Team Rest of the World
Simon Hudson (Captain)
Welcome to the Team Rest of the World Page.
As we count down to the S15 final, this is to place to hear all the news from your chosen captain, together with profiles of their team as the Rest of the World try to win the Pedlar Trophy.
Captain's Blog - 7 December 2018
This blog post proved a lot harder to write than I thought it would; I’m back home now, the bags are unpacked, the jet lag is subsiding and life feels just a little less interesting now that I don’t have the finals to look forward to (I suppose there is always the new season).
We all had a great time, not just as Team Rest of the World or Europe but as 24 Golfing Swingers, in the end it really felt like the result was unimportant given the overwhelming sense of camaraderie that developed; for me this was the best Swingers, if not any, golfing event I’ve had the privilege to participate in.
Immaculately organised by Paul and Luke (or Luke and Paul), brilliantly supported by the teams at each of the varied venues we attended and cheered on by Sharon, Jenny and Laura from Virgin Atlantic, none of us could have asked for more.
I’d liked to have left as a winning captain in my parting shot for Team Rest of World, but in hindsight, putting up our best display ever in the foursome’s and taking the singles was good enough for me in the end.
The doubters, naysayers and hecklers got a good fright - who knows, if one or two of the matches that went down eighteen had gone our way, if the lucky shots had worked out differently (both ways) and we’d seen out some of the challenges faced, this could have been an entirely different result but it does bode well for future finals.
In parting, I want to say thank you to my team, you guys really left it all out there on the course and I couldn’t have asked for a better effort and to James for bringing his sense of humour, a great perspective in terms of the spirit that the match was played in and for all of his efforts to ensure that this would be a great final, remembered by all who participated and coveted for many years to come.
Captain's Blog - 19 November 2018
We’re less than a week away now, the preparation has all been done, other endeavours are out of the way, we are all looking forward to Las Vegas (Baby!) and you can almost taste the excitement.
Being a collection of folk from a number of different continents, we are at a small disadvantage in that we don’t have an opportunity to get together as a team before the event, but the guys have more than made up for it by teaming up and playing where possible and participating in a great (and sometimes spicy but never tasteless) group chat; we are all looking forward to getting to the final (some a bit more than others #PickOnClintonDay) and representing the Swingers Rest of the World player base in the best way possible.
From what I have seen and heard, I don’t need to motivate or inspire my team any more than they are already are.
Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club Swingers have afforded both sides a rare privilege, it’s an honour to be invited to one final, even more so to multiple finals - I am, as are many of my teammates, competitive animals, but in this instance I don’t think the final result is of great importance, the objective of the Swingers league and these finals are to establish friendships, to give its members unforgettable experiences and to embrace the Swingers Spirit summed up in the words ‘fun’ ‘friendship’ ‘competitive’ ‘inclusive’. (Stealing from the website there); irrespective of who wins, if the finals are played in the right spirit and we have a great time in each other’s company, then we’ve all won.
“To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” – P.G. Wodehouse
Captain's Blog - 5 November 2018
So it’s been a funny few old weeks for the Rest of the World team since I last wrote; one of our team had an operation (hope you're healing up Janus) but true to form he played four rounds in the week leading up to the op and he’ll be back on the golf course later this week.
Somebody else went and injured their wrist on the course (holds up hand, still halved the fourball and won my singles though) and had to pull out of a game, but I wasn’t going to play over the next few weeks anyway in the run up to the 947 Cycle Challenge - well may be a practice or two, here and there).
We’ve decided on our outfits, that we all agree with my assessment of Brian’s choice of football team (well Clinton at least), fittings and lessons have been arranged and attended, new clubs have been procured (sticks up hand again), the weather in Vegas during late November has been discussed (it’s shorts weather folks), that Cattran’s trousers are as loud as he is, we’ve talked about our flights and discovered that we have a secret weapon in that one of our team was a member at one of our host courses.
Most of all though, we have all discovered that there is already a great ROW team spirit and we will ride the wave all the way to Vegas baby!
Captain's Blog - 15 October 2018
This week, our captain previews his team, but firstly a bit more about Simon himself:
Simon Hudson (CAPT) Handicap 10
We are delighted to have Simon Hudson as captain this year. Simon is a natural leader who has worked hard all year helping get the South Africa day off the ground. He hosted us at both his club and also for many Swingers at his family home the night before. Simon lives and breathes Swingers and it’s fitting that he becomes captain in his final year as a ROW Swinger before he moves to the UK. Simon is playing in his third final having played at Hilton Head and Streamsong last year. It feels like he’s played in four as he came to support the team in Sun City when he had just missed out on qualifying himself. We know he’s going to make a great captain.
Over to you Simon to preview your team!
Chris Cattran Handicap 11
The first of our former captains is Chris Cattran who I played under in Hilton Head. Chris is a great character, makes a lot of noise, is a lot of fun, and on his day is a great competitor. He helped make the Hilton Head final one of the best ever. Chris qualified in the runner up position in US Division 1 and plays his golf at Darkhorse GC in California. He also played in the Miami final a few years back, so is an experienced finalist. I look forward to putting this experience to good use in Vegas.
Clinton Heap Handicap 13
Last year’s captain, Clinton Heap, is back for his third final in a row which has seen him grace Sun City, Streamsong and now Vegas! I really enjoyed being part of the team Clinton led last year, and I know like myself, he lives and breathes Swingers. He’s competitive and wants to win, but is all for embracing the true spirit of Swingers and I am grateful to Clinton for making the effort to come up for the South Africa day (and then winning it). Clinton finished top of ROW Division 2 and plays his golf at the beautiful Durban Country Club in South Africa (and about 20 other clubs around the world).
Janus Horn Handicap 7
And talking of experience I can lean on, there’s yet another former captain! Janus Horn, another great golfer, all-round nice bloke and now owner of several alarm clocks, captained ROW at Gleneagles having made his final debut the year prior in Miami. Janus plays his golf at Princes Grant in Durban, South Africa and finished top in ROW Division 1. As well as also joining us for the South African day (thanks!) Janus has just returned from a week at the Ryder Cup, so hopefully we can rely on him to inspire us to go one better than the US team did.
Steve Jones Handicap 3
Our first rookie is Steve Jones who plays his golf at Los Serranos Golf & Country Club near LA, California. I’m really looking forward to meeting Steve, an Englishman who by all accounts is a great golfer and a really popular regular player at the US days. Steve qualified in 5th place in US Division 1, and playing off of 3 is clearly a serious golfer who is going to play a big role in our final.
Brian O’Connor Handicap 15
Brian O’Connor needs no introduction having dominated US Division 2 for the last few years and having played in 5 previous finals. Brian plays his golf at a former final venue Monarch Beach Golf Links in Southern California and he has the best final record of any ROW finalist in my team (can’t comment on his misguided taste in football teams though). He’s a tough competitor and no one will want to draw him in the singles round. I’m confident he will play a key role in us winning this year’s Pedlar Trophy.
Fred Reever Handicap 18
Our second rookie is Fred Reever who only joined Swingers this season! Fred finished 5th in US Division 2 and plays his golf at Palmetto Hall Plantation on beautiful Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. It’s great he’s getting to experience a final so soon, and I’m looking forward to meeting him in Vegas next month.
Emir Uzunovic Handicap 11
Emir Uzunovic is playing his second final after making his debut in Sun City two years ago. Playing his golf at former final venue Apes Hill in Barbados, Emir qualified in 4th spot in US Division 1. He’s a very useful golfer and a great team player and I’m looking forward to him being a crucial part of my team in Vegas.
Regard van Rensburg Handicap 5
Our third rookie, and one of three South African rookies is Regardt van Rensburg who has been a Swinger for 9 years. All three of them belong to Durbanville Golf Club near Cape Town (thanks to former finalist, Srixon Swingers ambassador and dolphin photographer Tobie De Jonge for bringing so many into the Swingers folder), and I think that could be of vital importance in Vegas – 3 players who all know each other’s games well. Regardt finished fourth in ROW Division 1, and will be determined to show his class on the big stage out in Vegas.
Brandin Walter Handicap 13
Our fourth rookie, from Durbanville GC, is Brandin Walter, a Swinger for 10 years. Brandin finished 5th in ROW Division 2 and now makes his final debut in Vegas. It’s no secret that rookies can bring something fresh and exciting to a team final and I look forward with excitement to see how Brandin performs against Europe.
Andre Wainwright Handicap 10
Our fifth and final rookie is Andre Wainwright who is the captain of Durbanville GC. Andre finished second in ROW Division 1 and has been a Swinger for 4 years. One of my team recently met him at a golf tournament and reckoned he was going to make a great finalist, so that’s good enough for me. I look forward to sharing the fairways with Andre out in Vegas.
Bill Wilson Handicap 23
Bill is in his fifth final having last represented ROW out in Sun City a couple years back. Bill is one of four of my team who have experienced a ROW win and it was Bill himself who secured the winning point back in Sun City when he won at a dramatic 17th against an opponent who’s name I can’t quite remember but there was something about water, multiple lost balls and going on to captain a sinking ship (hopefully)! Bill has been a Swinger for 11 years and qualified in fourth place in US Division 2. It would be fantastic if Bill could get the winning point again this year (fancy a rematch J?)
AVERAGE HANDICAP 12
Captain's Blog - 9 October 2018
Season Fifteen is my sixth as a Swinger (I probably owe the supplier that bought me the ticket on Virgin Atlantic in 2011, a thank-you) and during every one of those seasons, I’ve had a fair chance of making the final - getting the invite email from Paul and Luke was always one of the highlights of my golfing year.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to make it through this season, but it shows what can happen if youmake sure you’ve taken all your qualifying flights (ask me about Season 13, in my own back yard), rack up your bonus points and register as many rounds as you can.
To then receive the email inviting me to captain the Rest of the World team at the Season Fifteen Final in Las Vegas has capped off a great year, my last year representing the Rest of the World ,and has provided great motivation to up my game.
With so many new faces in both sides, I am really looking forward to welcoming all the new Swingers into the finalist fold, and to an open but competitive final; I’ll be putting the focus, along with James, on keeping it fun and ensuring that the team spirit draws all 24 players in and that we all have a great time as a group.
The final is now only 7 weeks away and you would have thought that having been lucky enough to play in 3 finals and join in one other that I would be a bit blasé about the whole affair, but I feel like a kid at Christmas and all I can think about is getting to the final. ITS VEGAS BABY!!!