team’s work at the Ryder Cup and couldn’t speak highly enough of the stakeholder’s commitment to delivering an engaging fan experience. He said, “The Ryder Cup is arguably the #1 golf event in the world so for our designs and delivery to be at the heart of so many golf fan’s experiences of the event makes me very proud. But we couldn’t do any of that without the stakeholders investing in the event. The Ryder Cup, the European Tour, Aberdeen Standard Investments, the French Golf Federation and many others have all contributed to making the Ryder Cup an event that every golf fan wants to attend and every media outlet wants to talk about.”
Clemens concluded, “The Ryder Cup is setting the bar when it comes to world golf and arguably world sporting events. The experiences we’ve been part of here are helping to push that bar even higher and having provided the presence at this Cup for the next two Ryder Cup hosts, PGA of America and the Italian Golf Federation, the Ryder Cup is set to continue to deliver for fans and stakeholders alike.”
With a few days to go until this year’s Farmfoods European Senior Masters gets underway, the full list of professionals has now been announced for the Staysure Tour event which takes place at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club.
One man who will be hoping to reclaim his title and take home the €50,000 prize that comes with it, is former European Tour winner, Stephen Dodd. The Welshman was victorious in last year’s inaugural event and will be joined on the course by a whole host of stars.
This includes legendary Australian player, Peter Fowler. The former European Tour winner has six Staysure Tour victories to his name, including this year’s Willow Senior Golf Classic. Another professional who has one Staysure Tour victory to his name is Phillip Golding who has four wins on the Tour in total.
Spaniard, Miguel Angel Martin, has won three European Tour events in his career but is still seeking for his first Staysure Tour win. He will hope it will come at the Forest of Arden and Andre Bossert will also be looking to add to his one Staysure Tour win.
Carl Mason holds the record for most victories on the Staysure Tour with 25, and is also the event’s leading money winner, he will be looking to add to his tally at the Farmfoods European Senior Masters. Gary Wolstenholme MBE is a regular on the Staysure Tour circuit and has won three times on the Staysure Tour in his career. Magnus P Atlevi won last month’s European Tour Properties Senior Classic and will be hoping to bring his good form to the event.
Joining this stellar list of professionals at the event are 14 former Ryder Cup stars including: 1991 Masters winner, Ian Woosnam OBE, European Tour winner Barry Lane, five time European Tour winner Jarmo Sandelin, French stars Thomas Levet and Jean van de Velde, legendary Italian player, Costantino Rocca, as well as Phillip Price, Gordon J Brand, Gordon Brand Jnr, David Gilford, Des Smyth, Eamon Darcy, Phillip Walton and event host Peter Baker.
Peter also discussed his delight at seeing such a fantastic list of players coming on board for this year’s event. He said: “Last year’s Farmfoods European Senior Masters was a huge success and that was largely down to the amount of golfing stars we had take part. This year looks set to be even better and I cannot wait to see everyone in action.”
Additionally, for the full list of professionals who will be participating in this year’s Farmfoods European Senior Masters, click here
As well as headline sponsor Farmfoods, and event organisers Champions (UK) plc, other partners include: Total Motion, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Marriott, Staysure Tour, Liberty Industries Group, Maxi Low, Bentley Leicester, Lamborghini Leicester, the Lord’s Taverners and Birmingham Post.
You can still get your FREE tickets for the event by visiting:
The heated debate as to why the Europeans won the Ryder Cup is in full swing. Was it the Captain's picks, poor decisions or the course itself? That debate will continue.
However, some believe that it this video provided the European team with the motivation that they needed. Thomas Bjorn showed his payers and caddies this the night before the Ryder Cup kicked off.
This is what the Ryder Cup means to Europe.