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In The Bunker With Mick The Grip

NOTHING WAS GOING to make these chaps at Beacon Rock golf course near Portland, Oregon call off their round. (see main image)

THE BRITISH ARMY in the 19th century needed a base, and after a survey the sleepy village of Aldershot Heath in Hampshire was selected.  It soon became a large military town.  In 1883 the Royal Aldershot Officers golf club was formed, prospective members were instructed to contact Lt. Colonel Sartorious, VC.  One of it’s distinguished members was Freddie Tait, a noted amateur who finished 3rd in the Open twice and won the Amateur in 1896 and 1898, before being killed in the Boer war.    Being a military base, one of the competitions played against the course was christened a Colonel Bogey, which gave rise to the name.

Another famous army course is one of my personal favourites; Tidworth Garrison, overlooking Salisbury Plain.  Originally constructed in 1908 by soldiers and locals as a 9-hole course it was re-designed as an 18-hole course by Harry Colt after the first World War, the work being carried out by German P.O.W.’s.

Sadly, both courses have now mostly lost their link with the military.  We would have known where to get hold of our much-reduced army in an emergency if it was playing in a foursomes at Aldershot.

TEAM CAPTAIN ALBERT MACKENZIE said after Great Britain and Ireland won the PGA Cup:  “It was a team effort, there was no individual glory here.”   After winning the foursomes, America’s hopes of taking home the LLandudno Trophy vanished in the singles as the tournament became a 7.5-2.5 rout.   Great result against our old rivals, but to paraphrase Basil Fawlty: “Don’t mention the Walker Cup!”

SOUTH AFRICAN HOME FAVOURITE Brandon Stone claimed his 2nd European Tour title with a 7 shot victory at Leopard Creek Country Club in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.   Leopard Creek, on the border of Kruger National Park, is set in spectacular surroundings.  Although the course is fenced off so elephants and larger animals can’t come through, Darren Clarke did circumnavigate a leopard in a tree as he drove back to his lodge.

Snakes are another hazard, rarely seen on the course during the day, although maintenance director Derek Muggeridge did have one close call.  “I was driving along the cart path with my foot hanging out of the golf cart when I felt something on my leg,” he recalled,  “I looked down and saw that I had hooked onto a Black Mamba and it was hanging on my foot.  I swerved and fortunately it fell off and was left spinning on the path!”

THE 2017 PRESIDENTS CUP (USA vs Rest of the World) is taking place in New Jersey.  America has won 9 of the 11 previous biennial matches, so in similar vein to England vs Germany soccer matches there will probably be a close fought battle between the two teams, then America will take home the trophy.

THE SITE OF THE ITALIAN OPEN on 12th October has been moved for the second time.  The prestigious European Tour event will now be held at the Golf Club Milano in Monza, once the royal hunting park of the king of Italy.  In January, the site was switched from the Olgiata club in Rome to the Royal Park I Roveri club outside Turin.  However, Turin, like Rome, failed to come up with the necessary funding.  If Milano can’t stump up the cash for the tournament it will probably be held on waste ground behind the Naples Industrial Estate.

THE SERGIO GARCIA FOUNDATION is hosting the third Andalucia  Masters at Real Club Valderrama from October 19-21st,  the last European Tour stop in Europe before it heads to China, Turkey, South Africa and Dubai.  Sergio, 2nd in the Dubai Rankings, will be defending his 2011 title, but Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm currently 1st and 3rd  will be snorting and pawing the ground behind him.

THE PILOT of Ricky Fowler’s private jet attempting to put down in hurricane-force winds in Hawaii:  “We will shortly be landing at Oahu airport, or near it anyway!”

Until next time – Happy Golfing.

Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs.  638 859 475.

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20 years ago – Ryder Cup glory at Valderrama

  • Olazábal: “Seve brought to the team the passion he put in everything he did. He expected as much from us as he expected from himself.”
  • “I got emotional when I was asked how I felt at the final press conference. I recalled my recent tough times and I broke down.”

Twenty years ago, the 28th of September 1997 was a milestone in Valderrama history as Seve Ballesteros led Europe to a 14½ – 13½ victory in his home country when golf’s greatest team event was staged in Continental Europe for the first time. That week, the southern Spanish venue hit the headlines worldwide by hosting the world’s third biggest sports event after the Olympics and the World Cup.

28 Sep 1997: European team members Ignacio Garrido, captain Seve Ballesteros, his assistant Miguel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal celebrate with the trophy after victory over the USA in the Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup at the Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande in Spain. Mandatory Credit: David Cannon /Allsport

The 32nd Ryder Cup was very special for José María Olazábal. “I have many great memories of that week at Valderrama. To begin with, the beautiful inauguration ceremony, and then the dowpour that fell in the early hours of Friday. According to local statistics it hadn’t rained that week for more than forty years, but that deluge made up for those and for the next forty! 

“It was a very special Ryder Cup for me. After sharing so many with Seve as partners, having him as Captain was a very different feel. Seve was on top of every detail, he expected as much from us as he expected from himself. This made some players a bit uncomfortable, but I believe he did very well. We were close friends and we got on wonderfully.

“He had analysed every aspect of our opponents’ game and he prepared the course so we all had the same opportunities. With the help of Miguel, his right hand, he got the pairings completely right. He brought to the team the passion he put in everything he did – he was a great Captain.

“I clearly remember my Saturday morning four-ball with Nacho Garrido. The key moment was on 17 when we were really struggling against Phil Mickelson and Tom Lehman. Nacho’s second was bunkered past the green while Phil had hit a superb shot to six feet. Nacho’s bunker shot was amazing; the best bunker specialist couldn’t have done it in a hundred tries. He made his putt and Phil missed, so we halved that hole and eventually halved the match. It was an incredible moment.

“I got emotional at the final press conference when they asked me how I felt not having made it to the ’95 Ryder Cup; I recalled the tough times between ’95 and the first part of ’97 and I broke down; I was unable to talk for a while. To be there again on the winning team representing Europe, representing Spain, with Seve as Captain, meant the world to me.”

Olazábal (Hondarribia, Guipúzcoa 5/2/1966) has played several events on the European and Champions Tours this season. The winner of 35 international titles – including two green jackets in 1994 and 1999 – seven-times Ryder Cup player and victorious Captain in 2012, member of the Hall of Fame since 2009, will tee it up at the Andalucía Valderrama Masters from October 19-22, although he admits not being at his best driving form “I am struggling to hit fairways, so I expect to visit all the cork trees again”, he adds with a grin.

Valderrama holds many good memories for the Spanish champion. “My best result was third at the 1989 Volvo Masters won by Ronan Rafferty. Without being long, Valderrama is one of the most demanding courses in the world; technical and narrow with small greens. You must keep perfectly focused from the first tee shot to the last putt. I know no other course that doesn’t allow for a moment of relaxation in 18 holes. It’s a great golf course and always in top condition.”

Images above credited to Getty Images and RC Valderrama

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The Plaza Golf Society – Royal British Legion Donations 2017

On Sunday 24th September The Plaza Golf Society Members donated 200 euros to The Royal British Legion. 

Our game at Roda on 3rd November 2017 has been designated ‘Poppy Day’, profits for the day going to The Royal British Legion.

You can put your name down for this event on our website Guests welcome, non golfers why not join us after at The Ale House, Villamartin Square.

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Andalusia ─ a classic stop on the European Tour

  • 59 international events held in Andalusian golf courses since 1966.
  • Around half a million golf tourists visit Andalusia every year.

The staging of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation, from October 19-22, will mark the 59th international golf tournament played in Andalusia, most of them at the Real Club Valderrama. The southern Spanish region has thus become a classic stop on the European Tour, having held more events than any other in continental Europe.

Since 1966, Andalusian courses have hosted 59 elite professional tournaments, including 21 Volvo Masters, 11 Open de Andalucía, 11 Open de España, three Volvo World Match Play Championships, three editions of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, three World Cups, two World Golf Championships and the 1997 Ryder Cup.

Many of the world’s best – Major winners, Ryder Cup heroes – have competed in Andalusia: Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Phil Mickelson, Roberto de Vicenzo, Vijay Singh, Graeme McDowell, José María Olazábal, Bernhard Langer, Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Sergio García, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Sandy Lyle, Darren Clarke, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Ernie Els or Davis Love III.

The majority and most prominent of these events have been hosted by the Real Club Valderrama. The flagship of Andalusian golf will gather the fans once again next month for the third edition of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, where Sergio García and Jon Rahm have already confirmed their attendance. 

Andalusia is a well-established golf destination and the leading Spanish region in golf facilities, boasting 114 courses. In fact, the Costa del Sol has the largest concentration of golf facilities in continental Europe. A flourishing industry has developed around golf in order to welcome the increasing number of visitors attracted to this area. 480,000 arrivals of golf tourists were recorded in southern Spain in 2015.

According to data provided by the Regional Government of Andalusia, the golf industry generates an estimated yearly income of 730 million euro for this region. The importance of this market is highlighted by the fact that golf tourists spend on average 129.68 euro per day, while general tourists spend 62.84. In addition, golfers tend to stay longer – their average length of stay is 11.4 days, as opposed to 8.7 for general tourists.

In words of Francisco Javier Fernández, Regional Minister for Tourism and Sports, “Andalusia is an international benchmark for tourism, but also for sports and particularly for golf. Our region is the best choice in Europe for playing golf all year round. Because of its climate, its numerous courses and its rich complementary offer, Andalusia is a privileged venue for top-class sports events.”

Tickets for the Andalucía Valderrama Masters are available at:




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Team Willcock win the team accumulator

On the 22nd September Monto Golf Society played a stableford team accumulator at Oliva Nova, kindly sponsored by Tom Atkinson and Ian Bonsor. The course has recovered remarkably from the autumn maintenance however some patching of the 3rd green meant we had one temporary pin, although when you see the quality of workmanship where other greens have been repaired it is an acceptable hardship.

The summer heat however is continuing deep in to September and the local mosquito’s continue to consider golfers as breakfast, making early morning starts extremely irritating.

Today’s competition was a stableford team accumulator played in groups of four, where the best two scores counted on par fives, the best three scores on par fours, and all four scores counted on par three’s.

This gives you a par team score of 108 points, however despite perfect golfing conditions only one team managed to break this figure. In first place, with a score of 110 points, were the team of Geoff Willcock, John Feek, Richard Fox, and Tom Atkinson, pushing the 107 points of Michel Grin, Neil Cuming, Graham Borley, and Bob Marsden in to second place. Nearest the pin on the 3rd went to Ed Wallace, and on the 16th Richard Fox, whilst the only two 2’s on the day were achieved by Ed Wallace.

Our next two games on the 29th September and the 6th October form a 36 hole medal competition for the MGS Decanter, sponsored by Neil and Marian Carter. Guests are welcome, subject to availability and a current handicap certificate, and should register by visiting the website at and completing an online booking form

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Eurogolf Better Ball Pairs

On Thursday 21st September 60 players took part in a better ball pairs competition. There were some good pairings and some high scores were recorded but the overall winners with a magnificent score of 48 were Keith Wright and Colin Hobden  2nd Debbie Weedon and Kevin Bonser 46 3rd John Barraclough and Vince Tocker 45 c/b  NTPs  5th Colin Hobden 11th Mark O´ Williams 12th in 2 Martin Welsh 15th Pino Perito 17th Colin Willis  Football Bev Fairhurst Stan Low David Gregson Robin Richards and Paul Manning.


On Tuesday 19th September 80 players took part in the weekly Toffs stableford competition.. Weather conditions were perfect and some great scores were produced. Cat 1 (0-15) 1stJohn Barraclough 41 2nd David Gregson 37 3rd Arty Crammon 35  Cat 2 (16-20) 1st Clive Horne 40  2nd David Blanchette 38 c/b 3rd Gary Grierson 38 Cat 3 (21-24) 1st Debbie Weedon 36 2nd Colin Hobden 34 c/b 3rd Tony Stanley 34 Cat 4 (25+) 1st Mike Gillett 38 2nd Claire Daye-Gretton 32 3rd Kevin Bonser 31 Overall Toffs winner John Barraclough  Best front 9 Jan Shorley 19 Best back 9 Morag Turner 20  NTPs 5th David Gregson 11th Colin Willis 12th in 2 Gary Grierson 15th Colin Daye-Gretton 17th John Barraclough Best guest 1st S. Cotgrove 33 2nd T. Cotgrove 32  Football Ken Brett Dave Nicholls Mary Sanderson Felix Mallon and Fred Reeve.

If you would like to play at La Marquesa Tuesdays and Thursdays with one of the biggest societies on the Costa Blanca please visit the website


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San Javier Golf Society “Pairs Better Ball ” competition

Aguilon, on Monday 20th September:

Aguilon is a beautiful course with the most superb views of any of the courses we play, in most people’s opinion.

We had perfect weather but only a small turnout, probably due to the hour and 20 minutes drive to get there. The scoring wasn’t very high, even though the course has a negative slope and most people find it quite tricky, despite the relative shortness.

The winners on the day were: First was Mick Hardy and David Archer with 41 points, Second – Paul Hamlin and Bob Gallard with 38. Nearest the pins were won by David Archer, Paul Matthews, and Mick Hardy.

The gross 2 (for 50 euros) was not won and will be held over to the next game.  We have a Team “Joker” Competition at La Serena, teeing off at 11:04am on Monday 2nd October. Full details will be emailed to all members.

Payday will be on Saturday 30th September, between 11am and 12 in the bar area at La Serena Golf Clubhouse, Los Alcázares.

For further information on our society, to play as a guest, or to join, please phone Barry Beale on +34 649 245 889 or look at our website at and Facebook page at

Attached is a photo of the winners: Mick Hardy and David Archer.

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San Miguel Golf Society at Alenda. September 20th, 2017.

Perfect weather and a shortened course in good condition met 32 members and 2 guests taking part in SMGS’s weekly get-together for a stableford competition at Alenda. Several excellent scores were returned, with 40 points for both Norman Padmore and John Osborne (who made hay on the nearest the pins, taking what may be for SMGS an unprecedented 3 out of the 4 on offer), Steve Higgins with 39 and Paul Guest, Keith Stevenson and Keith Wraithmell 38. Steve Higgins excellent play also helped him record a notable victory in the final of this year’s singles match play competition, overcoming rival Jamie Rorison for the trophy.

The day’s stableford competition results, by category and in reverse order, were the following:

Bronze Category: 3rd Keith Stevenson (38 on CB), 2nd Keith Wraithmell (38 on CB), and 1st Norman Padmore with 40 points.

Silver Category: 3rd Roger Webb (36 on CB), 2nd Ray Smithers (36 on CB), and 1st Norman Cahill with 37 points.

Gold Category: 3rd Paul Guest (38), 2nd Steve Higgins (39), and 1st John Osborne with 40 points.

Nearest the pins on the par 3’s (open to all) went to John Osborne (holes 3, 5 and 16), and Steve Higgins (12).

The Abacus was won by Paul Fisher.

The Best Guest prize went to Chris Farlow with 32 points.

Our thanks go to the staff at Alenda for their contribution to an enjoyable day.

Keep up to date with all SMGS matters by logging on to our website or simply give Theo Boelhouwer a call on 694494824 to find out more about the society and its weekly golf get-togethers. Next week we will be at Las Colinas for Captain’s Day.

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Orba Warblers results from Alenda Sept. 13 – Pairs Competition

A superb day out for 30 Orba Warblers at Alenda. 15 pairs formed for the Pairs Competition and although work was being undertaken throughout the course, the conditions were ideal. 

The winners : 1st place – winning on c/b was Howard Carter ( Hcap.20.4 ) and Fred Cooley  ( Hcap. 11.4 ) with 45 pts. In, also with 45pts. was Glyn Walters ( Hcap.25.9 ) and David Reynolds. 3rd. place went to Nick Berry ( Hcap. 25 ) and steady John Daniels ( Hcap. 17.3 ) with 43pts.

We had 4 guests, Alan Turpin, David Reynolds, Alan Greenwood and Nittan Pancholi.

2 NTP’s -on  Hole 5 Glyn Braidley and Hole 16 Andy Loeber.

Three 2’s were recorded on Hole 5 – Glyn Braidley, Nick Berry and Fred Cooley

The Football Card went to David Knight with Crewe.

Next week September 27 will be a Greensome Competition at Bonalba. First Tee 9:44am so please arrive by 9:00am for registration. Guests are welcome subject to space availability and Current Handicap certificate. To book, please contact Mike Taylor on or phone 639242896.

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La Marina Golf Society – The Masters Trophy

On a baking hot day we met at Bonalba to compete for the La Marina Masters Trophy. In general, scores reflected the oppressive conditions, although the Scottish contingent seem to revel in the high temperatures. Despite  this two of the first three places went to Sassenachs with  Barry Thorogood finishing in third place with a creditable 33 points ,just behind Bill Stobo’ s 34 points.  La marina master for 2017, however, was serial winner Gerry McCabe with 37 points, ultimately heading for his eighth handicap cut of 2017.

All other prizes went north of the border, with Graeme Buchanan taking two ntp’s and the 2’s pot and Alan Craig the other two ntp’s.

Our next meeting is at Vistabella on 28th September 0927 first tee at a cost of 35 euros. We shall be playing for the Mike Barbour memorial trophy with a Texas Scramble format. List is on the board or contact Alan on

Our next social event is a quiz night at the la marina sports centre on Tuesday 10th October at a cost of 8 euros to include a choice of cottage pie or fish and chips. Contact Elspeth on to book your table.

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