Nedbank Golf Challenge – A Review of the Gary Player Course

The European Tour arrives in South Africa today as the Nedbank Golf Challenge tees off in Sun City, South Africa.
Gary Player will rightly host the Nedbank Challenge, the seventh rolex series event of the season, which will be played on the Gary Player Course at Sun City over the next 4 days.

Our South Africa specialist Kallam visited Sun City back in June this year alongside Mark, here’s what Kallam had to say:

Gary Player Course at Sun City, South Africa, home of the Nedbank Challenge
The Gary Player Course at Sun City – Home of the Nedbank Challenge

“The Gary Player Country Club hosts the Nedbank Challenge which is a fantastic event which attracts the world’s best golfers who all relish the opportunity to play this magnificent golf course.”

“When played off the back sticks it’s said to be one of the longest and toughest courses on earth, luckily, we opted for the white tees and took caddies as none of us had played the course before.”

Gary Player course at Sun city, home of the nedbank challenge
Kallams local Caddy at the Gary Player Course in Sun City

“The weather was absolutely perfect, and the course lived up to all expectations, tough but fair. No greater example of this was me shooting +4 for 18 points on the front nine and then collapsing to a total of 7 points on the back nine!”
Kallam is tipping Louis Osthuizen to take the Nedbank Challenge Trophy!

Want to check out the Nedbank host course for yourself? Kallam has put together a holiday package which follows in the footsteps of his recent trip and The Gary Player Course can also be added to any tailor made South Africa golf holiday. Just email Kallam@chakatravel.com or call 028 9023 2112


Mark playing the Gary Player Course at Sun City, Host of the Nedbank Challenge

Chaka Travel sponsor Matt Mumford at Aldwickbury Golf Club | Jamega Tour

Chaka Travel sponsor Matt Mumford at Aldwickbury Golf Club on the Jamega Tour check out his report from the day

This week I set off to Hertfordshire to play Aldwickbury Golf Club on the Jamega Tour.

What a fantastic course and a pleasure to play.  The green-keepers had the course in top shape and the greens were some of the best we have played on all year.

Day 1 at Aldwickbury Golf Club

A late tee time for me, off around midday, and I didn’t get off to the best of starts as I made bogey on both of my two opening holes.

Better was to follow though, as I sent my iron into a couple of feet on the par 3 3rd for a birdie 2,

which was quickly followed by another 2 on the 7th and when I made another on the 8th for back to back birdies I had brought the round back and was out in -1 under par 35.

Back nine was very steady golf of one bogey and one birdie to end the day still on -1 under par 70.

Day 2 at Aldwickbury Golf Club

After missing out on pay cheques in the previous weeks, I was considering whether I should try to hang on to my -1 score,  or do I push on and try and move up the leaderboard.

Of course, only one thing to do, try and make a push up the leaderboard.

What came next even had me shaking my head in amazement.

I started with a steady par 4 on the first, onto the second and great approach shot next to the pin and a tap-in birdie 3 was mine.

Another par 3 followed before my next birdie on the 4th.

now -2 for my round and in great shape, on the par 5 5th I hit the green in two which left me two easy putts for another birdie!

And when I made another birdie 3 on the 6th I was now -4 for the day and -5 for the tournament.

Coming up the 9th I just needed a steady hole to see out the front 9 but when I sent in another shot to the pin I tapped in for another birdie 3.

Now just to recap on my front 9 holes I had made 6 3’s , I was round in -5 under par 31,  just on my front nine alone, my lowest 9 holes as a pro.

Onto the back nine I did feel a little bit nervous as I learnt I was now only 1 shot off the lead.

The back nine was not as lightning as the front and was made up of 3 bogeys and 1 birdie to finish the round on -3 under par 68 to go with the score the day before and I had finished the tournament on -4 under par and a tie for 7th place.

Great feeling to be back in the buzz at the top end of the tournament and another top ten finish for the year, plus nine holes I will never forget, but soon hope to repeat again.

As always, thanks for the support and good luck with your own games

Matt

Here’s my scorecard for the two rounds

Matt Mumford at the end of Winter season Tour Championships 2018

Chaka Travel Sponsor Matt Mumford at the end of Winter season Tour Championships. Check out his report from the event.

Make it a double!!

So after my runner-up spot at Crews Hill on The Thomson Tour, I was invited to take part at the end of Winter season Tour Championships

This was to be a 36 hole one day shootout held at the Bedford Golf Club on the 24th April

Round 1 of the Tours Championship 2018

A nice early tee off of 7:40 am and I was underway

I could not have go off to a better start when I made a birdie on first two holes and quickly moved to -2 under par for the day

A string of pars, followed by one bogey and another birdie and I was through the front nine still -2

Back nine was made up of 8 pars and just the one birdie and round one was complete in -3 under par and I signed for 68

In for lunch to get ready for the PM round and I learned I was lying in spot just two shots behind former European Tour player Simon Lilly

Round 2 of the Tours Championship 2018

Off like a rocket again with birdies on the first two holes, I continued in great form to go on and birdie the 6th, 8th and the 10th hole to move to -5 for my round and -8 for the tournament

In my head I thought I have to be leading at -8 just keep it steady and see what happens could this be my first victory!!

The predicted wind and rain arrived with just 5 holes left to play and made the finishing holes play so much longer and harder.

I kept it together the best I could but unfortunately I dropped three shots coming in to finish the round with a -2 under par 69

Great back to back rounds under par of 68 + 69 and my total was -5 for Tour Championships tournament

Now in the clubhouse and fingers crossed to see how Simon finished

Well all I can say is wow!

When I heard the news that Simon had gone out in the afternoon and shot a new course record of 64!!

His total for the day was -11 under par and that just showed his European Tour pedigree, which is where I hope to be one day

So for the second in two weeks I had finished runner up.

I now move on to the main season and await for the start of The EuroPro and Jamega Tours to begin

As always, I hope you enjoy your golf and thank you for your support

Matt

Matt Mumford plays on the Thomson Tour | Sponsored by Chaka Travel

Close but no Cigar – Matt Mumford on the Thomson Tour

Sponsored by Chaka Travel

With EuroPro qualifying out of way, there is a break of around 3 weeks before the EuroPro /Jamega Tours get underway. I had one event left to play on The Thomson Tour a rearranged tournament that was cancelled from earlier in the year due to snow.

So on the 16th April, I headed off to Crews Hill Golf Club in Enfield, North London. Playing the course blind no practice round I got underway with a bogey 5 on the 1st before another followed on the 5th hole

I soon got these back in great style after I hit the par 5 6th hole in 2 shots and rolled in the EAGLE to get me back to level par. A couple of bogeys on the remaining holes and I reached the turn in 2 over par.

Onto the back nine and a stream of steady pars and one more bogey and I was now at +3 for my day – I didn’t get down though and went onto make 2 birdies in my next 3 holes and got back to +1 for the day.

A very shot 18th left me with a good birdie chance so I went for the green with my tee shot, unfortunately, I just pushed it right and ended up behind a tree.

I chipped out, chipped onto the green and two putts for a bogey my round was complete and I finished with 72 (+2)

I was pretty happy with my round, but soon was kicking myself over my missed chances when I found out my 72 was good enough for 2nd place and a 71 would have given me a tie for the lead!

One shot away for the first win, but it’s getting closer!

 

Chaka Travel sponsor Matt Mumford at PGA EuroPro Tour Q School Final Stage

Check out Chaka Travel sponsee Matt’s report from the PGA EuroPro Tour Q School Final Stage.

Once you are at the final stage, it’s now all about improving your playing card for the year. 240 players get through to finals with only 80 to make a cut for the final days play.

The most important target for the week here is if you do not make the cut, do not give up, you must still shoot as low as you can. As the higher up in the field you finish, the more tour starts you will receive for the year.

Day 1 of PGA EuroPro Tour Q School Final Stage

I was off on day one playing the tougher red course.  I was feeling good and had been playing so well and I couldn’t wait to get started.

And I was off to a flyer with birdies at the 2nd and 6th to go to -2 under par – but unfortunately the birdies dried up as the putter got cold and I could not get anything done on the greens.

At the end of day 1, I signed for a 75 +3, not a disaster and still in the hunt to make the cut on day 2.

Day 2 of PGA EuroPro Tour Q School Final Stage

and playing the slightly easier blue course and finally, some sunshine came out so I was ready to go.

Playing the back nine first again frustration as the putter was cold and I could not get anything to drop – through nine I was another +3 and now +6 for the comp.

So my target now changed to if I was to miss the cut still get as low as I can – no bogeys but par after par, good I wasn’t dropping shots but I was also not gaining any ground without birdies.

Then into the par 3 6th a great approach left me with another birdie chance which finally dropped and I moved back in the right direction.

Onto the par 4 7th and unlucky to find the bunker and not get up and down put me back to square one.

So need a big finish and with the par 5 up next only one thing for it I’m going for it and trying to make eagle.

After my tee shot, I still had 265 yards to the pin, so I went with hitting my 3 wood and it never left the pin.  I would even go to say it was one of my best shots I have ever hit from 265 yards out.  I put my approach to about 7ft and then holed the putt EAGLE!!

Now I was back to only +4 still missing the cut but right back up in top half of field where I need to be. I went long on my 18th and didn’t get up and down so finished with a very frustrating bogey and was +5 for the tournament

My finish is my highest so far on the EuroPro Tour and in previous years I managed to play the majority of the tour, so fingers crossed 2018 will be the same.

Matt-Mumford-PGA-EuroPro-Tour-Final-Stage-Scorecard

 

Good luck to you all for your golfing for 2018

All the best

Matt