5th October to 14th October 2009
We flew from Manchester with Virgin direct to Orlando International:-
5-Oct-09 – Flight VS 75 – Dept. MAN 10:25 AM – Arrv. MCO 2:20 PM
14-Oct-09 – Flight VS 76 – Dept. MCO 6:15 PM – Arrv. MAN 7:25 AM 15-Oct-09
Tour Transport – 15 Seater Mini Van – Alamo
Accommodation was again this superb Villa in Sabel Harbour
Tour base Sabel Harbour – 5 bed, 3 bath and pool
The 2009 Tour Players
Andrew a veteran of 5 tours and the 2005 tour champion. He will need to regain his ability to get up and down and keep the gorilla cadged if he is to again take the title. Renowned for his positive mental attitude he will be trying!
Chris is one of 2 tour virgins on this years trip. With a swash buckling style he may take to it like a duck to water and yes there is plenty of water! Will it be tour champion or the FLoBy crown he returns with? Watch this space!
David will be commencing his 4th tour. Finishing 3rd twice he finally took the title in 2007. He continues to work hard on his game, seeking those extra 15 yards and will be determined to be the first to retain the title. Will he?
Keith returns for his 2nd tour and will hope to remain injury free. In 2007 he only completed 5 full rounds of the 9 and definitely feels he has unfinished business to take care of. Top spot will be his target but will he make it?
Ian joined the tour late and made us up nicely into two fourballs. This ex-pro returns to the amateur ranks to embark on his toughest golfing challenge. His first Florida tour!
Mike is the 2nd of this years tour virgins. The big hitting rookie has the game to tame the toughest of courses. They will not give up with out a fight and they do possess a considerable bite. Will he return victorious or broken?
Steve embarks on his 3rd tour. He was runner up on both his previous attempts and will again be expected to compete fiercely for the top spot. With a new G10 in his bag can his consistency continue to finally clinch the title?
Stuart will be on his 7th tour and has many tournament victories to his name. A good week from the tee will enhance his chances of taking the tour title, as his ability to get up and down with his beloved 9 iron is legendary!
The final leader board of the 2009 tour
|Player - Handicap||Points Total||Wins||FLoBy's||Balls Lost|
|1||Steve - 9||244||2||0||12|
|2||Mike - 3||235||1||2||19|
|3||Chris - 9||228||1||2||22|
|4||David - 3||227||1||1||16|
|5||Andrew - 8||220||1||1||15|
|6||Ian - 2||212||0||3||19|
|7||Keith - 7||211||2||0||28|
|8||Stuart - 12||204||0||3||30|
Steve takes the 2009 Tour Title
The 2009 individual performances by course
|1. The Bobcat||Gross||89||84||93|
|2. Sarasota National||Gross||88||78||87||89||87||87||90|
|3. Pine Barrens||Gross||82||80||80||83||85||80|
|5. Misty Creek||Gross||90||81||83||81||84||96|
News and Information
Travelling Day Out
Our journey out was excellent, 18 hours Brampton to Bradenton.
For any making wagers here is an important update on the tour members fittness:-
Andrew – Fit as a butchers dog. The one that ate all the pies!
Chris – Back muscle issue after gym workout on Sunday is causing concern. (Mike has been treating with massage!)
David – Has mentioned his back but he did also say this is normal.
Ian – Finger problem as he shot it with a nail gun last Thursday at work. Unsure if it will effect his game.
Keith – Another with concern about his back but we hope it will not cause him the problems he had last time.
Mike – Slightly fitter than the butchers dog, apart from the torn crucial ligament that is. Not effecting his game and goes under the knife next month.
Steve – No problems to report and he looks ready for the challenge.
Stuart – Again in peak condition. Golf bag is well stocked with cigars to help the concentration!
Day 1 – The BobCat
The BobCat again bites back. In a sweltering 92°F the tour took on the BobCat and it won.
The surprising highlight was that the first FLoBy of this tour was had by David. You would have got big odds against that!
Steve had a very solid back 9 which saw him taking the spoils this opening day. Closely followed by Chris, one shot back. A further shot back was David, Stuart and Andrew. With Stuart taking third spot, with the best back nine.
Speed of play will need to be picked up as 5½ hours in this heat is sapping!
Day 2 – Sarasota National
This was the Tours first visit to Sarasota National which is only a couple of years old. No properties built yet so the landscape is still wild and natural. At first we were a little disappointed to learn that the greens had been top dressed the day before. We were told no to be concerned as they were still very quick and true. This certainly was the case and while the surface did not look that attractive they were excellent. The course is generous from the tee with large landing areas but the greens have huge undulations. Overall an excellent track that we would recommend.
David won with a fine performance which produced 33 points, three clear of Keith on 30 points. Third was Stuart for the second day running. Who again beat Andrew on a card play off, both on 29 points.
The wide fairways reduced the opportunity for FLoBy’s but one man had the length to spread it wide enough for his ball to find a watery grave. Yes Mike had the only FLoBy of the day.
The heat must be mentioned as it is certainly strength sapping. It is reaching 94°f creating new record highs for October.
Day 3 – World Woods Pine Barrens
Our second visit to World Woods to play the Pine Barrens course. With all the great courses local to our base it has to be something special to make us travel the 110 miles to World Woods and it certainly is that! Rated in the top 100 courses in the USA and one of the best in Florida it is a must play. Set in pine trees with huge waste area’s lining each hole and virtually water free it is totally different to anything else we play. The lack of water meant that there were no FLoBy’s or lost balls, a first I think in tour history. The greens were large and slick and grain has to be considered, which we are not used to doing.
It was a close contest with Andrew beating Chris on a card playoff. Both recorded 35 points. Third place went to Ian, with 33 points, who may be starting to find some form with 4 birdies in his round.
Again in reference to the unusual weather the girl who operates the drinks wagon told us that it was the hottest day she had worked all year!
In the evening we dinned at Gecko’s and after eating we took part in the Thursday night Bingo game! I am not sure what was the most surprising, us playing Bingo, Stuart winning games back to back or Mike producing his Rex Bingo membership card!!
Day 4 – Riverwood
Riverwood is a beautiful golf course and was in excellent condition as it was hosting a major tournament on Sunday. We were told that the greens were running close to 12 on the stimpmeter.
After loosing out yesterday in a card play off Chris showed his metal and again put in another solid performance to secure his maiden tour win with 32 points. Steve was 1 point back in second with Mike taking third on 28 points.
Day 5 – Misty Creek
This is our first visit to Misty Creek which is a private course that is now allowing two games a year to non members. It is build in a wildlife reserve and the starter advised that they had Bobcats, Wild Boar, Deer and some big gators. However due to the extreme heat all but the Deer stayed hidden in the shade. The course had several very tight holes through the woods before returning to the traditional lake lined Florida course. We all enjoyed this new venue and would hope to have the opportunity to play it again.
After his back problems two years ago it was great to see Keith claim his first victory in Florida with 35 points. Mike is starting to find form taking second place with 33 points and Stuart finished third on 30 points, his third third place this year.
Day 6 – University
We went to University for Sunday brunch prior to playing this course. The brunch was excellent and we were thankful to have over an hour to recover prior to playing.
University is a lovely course with some memorable holes, in particular the par three 5th which requires an accurate tee shot over the lake which hugs the green.
An excellent gross 76 saw Mike card 36 points making him the third man this year to secure a maiden tour win. Steve continues to be Mr consistent taking second spot with 35 points and Chris again in the top three finishing third with 31 points.
Day 7 – Waterlefe
It is tough, it has hosted US Open qualifying events, it is Waterlefe and we love it! This venue claims more balls than any other and is perhaps the most demanding from the tee. Perhaps we are starting to learn how to play this track as scores were pretty good. Steve recorded his second victory of the tour with 33 points and looks certain to be rewarded for his consisted play by taking the order of merit tomorrow. David, with only two shots, took second carding 31 points. He beat Chris, on a card play off, who also had 31 points and finished third.
We lost a total of 29 balls at Waterlefe this year!
Day 8 – Legacy
This Arnold Palmer designed course is another tour favourite and provides a stiff test for the last day of the tour singles competition. The Waugh boys rose to the challenge with Keith taking his second tour title recording 34 points and Ian finishing third with 29 points. Mike split the two brothers with 33 points. Steve finished with 26 points which was more than enough to take the 2009 order of merit title with a total of 244 points, 9 clear of Mike on 235. Chris took third spot with 228, despite his bad back during the early rounds.
Day 9 – Rosedale & Trip Home
The final round of the tour was an early morning Texas Scramble from the back tees at Rosedale. Known locally as the bowling alley due to its tight fairways. Both teams grossed under par but with a 66 gross, less 2.3 = 63.7 net. Andrew, Keith, Mike and Steve won this final event.
After a club sandwich at Rosedale and a quick shower at the villa we departed Bradenton at 13:45 on Wednesday 14th. With the flight only taking 7 hours 15 minutes, due to a good tail wind, we reached Scotby just after 09:45 on the 15th. This journey time of 15 hours is a record that will be tough to beat.
However the records that we will all remember from this years tour will I suspect be the high temperatures produced by an unusual heat wave. We played in temperatures around 95 to 96 degrees F and with the humidity the real feel was in excess of 100 degrees F.