Book Your Golf Adventure In Wales This Year

Of course, we would love to give you a warm Welsh welcome at our Glamorganshire Golf Club this summer, the Birthplace of the Stableford scoring system, and one of the oldest golf clubs in Wales.

But why stop there?

2016 is officially the Year of Adventure here in Wales. So you’ve got five more months to book your trip to our famous Welsh courses that play brilliantly all year round.

Have a look at this recent email from Visit Wales:

http://visitwales-news.com/GC7-4DDM3-68KXWTNY3A/cr.aspx.

Croeso i Glwb Golff Sir Morgannwg!

 

 

 

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The Sport of Golf is Dying – And You Are More To Blame Than You Think!

How Our Attitudes as Avid Golfers are Disincentivizing People from Sticking with Golf

An article recently came out in the Wall Street Journal discussing the fact that more people than ever tried golf recently according to their study, and yet golf continues to see a decline. Many articles, opinions, and blogs have been written on this subject already. Most of them point to an archaic game that refuses to change it rules to allow access to more people. Still others state that the high cost of playing golf or taking lessons to properly learn the game are prohibitive for a majority. Those points seem to fly in the face of what the article points out – People are willing and able to give golf a try in spite of these reasons.

 In fact, I’ve yet to see someone decide not to play golf because they can’t wear jeans (in fact I see many, MANY people wearing jeans, to the chagrin of some). Actually, I think the reason many people won’t play, is because of YOU, (and occasionally ME TOO.) Why You ask?

Now before you get all offended or defensive (and I can understand why you would), allow me to explain. I am in a pretty unique position, in that I am one of the few who has become proficient in the game very quickly. I have completed almost 3 full years of golf now, and my handicap has been as low as a 4.8. I’ve broken par, and I play from the tips or near it on most courses. This isn’t to gloat, but it puts me in an interesting situation. I feel and see the plights of the novice, the newcomer on the golf course. At the same time, I can certainly say I belong to the avid golfer crowd. I know what it’s like to be annoyed by people playing their 5 hour rounds, or taking 8 practice strokes with their 3 wood when they have no chance of making the green, and likely they’ll be chunking it 30 yards anyway. I also remember very well, BEING that person. As a tournament golfer, I yearn for the competitiveness and pace of playing with really good golfers in my group, whom I’m competing with fiercely. I also recall the complete humiliation and glares from scoring 10s on holes in my first tournament, only a year and a half ago (I am pretty sure I have PTSD from it).

GOLF IS HARD. A lot of people cite that as the reason people don’t stick with it. And from where I stand, it just isn’t true. When people got into it in droves in previous generations, it was just as difficult, and perhaps even MORE difficult with less forgiving clubs and other technology. As a new golfer, the stress of playing poorly was always compounded heavily by the sensation that ‘that foursome’ behind you was breathing down your neck and hitting into you every hole. It was deepened when we’d play with people who wanted to get their round over with and seemed annoyed to be playing with us. I was fortunate to be mentored by a few golfers, one in particular, (shout out to Jimmy Tennant), who had the patience to play with me and see me through the rough patches of early play. I didn’t know the rules, and even if you read the book, the nuances of etiquette are hidden  ‘assumed knowns’ that a new player feels paralyzed with fear about. “Can I stand here? Can I walk here? Do I mark my ball yet?” were all questions that likely all of us faced at some point, and are very intimidating parts of the game, because most people won’t take the time to explain them to you, you are simply expected to know them.

People who look to enter the golf community don’t do it for you. They do it to have fun. And when we, as avid golfers, complain, act rudely and impatiently, and expecting anyone who sets foot on the golf course to know EVERYTHING about golf including the unwritten, we push them away from what we know to be the most beautiful game in the world. We would all benefit from a flourishing, growing game of golf. Green fees paid mean better conditions on more and better courses. Let’s do our part by remembering the novice in all of us, and cutting him some slack. Someone did it for you- whether it was your father, or your friend. In the mean time, a foursome behind you got stuck watching you practice your swing 6 times before duffing it 30 yards. Likely you walked in someone’s line at some point, out of pure ignorance, and yet someone had the patience and directness to just explain you shouldn’t do it, instead of grumpily murmuring and making you feel like you’d ruined their life.

A more inclusive, more inviting, BETTER golf starts with those who tread the course on the regular. It is incumbent upon US to grow the game, not the PGA of America, not Rory, or Ricky, or Jordan. I challenge you to look at your own habits. Not your pace, but your treatment of those around you who are perhaps looking to become the next avid golfer, and ask yourself whether you are doing your part to encourage them to stick around, or whether you are pushing them out. Instead of high horsed behavior, I challenge you to HELP novice players when you see them. Encourage them, explain to them constructively about the little unwritten rules of etiquette. Tell someone to practice their swing and get their distance while someone else in their foursome hits. Tell them to be ready with the line before it’s their shot at putting. We are the true keepers of our game. If the game of golf is to survive, it will be at our hands. If it is not, we may find we only have ourselves to blame.  

Republished with grateful thanks from LinkedIn post by:

L. Oviedo – Owner, Founder, NoteCaddie Mobile Golf on 4.6.2016

NoteCaddie Mobile Golf is an app concept that gives you access to great golf notes. Take advantage of great notes around the course to give yourself consistency and commitment, without taking yourself away from your golf game. Share those notes with the NoteCaddie community, and you can be connected to great notes on a course even if you’ve never played it before, to get that ‘home course’ edge!

Recent Blog Articles:

6 Ways to Convince Your Wife You Should Be on the Course 8/3/15

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Talking Trash 9/21/15

Golf’s New Superman is just Clark Kent 9/29/15

USGA Changes Rules – Hurts Solo Players 11/13/15

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Make 2016 Your Best Golf Year Ever

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Passing of Finlay Morrison, a True Scottish Gentleman

Finlay Morrison

Right to Left: Finlay Morrison and Alan White, former Chairman of the Scottish PGA

The golf industry, in both Scotland and the rest of the world, recently lost a very fine Scottish gentleman.

Mr. Finlay Morrison served his country with the RAF in the Second World War; he was a stalwart greenskeeper and golf professional at Leuchars, Glamorganshire GC, Elgin, Deeside, Braid Hills and Bruntsfield; he was an accomplished professional golfer who competed in The Open on five occasions and notably finished runner up in the 1956 Welsh Championship; and, in 2009 Finlay was recipient of the inaugural John Panton Lifetime Achievement award to recognize his countless services to the game of golf. To further his list of accomplishments, in the early 1980’s, Finlay also redesigned The Isle of Harris Golf Club, a 9-hole hidden gem links course located in Scarista on the Isle of Harris.

Born in Scalpay, Scotland in 1914, Finlay Morrison reached a personal century (died at age 100) before leaving behind his two children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.

Re-published from Worldwide Golf and Travel September 14, 2015.

This club is famous for: The Stableford scoring system

When he wasn’t happy with his score, this club member invented a whole new points system:
Frank Stableford
Glamorganshire was once the centre of the Industrial Revolution, but all that inventing the modern world pales in comparison to what happened in 1898 at the local golf club when a member decided to invent the scoring system that carries his name today.
“I doubt whether any single man did more to increase the pleasure of the humble club golfer,” said Henry Longhurst.
Dr Frank Barney Gorton Stableford, or ‘Gort’ to his mates, was an excellent golfer, playing off plus one, but he grew frustrated with the bogey system of scoring, whereby the player pitted himself against the bogey (what we now know as the par) for the hole.
In response, Stableford devised the scoring system which carries his name and, as now, the system awarded one point for one over par, two for a par and three for a birdie.
An event was held to try out the system, with Mr W Hastings Watson winning with 42 points and immediately being accused of being a bandit.
Then a little skirmish known as the Boer War happened and Stableford was a called off to serve his country, as surgeon in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and he sort of forgot about the scoring system until thirty years later.
After playing his part in South Africa, Stableford returned to the fairways, first at Royal Porthcawl where he won the Championship in 1907 and then at Wallasey, on the Wirral.
He said: “I was practising on the 2nd fairway at Wallasey one day in the latter part of 1931 when the thought ran through my mind that many players in competitions got very little fun since they tore up their cards after playing only a few holes and I wondered if anything could be done about it.”
The Stableford system was born and suddenly the word “blob” meant your afternoon wasn’t necessarily ruined.
Frank Stableford2
Back at Glamorganshire, the club didn’t rest on its laurels and gained another claim to fame as the spiritual golfing ‘home’ of the famous Barbarians rugby team. This means that some of the best rugby players ever will have enjoyed a booze-fuelled Sunday afternoon on the Glamorganshire fairways.
Baa-Baas
‘You’d think some kind of Easter egg hunt or chase would be better suited for a team of rugby players…’
 
The Baa-Baas, in their famous black and white hoops, would visit Wales each Easter as part of a tour and spent every Easter Sunday between 1901 and 1996 at the Glamorganshire, playing a golf tournament and having a raucous sing-a-long with club members.
Sounds like an absolute hoot.
Republished from National Club Golfer, September 16, 2015.

Junior Ryder Cup News – Day 1 Round-Up Courtesy of Morris News Agency

JUNIOR RYDER CUP NEWS – DAY ONE – FOURBALLS
Junior Ryder Cup - Day 1
 Another first at Glamorganshire, as Team USA complete a white wash on Day one with the scoreboard a sea of Red
EUROPE       USA
      0                 4
As the mist rose on a very Autumnal morning, anticipation was high amongst the gathering crowds to see the Captains’ selection of pairings to battle it out on Day One. Team USA all had their customary Red shirts and all flew the Stars and Stripes flags proudly from their golf bags, a typically brash and intimidating approach from the Americans led by Captain Cam who was excited about the prospect of winning away from home and bringing the trophy back to his Florida mansion on American home soil.
Junior Ryder Cup - Day 1 - USA
In a much more subdued manner, the Europeans turned out in their sky blue with each player wearing a Team Europe pin badge with thoughts of “Seve” and all the European greats that had gone before them. Captain Dan sent his team to the practice area whilst he went around each of the American players to welcome them to this years home venue: The Glamorganshire.
Samuel Ryder would have been so proud to see the impact of his aspirations to bring the two continents together in a respectful way through the power of Golf.
Match One: The opening 4 Ball pairings were juggled around as both Captains were seeking to gain an advantage in the opening match, Captain Cam had put out his favoured pairing of Super Savs and JP, although it hadn’t gone un noticed that USA talisman JP was suffering from some late night exuberations back at his hotel room after the opening ceremony, luckily there was plenty of water on hand to re hydrate the young American party animal.
Captain Dan, in a late move, switched his first pairing to the “in form” Charlie Jones who has proved a bit of a nemesis for JP this season on the USPGA Tour this season and Joe “Mighty” Morris who may not be the longest hitter on tour but his accuracy off the tee and short game should prove to be a good balance to take on the favoured American pairing.
Match Two:
First time European team player, Ralph O`Carroll was partnered with seasoned campaigner Matt George to take on Morgan “the Yank” Crimp and the fiercely competitive Jacob Sweeney. Sweeney with his trademark Umbrella in hand, was prowling around the first tee in anticipation of this mouth watering contest against Europe where he was seeking revenge from last years disappointing results. O`Carroll and George were in relaxed mood chatting to fans and taking in the atmosphere of the Ryder Cup. Some great drives off the shortened first tee and it looked like advantage Europe in match 2 on the first hole although The Yank would have something up his sleeve to silence the home crowd!!
Match 3: The Young Guns of World Golf were on the biggest stage of their golfing careers with both Captains making the decision to blood their young Rookies to get a taste of the event and to settle early nerves.
Some controversy with the Osian being switched from team USA to team Europe at the very last minute, apparently Captain Dan had challenged his residency qualification for USA and discovered a great, great Grandmother from llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!! Playing partner and younger of the George brothers was delighted with the late switch and commented to the press ” With a name like “Osian” how could he possibly be anything but Welsh, i’m proud to have him as my new playing partner”
The American pairing were clearly unsettled by this late controversy and Ryder Cup first timer Ben looked very nervous indeed, however his partner Freddie who comes from a long tradition of family golfers was able to calm him down and calm his nerves before he smashed his drive straight down the middle of the first fairway – Game on!
Match 4: With so many of the experienced Ryder Cup players absent from the Day one squad, it came down to a straight “shoot out” between the two Captains who agreed to play the first and skip the 2nd/3rd and 4th agreeing halves in order to lead the way in the competition and to make sure they finished early to get back out on the course to support their players.
Having watched all his young team drive down the fairway, Captain Cam was under a little pressure to follow suit. However, the pressure of Captaincy was clearly getting to the American and he pulled out an iron to play safe on the first tee, he then proceeded hit his ball no more than 20 yards off the tee into the heavy rough. Seizing the opportunity, lefty Captain Dan took out the big gun and drove it down to within a short pitch of the green but the American recovered well and put the pressure on the European Captain who misjudged the speed of the green and 3 putted to get away with a half – this would prove costly!
With all games underway, starter for the day and Rules Official “Scotty” retired to the clubhouse to rest his brain after trying to calculate all the 3/4 handicap differences in each match  – and he`s an accountant!!
All matches were fiercely battled out and after the earlier and much publicised “gimme” or “no gimme” in the Solheim Cup, respect for the tradition of the great game was restored with all players making sure there were “no gimmies” all day!!!  
The Americans were too strong on Day one, Captain Dan will need a rethink on his pairings before Day 2 Foursomes, a format which has always traditionally suited the European players. This could be the greatest defeat of all time or do the Europeans have it in them to begin an early comeback?

WATCH OUT FOR THE NEXT PRE- FOURSOMES REPORT FROM MORRIS NEWS AGENCY AT THE (GLAMORGANSHIRE GOLF CLUB JUNIOR) RYDER CUP!

THE GLAMORGANSHIRE RESURRECTED

The Welsh Team Championships, one of the most prestigious amateur golf competitions, was first played in 1895 soon after the founding of The Welsh Golfing Union of which The Glamorganshire Golf Club was a founding member. The Glamorganshire were runners up on that occasion and this was repeated in 1897. However, with the influx of top flight golfers, including John Duncan (senior member of a dynasty of an outstanding golfing family) and the legendary Henry Howell (the most prodigious Welsh Amateur Champion of all time) the Club set about dominating the Championships for the first four decades of the Twentieth Century. It won the Championships a record 14 times and was runner up 7 times. To date no other club has approached this level of dominance.

From the outbreak of the Second World War this golfing giant appears to have fallen into a deep sleep until the weekend of the 14th to the 16th August. A call to arms was sounded when the Club was given the honour of hosting the Championships during the 125th Anniversary of it’s founding.

32 teams from all corners of The Principality qualified for the final stages. Few gave The Glamorganshire much chance of making it beyond round1, such had been the relative mediocrity of their first team’s success rate this year.

The course was set up magnificently by Mike Williams and his fellow greens staff. It drew rapturous compliments from players and officials. If azaleas had been growing on the course then, such was it’s pristine state, one might have been excused for believing it was Augusta National.

The first day’s play was delayed for 3 hours due to a deluge of rain. Some teams were unable to conclude their games due to failing light and were obliged to return the following morning to finish them. The Royal Porthcawl team was the only one to suffer as a result. One of their number, a consultant radiologist, had booked himself in for appointments and was unable to play. Fortunately their team won their match against Bargoed but weren’t so fortunate in their following match against Radyr. Royal Porthcawl had called up their reserve to play but his car broke down en route. Without his services Radyr quickly put them to the sword. Porthcawl members have a saying: “There is a right way, a wrong way and a Porthcawl way.” In this case the Porthcawl way was found wanting!

The Glamorganshire had been drawn against Clays from Wrexham in the 1st round. The home team secured a comfortable win. Their 2nd round opponents were local rivals, The Vale of Glamorgan. Into the team came one of the Club’s ancient warhorses, Simon Curle, who had been a mainstay of the first team since being a boy wonder in the 1970’s. As he soon discovered, time stands still for no golfer. A number of low raking hooks persuaded Simon to rest himself for the next round.

It was another old stager of the team, Martin Price, who showed his true worth in this game. He had just celebrated his 50th birthday and had been heavily involved in being South Wales Coast Captain and Chairman of The Glamorgan Golfing Union over the past year. This, apart from filling a few extra teeth to make ends meet, meant that he had little spare time to concentrate on competitive golf. However, he was the captain’s pick for this tournament. Many, including Martin, were surprised at the choice but it proved to be a master stroke.

Martin had been drawn to play one of The Vale’s young guns. He was old enough to be ‘young gun’s’ grandfather and his handicap was 7 strokes worse. Against all the heavy betting placed on his opponent, Martin was 3 holes up at the turn and went on to finish off ‘young gun’ on the 17th. It was a feat that he was to repeat in the next 2 rounds.

The Glamorganshire’s victory over The Vale was a great scalp and propelled the team into the quarter finals. Better was to follow in their next match against one of the major favourites, Neath. Neath were reigning Glamorgan Premier League Champions with an awesome reputation. They could bully opponents in the same way as the brutish Brian Thomas had done for Neath RFC. The confrontation was built up as a total mismatch. Dwarfs versus giants or to put it more starkly, The Bluebirds against The Swans.

Up to inspire his team came ‘Captain Marvel’, Jordan, who was pitted against Neath’s most formidable player. Someone whose golfing prowess was feared by all comers. Jordan stood up to the plate and as David had done to Goliath so ‘Captain Marvel’ slew his opponent with a dazzling exhibition of golf. It was a signal to his teammates behind to follow his lead and they dutifully obliged.

The Glamorganshire had not featured in a semi final since 1988. Another keen local rival, Radyr, were waiting in the wings to take them on. Word got out to The Glamorganshire members that something special was happening and urging them to come and support the boys the following morning. They did so in substantial numbers which added to the drama which was about to unfold. The match was to be nail biting stuff right through to the very last putt.

‘Captain Marvel’ again led from the front and won his game. Pat Welch and Dan ‘Spud’ Reid stumbled in their games to narrow losses, leaving it to the old heads, Brian Rigby and Martin Price, to try and turn the match round. The omens weren’t looking good as they faced going down the 18th. They were both 1 down but miraculously were able to win the hole resulting in a sudden death down extra holes.

Going down the first extra hole, the par 4 1st, Brian hit a storming drive and struck his second shot into the middle of the green. His opponent was on the green in 3. Brian put him out of his misery with a superb 15 foot putt which was accompanied by an outburst of joy from his supporters.

By now the crowds had really built up along the 1st fairway. Martin and his opponent both hit the green in 2 with Martin slightly closer to the hole. The Radyr man just missed his putt and Martin lipped out with his. Both putts were then conceded.

The second extra hole was the tricky par 3 2nd. The hole was positioned in the jaws of 2 bunkers at the front of the green. It was the narrowest part of the green, only some 18 feet across with the green sloping up to the bunkers. Martin struck a lovely shot which came to rest 10 feet short of the pin. His opponent’s ball ended up some 12 feet diagonally above the hole and close to a bunker. The Radyr player failed to take full account of the borrow and his putt sailed by the hole. Although The Glamorganshire members wouldn’t normally wish ill on an opponent, it was clear from the expression on their faces what they were hoping as they watched the progress of that putt.

There was a deathly hush and a great intake of breath by the crowd as Martin stepped up to take his putt. It wasn’t a simple one but there was no major borrow in it’s path and provided it was struck well there shouldn’t be any real problem. Time seemed to stand still and it felt like an eternity before the ball fell into the cup. The crowd immediately erupted, orchestrated by Martin uncharacteristically doing a Woosie whoop and pose. It was accompanied by Martin being engulfed in rapturous embraces by teammates and supporters. You would have thought that the team had just won The Ryder Cup such was the outbreak of unparalleled joy.

The whole occasion had certainly been emotionally draining and the team had little recovery time before facing Parc Golf Club in the final. The Glamorganshire hadn’t reached this stage in the competition for 78 years, over 50 years before their opponent club was founded!

Jordan again led off, followed by Brian, Martin, Pat and Dan. Captain Marvel continued with his very impressive run of form and chalked up his 5th successive victory. Those behind him were clearly feeling the pressure from the magnitude of the occasion. The sheer exhaustion, both physically and mentally, from playing so many rounds of intensely competitive golf was beginning to taken it’s toll. Brian, who had been remarkably steady in previous rounds, found his game falling apart and he lost quite heavily. Martin, who had been up at the turn in his game, tired during the back 9 and eventually fell at the 16th. Pat, who had again been winning at the turn eventually lost 3 holes in a row to lose his game on the 17th and with it the match.

Although not the fairy tale ending The Glamorganshire team and members had been hoping it had been a Herculean effort. To get so far in the tournament had been totally unexpected. Nevertheless, the team had played it’s best and most consistent golf for some considerable time.

There might well have been stronger teams representing the Club since the 1930’s but for sheer tenacity and grit this team takes all the honours and were very worthy finalists. If nothing else it is to be hoped that their outstanding achievements will put The Glamorganshire back at the golfing top table where it belongs and inspire youngsters to emulate the heroes of 2015.

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