FootJoy Hidden Gems competition: my experience


Money List Winner
Aug 19, 2009
Back in December when the weather was wet and miserable, I entered the FootJoy Hidden Gems competition with a review of Thetford. I was fortunate enough to be one of two winners. The prize included an invitation to play a match at Tadmarton Heath, which took place today. However, the prizes started arriving a couple of months ago and havent stopped.

I have to say a monumental thank you to FootJoy who have been amazing. The original prize was for a DryJoy Tour Rain Jacket, a polo shirt, a hat, a glove, a baselayer and a pair of shoes. I'm an XPS-1 fanboy so got another pair of those :) So all things considered not too shabby a prize, with the round of golf at Tadmarton with a playing partner of my choice.

Next thing I know FootJoy are back on email asking for my trouser size and Ian's (my playing partner) clothing and shoe sizes. Shortly afterwards Ian and I have matching outfits from the new clothing range (which is fantastic by the way) and Ian has a new pair of DryJoys Tour golf shoes. Unexpected but very appreciated.

We travelled down on Thursday due to the early start on Friday and played Studley Wood Thursday afternoon. A review will follow but for now all I can say is great course shame about the weather. I was awful and blame it all the elements :eek: but we really enjoyed the round and made our way to our accommodation the Horse and Groom Inn. Brilliant coach house, locally sourced steak for dinner washed down with a couple of pints of Hobgoblin very nice.

Unfortunately I'd left my wallet at Studley Wood (I'm a bit forgetful) but I have to say a massive thank you to Ken from Studley Wood who met us in Banbury that evening to give it back to me. Next challenge was to try and dry out our kit from the soaking we had taken at Studley. To say there was a fair amount of condensation in ky room rhe fillowing morning would be an understatement. INonetheless I awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning ready to take on GM and FootJoy.

We were given the best full English breakfast I've had in a long time (seriously if you are golfing in Oxfordshire the Horse and Groom is worth a visit just for the food) and made our way to the club. Despite staying only a few minutes away we were the last to arrive. Still gorged from eating that whopping brekkie we passed on the bacon Sarnie, a gesture appreciated by the ravenous Editor-in-Chief.

At this point Russ and Dave from FootJoy (fantastic guys) announced that when their Titleist colleagues had heard about the day they wanted some coverage. So out to the car park where we were presented with a FootJoy glove, a dozen proV1s, a cap and a brand new stand bag!!!! My jaw hit the floor but I have to admit we all looked really smart, even Mike and Jezz in a fetching Lilac and Silver number ;)

So off we head to the first tee fir Better ball match v Jezz and Dave. No time for warm ups just a few photos and we were away. I'll not lie I was awful. Tops, fats, a couple of shanks. I'm a big enough man to say nerves got the best of me and I played like an utter tool. But luckily Ian was keeping our scorecard ticking over and keeping us in contention. After a while I finally got going and secured a few cheeky three pointers to push us ahead.

I fell apart on the last four holes and despite having a five point lead on the 17th that was cut to a single point as we blobbed and Jezza slotted an unlikely birdie putt, using rocket fuel to negate the break and nearly snap the flag stick in half! I lost my nerve but Ian held his in 18 to give us 2pts but Dave had a birdie putt for the tie that just stayed out.

An amazing day and wonderful prize. Very grateful to FootJoy and GM md will post a review of Tadmarton soon. Thanks also to snapper Tom who gleefully took photos whenever anyone ended up in a gorse bush. Apparently readers want the whole truth ;) Finally it was great to meet the other winner Jason and his talented son James. Jason is currently a lurker but has promised to start posting.

I'm knackered but over the moon and branded Acushnet all over... well except for my woods :whistle:

Thanks everyone for making today such a wonderful experience :thup:


Ryder Cup Winner
Aug 6, 2010
Herts/Beds border
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Nice write up Tiger, and yet another great opportunity from GM

Glad you enjoyed the 2 courses, both are very good imo, Studley used to be my home track (I still miss it) and always enjoyed Tadmarton Heath :)


Content Director
Staff member
Jul 22, 2006
GM Towers
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Great write up Tiger, sums it up nicely!
Really good to me you and Ian today and also Jason (a long time forum lurker!) and his 13year old son James who off 11 aged 13 and quite a small lad has the potential to be a really good young player when he grows a bit.
As Tiger says FJ and Titleist were super generous to us all and Tadmarton Heath was in awesome nick especially considering the recent rain. Highly recommended a visit there if you are looking for a course in that aprt of the country. There will be a full write up of the day in a future issue


GM Staff
Nov 1, 2006
GM Towers, London
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Just got home a little while ago from a very enjoyable day, so perfectly summed up by Tiger.

Good company, good fun, good course, good food and still all 12 of the Pro V1s Titleist generously provided (can't even blame a couple of lost balls for my distinctly average scoring).

Tadmarton is 'hidden gem' personified (or whatever the equivalent word for golf courses would be) - not long but with great views and protected by the wind and one or two pretty tight holes coming home.

Only downer? My wife approves of the fancy new FJ sweater, but the mildly jazzy trousers got a bit of a thumbs down. I don't know... you try to break the chinos and polo mould once in a while and that's all the thanks you get!

(Apologies also to Tadmarton if my ridiculous putt on 17 dented the flagstick. If my colleagues had seen that one clatter the stick and then wedge itself in the hole I think one or two of them would have been physically sick - especially as it would have netted me a couple of ill-deserved bits!)


Hall of Famer
Aug 6, 2007
Bracknell - Berkshire
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Great write ups all round. GM really know how to look after comp winners but a big thumbs up too to all the companies that put gear and prizes up for grabs and always go the extra mile to make the winners feel like a pro for the day. Well done all round