Season Nine Final, 5-8 November 2012
Season 9 Final - Our Final Thoughts
So as we sit in our office with the rain coming down outside, it's a pleasure to sit back and remember the amazing week we had in Miami. From the moment our finalists touched down at MIA all the way through to the farewells three days later, the atmosphere and camaraderie made this our best final yet. It's been an honour running this event this year, and an absolute pleasure to watch new friendships formed and old friendships strengthened. We all meet once a year to compete in a final, and the will to win is immense. But as anyone who was there last week would tell you, it's definitely not all about the winning and it's not just about the golf, although we played 2 immense courses.
There will be many memories for all us including the emotions seen on the course every day as players experienced the pressure of team golf for the first time. Other memories included the excitement of the Neon Golf, a first for many, the relaxed beach club BBQ, the stunning surroundings of Soho Beach House on South Beach and who will forget the thrill of the speedboat as we flew past South Beach at breathtaking speeds and got a wave from the US coastguard helicopter.
Everyone will have their one abiding memory. For us it was after the presentation on the final day when the players signed each other's commemorative golfbidder pin flags and we realised just how many friendships Swingers has created down the years.
Thank you also to our fantastic sponsors both at the final - Glenmuir, Srixon, Golfbidder, Level 4 and Golf News, and also throughout the season as well - Cleveland Golf, Sunderland, Avis, Bushnell Golf, Serengeti, Marriott, Stewart Golf.
Now we are back, thoughts are turning to S10, our 10th anniverary. We hope to launch early January, which means lots of preparation between now and then. Keep a look out for news here on the Swingers site and via twitter. Don't forget to continue to use our discussion board and submit course reviews over the close season, as well as nominate for our Swingers 'Good for Golf' award.
Season 9 Final Day Four
Cool and breezy conditions greeted our finalists this morning for the final day singles matches on the spectacular Soffer Course. It always looked like being an extremely tense final day with both teams very evenly matched over the opening foursome and fourball matches. However, Team Europe got off to a flying start claiming the first two matches with victories by Captain Hugh O'Connor and Season 9 rookie Paul Swatkins over the ROW big guns, Andrew Lyth and Janus Horn respectively. Other victories for Europe came from Martin Derrick, Peter Parker, Janet Melville, Alan Horn and Mark Crossan before Joan Heeter, Doug Douglass, PK Dhawaan and Steve Du Preez secured valuable points for the ROW. It was all to be in vain though as Brian Joy secured a half point for Europe in a tough battle with ROW captain, Kribs Govender, on a dramatic 18th hole to close out what in the end looked a comfortable victory for Team Europe by 14 points to 10.
A big thank you to everyone who took part in yet another memorable final filled with great camaraderie and sportsmanship. We hope to see you all back again soon for Season 10!
Day 4 - Single Results:
Lyth (ROW) v O'Connor (EUR) - EUROPE WON 4&3
Horn J (ROW) v Swatkins (EUR) - EUROPE WON 6&4
Heeter (ROW) v Woods (EUR) - ROW WON 5&3
Govender (ROW) v Joy (EUR) - MATCH HALVED
Douglass D (ROW) v Hayes (EUR) - ROW WON 6&5
Douglass S (ROW) v Parker (EUR) - EUROPE WON 3&2
Sugden (ROW) v Melville (EUR) - EUROPE WON 8&7
Green (ROW) v Horn A (EUR) - EUROPE WON 6&4
Dhawaan (ROW) v Eustace-Pedlar (EUR) - ROW WON 3&2
Cattran (ROW) v Derrick (EUR) - EUROPE WON 8&7
Du Preez (ROW) v Scambler (EUR) - ROW WON 1UP
James (ROW) v Crossan (EUR) - EUROPE WON 7&6
ROW 4.5 points, Europe 7.5 points
OVERALL MATCH RESULT - ROW 10, EUROPE 14
Season 9 Final Day Three
Today the final moved to the Soffer Course, but one thing didn't change and that was the quality of golf. The first points on the board went to Europe's Janet Melville and Paul Swatkins who beat Joan Heeter and Sandy Douglass 2&1. Hugh O'Connor and Martin Derrick crushed Kribs Govender and Ken Sugden 9&8, whilst there was another big win when Andrew Lyth and Janus Horn beat Brian Joy and Keith Eustace-Pedlar 8&7 to give ROW their first point of the day. Steve Du Preez held a great putt on 17 to close out the match for him and Leslie Green with a 2&1 ROW win over Alan Horn and Martin Hayes. Robert Scambler and Peter Parker of Europe beat Chris Cattran and Nick James 3&2, before ROW's PK Dhawaan and Doug Douglass beat Mark Crossan and Dave Woods 5&4.
All this leaves the match position at ROW 5.5 EUROPE 6.5 with singles to come tomorrow.
After golf we took a speedboat down the inter-coastal waterways to South Beach where we played on the Atlantic Ocean before visiting the stars' homes on Star Island and watching the sunset over the Miami skyline. We then went to Soho Beach House for dinner in the penthouse suite. It was there that the final team meetings were held and the final day's pairings were confirmed as:
Lyth (ROW) v O'Connor (EUR)
Horn J (ROW) v Swatkins (EUR)
Heeter (ROW) v Woods (EUR)
Govender (ROW) v Joy (EUR)
Douglass D (ROW) v Hayes (EUR)
Douglass S (ROW) v Parker (EUR)
Sugden (ROW) v Melville (EUR)
Green (ROW) v Horn A (EUR)
Dhawaan (ROW) v Eustace-Pedlar (EUR)
Cattran (ROW) v Derrick (EUR)
Du Preez (ROW) v Scambler (EUR)
James (ROW) v Crossan (EUR)
Summary of results for Day Two Fourballs:
Melville/Swatkins (EUR) bt Heeter/Douglass S (ROW) 2&1
O'Connor/Derrick (EUR) bt Govender/Sugden (ROW) 9&8
Lyth/Horn J (ROW) bt Joy/Eustace=Pedlar (EUR) 8&7
Du Preez/Green (ROW) bt Horn A/Hayes (EUR) 2&1
Scambler/Parker (EUR) bt Cattran/James (ROW) 2&1
Dhawaan/Douglass (ROW) bt Crossan/Woods 5&4
MATCH SCORE: ROW 5.5 EUR 6.5
Season 9 Final Day Two
After a practice round on the Miller Course in the morning, it was time for the real thing after lunch as the final started with our foursomes matches, and what great matches they were. At one stage it looked like Europe were going to take a big lead into day two, but the ROW recovered well to leave the match in an intriguing position at ROW 2.5-EUROPE 3.5.
The first result of the day went to Europe as Peter Parker and Paul Swatkins comfortably beat Nick James and Steve Du Preez 4&2. Dave Woods & Martin Derrick made it two wins out of two with a 4&3 win over Kribs Govender and Chris Cattran. The ever dependable partnership of Joan Heeter and Sandy Douglass beat Martin Hayes and Keith Eustace-Pedlar 3&2, whilst Mark Crossan and Robert Scambler beat PK Dhawaan and Doug Douglass by 2 holes. But it was the final two matches where the ROW turned things around to go into the 2nd day with crucially only a one point defecit. Leslie Green and Ken Sugden battled back to halve with Brian Joy and Alan Horn. And finally, there was a titanic struggle between Hugh O'Connor and Janet Melville and Andrew Lyth and Janus Horn which went to the 18th green. Lyth and Janus winning by 1 hole.
The evening saw us head to the Beach Club for a Miami themed beach party with steel band, beach balls and of course our very own flamingos. It was then time to read out the pairings for the second round fourballs:
Heeter/Douglass S (ROW) v Melville/Swatkins (EUR)
Govender/Sugden (ROW) v O'Connor/Derrick (EUR)
Lyth/Horn J (ROW) v Joy/Eustace-Pedlar (EUR)
Du Preez/Green (ROW) v Horn A/Hayes (EUR)
Cattran/James (ROW) v Scambler/Parker (EUR)
Dhawaan/Douglass D (ROW) v Crossan/Woods (EUR)
Summary of results for Day One Foursomes:
Parker/Swatkins (EUR) beat James/Du Preez (ROW) 4&2
Woods/Derrick (EUR) beat Govender/Cattran (ROW) 4&3
Heeter/Douglass S (ROW) beat Hayes/Eustace-Pedlar (EUR) 3&2
Crossan/Scambler (EUR) beat Dhawaan/Douglass D by 2 holes
Green/Sugden (ROW) halved with Joy/Horn A (EUR)
Lyth/Horn J (ROW) beat O'Connor/Melville (EUR) by 1 hole
MATCH SCORE ROW 2.5 EUROPE 3.5
Season 9 Final Day One
And so it begins! Our European Team and the ROW players from the East arrived on time at MIA, and after a well deserved beer on the coach and a quick change in their rooms, it was straight onto the welcome buffet. We started the evening off with something a little different - a game of Neon Golf in the dark. With the green and pin lit by glow sticks, and with glow balls all 24 players hit from a specially built tee on the waterfall beside the 18th green of the Soffer. Amazingly we saw some great shots including Andrew Lyth's shot to 2 inches which had the rest of the players applauding. First honours this week however went to Team Europe who had 11 balls on the green compared to Team ROW's 8. The prize was a sleeve of yellow Srixon Z Star balls each.
All thoughts then turned towards the competition proper with inspiring speeches from both team captains - Europe's Hugh O'Connor and ROW's Kribs Govender. Each team player received their team shirts and caps, and then it was time for the all important team meetings to decide pairings. Tomorrow morning will see a practice round on the Miller Course before the first round proper, the foursomes takes place in the afternoon.
The pairings for the foursomes are as follows:
Lyth & J Horn (ROW) v Melville & O'Connor (EUR)
Du Preez & James (ROW) v Parker & Swatkins (EUR)
Heeter & Douglass (ROW) v Hayes & Eustace-Pedlar (EUR)
Govender & Cattran (ROW) v Woods & Derrick (EUR)
Green & Sugden (ROW) v Joy & A Horn (EUR)
Dhawaan & Douglass (ROW) v Crossan & Scambler (EUR)
1 day to go!
We've been event shopping today purchasing last minute essentials before the guests arrive tomorrow. Everything is now ready, and we will spend the morning putting everything in position. Some of our finalists have already started their journeys including our 3 South Africans and our Nigerian resident. Tomorrow morning the rest of our finalists will board flights and converge on Miami. It really is here now!
2 days to go!
First day on site and we awake to a beautiful sunrise over the course. The rest of the morning is spent in meetings, setting up our events office and packing the welcome packs. In the afternoon we scout all 36 holes working out tee positions for all 3 days. There's a whole host of amazing match play holes and both courses are in great condition. Also the weather's perfect at the moment - the humidity of our visit in Septemberhas long gone. We now await the other two members of our team tonight, which will be fun, and then it's one more prep day tomorrow.
3 days to go!
And we're off! After a sausage bap in the clubhouse we board VS005 for Miami. We love the Premium Economy seats and we're sure the finalists will too. A couple of movies, a nice smooth flight and we land in Southern Florida. You forget how quickly the sun sets down here. The 30 minute drive to the resort is a breeze. It's then a quick unpack and good old burger and fries before bed. Tomorrow's going to be a hectic day of meetings and setting up the office. Have a great weekend everyone!
4 days to go!
We are packing up at Swingers HQ today ready for our flight tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day. Packing's never fun but we're pretty sure everything is now in place for a spectacular final next week, and once we arrive on site, we will be putting the finishing touches together. Our next post will be from the slighly warmer and sunnier Miami, USA!
5 days to go!
Our pre-event to do list is getting slightly shorter, and our office will soon be on the move to the sunnier skies of Miami. We do feel very fortunate that the event is next week rather than last week. Although Southern Florida did not experience the awful devastation that the states in the North-East are still experiencing now, there were high seas, winds and flooding in Miami. Turnberry Isle is operating as normal again now and yesterday we were sent a stunning picture of the courses being prepared for our arrival (see @golfingSwingers). It's going to be an amazing setting and it's hard to believe it's now so close. Our suitcases are out ready to be packed, but first we must finish all our UK preparations over the next two days.
We also have a score prediction competition for all our Twitter followers @golfingSwingers . Predict the correct score and you could win some S9 clothing from Glenmuir. Make sure you start following us now to be in with a chance of winning!
7 days to go!
The final starts a week today! It's amazing to think it's coming around so quickly now. We have 4 days left of preparation this side of the pond before we fly to Miami Friday to set up for our finalists' arrival next Monday. Look out for new blogs from your captains shortly. It's going to be an exciting week!
12 days to go!
Our finalist shirts arrived today from Glenmuir and they look great. Iris Purple for Europe, Garnet Red for the Rest of the World. Shirts will be presented at Monday night's welcome buffet where our team captains will give their opening speeches and host their first team meetings before the all important pairings are announced for the first day's foursomes. We also have a very special golfing challenge on the Monday evening, and we've already worked out the order of play for that one! It's going to be a lot of fun.
14 days to go!
Two weeks today our finalists will be in the air enjoying the fantastic Premium Economy service from Virgin Atlantic. Today, I've been building the scoreboard and player profiles for the final. Some of our returning finalists have a great history in this event. Take Peter Parker who has a 100% winning record from last year's fnal and Sandy Douglass who has only lost once in two finals. We've also got Joan Heeter with 4 previous finals under her belt and 7 wins! And then we have two European Finalists who played in this event when the final was an individual competition and both have won it. Keith Eustace-Pedlar won our only winter final in Season 2 and Janet Collingham won our Season 4 final. In fact she also finished second in Season 3 and fifth in Season One. That's quite some record.
17 days to go!
If you haven't had a chance go to the Team Europe and Team ROW pages and view the first blog entries of our two team captains. The organisers leave for Miami 2 weeks today, but there's lot of work still to be done. The whole event is a year in the planning, and it may be no suprise that we also started work on plans for the Season 10 final over a month ago! But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. Have a good weekend everyone.
19 days to go!
Our finalists are now confirmed, and flights are currently being booked. Our banners, flags, tee markers, and goody bags are currently on a pallet about to leave for Miami. Everyone is focusing on getting everything ready for November 2nd which is the day we fly out to Miami. Having been to Turnberry Isle twice already this year, when we land, we know it's for real this time. We've got an amazing final lined up with some great functions in some incredible locations and an exciting excursion. The challenge is always to make it better than last year, and although that get's more difficult each year, we think we are on course to achieve it again this time!
To view a breakdown of our finalists click here