RIX HILL FINALS FOR 2013 AND 2014 AT VALDERRAMA 29TH OCTOBER 2017

Tom Webb v. Andrew Gammon for the 2013 final.

Jeremy Findlay (from Edinburgh) v. Stephen Bois for the 2014 final.

The four of us set off on the Friday from LHR by the BA midday flight for Gibraltar, much closer than Malaga to our destination, with keen anticipation and some trepidation for our 2 finals at the world famous Real Club de Valderrama, in order to have 2 clear days of golf to follow over the designated weekend.   On arriva, we managed to pick our way through the border  into Spain on foot, fully laden with equipment, to collect our hire cars across in La Linea.  We then made our way straight to Anthony Speelman’s magnificent house in Sotogrande, a short drive from the course, where we were welcomed and looked after in the warmest and most generous way possible.  Anthony took us to the course and gave us breakfast each morning, plus a sumptuous buffet lunch at the club on Sunday – note long sleeved shirts and jackets required – while we gave Anthony dinner each evening when he drove us to suitable restaurants on the quayside.

We decided to acquaint ourselves with the course on the Saturday when most of us played 2 rounds, helped by a buggy for two, to prepare for the matches the following day, which proved to be a good decision as the course is quite different from anything any of us know over here, being extremely challenging, i.e. cork trees consistently in the way of approach shots following any drive only slightly errant, thick damp rough where the balls sits well down making chipping to the lightning fast greens very exacting, especially as anything short would come back down the slopes in front of greens, sometimes up to 100 yards.  And of course the 2 holes with greenside water present their own particular challenges.

Both matches on Sunday morning proved to be very even after strokes were distributed against full handicap difference, 5 by Andrew, 7 by myself.   Because of a busy course and inevitable delays, Tom and Andrew had to resort to settling their game on the putting green having evened up at the 18th, when Tom came out the winner.   I was slightly more fortunate in being able to hold off Jeremy’s challenge and win on the 18th green.  Great matches and good company, both won this time by the older brigade,  note,  though the quality of our play did suffer somewhat at the behest of this tricky course.  However, a great experience and privilege to play on just a week after Garcia had won the Andalucian Masters there, and be hosted so perfectly off the course by Anthony.
I am hoping some of this information might be of help in giving some feel for the place and procedures to future finalists. 

Stephen Bois,  (OHGS Captain).

  

Inaugural West Midlands Meeting – Blackwell Golf Club 25th October 2017

A new fixture, the inaugural West Midlands meeting, took place on Wednesday 25th October by kind invitation of the Blackwell members. Three OHs who are members, George Barkes, Simon Sharp and Charles Wade were joined by David Moseley, Adrian Gracey, John Casson and William North plus another Blackwell member (not OH), James Busby.

After much discussion, we agreed to play pairs better ball and we duly set off under clear skies on a perfect October day for golf in 2 groups of 4. The pairs were arranged with the lowest handicap playing with highest and this resulted in a close contest with Adrian Gracey and Charles Wade coming out on top with 38 points which was also matched by William North and James Blake but Adrian and Charles were declared the victors on countback. The course was in excellent condition but playing long.

We stopped after 9 holes in the Blackwell tradition for a restorative glass – coffee, soup or something stronger and returned at about 2.30 pm for a superb 3-course lunch (see photo) with excellent wines.

Everyone enjoyed the day and would like a repeat next year but are keen to explore some other, perhaps less frequently used, formats for the day.

On a personal note, I would like to thank George Barkes for offering to host this day, providing the amusing prizes and for making all the arrangements for a most enjoyable occasion.

William North (Hon Sec)

The Autumn Meeting at RWNGC, Brancaster, 21-22 September 2017

Coming just a month after RWNGC’s 125th anniversary, a grand scale celebration attended by several OH members of the club, our meeting this year was also special in that it attracted a record number of 40 entrants, well above our norm for both Spring and Autumn meetings, and gratefully accepted by the club secretary.


 

The local match manager, Thomas Olesen, had done a sterling job organising everyone and everything possible to make the gathering the success it was, including the provision of some really exceptional high tides, autumn sunshine, with relatively light winds. Indeed, the extra dimension of the intervention of the sea, with the equinox tides covering the beach road, marshes, suddenly spectacular in their own right, and parts of the 8th and 9th holes at the time we were teeing off, added an extra layer of excitement and pleasure to the proceedings.

Once again we were made to feel very much at home in Brancaster’s traditional and unique clubhouse, with excellent buffet lunches provided on the 2 days. A welcoming supper at the Sailing Club in Brancaster Staithe on arrival, and a formal dinner after Thursday’s full day’s play at the lovely Docking home of James Amies and family, to whom we are most indebted, completed the off-course entertainment.

That evening in a fine setting included Songs led by Simon Berry and accompanied by Jeremy Fricker’s excellent piano playing, all made for a memorable couple of days both for the 8 newcomers to the meeting, as well as the more regular attendees. We were also extremely grateful to George Hartley and Matthew Gibbens for their super-efficient scoring efforts which helped to ensure everyone got out and back in good time to beat the evening tide and avoided long walks back along the bank alongside the road to Brancaster village.

We were also extremely grateful to George Hartley and Matthew Gibbens for their super-efficient scoring efforts which helped to ensure everyone got out and back in good time to beat the evening tide and avoid long walk back along the bank alongside the road to Brancaster village.

Winners of the various cups as follows –
De Rougemont Challenge Cup – Gideon Rutherford
Gilroy Challenge Cup – Adam Webb
Aubrey Edward Challenge Cup – Adam Webb
George Rothman Silver Salver – Jamie Warman
The Sunley Salvers – Tim Parsonson & Mark Lyttleton
The Secretary’s Salver – Geoffrey Goddard & James Amies

The Bernard Darwin

The Harrovian team for the Bernard Darwin this year had an interesting statistic – five of the six representing the side played cricket at Lords v Eton – the Captain of the BD side being the sad omission and ruining what I suspect would have been a unique full house!  What that meant of course was that there was a natural competitive spirit within and an aversion to losing to Eton, both of which stood Harrow in good stead.
Round 1 was versus Malvern. Huw Jenkins, a new recruit, played top with Jamie Warman and playing steady decent golf won easily. Fricker and Pigott (an England cap no less and also a new recruit) lost, but Tindall and Sheffield (belying his 75 years) won on the last in a high class match to see Harrow through.
Highgate in the afternoon proved less of a problem, with Warman and Jenkins salvaging a half as comfortable victories behind ensured an overall win.
Eton were up next but any hackles raised were undone by the pure smooth charm of our opponents. Luckily old habits die hard and we remembered in time to recover the primordial instinct regarding Etonians. A 2.5/.5 result ensued in our favour.
The final was against Uppingham who had never won the competition, but who were fielding some hardy stalwarts from their Hewitt side.
Jenkins and Warman won the top game comfortably 6/5, the second match involving Fricker and Pigott was always going to the wire and it became clear would be the decider, since Tindall and Sheffield playing in the last game were up against par golf and struggling to hole a putt whist their opponents rolled everything in.
So often the way in foursomes!
By dint of courageous recovery play Fricker and Pigott found themselves one up with four to go. We were starting to get excited but a bogey par bogey run when the opposition parred or birdied meant a shake of hands on the 17th and an Uppingham victory.
Tough to take as no one remembers who comes second but overall we have to be happy to have reached the final again and be knocking on the door looking for it to be opened next year.
Those playing –
Jamie Warman
Huw Jenkins
Jeremy Fricker
Tony Pigott
Nick Tindall
John Sheffield

Woking were their usual exceptional hosts and the course was outstanding in beauty and condition

 

Piggot, Fricker, Sheffield, Tindall, Warman, Jenkins

 

The Draw

Public Schools Midlands meeting, 28th June 2017

The day turned out very differently from expectations for Harrow.  First and foremost a triumph when Adrian Gracey aced Little Aston’s  5th. hole in the morning rain.  Many congratulations to him and thanks for the Kummel which helped greatly to lift otherwise damp spirits among our team.  Can anyone else claim this rare hole in one distinction, or is this a new record for OHGS golf?

Apart from this cheering event, Harrow did not have a good day, partly because two of our strongest players could not come at the last minute for very valid reasons, so without available replacements we had to field a side of 4 pairs only.  Our pairings were Mark Wilson and Adrian Gracey, Neil Scaife and William North, Geoffrey Goddard and Stephen Bois, and David Norris and Christopher Wilson. Regardless, we soldiered on and managed a better pm score, perhaps helped by an excellent if hurried lunch, when the unseasonal weather dried out a little to help improve morale.

Our match captain agreed that we need somehow to find some more local players for this Midlands event on what is generally acknowledged to be a very fine course, perhaps especially good this year having hosted an Open qualifier 2 days previously.

The day was won by Bromsgrove,  runners up King Edwards School, third equal Malvern & Oundle.

Mark Wilson, William North & David Norris

David Norris, Adrian Gracey & Geoffrey Goddard

OH GOLF IN SCOTLAND JUNE 2017

A wonderful interlude was spent over 3 days 16th – 18th June by as many as 16 OH golfers on East Lothian’s aptly named ‘Golf Coast’. The centrepiece being a day at Muirfield on the Saturday kindly organised locally by Archie Pleydell-Bouverie with assistance from Will North, Neil Scaife and James Amies from the South.

Neil Scaife being presented with the Claret Jug

A day at that world famous links certainly lived up to all expectations, 2 rounds of foursomes plus a singles being played by 22 golfers, some of whom were locals and not all OH’s drafted in by Archie to help with guidance around such a challenging course, as well as reducing the costs for us visitors. Despite the near perfect conditions – bright sun and mild breeze – scoring was by no means distinguished, but this did not detract from the overall enjoyment of such a memorable day. Perhaps it was the excellent lunch in the clubhouse and the anticipation of participating in a formal dinner as well that drew attention away from more rhythmic swings and accurate putting across those fiendish greens!

Neil Scaife with the claret jug

More golf was played either side of the Muirfield day, with a round for us visitors to compete for the Claret Jug at the brilliant West Links of North Berwick on the Friday afternoon, when much fun was had on a seaside course full of character and features simply not experienced elsewhere – a stone wall featuring on 2 holes, and some remarkable blind dips and hills around homecoming greens. Neil had arranged this round, being a country member able to guide us through some of the trickier aspects of this great course, and most deservedly won the Claret Jug which was presented at the Muirfield dinner. See photos ! Archie kindly organised a barbecue at his house very conveniently opposite the 16th green, in the evening, which was much appreciated and enjoyed too.

A third event was enjoyed on the Sunday morning, by the 8 remaining OH’s who had survived Muirfield’s hospitality the previous evening, a round at nearby Luffness New GC, yet another cracking links among the dozen or so that line that section of coast in close proximity, and of course another club in Neil’s burgeoning portfolio of memberships. Neil and I re-partnered to restore some pride by avenging our defeat at N. Berwick by Jerome Wilcox and Adam Webb, to our great satisfaction, chiefly due to Neil’s excellent play it has to be said. Some of those playing were able to stay on for a magnificent lunch that club is noted for, while others had to think about heading home to the South.

All in all a great success due to the much appreciated warm hospitality of local friends and club members, and good to see OH golf in fair shape over the border.
Stephen Bois – Captain.

 

 

 

 

The Senior Darwin

Jeffrey Bonas, Captain

The Harrow team consisted of, in playing order, Steve Posford and Stephen Bois, David Norris and Nick Stewart (The Colonel), Captain Jeffrey Bonas and Andrew Aylwin. Harrow  had an epic victory 2/1 over Charterhouse in the morning then, with a depleted team, lost to Radley 2/1 in the afternoon, Henry Whyte Smith very sportingly turning out to replace Nick to partner David. The competition was won the next day by trophy hunters Tonbridge.

 

 

In the Bar

On the Tee

OH Captain of Hong Kong Golf Club

Arnold Wong (Park 1987) driving in as Captain of Hong Kong Golf Club recently.

Are there any other Old Harrovian’s with golf news from further afield?  If so, please share your stories.

Captain’s “drive-in” at Hong Kong Golf Club on 14th May 2017

OHGS SPRING MEETING ROYAL ST GEORGES GC 28-29 APRIL 2017

32 OH’s comprised a full field to come down to compete for the 7 trophies on display over 2 sun blessed spring days on this famous links, which provided challenges aplenty even without the strong winds we have more normally experienced. The range of competitors’ ages from an impressive 77 down to 25 also provided great company and almost as many variations of style as the holes themselves around the course!

Geoffrey Goddard 1st Drive

Ross Bryan, Mark Wilson, William North, Jerome Ponniah, Christoph Buxton

James Hedin, Stephen Bois & Ross Bryan

Winners of the trophies as follows, presented after the excellent club dinner by our President Jamie Warman –

THE CORONATION CUP – George Hartley with 37 well earned points.
THE POSFORD CUP (scratch) – Matthew Gibbens with 30 points.
THE BORTHWICK CUP for young members – Adam Webb with 30 points – a rookie on his first appearance at RStG!
THE BLACKWELL-CARLISLE CUP – Huw Jenkins beat George Hartley in a closely fought encounter.
THE TREVOR MATTHEWS CUP – Adam Webb (that man again!) beat John Wyn-Evans on the 19th after being dormie 2 down – never give up!
SMOUHA GOBLETS – Christoph Buxton and Mark Wilson with 32 points.
PRESIDENT’S SALVERS – James Mitchell and Tim Parsonson with 30 points on countback from Tipper Wilson and Matthew Gibbens.

In all a highly successful and most enjoyable meeting, thanks once again largely to Geoffrey Goddard’s extremely efficient organisation of all the different aspects that need to be covered. A word of grateful thanks is also due to Matthew Gibbens who did so much to run the scoring during the meeting for all the various cups.

Finally, thank you to all players for coming to make this a memorable OHGS occasion, and we look forward to seeing as many as possible at ensuing meetings during 2017.

Stephen Bois – Captain.

Halford Hewitt 2017

The 2017 Hewitt saw us drawn against Merchiston at Deal in R1, a tough assignment as Merchiston won the Hewitt as recently as 2014.
Our team had several new faces, with altogether now 6 players under 25, including 2 Oxford Blues, fresh from their Varsity match defeat of Cambridge.  With weather set fair, we teed off with optimism.  The top pairing of Jan Brugelmann and Dan Carver had an epic battle of top quality golf, eventually halving their match after Merchiston birdied the 18th to secure the half. A costly 3 putt on the 15th eventually proved decisive.

Our youngest pair of Freddie Copestick and Miles Kellock went out second and battled all the way to just lose out on the 18th.

Off third was Jerry Fricker and Henry Howard Jenkins, the Oxford captain, and they outclassed their opponents, winning comfortably 3&2. A fine debut from Henry.
Fourth pair was John Frederick and Oxford blue Freddie Bruce, who lost 3&2 mainly due to some poor driving off the tee.

Bringing up the rear Jamie Warman and Nick Tindall, two of the Hewitt stalwarts with over 270 combined matches and a very high winning percentage. This was an expected win for Harrow, so it was something of a major shock to discover them 6 down after 9! Just a bad day at the office, with every mistake heavily penalised. Eventually they lost 4&3.
Final result 1.5 – 3.5 loss.

All in all the team had a very enjoyable week both on and off the course.
It was hugely encouraging to witness the fine play from the youngsters, which offers great hope for the future.
Many thanks also to Stephen Bois, Geoffrey Goddard and David Norris for their encouragement and support and for the generosity of Old Harrovians who provided financial support for our younger members who would not otherwise have been in a position to represent Harrow.