E-mail
Password
Lost password »
Register »
      

LATEST FORUM POST

Argentina  INESfun

22 Feb 2020 at 13:37

There are about 300 recesses on one golf ball, and thanks to them, the ball flies three times farther than a smooth one. ... Balls of the same size...

Go to latest post »


LATEST COMMENT  More »

United States of America  Smitty

20 Oct 2020 at 14:46

Congrats to Rainey and Olivia. Great representation of Texas!

Go to latest comment »




LATEST BLOG POSTS

United States of America  PatPenguin | 256 views | 0 comments

25 Apr 2021 at 13:30

Putt18 League - The Sequel


United States of America  PatPenguin | 700 views | 0 comments

04 Jan 2021 at 21:55

Starting 2021 Off with a 2020....


United States of America  PatPenguin | 1013 views | 0 comments

07 Dec 2020 at 13:15

It's Just a League Thing


All blogs »



POLL

How do you think COVID-19 will impact international minigolf tournaments in 2021?


- No Impact - All Happen as Scheduled

- Minor Impact - A Couple Change Dates

- Major Impact - Several Get Canceled


To vote, you need to log in.


You have to vote to see the results.


Total 3 votes, since 19 Jun 2020.

Recent polls »

United Kingdom Steve Lovell's blog« See all Sheila's blogs

Two Seconds Of Elation - The story of the Kent Open.
14 Nov 2019 at 18:49 | Posted in: General | Views: 1043 | Comments: 0
Two Seconds Of Elation - The story of the Kent Open.
Early morning looking out over the lake at Sidcup. (Steve Lovell

Saturday: The weather in Britain had been nothing short of terrible in recent weeks but if history was anything to go by, the second Sunday in November would be dry. The bright sunshine I left the house for the Kent Open in was replaced an hour later by a blanket of fog. This gave me a chance to vent any anger I had to all the drivers who failed to put their lights on. I only wish it was a couple of them. It was hundreds. By the time I arrived at Sidcup around 9am, it had cleared completely and so I got on with the practice. Martin was already there, and it was good to catch up.


The beauty of playing the Kent Open is only having to learn the lines due to the specific ball used for the tournament. For those into statistics, I know I am, the ball data is 30 centimetres, 50 shore and 70 grams, so one of my heavier ones that I own. It doesn’t take me long to pick up the pace again, especially on some of the longer holes. Sidcup is, in itself, a true test of putting. Cameron Fincher, the youngest member on the tour described it as a golfer’s course and he’s spot on. With almost all of cups being made of metal, it rewards those who can find the centre of the cup over the edge more here.


After three and a bit hours, I pause for lunch. A few others have arrived for the first event of the weekend, the Kent Invitational, which is two rounds split into four lots of nine holes and a different ball on each nine. Sean had decided to bring the tournament forward an hour due to the standard inclement amount of rain due to hit late afternoon. For the first round, Simon and Adrian were in my group. I’m up to four layers of clothing to battle the chill. I pick up a couple of aces in a row on five and six but Simon was a model of consistency. My big mistake was to try and deadweight the 14th, a long fifty foot uphill putt, with a small platform area to keep the ball safe. I underhit the ball twice before hitting a four. I finish with a 36, one back from Simon. We’re in the same three ball for the final round and with the two of us at least three clear, we will likely be winner and runner up. But what order.


Simon makes an inconsistent beginning but is still one ahead by the seventh. I employ some mind games by leaving my putt here short by a couple of feet, making out that the felt had slowed up. Simon shot past the hole and although nearly made an absolute prayer from the back of the green, I drew level. I make ten and fifteen, although Simon answers back at fifteen too. After making the penultimate hole for a two, Simon has to attempt to make the volcano in one. He doesn’t but it’s a great effort from the Scotsman. I pick up my third Kent title after previously winning the Easter Eggstravaganza and Cup Cake Classic. Although their weren’t many here for the Invitational, it had been a fine way to spend the afternoon and I was putting well to boot.


With the rain arriving, myself and Derek head off to the local Fawlty Towers, the Ruxley Rooms. The television remote control had been stolen by the previous occupant, the hotelier couldn’t find the room key, the shower couldn’t get hot no matter which way you turned the handle. Getting a room on the tour is always part of the adventure. Before long, we’re off to the pub for food and the odd beverage, where we were entertained by a toddler on the neighbouring table. Simon joined us on a tour of downtown Bexley and Sidcup and its hostelries as we reflected on the tour for the season, photos of the Skinners attempting to play a now flooded course and the singer in the Alma pub, who had her own special form of distraction. Wowsers.


Sunday: “It’s been snowing outside,” says a shocked Derek, as I return from the toilet around 5am. “No, it’s just the street lighting,” I reply. I got back to sleep. A big day was ahead. There was a large field and the home club provided four of the strongest putters the tour has seen in Sean, Adam, Marc and Tony. It was a good test to see where my game was at. On the way to the course, I call up Ed to see how far he is away. As he’s bringing a passenger, he is for once on time. The passenger is James, our newest recruit at the Wasps. He’s confident but willing to learn too. I think we’ve acquired a good one. The rain from yesterday had marginally slowed the course down, more so where the sun hadn’t hit the felt yet. A couple of members of staff were on leaf blowing and shovelling duties. It was certainly playable.


Thirty-six were entered and my group for the first two rounds were Laura and Brian. A good threeball for me, both are good to be around and also improving too, which is always inspiring to see. Starting on the 12th, I embarked on ten straight pars. My radar was well and truly in by this point, with my furthest putt being around two feet. I picked up a pair at four and five, as well as a bonus ace on eleven for an opening 33 and a share of the lead with Martin. Between the first and second round, we paused with the rest of the nation to observe two minutes silence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s always moving, knowing also that some amongst us had served their country with pride and dignity. In round two, we started on the 4th and my playing partners had started well. Laura made her first ace at the ninth and Brian immediately followed in. “That’ll put the pressure on,” he said. I couldn’t match it. The following hole, I made my first error, clubbing my tee shot into an impossible position. A similar mistake on the second gave me a level par round of 36, one back from Martin. Ten people were within five shots and Sidcup was living up to the reputation of being an exceptionally exciting course to watch a tournament at. I’m sure a few players were having less fun playing.


Honestly, I hadn’t been paying too much attention as to how the leaderboard was shaping up and the names that were in close attendance. I think my mindset now, considering how well this year has gone, is to look forward and set a target for others to beat. Two years ago, I was wildly different. I would get nervous the closer I got to the top, my stroke would collapse at the click of your fingers. Joining myself and Martin was Tony, I wished them both luck and if either of them won, I would be happy for them, as neither of them had won a tour event before. Tony got off to the fast start, making a hattrick from the second to the fourth. He approached the fifth, probably one of the easiest holes on the course. I thought if he got that one, he may be out of sight at three clear. Tony missed a short second shot and it was wide open again.


Martin was next to make a move with an ace at the tricky sixth, I responded with one at the next. This meant we were all level on four under and we all knew it. After the ninth, we checked the card of the group in front to find no one was on a charge. I tensed up on the tricky uphill tenth and left it short by around four feet, missing the par putt. I’ll be putting in some work there next year. I got it right back on eleven with an exocet to the back of the cup, bellowing out so loud, I made the family on the next course jump. I immediately apologised. Tony fought back at the next, only for the cruellest of luck on the triple pipe, where his ball stayed on the top level. I hadn’t seen that happen for years. At this point, no one in the lead group was heading the event, or the group behind. Unbeknownst to any of us, Andy was one clear at five under.


On the 15th, I took the lead with an ace with the deadweight putt between the rocks. In my head, a mistake free closing would give me the trophy. At the volcano, Tony decides to go for broke and takes a five. Recalling what happened to me in the Masters back in March, where I took a four, I take a few deep breaths and roll the ball to the bottom of the hill. I walk away, looking up at the blue skies, searching for some sort of composure. I steady myself long enough to make the two, believing I was about to win, I punch the air. “Andy made a 30”, says his brother Terry. My GCSE mathematics kicked in immediately and I knew I was one behind. I simply couldn’t believe how it was possible. “Andy made the last two.” That’s almost impossible, but not today.


As I teed off on the last, I encouraged everyone waiting by the well next to the hole to blow as hard as they could as my shot was unlikely to get the bounce needed to return to the cup. The ball sped up and passed the bridge, I knew my attempt would be more Huddersfield ’19 rather than Leicester ’16. I came up one shot shy. After making the two, I strode over to Andy to congratulate him. Although I would have loved to have won, if you get beaten by a sensational effort, you have to stand there and applaud. It had been nearly ten years since Andy had won on tour. “I’m glad I got to finally witness one rather than read about it in a history book, mate.” We both laughed. I’m not the greatest fan of a one ball competition as I feel that part of the skill of minigolf is the choice of ball. What you get with the Kent Open, especially this year, is top level pressure and an incredible competition to be a part of. Four different outright leaders at some point in the final round, not knowing the outcome until the penultimate putt. Days like this does the minigolfer live for, the 2019 Kent Open will truly be one for the ages.


The views expressed in this blog are solely the views of the writer and do not represent the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF), Minigolfnews.com or any other organization that the writer may be associated with unless expressly stated in the blog.

Comments
There are no comments

Add comment
Please note that you have to login, to be able to add comments


 

UPCOMING EVENTS   More »

 22 May 2021 (2 days)

Senior Nations Cup


 22 May 2021 (2 days)

U23 Nationals Cup


 29 May 2021 (1 day)

Midlands Open


 05 Jun 2021 (2 days)

PPA Invitational


 26 Jun 2021 (1 day)

Cardiff Open


 10 Jul 2021 (1 day)

Worthing Open


 16 Jul 2021 (2 days)

World Deaf Minigolf Championships





LATEST RESULTS   More »

 09 Apr 2021

USPMGA U.S. Open

 21 Feb 2021

Inland Empire Classic at Pechanga - National Putting Tour

 16 Jan 2021

Al Simpson Tournament of Champions

 31 Dec 2020

BMGA Club Championship- POSTPONED

 07 Nov 2020

2020 Ship Golf Miniature Golf Course Championship

 17 Oct 2020

Bristish Championships

 11 Oct 2020

Tabers Fall Classic Mini Golf Tournament presented by 105.5




LATEST NEWS

United States of America 03 May 2021 at 13:39 | 
Kyle Labrecque Wins Tabers' Spring Fling

United States of America 11 Apr 2021 at 13:16 | 
Matt Male Wins 2021 U.S. Open in Florida

Sweden 18 Mar 2021 at 12:01 | 
Swedish Minigolf Tour Gains Title Sponsor

Iran 16 Mar 2021 at 12:31 | 
Minigolf Cup in Hamedan Province of Iran

WMF 15 Mar 2021 at 12:14 | 
WMF signs historic Memorandum of Understanding with UTS

World 08 Mar 2021 at 15:14 | 
WMF wishes all women a happy World Women

Italy 07 Feb 2021 at 13:52 | 
2nd WMF International Minigolf Speed Championships - Save the Date!

United States of America 05 Jan 2021 at 13:46 | 
Pelletier Wins Tabers Holiday Classic

WMF 22 Dec 2020 at 19:30 | 
WMF Youth Ace UTS Virtual Festival

Ghana 28 Nov 2020 at 14:05 | 
One Year Anniversary of Ghana National Wheelchair Minigolf League

Iran 29 Oct 2020 at 11:46 | 
Iran Minigolf “National Week of Physical Education and Sport"