January 31, 2019 at 09:40 AM
By Russell Y
I thought that I would let all the other TT members know what an amazing experience I had by winning the competition to play the Staysure Amateur Golf Tour at Vale de Lobo. I enter pretty much all of competitions on TT that I can attend, and was delighted just after my 40th birthday to get the email from Luke and Matt to say I had won. Luckily I got the green light from my wife to attend, but it proved more difficult getting one of my friends to join me through work or family commitments. In the end, Iain one of my old cricketing buddies and a good golfer playing off 10 agreed to come.
We left Luton Airport not really knowing what to expect from the tour, but by the end we both agreed we would defiantly attend future events, even if we were not lucky enough to win our spaces again!!!
Each day was cold in the early morning but by 10:00 it was shorts and polo shirt weather. The 4 day event was split over playing the Royal and the Ocean courses at Vale De Lobo with first two days playing with your partner in an individual stableford competition and then playing based on position/score in the tournament. This was a great opportunity to meet other golfers and everyone could have not been more friendly. Each day you could chose to play of the white or yellow tees with additional shots for those playing off the whites. Historically I think they have played all events of the whites but on some courses this was prohibitive to some of the higher handicapped golfers so the new format went down well.
Having not played much up to the event, it proved pretty tricky to get used to the very fast greens on day 1, and having never played the Ocean course which is a pretty tactical course, some of my course management left a lot to be desired but ended with 29 points. Day 2 we were again drawn on the Ocean course and as I got used to the course my score improved to 31. With the greens being firm and fast you really had to take the spin into consideration with wedge play. My SM7 raw wedges are pretty new and with placing on the closely mown areas I was spinning the ball of the green on occasion. Day 3 and 4 we were on the Royal course and the same course management issues probably cost me on numerous occasions. I should have had more confidence in my TS3 driver rather than plotting my way around as each time you were on the greens 3 and 4 putts was always a concern. Day 3 saw Iain win our side of the draw with 37 points which shows you how tough it was for what was a predominately lower handicap entry list. Day 4 ended on the Royal which in the end I preferred even though I did not score as well on. I never seem to play as well when you are on buggies as sometimes you are too quick to your ball and my back definitely seized up at the end of each day (excuses excuses!!!). In the end I ended 45th out of 86 and Iain was 35th.
The whole thing ended in the Spikes bar with the prize giving and great thanks to all the organisers and greenstaff for the quality of the course and professional way it was organised.
So in the end I want to thank all at Team Titleist for letting me have the opportunity to play and hope if I attend again next year that I can spend some more time on the golf course before to be more game ready.
I have already got the shot of me on the Par 3, 240 yd 16th on the Royal hitting my 818 H2 as my screen saver, to remind me when I look out of the window at the snow thinking this was just a few weeks ago. I made a par by the way.
Here is to all the TT competitions coming in 2019, which I encourage you all to enter and hopefully attending the UK Invitational wherever it may be, and then maybe the US Invitational one day.
El banditoFife Bonny Scotland 🏴
Declan RWexford Rep Of Ireland
James HEssex, 0
Declan FWexford, Ireland
Robert HRochdale, 0
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