Team Rest of the World
Chris Cattran (Captain)
Welcome to the Team Rest of the World Page.
As we count down to the final, this is to place to hear all the news from Chris Cattran, your Team ROW Captain, together with profiles of his team as the Rest of the World try to win the title in South Carolina, USA.
Captain's Blog Part 5 - Monday 23 November 2015
So here it is exactly a week after leaving the beautiful Sea Pines Resort and I look out my window to see the snow covered ground. What a difference a week makes. This will be my last post regarding my Captaincy of Team ROW for season 12. What a true joy it was to lead my fellow teammates in the final. We truly had a great team, all good golfers and better people! Although we did not win the golf tournament, we were all clearly winners. The event that was put together by Paul, Luke and the Virgin Crew was second to none. Season 12 was my second final and i did not think they could out do Miami in Season 9, however, i was wrong by a mile. From the venue, the hotel, the courses and the dinners, all truly first class.
Team ROW truly had a good team to take a run at the cup this season. However, as the Captain i was faced with some significant difficulties from the beginning. (Of course there was nothing i could do about the initial issues). First, I learned that one third of the team would be without their clubs for at least the first round. Apparently, Steve, Simon, Duncan and Tobie were late getting to London (through no fault of there own) and a quick escort though Heathrow was necessary to get them on the flight to Atlanta, but their luggage and clubs had no chance of making the connection. Thus, the four South Africans played the first round with resort clubs. (cheers to Virgin for the trip to Walmart to get clothes for our players, no one wanted to see them playing Heron Point naked!) It is no secret we went down 5 to 1 after the first round. (rental clubs? perhaps) I was happy to learn that the missing clubs would be arriving early in the morning before the second day rounds. It had appeared that the playing field had returned to level, apparently not.
After a great dinner and drinks it was a quick walk back to the hotel. (By the way Paul, Steve and i found a quicker route to the restaurant on Thursday, but i supposed we all could have used the exercise). A good nights rest and it was us up early for breakfast and work on the range. It was at breakfast the i learned that the golf gods (or perhaps Paul, Luke or the Virgin crew?) had again conspired against Team ROW. Most of the team was bright eyed and bushy tailed, then there was Brian and Gary. They both looked a bit green. Apparently, they both got a touch of the creeping crud and were up all night. True to form they battled through illness and the rest did well on day two and Team ROW went 2.5 to 3.5. Clearly performing better with the proper equipment. It was then off the a fun boat ride, cocktail reception and dinner. Captain Ken and I snuck off during dinner to come up with the parings. He and I decided the Captains would play each other in singles and then we went down the teams making our pairings. I believe we were both happy about the pairings and we each figured we had good pairings.
The final day was beautiful and no significant surprises for me at breakfast, thus i was feeling pretty good going into the matches. I must hand it to my fellow captain he played some excellent golf on that final round. I was not playing bad, he clearly played better. He played so well that he had me at dormie 5. I fought back valiantly, but an arrant shot, with a bad kick out of bounds on 16 cost me the match 3 and 2. Fortunately the rest of the team faired better than I and we finished the day 6 and 6. Clearly Team ROW had the talent to win, however, this year it was just not on the cards. When i say we were all winners, I believe that. As for Team ROW we have made some great friendships from Europe as well, and we will cherish these friendships for the rest of our days. i am already looking forward to a rematch with Captain Ken at his home course Caroustie.
I believe i can speak for the entire Team ROW when I say that the final this year was magical. Words can not really do it justice, however, Paul, Luke and gang, great final this year, as always, keep up the good work. Looking forward to Season 13 best of luck everyone.
Cheers and signing off
Captain's Blog Part 4 - Tuesday 3 November 2015
Here it is, one week before the arrival of all the finalists in Hilton Head, South Carolina. To say Team ROW is excited for the final would be an understatement. Many members of Team ROW have been hitting the links in a continuing effort to improve our game and better Team ROW's odds of bringing home the elusive cup.
Doug has been hitting courses in California and Nevada which he has never played before to help get into the mind set of playing on unfamiliar courses. Mo has found her driver stroke and has replaced her former three wood for more distance off the tee. Apparently Gary is so dedicated to the success of Team ROW he moved from the eastern sea board to Florida to become more accustomed to the weather in Hilton Head. I will be playing rounds this Friday thru Sunday.
The final handicaps have been supplied to the Captains and there has been some movement in the numbers. It now appears that Team ROW has an average team handicap of 12.5, and Team Europe is hanging around at 10.3. Pretty close from where I sit. It is going to depend on the pairings; however, it looks like some of our heavy hitting South Africans may be getting strokes. I love it when a single digit handicap gets strokes. Additionally, I have a few other schemes up my sleeve.
As the Captain of Team ROW I intend to bring unity to the team. I am more concerned with chemistry than numbers. Those that play well together will play together.
Personally I have motivations to have Team ROW be successful. A dinner bet with Alan Horn and another with Captain Ken from Europe. For those of you that don’t know, Captain Ken has finally accepted my offer of a friendly wager on the outcome. As such I have already picked out his shirt he will have to wear on his trip home. I can only hope one day he will wear the shirt at his home course of Carnoustie. It will be quite the conversation piece. (You know how stuffy those Scots can be about their golf wardrobe.)
Looking forward to seeing everyone in a week.
Captain's Blog Part 3 - Tuesday 27 October 2015
So here we are two weeks from the beginning of competition. Team ROW has been very busy improving our games and getting ready for the week. Rest assured Team ROW is ready to go and we are happy to face adversity and the challenge that Team Europe represents. The line out of Vegas puts us at a significant underdog. However with many returning players, the addition of some low handicappers from South Africa, the stalwart direction and assistance from former captains, we are ready to bring the cup to ROW.
Over the last few weeks as Captain I have been in communication with a number of teammates from ROW. I believe we have developed some very good strategies to take it to Team Europe. However since this is neither the time nor the place to reveal the strategies all will be revealed in two weeks.
Additionally on a personal note I have recently received the replacement for my Cleveland two square putter which my wife tragically ran over the day before I went to play golf with Alan in Scotland. She is just as deadly accurate as her predecessor.
A couple weeks ago I suggested a little wager with the captain of Team Europe - I was politely rebuffed. But in this media I will again suggest we put a little wager on the tournament. So here it is Ken if you're brave enough to accept it. You find a shirt that is the most obnoxious you can find and I will do the same; bring them with you to South Carolina and the loser will have to wear that shirt with photographic evidence the whilst travelling back to their home country. That clearly has to be within the spirit of the game!
My final thoughts are as follows. Although we come from the four corners of the earth I believe Team ROW will come together and bring the cup home. We may be strangers but in South Carolina we will unite , we will be a team and we will be victorious.
Captain's Blog Part 2 - Friday 16 October 2015
In his second blog, Captain Chris gives the lowdown on the eleven finalists that will be joining him in the quest for glory next month in South Carolina. But firstly a bit about Chris who plays off of 12. Chris plays his golf at Darkhorse Golf Club in California, but Chris himself is no dark horse. A big character within the Swingers league, Chris was always captain material, and he becomes the first US Captain since Joan Heeter led Team ROW to victory in S7. Now in his fourth year as a Swinger, Chris was the very first overseas recipient of our Cleveland/Srixon Swingers Ambassador Award and has been a regular attendee of our US days over the years. We are sure Chris will rally the troops and help them reach new heights in South Carolina.
Over to Chris....
Steve du Preez (Handicap 4)
Last year’s captain is back to play in his third final, and his experience will prove very important to me. Steve plays his golf at Bryanston GC in South Africa, and his golfing ability earns instant respect. One of our most competitive golfers, Steve will relish the opportunity to lock horns with Team Europe again and you can guarantee he will have a big part to say in this final.
Tobie de Jonge (Handicap 7)
Tobie is appearing in his second ever final after taking part way back in Season 6 at Mannings Heath. Tobie plays his golf at Durbanville GC in South Africa and this is his seventh year as a Flying Club Swinger. Tobie is part of a strong South African quartet who will be an asset to Team ROW in South Carolina.
Simon Hudson (Handicap 3)
The lowest handicapper on Team ROW, Simon is our first rookie having been a consistent Swinger for the last 3 years. Simon plays his golf at The Els Club, Copperleaf in South Africa. Simon travelled to the UK this year to play in the Society day at Delamere Forest, and he will be delighted to be travelling west again to take on Team Europe in the USA.
Mo Reardon (Handicap 28)
This lady needs no introduction! Mo, from Terrey Hills GC in Sydney, Australia is playing in her fourth final and third in succession. Mo’s competitive spirit has seen her defy the odds to qualify again, and we look forward to that competiveness on display in South Carolina in her fifth season as a Swinger.
Gary Jones (Handicap 15)
Gary is back again this year after playing in his first final at his home club Apes Hill in Barbados last time out – the only finalist ever be a member at one of the host venues! Gary, in his second season as a Swinger, has performed consistently well again and I am are sure he will prove a very useful team member as he did last time out.
Doug Douglass (Handicap 9)
Doug is one of our most loyal Swingers having competed for six seasons now and attended evey one of our California Swingers days. Doug is also qualifying for his third final after appearing in Miami and at Gleneagles. Playing his golf at Rancho Bernardo GC in Southern California, he will add a great deal of experience to Team ROW.
Richard Bird (Handicap 9)
Our second rookie, Richard has recently moved to Florida after previously playing his golf at Montgomery Country Club in Maryland. This is Richard’s fifth season as a Swinger and I am delighted he is finally getting to experience the final in all its glory after a very consistent season.
Duncan Castles (Handicap 4)
Duncan who plays his golf at Milnerton Golf Club in Cape Town is our third rookie. This is Duncan’s second season as a Swinger after he just missed out on qualification last year. It was tight again this time round with Duncan one of three South African’s tied on 31pts! I am delighted he’s joining Team ROW however, and I am are sure he will bring something extra to the team this time round.
Brian O’Connor (Handicap 12)
Brian has had yet another incredible season winning US Club Swingers Division 2 in consecutive seasons. From the stunning Laguna Beach in Southern California, Brian plays his golf at Monarch Beach, one of our former final venues. Brian is playing in his fourth final in his fifth season as a Swinger. A regular at all our California Swingers days, Brian is a very popular member of the Swingers programme.
Rajive Johri (Handicap 17)
Rajive has played consistently good golf in his three seasons as a Swinger, and now qualifies for his second final having appeared at Gleneagles in S10. Rajive plays his golf at PGA National in Florida so will make one of the shortest journeys to this year’s final. I look forward to him arriving fresh and ready for the challenge!
Claire Boucher (Handicap 12)
Claire has played consistently in the Swingers programme since last season although she did also take part way back in Season 7 as a Europe Swinger! Claire is our fourth rookie having played some tremendous golf this season at Barbados Golf Club. Claire is a loyal member of the Swingers community having submitted over 170 scores this time round. I look forward to meeting Claire in South Carolina where I am sure she will play an important role.
AVERAGE HANDICAP 11
Captain's Blog - Part 1 - Friday 9 October 2015
The news came in the middle of the night by way of e-mail, an invitation to fill the role of the Captain for team Rest of the World (ROW) . To say I was surprised would be an understatement, however I was also greatly honored. To serve as Captain for team ROW is very exciting, however also a little unnerving - recognising team ROW has not faired too well in this competition does put pressure on the Captain. However, I do pressure and am looking forward to taking it to Europe and bringing the cup home. Sorry Ken!
I have had a chance to take a look at team ROW and quite frankly I like what I see. We have a good balance of veteran’s and rookies. I will be calling on the veterans of team ROW to assist with the rookies. As Captain I plan to listen to all players’ suggestions, ideas as well as concerns. Team ROW will be just that - a team! Not a dictatorship. I believe if team ROW can come together and be supportive of each other and become a cohesive unit we have an excellent chance of bringing home the cup. See you on the 9th. Oh and Ken, you can use your Gleneagles glasses cloth to polish the cup for team ROW, we would appreciate that. Cheers