The OMGS had a successful month as follows
- We won the Alba Trophy at Woking for the first time which was a tremendous achievement as it is a scratch event. Our team was David Niven and Elliott Matthews and their scores were 75 in the morning and 71 in the afternoon. A total of 146 and they won by 3 shots (I think).
- We also won the Public Schools Putting for the 3rd time under the inspiring leadership of Chris Dowling. For those of you who do not know, 32 schools participate in 4 qualifying events at Royal Wimbledon. Each school has a team of 4 and everybody plays everybody so each player has seven 18 hole matches. The top two schools go into the final day and the bottom two get relegated. It is quite scary. We topped our qualifying group and won the final with 40 points (out of a maximum of 56) pipping Charterhouse (by 2 points). Our team was Angus Murray (who came top of the points scoring with 12 points out of 14), Jim Hewer, Tom Macfarlane and Jack Naylor.
- Finally we won the very senior Darwin (the over 75s) comprising an 18 hole stabelford competition at Woking. Our team was our President, James Hopper and Martin Mercer who holed a huge putt from off the green at the 14th to win.
The AGM of the OMGS took place during the spring meeting at the Royal Worlington and Newmaket GC on Friday 13th May 2022 and the minutes are attached. AGM minutes 130522.pdf
The following were elected officers of the Society:
President: James Hopper
Captain: Bernie Thomson
Hon Secretary: William Wells
Vice Captain: Alasdair Niven
Past Captain: Bob Percival
As you can see, we are still lacking an Hon Treasurer and we really need someone to volunteer for this role. If anyone is interested, would they please contact either the Captain or Hon Sec.
Sunday 8th May 2022 was an historic day at Sunningdale. It was not only a lovely day but the youngest ever team of OMs was assembled to play the annual match against the Scottish invaders, Fettes. There were 10 OM participants with an average age of 27.
That was the good news. The bad news was that we lost 7-3. The morning foursomes were very close. We were 3-2 down at lunch but three of the 5 games went to the last hole. After dining well, we played a 4 ball better ball on the Old Course in the afternoon but unfortunately only won one of the five games.
However the course and weather were perfect and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We now have a significant number of active members of 35 and under and as a Society we need to do all we can to encourage this group of players to participate in OMGS events.
9th May 2022
Marlborough squeezed through 3-2 against Rossall. Wins for Blockley & Hewer and for Matthews & Murray left us 2-2.
Foster & Greenwood were 1 down going down 18 but their opponents took 6. Halves in par up the 19th and 20th led to the long par 3 21st. Our opponents three-putted from 12’ after we’d got caught up on the bank to the right but we got our 4 and so up the 22nd we went. A long drive from Foster and a good 9 iron from Greenwood meant we were at the back in 2 but on the correct level. Rossall then four-putted from the swale down at the front of the green and we rolled it up to 2’ for the win.
We’re now out against Haileybury
C Foster/H Greenwood beat H Kingsbury/D Blackadder-Weinstein 1up
J Naylor/J Porter lost to C Rietschel/O Flynn 1dn
C Blockley/J Hewer beat J Durie/T Tredinnick 3/2
EMatthews/A Murray halved with J Balgarnie/A Mackay
D Niven/J Rhodes beat J Woolf/A Hofmann 8/7
The Halford Hewitt takes place next week at Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St Georges. We are playing Rossall at St Georges on Friday 8th April 2022 at 9:30am. Do come and support. Our team is:
- Angus Murray and Elliott Matthews
- David Niven and Justin Rhodes
- Jack Naylor and Jamie Porter
- Charlie Foster and Hamish Greenwood
- Charles Blockley and Jim Hewer
There will be a memorial, celebration and light lunch in memory of Alan at 11:30am on Thursday 16th June 2022 at; Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall, Hall Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP5 2PU. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is my sad duty to report that Alan Catchpole died peacefully on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 at the age of 89.
I will leave others to comment on his successful business career. I knew Alan as a golfer and a friend over many years.
He was a very fine golfer gaining an Oxford Blue in 1953 and 1954 and he played in his first Halford Hewitt, as a cheeky 20 year old (if his photo is anything to go by), in 1953 when Marlborough lost to Harrow in the Semi Final. Alan played surprisingly in only 9 Hewitts but was a key part of our renaissance in the 70s where we won the tournament once and got to 4 finals. Together with Alastair Bond, he won all 6 of his matches in 1971 where we were finalists and he was a member of the winning team in 1972 when he partnered his great friend Peter Good to a famous win over Harrow in the final. In those two years, he played in the fourth pair and I played in the 5th pair. It was enormously comforting to be greeted by a broad grin on the course knowing that he and Peter were at least 3 up! He captained the Hewitt side between 1986 and 1992 during which time we reached the quarter final three times.
One of his jobs as Halford Hewitt manager was to organise accommodation and here I quote from his letter inviting me to play in the 1992 event: “Unfortunately we cannot stay at the Hotel St James this year as the hotel is closed due to flooding problems”. What he did not mention was that these flooding problems may not have been unconnected with the long hot bath that Alan might have had during the 1991 event!
In later years he did have a slightly uneasy relationship with a selection of drivers which probably resulted in him playing in fewer Bernard Darwin trophies than he perhaps should have done as it was played at the notoriously tight Woking GC.
Alan contributed enormously to the OMGS. He was Captain of the OMGS in 1985/86 and President from 2007 – 2010.
I chatted to Alan on a regular basis. To me he was a huge enthusiast with a great sense of humour. He did get me out of a hole during one of my early Hewitts. At that time, we had a number of wine connoisseurs in the side and at one dinner a cork was being passed round for us to study. Having had several pints of Shepherd Neame, I had not a clue what to say. Alan, sitting next to me, saved the day when the cork arrived. He took one look at it and said; “Never mind the colour, I’m a quantity man”!
I will miss him enormously.
The 2022 fixture card is available for download. The printed fixture card will be sent out in April to coincide with the changeover of the OMGS Committee
A fixture list without any phone numbers is available for download:
FIXTURE LIST - NO PHONE NUMBERS
For a complete fixture, please go to:
FIXTURES (restricted access)
Grafton Morrish 2021 - Report
For the first time (I think) since 1990 we reached the semi-final of the Grafton Morrish. This was as enjoyable as it was surprising bearing in mind that the Grafton Morrish is a high quality competition. It is different from the Halford Hewitt in that it is not limited to the same 64 schools but is open to all schools which are members of the Headmasters’ conference. 104 schools entered this year and 48 qualified from 9 different venues throughout England and Scotland. The event is always held at Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk; two exceptional links courses on, strangely enough, the North West coast of Norfolk!
Our team consisted of the somewhat “senior” first pair of Bob Carrick and David Niven (combined age of 136 – mostly due to the former); the slightly more youthful second pair of Matt Mockridge and Jack Naylor (but not by much!) and the dynamic young third pair of Elliott Matthews and the sparkling debutant James Porter.
Having received a bye in the first round, we won a very tight second round 2-1 against Whitgift with 2 matches ending with the last putt on the last green. We won the third and fourth rounds both by 2-1 against Sedbergh and Reeds respectively but these matches were quite relaxed as in both we won 2 matches out in the country.
The semi-final was a slight anti-climax (as it was in 1990) as we were well beaten by a very strong Millfield side who leapt out of the blocks and none of our pairs was able to peg them back and exert any pressure. Millfield went on to win the tournament (for the first time since 1974) by beating Malvern (the 2019 runners up) in an incredibly tight and dare I say pulsating final. All matches went to the 18th green; there were two halves and the Millfield third pair holed a 15 footer to lift the trophy.
Anyway the whole 3 days were great fun and although all pairs contributed, the stars were the third pair who won 3 out of their 4 matches.
The aim next year is to qualify (never straightforward) and then perhaps attract some more youthful participants to supplement this year’s third pair. Matt Mockridge, the Halford Hewitt Captain, will be doing his best to unearth suitable candidates.
If you want to register for a match or meeting, please go to the Fixtures page for all the details:
© The Old Marlburian Golfing Society