I Played In An Amateur Mini Tour Event - Here's What Happened

Monty McPhee plays in a Springfield Golf event on 'The Road to the Belfry'

Four golfers holding drivers pose for a photo on a tee
Monty (far right) with his three playing partners
(Image credit: Monty McPhee)

The road to The Belfry is a competition for all to get involved in. No matter what your ability is or how old you are this is quite possibly the perfect competition for golfers of all levels. Grab a few mates and make a weekend out of it.

The organisers, James and Ollie, said they pride themselves on being a mini tour series for your everyday golfer which provides the professional tour event feeling we all crave.

Springfield Golf was founded just after the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were lifted and ever since then it has grown in popularity amongst all golfers. I was lucky enough to tee it up at Wyboston Lakes Golf Club in Bedfordshire recently, and it was dramatic!

Here's how it went...

Day One

Ahead of tournament weekend you are sent your tee time for day one and a schedule of how the weekend will run. For Springfield Golf, the more the merrier, I had asked If caddies were allowed, and the organisers were all for it - absolutely they are.

On arrival you head up to the check in desk where you sign in and receive a goodie bag, so no matter where you finish at the end of the weekend you all go home with a little thank you for taking part gift. Music is playing as more and more competitors turn up and as I stand there observing, everyone seems to be greeting each other with high fives or fist bumps. They all know each other from previous Springfield Golf events. 

The competitors lined up

(Image credit: Monty McPhee)

Beers were flowing and as the first tee off time approached the organisers, gathered everyone around for a short briefing. Once that was concluded we all watched the first group tee off - not much pressure! Fortunately, I was in the third group, so the crowd had dispersed. I never normally drink before a competition but to get into the spirit of things I joined in with the pre-game antics and had a beer and this seemed to calm the nerves on that first tee. 

Round one was very relaxed with a nearest the pin, longest drive and hole-in-one prize up for grabs. The hole-in-one hole drew a lot of attention with beers from SALT Beer being passed about and a whopping £10,000 on the line. The hole was playing about 187 yards, slightly up hill and no real trouble, it should have been easy. I stepped up to try my luck at getting that elusive hole-in-one. Six iron in hand I struck the ball and off it flew sailing left of the green. It wasn’t meant to be. 

The day wrapped up with a few beers in the bar as the final few groups finished off and then a small presentation followed at dinner announcing who won the nearest the pin and the longest drive competition. My night came to an early end but the rest of the field made their way out to party the night away. Could day two be moving day for me?

Day Two

The morning rolled around and I headed off for the all you can eat breakfast that was included in the stay. I had to be properly field for the day ahead.

Amazingly those who went out during the night were slowly drip feeding into the dining hall. 

Day two grouping on the first tee

(Image credit: Monty McPhee)

SpringField Golf have a tradition that those at the bottom of the table after day one tee off first with the organisers for round two. A great little touch to add some fun to the tournament and also a little punishment for being bottom of the field.

I teed off just after the organisers with the same group I played with on day one, we had a great laugh and the golf was much better, perhaps because people knew a spot at the Belfry was up for grabs. No nearest the pin, longest drive or hole-in-one prize was up for the taking today. Day two was all about punching your ticket to the final in August. 

After 16 holes, I was tied for 6th place, and the top six go through to the Belfry Final in August. The pressure was on, I just needed to hold on for the last two holes. My round ended on a juicy double bogey so my chances were pretty slim but as I sat eating a burger waiting for the groups behind to come in I found myself sitting in solo sixth!

There was a chance. One player stood in the way of me securing my place at the Belfry. He needed five points on the last two holes, something he managed to do. Incredible golf, we were in a playoff.  

The organisers were ecstatic, they love a playoff, I on the other hand was feeling nerves I hadn’t felt for a while as we walked back down towards the 18th tee box. We let it fly and the playoff was underway.

I braved a driver off the tee which leaked left leaving me a blocked out view of the green. My opponent played safe hitting an iron for his first shot straight down the fairway. I had two options, play safe and chip out or play the hero shot and pull off the impossible.

I went for the crowd pleaser and it did not work out but I was able to then bump and run my third shot up to ten feet from the cup. My opposition missed the green with his second shot but then played a blinding third shot that hit the hole! It was an easy tap in par for him.

Sadly I missed my par putt and in doing so missed out on a place at the Belfry. It was, however, a great experience and what a way to come up the 18th with the crowd cheering you on. 

18th green at the end of day two

(Image credit: Monty McPhee)

What a weekend it was though, whether you like to practice before a golf tournament or have a few beers in the bar to calm the nerves, the Springfield Golf tournaments have you covered, playing at some great courses around the country before heading to their big finale at The Belfry.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an average Joe you should definitely consider taking part in one of these events. Get a group of you and your mates together, everyone is welcome no matter age or gender, this tournament is truly for all.

Monty McPhee

Monty is an upcoming golf journalist having completed his Multimedia Journalism degree at Bournemouth University; where he was also apart of the University’s well renowned golf team. He has had a passion for golf ever since he picked up a club at 12 years old and this love for the sport only grew stronger over time as his game developed and he pursued golf through different avenues. His game took him over to the United States on a golf scholarship and has had him travelling the UK to take part in competitions like the Nick Faldo series and general club scratch matches. Monty worked on ‘The Open’ radio team when it was hosted at Royal St George’s getting to walk inside the ropes with some of the top players like Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and of course that year's winner - Collin Morikawa. Monty has been lucky enough to have three holes-in-one in his short golfing career and he looks to continue growing that number. Monty believes the ability to continue playing golf well lies in his dedication to keeping fit through his other passion, which is CrossFit.

What’s in the bag:

Driver: Srixon Z 765

3 wood: Taylormade AreoBurner

2 iron: Srixon Z U65

Irons: Srixon Z765

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (50°,54°,58°)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Nano 7