Team Rest of the World
Clinton Heap (Captain)
Welcome to the Team Rest of the World Page.
As we count down to the S14 final, this is to place to hear all the news from the Rest of the World captain, Clinton Heap, together with profiles of his team as the Rest of the World try to keep hold of the newly named Pedlar Trophy after their triumph in S13.
Captain's Blog - Final Summary
Streamsong; I suggest you add it to your ‘things to do’ list.
Three fantastic courses, excellent practice facilities, lavish accommodation and professional hospitality. Need I say more! Partner Milestone Events with Virgin Atlantic in arranging a season finale and the result is simple. A slick, professionally managed golf tournament containing a field of excited golfers. One has to participate in a final to appreciate just how special this event is.
Paul and Luke, Jenny and your management team, well done on hosting a fantastic event. I speak on behalf of the golfers from both ROW and Europe in commending your efforts; long will this experience last in each of our golfing memoirs.
Unfortunately the result did not go the way of Team ROW, but let me take this opportunity to say well played to my fellow team members, it was a pleasure to be your captain. I was very proud to lead a competitive team who conducted themselves professionally both on and off the golf course. Despite falling behind after the foursomes on day one, each of you remained positive and focussed with a desire to win, at all times representing Team ROW with true, sportsmanlike quality.
To my fellow captain Morag, and Team Europe, congratulations on a fine performance. A well deserved win by the best team across the 3 days. The competition was intense and the rivalry fierce, thank you for your part in making S14 a final to remember. Enjoy the win, it is thoroughly deserved but remember this. It sucks to lose. A determined ROW team will be back next year, more competitive and determined than ever to wrestle the trophy back.
S15 is almost upon us and as I write this, Paul is in negotiation with potential golf course (directors) for the long awaited UK society dates. As usual, they will fill up quickly so once released, I suggest you enter immediately. They are not to be missed and with the ever growing list of sponsors, will be more competitive than ever.
To my fellow golfing Swingers, get playing and post those scores, a place at the S15 final is up for grabs. Opportunity of a lifetime, absolutely!
Captain's Blog - Thursday 9 November
I’m writing my final blog under duress of severe cold and flu symptoms, a chest infection and an aching body.
“Of all the hazards, fear is the worst” Sam Snead.
Not ideal preparation leading into next week’s final but no excuses, the hard work has already been done during the course of the season. I am excited, very excited - Its hard not to be knowing a trip to Streamsong, captaining a very strong ROW side looking to successfully defend for the first time the Keith Pedlar Trophy, is the reward. Fuelled further by numerous ‘Twitter posts’ of previous finals setting the mood, it’s easy to understand why next Tuesday can’t come quickly enough! I speak on behalf of the entire ROW team in saying ‘Bring on the final, we are ready!’
“You don’t know what pressure is until you play for five bucks with only two bucks in your pocket” Lee Trevino
Since introducing Team ROW via my blog a couple weeks ago, I’ve been fortunate to spend quality time fine-tuning my swing at Spain’s no 1 course, PGA Catalunya. The perfect setting for both working on my game and giving thought to the team’s pairings.
“A golfer has to train his swing on the practice tee, then trust it on the course”. Dr Bob Rotella
Three days of competition between evenly matched teams will require both good golf and strategic nous. Having joined the Swingers League at a similar time to my fellow captain, not only have we played lots of golf together at Virgin arranged golf dates, we have remained friends away from the course. Appreciating the passion and respect for the game Morag has, I know she will pose a formidable challenge on the course, whilst preparing her team strategically away from it. Team ROW are ready to accept the challenge.
In this final week as the tension and pressure builds ahead of the S14 final, let us take a minute to reflect on all the hard work completed behind the scenes. An event of this stature does not take care of itself. Having been fortunate to attend a final, I can tell those that have not that this is one brilliant experience. You are spoilt both on and off the golf course, your every need catered for - free flights, accommodation, food and beverage, excursions, excellent hospitality, competitive golf including caddy, camaraderie and banter, the list is extensive.
Thanks to Paul and Luke, the Virgin Atlantic team and all the sponsors who make this event happen. Without your hard work and generosity, none of this would be possible.
In closing, I would like to wish my opponents Team EUR, the best of luck!
“I never rooted against an opponent, but I never rooted for him either” Arnold Palmer
Captain's Blog - Thursday 26 October
This week, as we continue the countdown to the final, I present my team profile after a few words from the Swingers team about the captain!
Clinton Heap (CAPT) Handicap 12
This larger than life character, all the way from South Africa, is an obvious choice for captain. Having made his final debut last year, Clinton lives and breathes Swingers taking part in nearly all our society days including the US day three years running. He’s competitive and wants to win for sure, but is all for embracing the true spirit of Swingers. We’re sure he’s going to make a great captain.
Richard Bird Handicap 10
Richard returns for his second final having made his debut in South Carolina back in S12. Originally from the UK, Richard now lives out in Florida so will be playing on home soil, his local knowledge will prove very useful indeed. Richard is known to ‘putt from anywhere’.
Duncan Castles Handicap 10
Making his third consecutive final appearance, Scotsman Duncan lives in Cape Town and plays his golf at Milnerton GC. Duncan won division 1 for the second year running and is in great form leading up to the Streamsong Final. Having represented Team ROW in a winning team, his experience will be crucial once we get out there.
Gary Chequer Handicap 14
Our first rookie this year is Gary Chequer who lives out in Botswana and is qualifying for the first time after 4 years as a Swinger. From his various posts on social media, this recently appointed Srixon ambassador is sure to be a great team player and a lot of fun, I look forward to him helping us defend our title. Gary is addicted to golf, having amassed 3 sets of clubs, 10 pairs of shoes, 38 shirts and 26 caps in the 4 years he has been playing. He has no money to go on dates!
Lesley Conway Handicap 20
Lesley, our second rookie, only joined Swingers in the Spring and like husband Thomas, already finds herself playing her first final! Lesley is a Brit living out in Florida and will have one of the shortest journeys to Streamsong. I’m sure she’s going to be a very valuable team player out in Florida. Lesley is short and strong with a will to win!
Thomas Conway Handicap 11
Husband to Lesley, Thomas is our third rookie also in his first year as a Swinger. Thomas’ son Simon played in the S12 final in South Carolina, and I am sure Simon has told him what to expect. Thomas looks an excellent golfer and he’s going to be a key component in our attempt to keep hold of the trophy. Will Lesley and Thomas be the first husband and wife combination to defend a ROW title?
Scott Murray Handicap 14
Our fourth and final rookie is Scott Murray. Until recently Scott was playing his golf out in Botswana along-side fellow finalist Gary Chequer, however has since moved back to the UK. Scott is a founding member of a golf society in Botswana, The Yawning Donkeys, having earned the nickname Bender. Due to his ability to move a golf ball from left to right with such ferocious bending power, on occasion almost hitting himself on the back of the head! Having converted this bend to a power fade, it’s great to see him make his debut appearance after 6 years as a swinger. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to be a key member of our team.
Andrew Davies Handicap 14
Always a popular finalist, the big Welshman with the dry sense of humour is one of only two of my team to have experienced two ROW wins! Andrew beat all the odds last year to get out to Sun City for the final after having heart surgery just weeks earlier. Nicknamed the dolphin, the new slimline Andrew is more like a ‘swordfish’ ready to cut through Team Europe like a knife! Having had the pleasure of drinking lots of beer with him at this year’s US Golf day at Maderas, I know he will be good value both on and off the field.
Simon Hudson Handicap 5
A great golfer returning for his second final is South African Simon Hudson who made his debut in South Carolina in S12. Simon has been a Swinger for 5 years and is a tough competitor. He will be eager for European scalps out in Florida. A great team player, I’m delighted to have him in my side. Armed with a new Scotty Cameron in his arsenal, Simon is ready for battle! Being a Liverpool supporter, this may be his only chance of winning something this year. He is not afraid of bunkers so will be well suited to Streamsong.
Gary Jones Handicap 17
Gary is making his third final appearance in 4 years as a Swinger. The Englishman who has been living out in Barbados has a decent record and he’s a dangerous opponent to have to play. He’s currently working in the UK so I’m delighted he will be travelling out to Florida with us to defend our trophy. Gary and Clinton’s Dad have something in common. Both do all things in life left handed except golf!
Andrew Lyth Handicap 3
What can I say about Andrew that hasn’t already been said? A hard act to follow as captain, Andrew led our team to a famous victory last year in Sun City. With a calm and quiet manner he oozes class on the fairways and this will mark his 7th final appearance. I will undoubtedly call upon all his experience to help us defend the title at Streamsong. Great fun both on and off the field, Andrew is always a great bloke to be around.
Tom Riddell Handicap 12
The second member of our team to have experienced two ROW wins, Tom is making his sixth final appearance. Tom’s in great form having finished top of US division 1, and I'm pretty sure that his experience and cool head will be crucial to our chances this time around. Tom is the opposite to Phil Mickelson, he is left-handed but has always played golf right-handed (though Is an ambidextrous putter). Good luck Tom, let’s hope you can make it a hat-trick of wins!
AVERAGE HANDICAP 12
Captain's blog - Friday 13 October
“Golf is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off”. Chi Chi Rodriguez
“I’m a golfaholic, no question about that. Counselling wouldn’t help me. They’d have to put me in prison, and then I’d talk the warden into building a hole or two and teach him to how to play”.
Accurate quotes, I certainly think so. I don’t believe I’m the only ‘Swinger’ participating in the Virgin Atlantic Golf League that would concur. Whether you are a scratch golfer, a solid B-div swinger or a social beginner, this is a league for you. Camaraderie, competitiveness and passion for the game encourage new participants annually. The proof as they say, is in the pudding. 2017 has seen an increase in the number of golfers participating in the respective leagues, across all regions, resulting in a record number of scores recorded. Special praise must go to all Swingers for the ongoing support shown to the league, and for the spirit and integrity that encompass what the league stands for.
However, lets not forget the driving force behind the golfers, Milestone Events. Each week golfers submit scores then wait for them to magically appear in the league table, so concerned with where the new score will position them, they forget the effort it takes to verify that score. A combination of planning, co-ordination, strategy, time management to name a few, coupled with patience to liaise with a motley crew of golfers - both gentlemen are to be commended on an outstanding job. Whether it is the league, a society day, a Gold Flying Club day, their approach is the same – utterly professional! Thank you Paul and Luke for a job well done. Finally the sponsors (too many to list), thank you for the generous support, without which our league as we know it would not be possible.
The reason you are hearing from me is that Paul and Luke asked me if I would accept the appointment of ‘Captain, Team ROW’, and if yes, to please share a few words with my fellow Swingers. “Who wouldn’t?” I explained, it would be an honour to lead Team ROW and attempt for the first time, a successful defence of the trophy. Making the team is something special, being asked to lead it, even more so. Congratulations to my 11 fellow team members, lets enjoy the experience and give our best. Team EUR, congratulations on being selected, I speak for Team ROW in saying we look forward to a closely fought encounter. The 3 challenging courses of Streamsong will certainly provide the perfect backdrop for a duel in the Florida sun. I was fortunate enough to have participated at last year’s Sun City S13 final, sportsmanship and camaraderie to the fore - replicate that and we’ll all do ourselves proud. Cliché aside, Golf was the winner!
Fellow finalists, a parting shot:
“Go play golf. Go to the golf course. Hit the ball. Find the ball. Repeat until the ball is in the hole. Have fun. The end.”