Season Ten Final - 16 - 19 September 2013

The Season 10 Final is now over! Relive it through our daily reports below.

Thursday 19th September DAY FOUR

Our finalists awoke to persistent rain on the final day as the ROW attempted to stage a big comeback to wrestle the trophy away from Europe. Unfortunately for them however, the first two matches set the scene for the rest of the day. The captain's match was won 3&2 by Europe's Alastair Price against Janus Horn, whilst Europe's Ken Daly also beat Tom Riddell 5&4.

The ever dependable Joan Heeter and Sandy Douglass won the first 2 points of the day for ROW with 2&1 and 4&2 victories over Chris Appleby and Margaret Tindale, whilst Sam Loxton of Europe beat Christine Godorov 8&7. It was Europe's James Gear who got the decisive point for Team Europe beating Doug Douglass 4&3, whilst ROW's Brian O'Connor beat Alan Horn by 2 holes.

Europe's Geoff Seabrook almost took the hole in one prize on 17 for the Little Red Fiat 100, and ended up beating Jan Horn by holding a big putt on 18 to win by 1 hole.

Geff Briant of Europe comfortably beat Rajive Johri 8&6, whilst ROW's Mo Reardon won her first match with a storming 6&4 victory over Alan Clifford.

The final match out saw 2 wins for Europe with Mark Attwell beating Kribs Govender 3&2 and Martin Derrick beating PK Dhawaan 5&4. It left the match ending 16.5 - 7.5 to Europe to give European Captain Alastair Price and his team a comprehensive win.

Thank you to everyone who took part, and especially to our 2 finalists who were fantastic throughout. They will certainly be a hard act to follow next year.

As any previous finalist will tell you, the Swingers Final is not just about the competition. It's about playing golf in the right spirit, making friends from around the world and experiencing something a little different to your average golf event. It's been a great 10th anniversary season and next week our planning starts all over again. We can't wait.

DAY THREE - SINGLES RESULTS

Price (EUR) bt Janus HORN (ROW) 3&2
Daly (EUR) bt Riddell (ROW) 5&4
Heeter (ROW) bt Appleby (EUR) 2&1
Sandy Douglass (ROW) bt Tindale (ROW) 4&2
O'Connor (ROW) bt Horn (EUR) by 2 holes
Gear (EUR) bt Doug Douglass (ROW) 4&3
Seabrook (EUR) bt Jan Horn (ROW) by 1 hole
Loxton (EUR) bt Godorov (ROW) 8&7
Briant (EUR) bt Johri (ROW) 8&6
Reardon (ROW) bt Clifford (EUR) 6&4
Attwell (EUR) bt Govender (ROW) 3&2
Derrick (EUR) bt Dhawaan (ROW) 5&4

SINGLES RESULT: EUROPE 8 ROW 4
OVERALL FINAL RESULT: EUROPE 16.5 ROW 7.5

EUROPE WIN SEASON 10 SWINGERS TROPHY

Wednesday 18th September DAY THREE

This was always going to be a crucial day in deciding the outcome of the Swingers Final and so it proved as play moved to the 2014 Ryder Cup Course - the PGA Centenary. We were blessed with sunshine and a gentle breeze throughout on this stunning venue. It was certainly Europe who shined brightest today increasing their lead significantly on day two.

The first match was extremely hard fought with ROW's Kribs Govender and PK Dhawaan taking an early lead before Alastair Price and Sam Loxton changed things arounds themselves going 2 up on the back nine. In the ended it finished as a half. Another tight match followed with Europe's James Gear and Alan Horn halving with Janus Horn and Joan Heeter, and Janus and Joan had been 4 up at one stage.

The two halves however provided ROW with the only point of the day however as Europe won all 4 remaining matches. Martin Derrick and Mark Attwell comfortably beat ROW's Brian O'Connor and Sandy Douglass 6&4, whilst Europe's Ken Daly and Geoff Seabrook beat Doug Douglass and Jan Horn 4&2. Geff Briant and Chris Appleby beat ROW's Tom Riddell and Chrisine Godorov 4&2 before Margaret Tindale and Alan Clifford of Europe pipped Rajive Johri and Mo Reardon by 1 hole.

This leaves the match score 8.5 - 3.5 with the singles left to come and Europe requiring just 4 out of 12 points available to retain the Swingers trophy.

DAY TWO RESULTS - FOURBALLS

Price/Loxton (EUR) halved with Kribs Govender/Dhawaan (ROW)
Derrick/Attwell (EUR) bt O'Connor/Sandy Douglass (ROW) 6&4
Gear/Alan Horn (EUR) halved with Janus Horn/Heeter (ROW)
Daly/Seabrook (EUR) bt Doug Douglass/Jan Horn (ROW) 4&2
Briant/Appleby (EUR) bt Riddell/Godorov (ROW) 4&2
Tindale/Clifford (EUR) bt Johri/Reardon by 1 hole

Fourballs Result: Europe 5 ROW 1

Current Match Score: Europe 8.5 ROW 3.5

It was then time for a break from golf as the guests too part in a range of activities including horse riding, fishing, shooting and archery as well as a range of spa treatments.

The evening was spent in the historic Stirling Castle, and following a short whiskey tasting the final day's singles pairings were announced as follows:

Alastair Price (EUR) v Janus Horn (ROW)
Ken Daly (EUR) v Tom Riddell (ROW)
Chris Appleby (EUR) v Joan Heeter (ROW)
Margaret Tindale (EUR) v Sandy Douglass (ROW)
Alan Horn (EUR) v Brian O'Connor (ROW)
James Gear (EUR) v Doug Douglass (ROW)
Geoff Seabrook (EUR) v Jan Horn (ROW)
Sam Loxton (EUR) v Christine Godorov (ROW)
Geff Briant (EUR) v Rajive Johri (ROW)
Alan Clifford (EUR) v Mo Reardon (ROW)
Mark Attwell (EUR) v Kribs Govender (ROW)
Martin Derrick (EUR) v PK Dhawaan (ROW)

Tuesday 17th September DAY TWO

And so we finally come to the first golf action of this year's final! Early morning saw our 24 finalists head out on to the Kings Course for a practice round. It was certainly cold on the first tee, but when the sun came out which it did frequently for the rest of the day, the conditions were nigh on perfect.

It's always an exciting moment when the announcer says for the first time 'Representing Europe.....' and so at 13:10 Martin Derrick stood up on the first tee of the Queens and hit the first tee shot of this year's final and it was a good one. At the turn, the final was extremely close with Europe up in two, the ROW up in one, and the other three all square, but that was nothing compared to the excitement of the back nine.

Martin Derrick and Mark Attwell of Europe earnt a 4&3 victory over Janus Horn and Rajive Johri, whilst Europe's Sam Loxton and Alan Horn beat Christine Godorov and Mo Reardon 3&2. The first point for ROW came when PK Dhawaan and Kribs Govender earnt a hard fought 2&1 victory against Ken Daly and Chris Appleby.

There was then a tremendous match when Alastair Price and Margaret Tindale came back from three down with three to play to halve their match against Doug Douglass and Brian O'Connor.

This was followed by another dramatic finish as Europe's Geff Briant and Alan Clifford won on the 18th against Jan Horn and Tom Riddell despite a tremendous chip from Tom.

The final match of the day saw the ever successful pairing of Joan Heeter and Sandy Douglass defeat Europe's James Gear and Geoff Seabrook 2&1 making the score at the end of day one Europe 3.5 ROW 2.5. It was arguably the most exciting first day in Swingers Final history, and at the Taste of Scotland dinner which followed that evening the betterball pairings were eagerly awaited. And those pairings are as follows:

Alastair Price/Sam Loxton (EUR) v Kribs Govender/PK Dhawaan (ROW)
Martin Derrick/Mark Attwell (EUR) v Brian O'Connor/Sandy Douglass (ROW)
James Gear/Alan Horn (EUR) v Janus Horn/Joan Heeter (ROW)
Ken Daly/Geoff Seabrook (EUR) v Doug Douglass/Jan Horn (ROW)
Geff Briant/Chris Appleby (EUR) v Tom Riddell/Christine Godorov (ROW)
Margaret Tindale/Alan Clifford (EUR) v Rajive Johri/Mo Reardon (ROW)

DAY ONE RESULTS - FOURSOMES

Derrick/Attwell (EUR) bt Janus Horn/Johri (ROW) 4&3
Loxton/Alan Horn (EUR) bt Godorov/Reardon (ROW) 3&2
Dhawaan/Govender (ROW) bt Daly/Appleby (EUR) 2&1
Briant/Clifford (EUR) bt Jan Horn/Riddell (ROW) BY 1 HOLE
Price/Tindale (EUR) halved with Doug Douglass/O'Connor (ROW)
Heeter/Sandy Douglass (ROW) bt Gear/Seabrook (EUR) 2&1

MATCH SCORE EUROPE 3.5 ROW 2.5

Monday 16th September DAY ONE

Throughout the day our finalists arrived by air on our Little Red service from London with the exception of a small minority who drove to Gleneagles. It's hard not to be impressed on the drive in as to your right you see the lush fairways of the PGA Centenary Course and to your left the Queens and Kings Course. Then as you drive closer you see the splendour of the hotel itself.

After all the talk and tweeting over the past few weeks, the event finally kicked off for real with our evening welcome buffet. First we had the captains speeches where Alastair Price of Team Europe presented his ROW counterpart with a Rules of Golf book before enthusing over the opportunity of playing the Ryder Cup course not once but twice over the coming days. Team ROW Captain Janus Horn followed explaining what the Swingers Final meant to him and how it was a fantastic opportunity for all of the finalists to experience what the Ryder Cup must feel like for the professionals. Janus had already shown his organisational skills by managing to get his whole team to turn up to the evening event wearing the traditional colour of the ROW team - red, although as we know it's hot pink this year!

It was then onto the team meetings which involved many a deep discussion before we were finally presented with our day one pairings for both the morning practice round on the Kings and the first round foursomes on the Queens. The pairings are as follows:

Martin Derrick/Mark Attwell v Janus Horn/Rajive Johri
Sam Loxton/Alan Horn v Christine Godorov/Mo Reardon
Ken Daly/Chris Appleby v PK Dhawaan/Kribs Govender
Geff Briant/Alan Clifford v Jan Horn/Tom Riddell
Alastair Price/Margaret Tindale v Doug Douglass/Brian O'Connor
James Gear/Geoff Seabrook v Joan Heeter/Sandy Douglass

There was then just time for a quick fun quiz won by one half of Team Europe incidentally, before it was time to retire (well some of us retired to rest!) before the real action begins in the morning!

Sunday 15th September 1 DAY TO GO!

The day before the final and most of our preparation is now complete. We had a trip in the wind and rain this morning to Stirling Castle to meet with the events team there. It really is a special place steeped in history and a fantastic setting for our final night dinner on Wednesday.

A trip to the local supermarket followed to buy snacks and drinks for the transfers which got a few strange looks when we returned to the hotel front entrance and unloaded!

Although a very stormy morning, the sun has been shining in spells this afternoon and with a bit of luck we have had the worst weather before our guests have even arrived. Many of them will be starting their journeys as I write including ROW Captain Janus Horn who is flying from Durban to J’burg to London to Edinburgh. Our European finalists meanwhile will be busy packing and getting ready for their slightly shorter trips tomorrow (apart from Sam Loxton currently flying from Hong Kong).

Sleep well everyone as the fun starts for real tomorrow. The Season 10 Final is finally here!

Saturday 14th September 2 DAYS TO GO!

It’s been a very busy day so far on site at Gleneagles. We had the full event planning meeting this morning will the hotel and golf team and all the final touches were put in place. We also made a change to the tees for the practice round on the Kings. The yellows and reds will be used for the Kings, and whites and reds for the Queens. This is because we need to ensure everyone is back in within 4 hours to give themselves enough time for lunch before the final starts for real on the Queens.

We’ve spent the rest of the day so far sorting out the events office, packing welcome packs and getting our first view of the shirts. They look good – royal blue for Europe and hot pink for ROW, not the red we originally thought but we like it!

We’ve got a bit more sorting out to do in the office and then we can take a break. Maybe Luke and I might even play a bit of pitch and putt match play to get us in the mood!

We’ve then got another busy day tomorrow as we head up to Stirling Castle for a meeting and then buy some last minute items for the event. It’s going to be a very stormy day but best to get that out the way before our finalists arrive!

For those of you setting off on your journeys tomorrow, safe travels and we look forward to seeing you here on Monday.

Friday 13th September 3 DAYS TO GO!

We thoroughly enjoyed our flight up to Scotland on Little Red this morning, and after picking up our rental car, we were at Gleneagles by the early afternoon. The rooms are stunning as is the whole hotel and of course the three courses.

Thanks to Sandy today who took an hour and a half out of his time to buggy us around the whole of the PGA Centenary course and some of the holes on the King’s and Queen’s. All 3 courses are in unbelievable condition, and there’s some great match play holes for our finalists to enjoy. Some of the greens look really tricky and are currently measuring 11.5 on the stimp meter. It’s going to be fun!

Our finalists will get a real feel for the Ryder Cup when playing the PGA Centenary. Some of the hospitality units are up on the 18th green, as they are being tested for next year’s event,, and you can see exactly where on each hole the stands will be erected as the ground has been cleared in preparation.

Looking at our finalists as a whole we have taken the decision to play the Kings and Queen’s off the whites for men and the reds for ladies, whilst both rounds on the PGA Centenary will be off the yellows for men and the reds for ladies.

It’s definitely a little bit chilly up here, so pack some jumpers and those waterproofs. The worst of the weather is forecast Sunday and Monday so by the time our finalists arrive on site, the conditions should be kinder!

Tomorrow’s a busy day for us as we set up our events office, but the excitement is building as we count down to Monday.

Thursday 12th September 4 DAYS TO GO!

One of those classic pre-event days at Swingers HQ where everything that can be done before heading onsite has been done, and you cross your fingers and hope for no last minute changes to throw a slight spanner in the works. So our focus turns away from the computer and to packing up our gear – all our final documentation, the rest of the welcome packs, and a 27 page 'to do' list for the next 7 days and then it’s waterproofs and spare waterproofs. It’s a different packing to last year that’s for sure, but equally if not more exciting!

Luke and I have been lucky over the years running some events at some amazing venues such as Turnberry, Loch Lomond, The K Club, Valderrama , Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Manhattan Woods in New York, Turnberry Isle in Miami, and many others. This will be our first event at Gleneagles and I am sure we will remember it for a long time as we do those others. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a fair bit of time with the Managing Director of Gleneagles, Patrick Elsmie, out in the US this summer and some of our finalists would have had the pleasure of meeting him at the New York and LA days. He is very passionate about his hotel and the service they give and is excited about the Swingers Final visiting his property 12 months prior to the Ryder Cup.

We fly up tomorrow morning on Little Red to Edinburgh – a service I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy on Monday. We are then spending Friday afternoon walking the courses and making the final decision on tees now that we know our finalists and their standard of golf.

We’ll update you more once we’re on site!

Wednesday 11th September 5 DAYS TO GO!

Our penultimate day in the office before flying up to Scotland! We had a great final run through with the team up at Virgin Atlantic HQ yesterday, and everyone is excited about next week. 2 big pallets of all our gear arrives at the venue tomorrow and sorting those out should keep us busy on Saturday when we set up our events office.

Before that we’d better start doing our own packing. Who knows what the weather will be doing next week but according to the good old BBC website, we are still looking at a dry week with a shower or two on Monday and a little bit of wind to test the finalists.

I think all our finalists are ready now, I know our two captains most certainly are. We’ve been really impressed with how they have both taken to their roles the last couple of weeks. Their blogs and regulary tweets have roused their troops and I am sure this will continue on Monday in person.

Monday 9 September 7 DAYS TO GO!

So with just one week to go we start our final week in the office before heading up to Gleneagles on Friday, where preparations will then be completed. Today is a day for working through some of those last minute actions on the giant ‘to do list’ and preparing for our final run through at Virgin Atlantic tomorrow. This will be a chance for the four of us to sit down and fine tune our plans.

The latest forecast for Gleneagles is some light rain on Sunday, and then dry for next week with a temperature of about 13 degrees. It looks like a brisk wind will make things interesting for our finalists, and should add some real spice to the occasion.

If there's still any last minute practice rounds to be played, play well but don’t use up all your best shots just yet!

Thursday 5 September 2013 11 DAYS TO GO!

Wow! This week has gone fast, but we are pretty much on schedule in our preparation for Gleneagles. The weather here in the south of England has been stunning, not sure what it's been like in Scotland?! We are getting close enough now to start having a tentative look at the long range forecast for our final. So far so good, when we arrive on site next Friday it's forecast to be around 19 degrees and dry - we'll take that! Of course we know never to trust weather forecasts, so make sure you come prepared for all conditions!

All Euro finalists who are flying up on Little Red now have their e-tickets, and we are told that the ROW tickets are imminent. We also have our flights now booked and after arriving next Friday, we will spend the whole weekend preparing on site with meetings at the hotel, the golf club and at Stirling Castle. It will be great to finally get on site, but for now we continue our preparations in the office.

Tuesday 3 September 2013 13 DAYS TO GO!

This week's all about putting together the final logistics of our biggest event of the year. We're lucky to be working with a great team at Gleneagles, who have been a great help the last few days as our office gets busier and busier! We've had fun putting together the presentation of players for our welcome buffet. It's been really interesting seeing how many long serving Swingers we have, some of them attending their first ever final.

It's always great to have a mix of returning finalists and first timers. You need that mix to ensure the very special atmosphere we have been lucky to witness at all our previous finals. Knowing this year's finalists, there promises to be a lot of banter and fun across the week. We've already had a taste of it on our twitter feed, and by the time we all join up a week on Monday, some of these finalists will feel like they know each other even if they have never met!

Friday 30 August 2013 17 DAYS TO GO!

It only seems like last week that we were writing the blog for the Season 9 Final in Miami, and yet here we are again with just 2 weeks before the team head up to Scotland to begin onsite preparations for our 10th anniversary final.

In our minds, we always felt Scotland was the perfect fit for this year's final. We wanted something a little different after two years in Florida, and of course as soon as the Little Red service was announced, everything fitted into place. We were blown away when we made our first visit to Gleneagles in December - the history, the service and of course the expectation of being able to host our 'Ryder Cup' final on the very fairways the Ryder Cup will compete on one year later.

We were back at Gleneagles in July putting everything in place for what we are sure will be a memorable experience for our final. It will be deliberately different to Miami and Orlando as you would expect, but equally exciting.

Our finalists are now confirmed and you can read their profiles on our Team Europe and Team ROW pages. Our captains picked themselves really. Both Janus and Alastair seemed to go together - if we chose one as captain, it seemed naturally to choose the other.

We are busy sorting flights for everyone and these will be confirmed next week. Our joining instructions are now imminent.

But there's plenty of other things to get cracking on with next week, but we do that with great excitement. It's a special time of year not just for our finalists but for everyone in the Flying Club Swingers team.

Enjoy your weekend

Paul

 

Click here for details of the venue.

The final is for most finalists unlike anything else they will have experienced in amateur golf. Team captains chosen from within each team host team meetings each night where the all important pairings are announced for each day’s play and tactics are decided.

Hearing your name read out over the PA on the first tee ‘Representing Europe’ or ‘Representing Rest of the World’ sends a tingle down your spine. Every putt and every shot is not just for yourself but for your team and the Swingers they represent at home who didn’t make the final.

There’s nothing like the pressure and excitement of the Swingers final, as you get to play foursomes on day one, fourball matches on day two and Singles matches on day three to decide the winners of the Season 11 title.

By the end of it, our finalists have not only had a truly memorable experience, they will also have made new life long friendships.

Some quotes from previous finalists:

”I compared the Swingers Final to the Ryder Cup - once you've played in one, you never want to miss it again.” Hugh O’Connor

“The hardest part of The Final comes now. How can I possibly put into words what it meant and felt like to be part of Season 9 Miami The Final, and do it justice. I have been fortunate to play in some outstanding golf events in the last few years ,but without a doubt this was my most memorable, enjoyable, well organised and run.” Martin Derrick

“I think it is fair to say that I have never enjoyed 5 days so much in my life ... not just the golf but the camaraderie too.” Janet Melville

“We all now know what it feels like to be an A List Hollywood star, when everything is organised with perfection and all your needs are catered for.” Alan Horn

“What an amazing event you put on at Gleneagles. I had no idea how good this was going to be. I changed my allegiance to Virgin Atlantic years ago because of the attitude of the staff that we passengers interact with. It's great to see this has not changed. Now I have to start working on my game to make sure I qualify next year.” Geoff Seabrook


 

Day 1- Foursomes

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Day 3 - Singles

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