Team Rest of the World
Janus Horn (Captain)
Welcome to the Team ‘Rest of the World’ Page. Over the next couple of weeks, this year's captain, Janus Horn will be providing his thoughts on the final in the lead up to the Gleneagles event.
Mon 23 September 2013
Gleneagles - Scotland. The World's Greatest Golfing resort and how fitting that the Season 10 finals took place at this amazing course.
This trip was truely memorable and will be remembered for the rest of my life. I managed to get an upgrade to Upper Class from Johannesburg to London and what a great experience.
I played at Gleneagles!!!! Needless to say, I think you can say, I tried to play at Gleneagles; Gleneagles 1 - Janus 0. Paul, Luke, Michelle, Jenny and the rest of the team did an absolutely superb job of hosting us and making us feel at home. Everything was perfect! The accommodation, the food, the golf course, our team shirts, activities, you name it. Even had Jess come along to give us massages during and after a round of golf and the other staff making sure we had enough to eat and drink on the course.
TEAM ROW was pretty optimistic of winning this year's competition. Unfortuantely TEAM EUROPE was just too good! Not sure if the 'lovely' weather in Scotland helped us at all, but they showed us how golf should be played in the wind and rain. I have made many new friends and will hopefully play some golf with them in the near future. Alastair was a great opposing captain and we can brag that we managed to complete a round at Gleneagles in 3 hours. I would like to thank my team for being so spirited and an absolute pleasure to captain.
Congratulations to everyone that won matches and congrats to everyone that made the finals! A great achievement! Joan and Sandy you girls always make me proud. The surprise on the final day was Mo!! Awesome golf Mo and I am relieved that we have finally resolved the handicap issue!! LOL!
A huge thank you to Virgin for allowing me this oppurtunity to Captain TEAM ROW. Thank you for a once in a lifetime opportunity to play such an amazing course as Gleneagles. To Sandy and the greenkeeping staff at Gleneagles, good luck for the Ryder Cup. I am sure that the course will be in pristine condition as always! I would like to apologize to the Team Europe Ryder Cup captain, Paul MacGinley for nearly hitting him.
Maybe the Horn family should stick to trout fishing. At least we won the trout fishing challenge.
Wishing everyone the best for Season 11. I am sure it will be a great success and hopefully you will be able to play this awesome event in South Africa one day in the future.
Please come and visit me in South Africa and I can arrange a few rounds of golf on some great golf courses.
PS One again a huge thank you to Paul, Luke, Michelle, Jenny and the team!! World Class!!
Weds 11 September 2013
Team ROW have all received plane tickets and we are ready to go! I would like to thank my wife and all my team mates wives, husbands and partners for allowing us time to go and do the thing we love most! Yes, that would be play golf! Some of my team members have already started packing. I am slowly getting my things together. Not sure I have enough winters clothing in my cupboard for this trip.
The weather forecast for next week Thursday is only 6 Celcius. Think this is the coldest I would have been in many years! I'm excited flying with Virgin Atlantic once again and it will be my first trip on Little Red. I will be flying with a prop plane from Durban to Johannesburg as all the flights seem to be pretty full.
In a week's time we would be heading out for our betterball matches with the ROW team leading Europe 3.5 - 2.5. (Surely hope that is the case). I would have to say Team EUROPE fancy themselves as favourites, but who would blame them. They won last year, they are playing on home soil and have an extremely able captain with 11 vice captains. Think it might be tough being part of that team as I am not sure who will make a decision..LOL.
My team is extremely motivated and we have our strategic analyst going to Gleneagles a day or two earlier to give us some feedback on the course, stroke ratings, speed of the greens etc etc. It seems that most of my team will arrive in Edinburgh by lunch time on Monday. Giving them some time to unpack and take a stroll around the course before our first round on Tuesday morning.
I read an interesting article in Golf Digest written by Arnold Palmer and thought I would share it with you.
1. Measure risk against reward.
When I drove the first green at Cherry Hills in the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open, many people thought it was a risky, heroic effort. I didn't see it that way at all. It's a narrow hole with a creek running along the right side, but I figured even if I drove into the water, I still could get up and down for par. The reward--a sure birdie and possibly an eagle--outweighed the risk. The easy birdie I made got me started on my 65 and a career-defining U.S. Open victory.
Always measure worst-case scenarios with the best that can happen, and have a biased eye toward the best.
2. Think twice before reaching deep.
When Jack Nicklaus came on the scene in the early '60s, he could really boom the ball. When I played with him, the urge to keep my drives up with his was irresistible, and the results weren't always the best. Swinging all-out is good; swinging beyond all-out usually leads to disaster.
3. Bold putting isn't risky.
The most important thing in putting is getting the ball to the hole. Or should I say, past the hole. In my prime, if I didn't make a putt, you could bet it was going by the hole. When you continually come up short, you open yourself up to risk because you've stopped moving the putter with authority. Before you know it, this will eat away at your confidence on the greens. You have to give the ball a chance to drop, every time.
4. Don't compound mistakes.
My losing a seven-stroke lead to Billy Casper on the back nine of the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic resulted largely from Bill shooting a 32 on that nine. But I didn't play well, and if there's one shot I wish I could have over, it would be my second on the par-5 16th hole. After driving into thick rough, I chose to hit a 3-iron instead of playing out to the fairway. The shot went all of 75 yards, and I wound up with a costly bogey and eventually lost the championship to Bill. The lesson: Don't compound mistakes by trying a shot you most likely can't pull off on your recovery.
5. A low ball means a lower risk.
I can still remember my father's directive for playing iron shots: "Hit the ball on a line, at the hole." I always tended to hit my irons fairly low and straight, without much fade or draw. On the whole it's a good way to play for a few reasons. First, low balls are less affected by the wind. Second, the swing that produces a low shot is usually a bit steeper, meaning you can get the club on the ball on less-than-perfect lies. And third, you usually hit it nice and solid.
6. Don't try shots you haven't practiced.
In the 18-hole playoff for the 1963 U.S. Open at The Country Club, on the 11th hole my ball came to rest in a rotted tree stump about two feet tall. I thought long and hard before deciding to play from that stump instead of taking an unplayable lie. What a mistake that was. It took me three swings to get the ball out (see photo at right), and I wound up making a triple bogey and eventually lost to Julius Boros by six strokes. It's one of the shots in my career where I wish I'd had a mulligan. The mistake was trying to hit a type of shot I'd never practiced (not that there are many tree stumps around to practice from). Uncertainty amplifies risk and breeds mistakes.
7. Be true to yourself.
I've been asked many times if Phil Mickelson is too aggressive, and my answer has always been a firm "no." There's an element of risk with many of the shots Phil plays, but he has been rewarded more times than he's been penalized. Moreover, being too cautious could make Phil play defensively, which in turn invites mental lapses and other mistakes. Let your personality determine what constitutes a reasonable risk, and go with your gut.
8. Reduce risk from rough.
At the 1961 British Open at Royal Birkdale, I had the lead with four holes to play. My drive on the par-4 15th sailed into thick rough, and I decided to go for the green. It was a risky shot, but two things helped minimize the danger. First, I chose the most lofted club that would still give me a chance to hit the green: a 6-iron. Second, I used as much old-fashioned strength as I could to hit through the ball, taking a divot a foot long.
I knocked the shot on the green, and the par I made helped me win my first British Open. Today there's a plaque at the spot from where I played that shot [it's now the 16th hole].
9. Know the difference between risks and gambles.
During the first round of the 1961 L.A. Open at Rancho Park, I made a rather famous 12 on the par-5 18th hole. I hit four consecutive 3-woods out-of-bounds, starting with my second shot. There was O.B. both to the left and right of the green, which made the shot risky--but only mildly risky. It didn't constitute a gamble because my lie was good, I was playing well and I knew in my heart I could pull the shot off. Only a gust of wind ruined a pretty good shot. And the next one. On the third try, I overcorrected and hooked it O.B. Then I did the same thing again! But to this day, I don't see that strategy as a gamble.
10. Don't let a partner tempt you.
Galleries liked to see me make bold, risky plays, and sometimes it was hard not to give them what they wanted--even when I knew the odds were against me. For you, the pressure to hit ill-advised shots probably comes from your partner in weekend four-ball matches. Certainly you can take more risks than normal with your partner backing you up, but even in the most tempting situations you should never try a shot you don't have at least a 50-50 chance of pulling off.
Safe travel to Gleneagles! Can't wait to get onto the course! Thanks to Paul, Luke, Michelle and the team for doing an amazing job through the year!
This is now the Grand Finale! May the best team win!
GO TEAM ROW!
PS. Alastair, please tell your team that it is not too late to go for some last minute lessons to fix swing errors, change grip positions, stances, etc...
PPS. Please double check Sam's handicap! (LOL - Keep well and safe travels)
ROW CAPTAIN 2013
Monday 2 September 2013
In 2 weeks time most of the ROW team would have touched down in London and flying with Virgin Atlantic's Little Red to Gleneagles. I have been in touch with most of my team and it seems like they are all well prepared for the Finals. I have asked them for official club handicaps and compared them to Virgin's Swingers Handicap and the biggest difference is 2 shots. So the handicap system seems to be pretty accurate.
The ROW also have a much higher points tally for the season, so we are pretty confident at present. My team has 9 veterans and only 3 rookies at the finals this year. Hope the pressure is not going to be too much for the 5 European Rookies!
I had a good laugh over the weekend when Sam Loxton tweeted about his great round of golf with 40 points and Christine Godorov asked him if he played a pitch and putt course. His reply was no Windmills at Gleneagles.Keep it up Christine. Mental games are working!
The only 2 guys that seem to be missing in action are Kribs Govender and PK Dhawaan. Am sure Kribs will be found at Eagle Canyon Golf Club practising and PK will be somewhere travelling playing golf.
I have looked at the matchups from previous years and the various results. This job is not so easy! How do you put together a team for 1 day's play? I have put together 3 different sets of pairings for Day 1 that I will obviously discuss with my team on the first night. Two of the sets pairings are pretty agressive and the other set is more conservative. The question is do you go to win all 6 matches on Day 1 or make sure you get 3 guarenteed matches? One thing I have learned about golf, nothing is guarenteed. I also believe that we are here to make friends and have fun and don't be surprised if we have different pairings each and every day.
On a personal note.I nearly made an albatross on Saturday! Would have been my first of my career. Hit the flag on a Par 5 on my 2nd shot and tapped in for an eagle. My mom and dad are leaving for the USA today and the next time I will see my dad is at Gleneagles! He has been playing golf on a daily basis. Wonder if he is going to keep it up in the USA. I can't wait to get to Gleneagles.
I hope the European Team are having some great weather and have enough time to go and practise.
I know TEAM ROW are in tip top shape and all ready for Gleneagles!
Friday 30 August 2013
Gleneagles, Ryder Cup Venue, Golf, Best Golf Resort in the World, Captain, Team Rest of The World, Janus Horn....
All in one sentence!! Not in my wildest dreams! Flying Club Swingers has made my dream come true! I received a mail from Paul with a heading: ''A question?" and thought that this was pretty strange. When I opened the mail I was asked if I would consider captaining the Rest of The World (ROW) team for the Season 10 finals at Gleneagles and if I did not accept, they would understand. What?? Not accept??
Clearly Paul does not know me well enough! I never say no to a challenge! I replied immediately thanking him for this honour and confirmed that I would gladly accept the task. What bigger challenge can be set than to beat Europe on home soil at the 2014 Ryder Cup venue at Gleneagles?
I joined Virgin Swinger Golf League a number of years ago and this was when golf was a hobby after tennis and cycling. I come from a tennis family and we have been all over the world with tennis, playing tournaments and coaching. As you get older, you settle and want to spend more time at home. My sister still plays professionally and is currently playing in the US Open.
It was awesome when I entered my first and only 3 scores in Season 8 and I got a shirt and goodie bag. This was a big thing for me and I still have that shirt. I never knew of the year end finals and that you could qualify for these kind of things. During Season 9, I played a bit more golf and entered all my scores and did not even realize, that I had qualified for the finals. Luckily I visited my family in Houston Texas for my brother in law's 40th birthday and flew with Virgin. Needless to say, Season 9 finals was the best golfing experience of my life!! Everything from the venue, the staff, the speedboat rides, beach parties, the golf, all world class!
This motivated me to make golf my first choice sport and tennis had to take a back seat. I have always battled to understand golf. How can it be such a difficult sport, if the ball does not even move. I am still learning daily! I have always played ''moer en soek '' golf (translated means whack and search golf). This unfortunately had to end as I joined Natal Nomads golf and playing Medal Stableford, every point counts. I still enjoy taking out my driver and giving it a rip and am sure to do so on a few holes at Gleneagles.
I was privelaged enough to get tickets to the Ryder Cup in 2012 at Medinah. I watched all 3 days. I got up at 5 am to get to the course as the gates opened and then ran to get the best possible seats. On the final day, we watched the entire field come through on the 2nd green, then ran as Tiger finished putting to the 13th tee and as Tiger finished, we made our way to the 18th green. I was on the side of the 18th green when Europe won with that putt from Kaymer. What an amazing experience! I was privileged enough to share this experience with my dad who now stays in Houston Texas.
Swingers Golf is exactly the same as Ryder Cup. The only difference is that they are pro's and we are amateurs. You get treated like a pro (more like Royalty) and you might get reminded every now and then that you are not a pro. Especially when you find the rough, duff a chip or 3 putt! We have 2 teams - Europe vs ROW. Various formats on different days, Team meetings, Team Captains, Rules officials and some extremely professional Virgin Atlantic staff.
That first tee shot must be the worst. Your nerves are trying to get the better of you, the relief on finding the fairway, the excitement of going 1 up and the agony of losing. Although this is a fun event, it is still extremely competitive. No one wants to let their team down and no one wants to give bragging rights to the other team.
I would like to congratulate the extremely talented ROW team for making the Season 10 finals as well as the European Team for taking up the challenge to compete against us. I think this will be an extremely close one this year, but I would have to go with ROW pipping Europe on the last day.
Then we have Captain Alastair! The man that will be leading Europe. I have only heard good things about him. I have actually heard too many good things about him. I had the privilege of playing with Andrew Lyth in all 3 my matches last year and he had become pretty friendly with Alastair. He seems to be a pretty decent golfer playing off a +2 (Wish I played off a +2). If Alastair is anything like Andrew, we will get on like a house on fire! Congratulations Alastair! You're going to have some big boots to fill as Hugh did an amazing job in Season 9. All the best for the Finals and may the best Captain's team win!! (LOL).
I have had my clubs regripped. I have been told the weather in Scotland could be a little temperamental at times. I am sitting in Durban, South Africa, today and it is 33 degrees Celcius in the middle of winter.
I would like to wish all Virgin Golf Swingers all the very best for the Season 10 finals at Gleneagles! I will try and keep you up to date from time to time with the build up to the finals. I hear that some of the European Team members are taking some golf lessons for the finals.
To my team - Dont fix what is not broken.
All the best!
Thursday 29 August 2013
TEAM REST OF THE WORLD
Janus Horn (Capt) Handicap 5
Janus plays his golf at Princes Grant in Durban, South Africa and will be making his second consecutive appearance at the Final. Aside from winning ROW Club Swingers Division 1, he was a real team player out in Miami, and a vocal supporter of his team mates both prior to and at the final. He was a natural choice to lead the team this time.
Joan Heeter Handicap 4
What’s there left to say about Joan? Playing in her 6th consecutive final in her 6th year as a Swinger, she remains the only ROW captain to ever lift the trophy back in Season 7 at Manor House. This is the first time the Swingers Final has been held back in the UK since then, surely a omen?! We’re sure Joan’s valuable experience will be a great help to Janus in Scotland. Joan plays her golf at Tahquitz Creek Golf Club in Palm Springs, California.
Kribs Govender Handicap 12
Kribs was the ROW captain out in Miami and is playing his 3rd consecutive final. He plays his golf at Eagle Canyon near Johannesburg, South Africa and will certainly be one of the finalists keeping the team in high spirits at Gleneagles. Who knows, his outrageous trousers from the Season 8 Final in Orlando might even make a comeback!
Brian O’Connor Handicap 11
Brian is the Englishman living in Southern California, and playing his golf at the scene of the Season 5 final – Monarch Beach Golf Links. Brian is playing in his second final having represented ROW in Orlando two years ago. Brian won this year’s Division 2 in ROW Club Swingers.
Doug Douglass Handicap 11
Doug is another Southern California resident making his second consecutive trip to the final. Doug plays his golf at Rancho Bernardo and this is his fourth season as a Swinger. Doug’s a pilot, but there’s no truth in the rumour that he’s flying his team mates over to Scotland.
Sandy Douglass Handicap 18
Sandy, wife of Doug, has played Swingers for the last 4 seasons and has a 100% record of final appearances. Our fourth finalist from Southern California, we will be hoping that Sandy brings just a little sunshine with her to Scotland along with her experience of these match play finals which will benefit the whole team.
Rajive Johri Handicap 12
Our first ROW rookie, Rajive plays his golf at Griffith E Harris GC in Connecticut, USA. This is Rajive’s first season as a Swinger, and what a way to end it with a trip to Gleneagles! Rajive was also voted ROW Player of the Month in May.
Jan Horn Handicap 15
Our second rookie is Janus’ dad Jan, who like his son plays his golf at Princes Grant in Durban, South Africa, and the similarities don’t end there. Jan also won his division, division 3 in ROW Club Swingers. Jan spend half the year in Texas, US but will be spending part of September at Gleneagles in Scotland. This is Jan’s second year as a Swinger.
Tom Riddell Handicap 6
Tom plays his golf at Pine Grove in Massachusetts, US and will be playing in his third final having represented ROW in Seasons 7 and 8. Tom was recently voted Player of the Month for August and is always one of the most consistent players in Swingers. He’s also a true gentleman.
Mo Reardon Handicap 32
Mo, from Terrey Hills GC in Sydney, Australia is making her second appearance in the final, having played in Orlando in Season 8. Mo has recovered from a bad ankle injury sustained last year, and has worked hard to get her golf back on track. That hard work has paid off with a place at Gleneagles.
Christine Godorov Handicap 23
Christine is our third and final ROW rookie. Christine didn’t start taking part in Swingers until June this year, but what an impression she made, climbing the leaderboard to finish the joint top scoring ROW Fun Swinger. Christine plays her golf at Berkleigh Country Club in Pennsylvania, US. We look forward to seeing her take part at Gleneagles.
PK Dhawaan Handicap 11
Congratulations to PK who makes his 4th consecutive final in 4 seasons as a Swinger. PK plays his golf at Delhi Golf Club in India and is one of the most active Swingers across all leaderboard. He has a passion for golf and Swingers, and that will be a great asset at this year’s final.
AVERAGE HANDICAP 13