Season Eleven Final - 10 - 13 November 2014
Season 11 Final Blog - Our Final Summary!
As we return to our office and look out at the cold grey skies of Southern England, it’s hard to believe that this time last week we were preparing for the arrival of our finalists.
What an incredible week we had. It would be very easy to say each year ‘this was the best final ever!’ but this time it just might well have been. What made it so special was a mixture of all the elements we look for coming together at the same time. Great venues providing great service, perfect weather, a very competitive final and most importantly 24 finalists who played the final in the true spirit of what Swingers stands for – friendship and fun with a little bit of a competitive edge!
We will have long memories of finalists hugging at the end of matches whether they won or lost, the elation from winning close matches and the leadership shown by two fantastic captains. Swingers meant a lot to all of them, and hopefully you can tell how much it means to us.
Having worked on Season 11 for over a year now, it’s hard to finally let go and to realise that we won’t be speaking to our friends in Barbados on a weekly basis. Who knows, maybe we will return one day?
Thank you to everyone who made the Season 11 Final so special. Thank you to our rookies who got their first taste of a final – we hope to see many new finalists next year. Thank you for the amazing gifts you provided the team, but most importantly thank you for being true ambassadors of Swingers. Some great friendships were made and an amazing, fun but competitive tournament took place. We couldn’t ask for anymore.
After a little bit of ‘washing up’ today, our attention immediately turns to Season 12. We cannot wait. Swingers is unique, fun and memorable. You’ve all added to those memories this past season, and we are determined that Season 12 will provide even more.
Thank you for reading our blog.
Summary of other final results:
Day 1 - Nearest the Pin (Apes Hill, Hole 8) - Paul Marsh
Day 1 - Nearest the Pin (Apes Hill, Hole 16) - Brian O'Connor
Day 2 - Nearest the Pin (Royal Westmoreland, Hole 7) - James Hewson
Day 2 - Longest Drive Men (Royal Westmoreland, Hole 13) - Martin Derrick
Day 2 - Longest Drive Ladies (Royal Westmoreland, Hole 13) - Chris Appleby
Day 3 - Nearest the Pin (Apes Hill, Hole 8) - Andrew Lyth
Day 3 - Nearest the Pin (Apes Hill, Hole 16) - Brian O'Connor
Season 11 Final Blog - Thursday 13 November - Day Four
The final day. Monday afternoon only seems like a couple of hours ago, unfortunately it’s all gone so fast. Yet again we had a glorious day of weather with just a couple of very short sharp showers to cool us down.
With scores tied at 6-6 after the fourballs, it was anyone’s final going into the singles, and there was a sense of real anticipation on the first tee when captains Steve and Alan went off first.
Steve du Preez played very well yet again defeating Alan Horn 5&3 to bring Team ROW ahead. However Jackie Halstead levelled things up with a comprehensive 8&7 win over Christine Godorov.
Andrew Lyth had an incredible match with Anne Lowe winning on the 18th. James Gear won 6&5 to again level things up in the final, but from there onwards it was a sea of blue. Chris Appleby beat Mark Ray by 2 holes. James Hewson beat Mo Reardon 7&5. Mark Attwell beat Tom Riddell 3&2.
However Gary Jones got a rare victory for ROW with a win on the 18th against Luke Lawson.
And then Europe comprehensively finished the job with Paul Marsh beating PK Dhawaan 5&4, Pat Vickers beat Ken Sugden 3&2, Martin Derrick beat Dennis Gyde 5&3 and finally Peter Parker beat Brian O’Connor 5&3.
The final match score finished ROW 9 Europe 15, and it was left for Alan Horn to deservedly lift the trophy for Europe. It really was an amazing final and for two days incredibly close. Both captains did an amazing job and Steve was incredibly sporting in defeat.
Our finalists flying back to London have now left, and early in the morning the US guests will depart. It really has been an amazing final played in the true Swingers spirit. Fantastic golf, fantastic friendships and fantastic fun.
Anyone for Season 12?
Du Preez (ROW) beat Horn (EUR) 5&3
Halstead (EUR) beat Godorov (ROW) 8&7
Lyth (ROW) beat Lowe (EUR) by 1 hole
Gear (EUR) beat Wilson (ROW) 6&5
Appleby (EUR) beat Ray (ROW) by 2 holes
Hewson (EUR) beat Reardon (ROW) 7&5
Attwell (EUR) beat Riddell (ROW) 3&2
Jones (ROW) beat Lawson (ROW) by 1 hole
Marsh (EUR) beat Dhawaan (ROW) 5&4
Vickers (EUR) beat Sugden (ROW) 3&2
Derrick (EUR) beat Gyde (ROW) 5&3
Parker (EUR) beat O’Connor (ROW) 5&3
FINAL MATCH SCORE: REST OF THE WORLD 9 EUROPE 15
Season 11 Final Blog - Wednesday 12 November - Day Three
An amazing day’s golf sums up day three of our final. On another very hot day on the island of Barbados, Team ROW knew they had to come out fighting and they did exactly that.
4-2 behind after the foursomes, Andrew Lyth and captain Steve du Preez immediately reduced the deficit to one with a comprehensive 5&4 victory over Mark Attwell and Pat Vickers. This was followed by Brian O’Connor and Gary Jones who beat Chris Appleby and James Gear 4&2 to bring the match level at 4-4.
Rookie Mark Ray and Tom Riddell beat European captain Alan Horn and Peter Parker 5&3 to take ROW into the lead for the first time.
It was soon clawed back by Europe however with a 7&6 win for Martin Derrick and Luke Lawson over Christine Godorov and Bill Wilson, and a 8&7 win for Ann Lowe and James Hewson over Ken Sugden and Mo Reardon.
So with Europe leading 6-5 all focus turned to the final match. Once again we were delighted to see nearly every finalist out following their team mates up the last couple of holes. PK Dhawaan and Dennis Gyde were 3up with 4 to play against Paul Marsh and rookie Jackie Halstead, but some great golf by the Europeans brought it back to all square up the last. The scene epitomised everything which is so unique about the Swingers final as the finalists gathered around the green in excitement. Both PK and Dennis played superb approaches to take the hole and the point for Team ROW to ensure we go into the final day at 6-6.
It promises to be a very special final day. First however, there was time for relaxation on the sunset catamaran cruise down the coast where our finalists could unwind, relax and swim with the turtles and other marine life which surrounds this beautiful island.
It was then onto one of the finest restaurants in the world – The Cliff, for a very special meal hosted by the Barbados Tourist Authority and their CEO William Griffith. Overlooking the stunning Caribbean Sea, it was a very special night. In these fabulous settings, the pairings for the final day singles were announced:
Du Preez (ROW) v Horn (EUR)
Godorov (ROW) v Halstead (EUR)
Lyth (ROW) v Lowe (EUR)
Wilson (ROW) v Gear (EUR)
Ray (ROW) v Appleby (EUR)
Reardon (ROW) v Hewson (EUR)
Riddell (ROW) v Attwell (EUR)
Jones (ROW) v Lawson (EUR)
Dhawaan (ROW) v Marsh (EUR)
Sugden (ROW) v Vickers (EUR)
Gyde (ROW) v Derrick (EUR)
O'Connor (ROW) v Parker (EUR)
Day Two results in full:
Lyth/Du Preez (ROW) beat Attwell/Vickers (EUR) 5&4
O’Connor/Jones (ROW) beat Appleby/Gear (EUR) 4&2
Ray/Riddell (ROW) beat Horn/Parker (EUR) 5&3
Derrick/Lawson (EUR) beat Godorov/Wilson (ROW) 7&6
Lowe/Hewson (EUR) beat Sugden/Reardon (ROW) 8&7
Gyde/Dhawaan (ROW) beat Marsh/Halstead (EUR) by 1 hole
Current Match Score: ROW 6 EUROPE 6
Season 11 Final Blog - Tuesday 11 November - Day Two
It was an early morning start for our finalists today, as we made the short journey to the stunning Apes Hill Golf Club. After the obligatory team photos it was straight onto the practice rounds, where our finalists were able to get a feel for this incredible course. The consensus was that this is indeed a very special course, especially holes 12, 13 and 14 which rival anything in the world.
After a lunch by the pool in the heat of the day, it was time to start the final proper and it was down to Dennis Gyde from Australia to hit the first ball of the foursomes. It’s never an easy thing being announced on the tee, especially when you know it’s the first ball in anger of a much anticipated final.
Soon everyone was on their way, and we saw some superb golf this afternoon. Team ROW made a great start, but by the turn Team Europe were clawing their way back. James Gear and Pat Vickers bagged the first point of the final with a 6&5 victory over Mark Ray and Ken Sugden and this was soon followed by Paul Marsh and Peter Parker defeating ROW’s Tom Riddell and Bill Wilson 4&2. Europe went 3-0 up after captain Alan Horn and Ann Lowe beat PK Dhawaan and Christine Godorov 3&2.
A really close match at the head of the field saw Dennis Gyde and Mo Reardon just miss out, losing 3&1 to Martin Derrick and Jackie Halstead. 4-0 to Europe and it was looking grim for ROW.
However Team ROW showed great spirit, with captain Steve du Preez and Gary Jones winning 5&3 against Chris Appleby and Luke Lawson. The final match was a nail biter with 80% of our finalists deciding to follow it down holes 16 and 17. In the end the pairing of Andrew Lyth and Brian O’Connor defeated Mark Attwell and James Hewson 2&1 to leave the first day finishing ROW 2 Europe 4 and all to play for in the second day fourballs.
Dinner took place at Daphne’s Restaurant overlooking the beach, and it was there that the captains confirmed the following pairings for the fourballs:
Andrew Lyth / Steve du Preez (ROW) v Mark Attwell / Pat Vickers (EUR)
Brian O’Connor / Gary Jones (ROW) v Chris Appleby / James Gear (EUR)
Mark Ray / Tom Riddell (ROW) v Alan Horn / Peter Parker (EUR)
Christine Godorov / Bill Wilson (ROW) v Martin Derrick / Luke Lawson (EUR)
Ken Sugden / Mo Reardon (ROW) v Anne Lowe / James Hewson (EUR)
Dennis Gyde/ PK Dhawaan (ROW) v Paul Marsh / Jackie Halstead (EUR)
Day One Results in full:
Derrick/Halstead (EUR) beat Gyde/Reardon (ROW) 3&1
Marsh/Parker (EUR) beat Riddell/Wilson (ROW) 4&2
Horn/Lowe (EUR) beat Dhawaan/Godorov (ROW) 3&2
Gear/Vickers (EUR) beat Ray/Sugden (ROW) 6&5
Du Preez/Jones (ROW) beat Appleby/Lawson (EUR) 5&3
Lyth/O'Connor (ROW) beat Attwell/Hewson (EUR) 2&1
MATCH SCORE: ROW 2 EUROPE 4
Season 11 Final Blog - Monday 10 November - Day One
And so at last after what seems like the longest build up in history, we can finally say the Season 11 Final of Flying Club Swingers has begun!
We began day one with our last couple of meetings whilst our finalists from Europe and the Rest of the World flew across to the beautiful island of Barbados.
By lunchtime we were on our way to the airport to greet them. First to arrive from Miami were our Americans, Australians, our finalist from India and a couple of Europeans who had been holidaying in Florida! Within an hour VS27 touched down and the rest of our finalists were finally on their way to the Tamarind Resort.
On arrival, they were immediately welcomed with a mint enthused cold towel and more importantly our Virgin signature rum punch before they got to see their stunning rooms for the first time.
Both flights came in early so there was time for our finalists to take a stroll, a swim in the pool or the beautiful Caribbean Sea, or for some head straight for the bar.
The Welcome Buffet overlooking the beautiful beach took place this evening. The food was superb as was the entertainment by the local steel pan player. It was great to see both teams finally come together and congratulations in particular to Team ROW who were all dressed in white for the occasion!
After the initial welcomes, we welcomed ROW Captain Steve du Preez up to say a few words and present his shirts to his team. This was followed by European Captain Alan Horn who also had a special gift for his opposing captain.
Both team meetings were business like and it was clear both sets of players were ready and prepared for tomorrow’s battle.
It was then down to us to reveal the official first day’s pairings for both the practice round and more importantly the afternoon foursomes.
The evening finished up with both captains being interviewed on camera discussing their hopes for the week ahead.
The pairings for tomorrow are as follows:
Dennis Gyde / Mo Reardon (ROW) v Martin Derrick / Jackie Haltead (EUR)
Tom Riddell / Bill Wilson (ROW) v Paul Marsh / Peter Parker (EUR)
PK Dhawaan / Christine Godorov (ROW) v Alan Horn / Ann Lowe (EUR)
Mark Ray / Ken Sugden (ROW) v James Gear / Pat Vickers (EUR)
Steve du Preez / Gary Jones (ROW) v Chris Appleby / Luke Lawson (EUR)
Andrew Lyth / Brian O’Connor(ROW) v Mark Attwell / James Hewson (EUR)
Season 11 Final Blog - Sunday 9 November - 1 day to go!
What a difference a day makes! After yesterday’s wash out which saw 5 inches fall in 4 hours, we were greeted with sunshine this morning which lasted all day.
We spent the morning at Royal Westmoreland where we met with their team and drove round the course. We’ve decided on white tees for men and red for ladies.
It was then straight onto Apes Hill to do what we planned to do yesterday. We studied the course in detail and have decided on Gold tees for men and red for ladies, although on the stunning 12th hole, we are moving the men’s tees back to the white, as we feel our male finalists will enjoy the extra challenge of this stunning hole.
We then moved on to Bridgetown to meet up with the cruise company, and all is set for a great sunset cruise this Wednesday.
Back at the hotel we followed up with meetings with our transfer company and then our film crew who will be making a promo film of the event.
As we write this now we are looking forward to the start of an amazing final. It really is finally here!
Season 11 FInal Blog - Saturday 8 November - 2 days to go!
Our first full day setting up on the island, and one thing we are learning fast is you just can’t predict the weather!
We started off the day with a productive meeting with the hotel team, where we made our final decisions on Monday night’s welcome buffet. We then spent the rest of the morning setting up our tournament office – once that’s done we all feel very much at home! Finalists’ welcome packs are now half packed and the ROW team shirts are all here. We now await the other half of our team to arrive along with the European team shirts.
It was then off to Apes Hill where it was great to catch up again with Ben, the general manager. We discussed plans for Tuesday and Thursday, and then sorted out the branding which is now packed away ready for the off. We were also lucky enough to catch up with Gary Jones, one of our ROW finalists, who had just completed his round (scoring very well!) and it’s great to see he’s excited about next week even if the final is on his home course!
Our plan was to then study the course and make a final decision on tees, but unfortunately the weather beat us. We’ve had rain on and off all morning but this afternoon the heavens opened and it was just not possible to get out there. Ben very kindly let us share the club member’s BBQ lunch and we then rearranged to try again tomorrow.
We are now back in the tournament office getting more of our items ready and awaiting the third member of our team to arrive.
Enjoy your Saturday evening Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Friday 7 November - 3 days to go!
After an early start we checked in all our kit and luggage and spent a relaxing hour in the surroundings of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse where we were delighted to meet up with an old friend of ours, Adela who worked with us on the very first Virgin Atlantic golf final in Orlando (Swingers Season -1!).
After a smooth flight over, we landed on the beautiful island of Barbados, and picked up our van for the week, which will be used to transport finalist clubs and branding between venues.
It’s easy to forget just how quickly it gets dark here! By the time we had checked into our rooms, the sunset was in full swing, and we are now writing this in pitch darkness by the pool.
We are unable to access our pallet this evening, which arrived early this morning, so it’s time to relax, focus on the days ahead and ready ourselves for our first meeting tomorrow at 0830.
Have a great weekend Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Thursday 6 November - 4 days to go!
Hard to believe that after all the preparation which stretches back to October last year, we are packing up our office ready to fly out to Barbados in the morning.
As we’ve seen in our twitter review the last few weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in some amazing finals over the last 10 years. We’ve been around the UK, to Orlando twice, Miami, Southern California and now we’re off to the Caribbean for the first time.
As you would expect, we’ve already begun discussing potential locations for the S12 final, but for now that’s pushed to one side as we all focus on doing our very best to provide a spectacular S11 final.
As we pack our cases, we look forward to an amazing week ahead where we the hope the overriding memories will be finalists smiling, laughing, bonding and playing some great competitive golf to make it an exciting final right up to the last putt is sunk.
Overall, we want guests leaving next Thursday having had a very special week with friends old and new.
Enjoy the rest of your day Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Wednesday 5 November - 5 days to go!
Final deliveries have been made to Virgin Atlantic’s base, and everything we should need is now ready to go! We’ve started packing up all our gear and as with all trips, we keep our fingers crossed we have enough space!
We tweeted images of the shirts today so our finalists now know what they’re wearing. We think they look great and quite possibly are our best final shirts ever.
One thing we are definitely going to make sure we do this year is get some decent team photos. It proved really difficult last year due to the cold and the rain and by the time we got the teams together at the end, most people had changed out of their shirts. We won’t miss the opportunity this time however with a roll call for team shots prior to the first tee time at 0700 on Tuesday!
We had another piece of good news today with the confirmation that William Griffith, the new CEO of the Barbados Tourist Authority will be attending our dinner at the Cliff on Wednesday night. We look forward to meeting him as I am sure will our finalists.
Enjoy the rest of your day Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Tuesday 4 November - 6 days to go!
We are now down to just the last few tweaks in our preparations for Barbados, and soon our thoughts will turn to packing up our gear ready for our departure.
Tomorrow sees the arrival of our Virgin Atlantic shirts - this year provided by Virgin Atlantic themselves, so we will look very official on site! For our finalists, we promise to tweet pictures of their shirts tomorrow – both men’s and ladies’ versions for Team Europe and Team ROW.
Our two captains produced their final pre-event blogs today, and you can read them on the Team Europe and Team ROW page.
We are constantly checking the forecast for Barbados. As suspected, we are probably going to get a couple of showers each day but hopefully it won’t amount to too much. It’s normal for the region this time of year, but a couple of showers in 28 degrees heat shouldn’t be too hard to take for our finalists!
Enjoy the rest of your day Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Monday 3 November - 7 days to go!
In just 7 days time, our finalists will be arriving on the island of Barbados, and the long wait for the Season 11 final will finally be over.
For us, we have just 3 more office days to get our last minute preparations complete. It’s been a busy day printing documents, and making sure that everything that can be done back here is completed and ready.
There are of course certain final preparations that can only be done on site, and those will start as soon as we arrive at Tamarind Resort on Friday.
We were delighted this morning with the arrival of all the finalist shirts. They look great, and no doubt our finalists will be eager to get their hands on them on Monday night at the welcome buffet.
One of our regular Swingers who didn’t quite make this year’s final suggested that Trendy Golf could produce some replica final shirts to be worn by supporters! Well, it might not be a bad idea, never say never!
Our finalists were sent an official team sheet today, listing the players and their playing handicaps for the final. I’m sure both captains will be studying these eagerly over the course of this week as they finalise in their minds their tactics for the first day’s pairings. We’ve all worked out in our minds who we would pair with who and in what order we would send them out. It will be fascinating to see what Alan and Steve decide to do!
Enjoy the rest of your day Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Friday 31 October - 10 days to go!
Our countdown changes from weeks to days, as we move ever closer to our final out in Barbados.
We are expecting the arrival of our final shirts at the beginning of next week. Our lady finalists will be wearing Puma – red for ROW and blue for Europe, whilst our men will be sporting Wolsey, a brand very similar in style to the JLindenburg shirts sent out in the goody bags.
Trendy Golf have been an excellent partner for us this year, giving our Swingers an opportunity to wear some high quality golfwear both during the season and now at the final.
One thing we would definitely advise our finalists to pack however is their waterproofs! Yes we hope for wall to wall sunshine, but the climate this time of the year in Barbados does suggest we will get the odd heavy shower. The beauty is that those showers are even warm, and within minutes, you would have never known it had rained in the first place!
So one week today, the team will be flying out of Gatwick to begin final preparations on site. Before that, there’s still plenty to do back here, but rest assured come Thursday night, we will be packed ready for the off.
Enjoy your weekend Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Wednesday 29 October - 2 weeks to go!
It’s been a busy first half of the week as we continue our preparations for Barbados, but also begin in earnest our preparations for Season 12! What’s more, we’ve started to dispatch over 57 prizes to our well deserved leaderboard winners all over the world.
It’s very easy at this time of the year to get caught up in the excitement of everything that is the end of season Final, but we never forget that the Final is just one part of Swingers, and the leaderboard prizes are proof of that. We hope very much that more than just the 24 finalists can look back at the year, and say they’ve had a memorable Season 11, otherwise we have definitely failed in our aims.
To this effect, we’ve been preparing our end of season surveys. These will be dispatched immediately on our return from Barbados, and we would love as many of you as possible to spend 10 minutes filling these out. We can get a general idea of how things are going through twitter, the discussion board, and meeting some of you at our days, but the surveys give us a great opportunity to gain a lot more feedback.
We’ve also been preparing our Final review newsletter which will come out just before Christmas. Due to long lead times, we set it up very early to then drop in our final report on our return. Also in this newsletter we will be announcing the all important date from which we will accept scores for S12. Soon after that, we hope to start taking bookings for our UK society days next season.
There won’t be any time to rest post final, as we will be ploughing full steam ahead to get things up and running as soon as possible for S12.
In the meantime, our focus is clearly on Barbados, and our departure in just 9 days time. It’s coming around quick!
Season 11 Final Blog - Monday 27 October – 2 weeks to go!
It’s hard to believe there’s only 14 days left until we kick off the Season 11 Final. Even harder to believe that we leave for the island the end of next week.
Last week was a quieter one as some of us took some time out to recharge our batteries for the ‘run in’. It gets busy again this week, as final preparations for the event and our departure take place. Our kit should also be making its way to Barbados about now ready for our arrival next Friday.
Over on twitter, we’ve continue to look back at our previous finals. One of those was the memorable Season 5 final at Monarch Beach in Southern California, still probably our favourite final of all time. In those days guests only stayed for 2 nights, so it really was a non-stop whirlwind of golf and entertainment! We had an incredible afternoon kayaking off Laguna Beach with a BBQ to follow on the cliff with an awesome sunset as our backdrop. It was the most chilled excursion we’ve ever done. Mind you, our sunset cruise in Barbados complete with snorkelling promises to rival this!
On the golf course, we had an amazing contest, with scores tied at the end resulting in a 3 shot Nearest the Pin contest on the 18th hole. It really was everything we hoped for when we originally came up with the concept of a US v Europe final (no ROW in those days!), with every member of the two teams gathered around the green cheering on their two captains. As it was Hamish Rickman, the European captain managed to win it on the third shot from US Captain Chris Rossi to give Europe their first of what’s been five titles.
We really do feel that this year’s final has the makings of another classic similar to S5. The teams are closely matched on paper. Make no mistake, this is a very competitive ROW team, led by a very competitive captain, and they will be fighting tooth and nail to win the title against a strong European team. However, it’s only when those first pairs take their opening tee shots on the Tuesday afternoon that we will begin to find out what we are really in store for this year.
Check out our latest captains blogs on the Team Europe and Team ROW pages as they continue their preparations.
Not long to wait now! Enjoy your week Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Friday 17 October - 4 weeks to go!
So ends another week in our preparations for Barbados. Wednesday saw all our kit delivered to the Virgin Atlantic warehouse from where it will work it’s way to Barbados in time for our arrival to set up on site. Obviously with quite a few days left until we travel, we have to be organised and know exactly what we are going to need out on the island.
One thing that will have to go in our luggage is the team ribbons we purchased yesterday to decorate the cup for the prize giving ceremony. Will it be blue or red? You can make your own mind up by reading the latest captain’s blogs as they present their two teams. Check out the Team Europe and Team ROW pages.
Over on twitter the banter continues in full swing. We held a Sundog Eyewear twitter competition this week, where we asked everyone to come up with a team song. We had some interesting entries with 2 ex-finalists going the full distance and rewriting lyrics. It’s going to be hard to choose between them!
We’ve also started a series looking back at previous finals. First off we looked at our very first Flying Club golf final, the final which was later to develop into Swingers. It was in Orlando in July 2004, and my biggest memory was the humidity and the afternoon thunderstorms. The final was extravagant to say the least with helicopter rides, nightclub VIP areas, and an arcade games room which we hired into the hotel, not forgetting the alligator hired from one of the film studios which we hid out on one of the tees. Lots of fun!
We then looked at the first real Swingers Final at the Grove in Hertfordshire where a 16 year old boy by the name of John Tanner walked away with 2 Upper Class tickets to a destination of his choice! John took him mum to Sydney via Hong Kong of course! It was fun looking back at the pictures and seeing some of our long time Swingers taking part. You couldn’t fail to recognise the swing of Alastair Price, but also playing in that final were other Swingers who would play in later years such as Bob Scott, Geoff Linnell and George Copley. And amazingly there was also Ann Lowe, a finalist in Season 1 and now 10 seasons later in S11 making her second final.
We will continue to look back at more finals later next week, so it’s certainly worth checking us out @GolfingSwingers.
Enjoy your weekend Swingers!
Season 11 Final Blog - Tuesday 14 October 2014 - 4 weeks to go!
Only a month to go now until the final, and we are well on schedule. All the further information documents have been sent to finalists, and everyone has their flights.
The itinerary is no secret anymore! Our finalists will not only play 2 of the finest golf courses in the world, they will also experience one of the very best restaurants as well – the world famous Cliff. In addition away from the golf, we’ve got a sunset cruise planned down the West Coast which will include snorkelling stops at a shipwreck and coral reef as well as, with a bit of luck, the opportunity to swim in the wild with turtles.
Amazing as this trip will be, there’s no time for us to daydream about what’s to come. Our focus at the moment is on planning the small amount of time we have on the island before everyone arrives. There will be much to set up, and meetings to be arranged, plus we want to walk both courses to decide on our tees. It’s only now , knowing our confirmed 24, that we feel we can make this decision. We want to provide the best tees to maximise the enjoyment of our finalists, whilst also providing them with a good challenge.
The banter on twitter continues at pace. It’s great to see finalists and other Swingers getting involved. Look out for our captains’ team profiles on Friday, as they introduce all 11 of their team mates.
Enjoy your week Swingers.
Season 11 Final Blog - Friday 10 October 2014 - 5 weeks to go!
Well it’s certainly been a busy week! It’s been fantastic to see so much activity on twitter these last few days. We are delighted everyone is so excited and passionate about the final, and it’s brilliant to see those not playing this year also taking part in the banter. Long may this continue!
Once our finalists were known, we very quickly made a decision on our team captains. In fact, to be honest, we pretty much knew who our ROW captain was going to be 2-3 weeks ago as we knew he was going to qualify. When we first met Steve du Preez in Miami back at the Season 9 final, we loved his passion and his competitive spirit. He really wanted to win badly and it left a lasting impression on us. Steve happened to be playing in our Golf News event at Princes last month, so we got another opportunity to see his competitive side again. We came away knowing we had our ROW captain in the bag.
We have no doubt that Steve will make a great captain. He’s a great golfer which itself earns respect, but his passion and competitiveness is sure to rub on the rest of the team, and this will make a great final.
Alan Horn’s qualification went right down to the wire. His last score which would have comfortably earnt him qualification could not be verified in time due a delay at his club. Alan took the decision like a true gentleman and a great sportsman. Luckily for Alan, and unbeknown to him, once all the scores of those near a qualifying position were re-verified, Alan just sneaked in on bonus points. When we first met Alan also in Miami, we were struck by what a fantastic guy he was. He was clearly having the time of his life, and became an immensely important player in Hugh O’Connor’s team. He, like Steve, is also a single handicap golfer. What’s more Alan is a guy you can’t fail to like, and we think his enthusiasm for golf and Swingers itself will ensure the European team are in high spirits throughout the event.
Now the captains are chosen, you can expect to hear from them weekly in the run up to Barbados. We leave for Barbados four weeks today, but before that there’s a lot of work to do to make sure we are ready to deliver a memorable final.
Next week is all about admin. Our finalists will hopefully receive our further information packs early in the week, with flight confirmations to follow later in the week.
In the meantime you can read the thoughts of our two captains on their team pages - TEAM EUROPE and TEAM ROW.
Enjoy your weekend Swingers.
Season 11 Final Blog - Monday 6 October 2014 - 5 weeks to go!
It only seems like yesterday that we were updating this page with the results from our Season 10 Final, yet here we go again, another final to countdown to, and oh what a final! Two amazing courses, one amazing resort, and one stunning Caribbean island.
To say it's been a busy 7 days since the close of the season, is a little bit of an understatement! First we had the Princes day with Golf News which was great fun for us to run, and then there was the methodical rechecking of scores and bonus points for all those close to a qualifying position. By Wednesday morning we knew who our finalists were going to be, and it was then just a case of keeping our fingers crossed that everyone would accept their invites.
And now we have our 24 finalists listed here They look pretty evenly matched, and we would hazard a guess that we have more single figure handicappers than ever before. There's a great mix of previous finalists and rookies, and we now have the task of picking two captains. We've had plenty of discussions on this and we hope to announce our choices later this week.
Watch this space!
Season 11 Final - 10-13 November 2014
At the end of our Season the top 12 Rest of the World Swingers and the top 10 European Swingers* will compete in a Rest of the World v Europe Team Final in Barbados between 10-13 November 2014.
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
- To qualify for the end of season final, you must have completed one long-haul return flight with Virgin Atlantic or Delta (VS codeshare), or 6 UK domestic Little Red flights. However, if you were a S10 Finalist, you will need to have completed two long-haul return flights with Virgin Atlantic or Delta (VS codeshare), or 12 UK domestic Little Red flights. All flights must have been completed between 20th August 2013 and 29th September 2014. Please refer to the full terms and conditions here
- The 12 European Team Final places will be made up of 2 Flying Club Gold members qualifying from 2 Gold member invitational events, together with 10 Swingers from all European leaderboards – the split between each league and handicap division will be based on the number of active members in each league/division on Friday 15 August 2014.
- The 12 ROW Team Final places will be made up of 12 Swingers from all ROW/US leaderboards – the split between each league and handicap division will be based on the number of active members in each league/division on Friday 15 August 2014.
For further information see the FAQs or terms and conditions
For more information on Tamarind click here
For more information on Apes Hill click here
For more information on Royal Westmoreland click here