Expats Golf Match at Mijas Golf

My daily habit is to get up early, crack on with my work, and if I deserve it to get to the starters hut at Mijas Golf in time to finish the day with a quick 18 holes. Not too shabby eh?!

Comprising of 36 holes, Los Lagos and Los Olivos, Mijas Golf  is a hugely popular golf holiday destination and are frequently busy. The team in the starters hut always find a place to slot us in.

Sandgrownuns Golf Society at Mijas Golf International

On one such occasion, on a delightfully sunny February afternoon, Martin and I were paired with a couple of British gentlemen. Handshakes and introductions on the first tee revealed JW playing off 3 and JT playing off 14. An exact match to our handicaps. Our challenge was immediately accepted, a five euro nassau, better ball matchplay.

There is an old golfing adage that says “Never bet against a player carrying a sun tan and a 1 iron.”  So true! JW drives the ball with a low raking draw that simply does not miss fairways, JT has a supernatural gift for putting. Our demise was inevitable. Handshakes on the 13th green, we opened our account with a crushing 6&5 beating.

The lads sportingly bought us a beer at their local 19th, the Tamisa Golf Hotel. John Walker a 17 year resident on the Costa del Sol and long term member at Mijas Golf invited us to join their local society, The Sandgrownuns (its a Blackpool expression – something to do with growing up on the beach).

Open to all visitors, Sandgrownuns Saturday Swindle

Playing every Saturday morning, this excellently run society provides a competitive weekly stableford along with singles and doubles knockout leagues. They have more than 100 members comprising of residents and visiting golfers from all across Europe. Each Saturday around 24 players chip in their 6 euros entrance fee and with firm resolve set to!

Usually 36 points will get you in the frame, prize fund goes to 1st , 2nd and 3rd, nearest the pin on 2 par 3’s gets you a fiver and a 2 earns you a tube of balls. I never miss a Saturday – a terrific day of golf followed by much banter in the Sandgrownuns adopted clubhouse.

The Sandgrownuns Ryder Cup Tribute

The Sandgrownuns have 4 “Majors” each year. The most recent being last weekend’s tribute to the Ryder Cup.

Played over 2 days the format made for great fun, good competition and many winners! Firstly, the field of 40 players was divided into United Kingdom vs Europe. Secondly, pairings were drawn and thirdly, we were all competing for individual honours too.

Round 1 Los Lagos Golf Course

The first round on Saturday saw us playing Los Lagos. The greenkeepers had set the tee boxes all the way back, making the yellow tees a 6900 yard monster. The golf course was perfect, an absolute joy to play on. With immaculately prepared playing surfaces, generously wide sweeping fairways, huge greens running at over 10 on the Stimpmeter, the stage was set for a golfing event that could only be bettered by the Les Bleu over in France.

The first round individual leader, Jim Madden playing off 6 scored a modest 31 points, John Lynch and Alex McCubbin recorded the best pairs score with 61 points. It was a tough scoring day.  Mercifully, our collective woes were put to one side as we sat on the terrace with foaming beer and watched the Europeans dominate the Americans on the second day of fourballs in the real Ryder Cup.

Round 2 – Los Olivos Golf Course

Sunday saw us play Los Olivos. Shorter than Los Lagos at 6000 yards, Los Olivos offers undulating fairways, narrower than Los Lagos but not excessively, so not difficult to hit elevated greens.

The course was in terrific condition. Everyone was grateful to have shorter second shots and the scoring reflected that with a winning score of 38 points from Martin Brennan. Even 38 points was not enough to deny Cecil Dickinson victory over the two days, with a total of 63 points to become the Men’s Ryder Cup Champion for 2018.

A very respectable 66 points saw Jim Mallon and Martin Brennan take the honours for the second day pairs event, but they were no match for the mighty Cecil Dickinson and Bob Wall who recorded an excellent 120 points over 2 days to become the pairs champions for 2018.

As Phil Mickelson dunked his tee shot into the lake giving Ryder Cup victory to Europe, so the European contingent at Mijas Golf beat the United Kingdom by 842 points combined stableford score to 721.

With copious amounts of food and wine provided by kind sponsors, a terrific weekend of golf was enjoyed by all, played in good spirit, well organised at a beautiful venue.

Many thanks to Mijas Golf International, The Mountain View Lounge, our sponsors, namely St Anthony’s College – David Noble, El Gusto Restaurant La Cala – Steve Pemberton, Simon James Executive – Duncan Prince, Windsor Consultants – Simon Greer.

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