Mark Attwell (Captain)
Welcome to the Team Europe Page.
As we count down to the S16 final, this is the place to hear all the news from your chosen captain, together with profiles of their team as Europe begin their defence of the Pedlar Trophy.
Captain's blog - Thursday 17 October 2019
Blown away - literally!
Tough but awesome. I’m a great believer that links courses need wind, it’s a good job we had plenty. Milestone & Virgin certainly provided a golfing challenge on two phenomenal courses, a special hotel and, too much food.
I’m a confident person but in Foursomes & Fourballs, I hit two of the worst first tee shots I can remember, pressure of not messing up for your playing partner! Luckily, we didn’t lose either game.
We had great team spirit in Team Europe and the Swingers 24 player team also. When 4 down in one match, to have an opposing player tell me to get my game back on track proved to be perfect inspiration and is evidence of the community spirit built by the Milestone team.
I lost my singles but still enjoyed it.
I’m so pleased we changed the method of choosing singles matches, some close games and there were times I thought ROW may have had the measure of us.
First day back at work today, a massive comedown after what was probably my favourite golfing week ever. And, I’ve had some good weeks. My team also have withdrawal symptoms. Can I be Captain again please?
Captain's blog - Thursday 3 October 2019
I’ve just taken some screen shots from Twitter of the events we’re doing outside the golf on bucket list courses. Fantastic.
We get to spend the week with old and new friends, brought together by a fantastic tournament which is run like clockwork. Thank you Paul and Luke from @milestoneevent @richardbranson your marketing team at @virginatlantic we couldn’t wish for a better week. Long live Flying Club Swingers.
The banter on Twitter and Whatsapp has been great. With work commitments meaning a couple of finalists have been unable to make the trip, excellent reserves have been drafted in, I bet they can’t believe their luck.
One things for certain, everyone will remember this trip for fun, competition and memories to talk about for years to come.
The Spirit of Swingers is such that a number of finalists and unlucky non-finalists for this year are meeting up for some golf on Sunday on Monday as a prelude to the main event, can’t say more than that.
Captain's blog - Monday 30 September 2019
Today Captain Mark previews his team but before he does, a few words on Mark himself:
Mark Attwell (Capt) Handicap 8
Mark is playing in his third final having represented Europe at Gleneagles in Season 10 and in Barbados in Season 11. Mark has competed every season since Season 4, until he suffered a nasty injury towards the end of Season 13 which saw him miss nearly the whole of S14. He’s bounced back this year to finish 2nd in Division 1. An extremely competitive golfer, Mark will be a great leader for a European team made up of a real mix of vast Swingers experience and rookies, and his calm leadership together with a wicked sense of humour will create a great atmosphere within the camp. What’s more he has the experience of winning a home Swingers final having played in the last one on UK soil! He has also locked horns with ROW captain Tom Riddell at both of his previous final appearances, including a singles win in Barbados. Mark plays his golf at Marsden Park Golf Club in Lancashire.
And now Mark previews the rest of his team:
Steve Broadbent Handicap 6
The first of our rookies this year is Steve Broadbent. Steve, who plays his golf on the Isle of Man at Douglas Golf Club has been a Swinger on and off since Season 10, but this year has risen to the top of Division 1. Clearly an excellent golfer (dropping from 9 to 5 handicap this season) he is going to be very much one to watch on his debut.
Alan Clifford Handicap 18
Now playing his fourth final after appearing in Vegas last year, as well as at both Gleneagles and in Sun City, Alan is the friendly face that appears at all the society days along with wife Margaret. Alan finished in 3rd place on the Fun Leaderboard and was involved in arguably the match of the final in Vegas, when he and partner Jon Crickmore just lost out in a titanic battler against Bill Wilson and Fred Reever. Alan has been a Swinger for 9 years and will bring valuable final experience to the team. Welcome home to this Lancashire born golfer!
George Copley Handicap 7
It’s a welcome return to the Swinger’s final for George who played in the first ever team final in Season 5 out in California, the only final to be decided by a play off! George also competed in the first ever Swingers final at the Grove. Its fantastic news that he’s completing the hat-trick of finals now having finished joint 2nd in Division 1 this year. George plays his golf at Porters Park in Hertfordshire, and if the final goes to the wire, we will be able to draw on that valuable Season 5 experience!
Ken Daly Handicap 7
Former Captain Ken Daly returns to the final for the 8th time, 7 of which were in team finals including Hilton Head in Season 12 where he led Europe to victory over Chris Cattran’s ROW. Fifteen years as a Swinger, Ken is a links golfer playing his golf at Carnoustie in Scotland, often hosting Swingers from around the world. Finishing 4th in division 1 was yet another consistent display from one of Swingers’ best ever golfers and he is undoubtedly going to be a force to be reckoned with on the links of North West England.
Martin Derrick Handicap 18
Martin Derrick is also a multi-finalist, now returning for his 7th final. Martin is often referred to as the ‘postman’ with his super final records of 11 wins out of 18. Finishing 2nd in Division 2, Martin plays his golf at The Dyke in West Sussex. He’s been a Swinger for 10 years and don’t be fooled by his ‘cheeky chappy’ appearance, as Martin is one of the most competitive Swingers out there, and he’ll be surely wanting to keep that excellent final record intact.
Steve Glennon Handicap 10
Our second rookie really doesn’t feel like a rookie at all! Steve Glennon has been a major part of the Swingers society day circuit now for many years, and this is in fact his 11th year as a Swinger. Steve qualified 7th in Division 2 and plays his golf at Stanton-on-the-Wolds in Nottinghamshire. A popular Swinger and very consistent golfer, Steve will bring another strong, dependable game to what’s already a strong team.
Andrew Gray Handicap 14
Andrew Gray, one of the original Swingers played in two of the very first finals, before returning for his first team final in Orlando in S14, closely followed by Vegas in S15, thus completing the hat-trick this year in Liverpool. Andrew plays his golf at Wychwood Park GC, and qualified as the society day winner following an incredible round at the Knole Park day. Andrew is of course one half of the formidable husband and wife Gray team who will no doubt again play a crucial role in Liverpool.
Rebecca Gray Handicap 13
Part two of Team Gray, Rebecca has played every final that Andrew has played with a slightly better record of 6 wins compared to 5. The extra win came courtesy of Rebecca being the only player ever to win 4 matches at a final, after standing in for Claire Boucher in Orlando when she fell ill. Rebecca plays her golf at Haydock Park and finished top in Divison 2. No one will want to draw Rebecca or indeed Andrew in their match!
Roger Harpum Handicap 10
Like Steve earlier, Roger is another rookie who definitely doesn’t feel like a rookie! One of the friendliest and a standout golfer within the Swingers community, Roger is also one half of last year’s Swingers Match Play champions, so has a great reputation in this format. Roger finished 13th in Division 2 and is still probably getting over the shock of his call up, but I'm confident that come 10:00 on Tuesday 8th Roger will be fully focused and a force to be reckoned with! Roger plays his golf at Sittingbourne and Milton Regis Golf Club.
Leon Loberman Handicap 24
Our fourth and final rookie is the ever-popular Leon Loberman who finished 3rd in Division 3, courtesy of a quite majestic round out in New York where he won our US day! No one can ever replace Mr Swinger, Keith Eustace-Pedlar, but Leon does fit the same mould, a popular ever smiling Swinger who is loved by everyone and enjoys Swingers for what it stands for – friendship and fun. I cannot think of a more deserving finalist. Leon plays his golf at The Shire GC, and is having a great season. With the highest handicap in the final, he could well be the trump card!
Scott Murray Handicap 7
Welcome to the final member of Team Europe, Scott Murray, who swaps red for blue as he moves across to Europe for the first year, becoming only the second finalist ever to play for both sides! Scott has moved back to England from Botswana, and it’s seen him join Fun Swingers where his handicap has shot down to 7! Scott finished 2nd in the Fun League and plays his golf at Cobtree Manor GC in Kent. Scott’s knowledge of ROW team members may prove invaluable!
AVERAGE HANDICAP 12
Captain's blog - Monday 23 September 2019
Friendships that can last a lifetime is what Swingers is all about for me and the bonus of getting to another final is the icing on the cake.
To be asked to be European team captain just elevates the whole experience to another level. As team captain on as close to home turf as possible, I hope to follow in the footsteps of great captains such as Catriona Matthews’ with her recent win on home turf and hope the Swingers final is as close as the recent Solheim Cup with a win for Europe too of course 😬😬
What am I looking for from this final? I have a reputation for being competitive but my main aim is to have fun and a nice dry week with a stiff breeze to bring the best out of the Links courses. What can be better than making new friends on quality bucket list golf courses with the renowned hospitality the finals afford us? Not much!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Paul and Luke from Milestone for their tireless work building a phenomenal worldwide community. Without the support of Virgin Atlantic and the sponsors such as Stewart Golf, Glenmuir, Dirty Dog, Srixon and now Titleist with the Ambassador programmes, this just wouldn’t be possible.
I’m proud and lucky to have qualified for my third final following (as Jan says) “a once in a lifetime” trip in S10 to Gleneagles where I met Paul, Luke and a lot of the other “Swingers” for the first time. What a great time I/we had and some of the friendships made there are still active. From the northerners there, I still play golf with Ken Daly, James Gear, Alan Horn and Chris Appleby. Met Chris’s husband Clive on the last day and we play every year together.
Unforgettable from S10 final are #TeamEurope Capt Alastair Price who introduced me to Twitter, invited me to Woburn to play with Bob Scott another stalwart and my 3x playing partner Martin Derrick. Let’s never forget Janus missing his tee time!
Luckily, I managed to qualify for the S11 Barbados final too and would you believe it? Met up with a few S10 finalists again and made new friends, what a trip.
I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with friends from around the world including US Captain Tom Riddell who I met at Gleneagles and we played singles together in Barbados.
Will I get the opportunity to avenge my heavy defeat in the fourballs against Andrew Lyth? How about shooting your handicap and getting battered 5&4 by Andrew Lyth & Steve Du Preez! I’m looking forward to seeing #TeamROW Lead Bandit Brian O’Connor who was such a good host to Jan and me on my trip to see Brian and Bill Wilson in California for a weeks golf in January 2018. How can I talk about #TeamROW without mentioning Clint, what a fun guy to be around.
I’ve just talked about my previous finals, what about the rest of Team Europe? I know a few of them from meeting them at the fabulous Virgin Swingers Society Days. From there, I’ve met Andrew & Rebecca, Roger, Scott, Leon, Mr Niblick; doesn’t leave many more to meet!
I feel like I’m rambling but, I just can’t wait to meet up with everyone.
A few of us are planning a game Sunday and or Monday before the final, let me know if you’re interested.
Lastly, congratulations to one of my best friends Geoff Linnell on becoming a grandfather for the first time. Geoff was the first person I played in S4 and although he gave me a heck of a beating, he has been there as a friend and mentor for 12 years, we play regularly on holiday and in the UK, that’s what Swingers is about.