Welcome to another blog. It's been a while. I've had a very stop start season to date and haven't been in the rudest of health (as you'll see) and so my golf has been intermittent and very in and out.
My home course, Royal Ascot (club website here) has played host to the Jamega Tour (check their website here) for a pro-am on the Sunday and a two day event for the professionals on the Monday and Tuesday with a £10,000 to play for. The Jamega Pro Golf Tour was launched in 2005, creating a platform for professional golfers to experience life as a touring pro. Since then the tour has witnessed several Jamega Pro Golf Tour players progressing to European tour and Challenge tour status. This includes Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Tyrrell Hatton, Todd Clements and Zane Scotland.
During the season there are a series of mini order of merits that give the professionals some cash bonuses and free entry to the 2023/24 season so plenty to entice the players and add an extra layer of pressure as they tee it up each time.
The Jamega Tour is the longest running tour for developing golfers and trying to prgress them up the golfing echelons but it is not the only act in town:
Founded by European Tour player Chris Hanson and his caddy Adam Walker, the 2020protour has burst onto the scene in 2020 with great success. With an equitable policy that seen a female winner, the 2020protour features plenty of big prizes for participating players including a race to 100 birdies £20000 prize.
Clutch Pro Tour
The Clutch Pro Tour is another Mini Tour that has really come into its own this year. With prize pots of £10000 to the winner of Major events, its no surprise the Tour has attracted the likes of European Tour regulars Andy Sullivan, Richard Bland, and Robert Rock. Big partnerships with the likes of Mizuno Golf and Modest Golf Management has really thrust the Clutch Pro Tour to the top of the order.
1836 Golf Tour
The 1836 Golf Tour is one of the more established Mini Tours having been around for a number of years now. Like most Tours, it offers a comprehensive order of merit and plenty of incentives for players looking to make the step to bigger things. Created for professionals by professionals, 1836 packs in a strong annual calendar and season ending finale.
The circus stop at Royal Ascot each year is hugely popular with both the members who are always fill the pro-am slots and the professionals who are always hugely complementary about the course and the event as a whole. The pro-am was blessed with warm and sunny conditions and the green staff had done an excellent job in making the course look superb visually and play equally as well.
I was playing with my long time friend Geoff Jones who can be vary dangerous of his handicap and after a late drop-out, our recently installed Club General Manager Stephen Nicholson. We were paired with a wonderful young professional called Ricky Brackenbury. Now as you will recall health has been an issue recently and in the days running up to the day I had been feeling decidedly under the weather with Covid like symptoms although all the tests were negative. On the Saturday I had a really bad pain in my groin where I knew I already had an inguinal hernia and my immediate concern was I had done that more damage. I was very undecided about playing but having committed my entry (and as my friends will testify I try and be financially prudent, or as others call it tight) I decided to play.
My round on Saturday was a mental battle and mind over matter as the pain in my groin was severe and I could feel it both walking between shots but also playing every shot. It was a monthly stableford and I finished 5th in my division despite not scoring on the 16th and 17th so was very pleased with how I ground a score out.
The downside to that was the groin was even more sore on Sunday and to be honest I struggled at times to make a contribution to the team better ball score. I was trying hard but nothing was happening. Ricky was playing some great golf and was unlucky around the greens. He managed to finally get on the birdie train towards the latter part of the round and would eventually finish 12th in the professional event. Our team tied 11th so no loss of face. The highlight for me was the penultimate hole (our first on the course) which is a par three playing 164 yards on the day. I have never had a hole in one and given how I was playing the chances were remote of changing that. I hit a little five hybrid sweet and straight and it landed on the front of the green, ran towards the hole, having a cursory look on the way past and finished a foot behind the cup.
It would definitely not been the day to get a hole in one from a cost perspective but it was my best shot of the day and won nearest the pin and a four ball voucher to play Chobham Golf Club (view their website here).
And so to the main event and the two day professional event. As always when the bandwagon stops in town it is a fiercely competitive event. This year was no different and with some sunny, if breezy conditions, scoring was good. It was a very close run affair but in the end Barnes Wallis triumphed with a two round score of -10. He shot 63 (-7) in round one and held off some tough play from the other contenders and his 67 (-3) on day two got it done.
It is always an interesting experience to watch these professionals up close. They are good but when you bear in mind they are only on the bottom rung of the professional ladder it brings into stark perspective just how good the players at the next level are and then when you add in the Europro and Challenge tour players it is clear why it takes a lot of talent, hard work and a chunk of luck to progress and make it at these higher levels.
A lot of the professionals use the tour as a way of earning some additional cash alongside their day to day jobs. The Jamega Tour is professionally run and Gary Harris as tournament director runs a very efficient if tight ship.
If the bandwagon stops at your home club or maybe another club local to you it is worth going out and seeing some of the action and if you get a chance to play in the pro-am it is an experience I am sure you'll enjoy
I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you have played in a Jamega Tour event or pro-am let me know what you thought in the comments section or via my social media. I have some exciting stuff coming up in the next few weeks and I'll be bringing some blogs show casing these. I will also be doing a couple of product reviews which will be on my Youtube channel (please check it out here). I will also be making my annual pilgrimage to the British Par 3 championship at Nailcote Hall (sponsored by Farmfoods) from 9th-12th August. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with some of the professionals and celebrities and bring you some great content. It's always a great few days and I hope you enjoy the content.
If you have been a previous visitor to this humble blog then you'll know I am using CBD oil and other products to see what impact it has on my golf over the year. You can check out part one here and part two is available here. If you read these you'll be aware there is a free to enter competition coming up and I'll be announcing details very soon. You won't want to miss this.
Plenty to get your teeth into and thank you for your continued support. I look forward to bringing everything to you soon and equally hope you enjoy reading it. See you soon and I hope your golf is going well in 2022.