As I approach the end of my term as Captain of OWGS, I can reflect on two wonderful years playing with or against 37 other members of the society in 23 fixtures and supporting the team at the Halford Hewitt. I have enjoyed each and every round played and watched and am glad to have had an opportunity over two years to contribute something to a society that has given me forty years of fun and lifelong friendships.
With as many as 117 Wykehamists playing in OWGS matches, meetings and tournaments in the past two years, OWGS is in good shape and this report will cover some of the year’s activities.
The website is at the heart of the society, assisting Match Managers in running their matches and keeping members informed. It is important that all members register their details on the website (if they haven’t done so already) and that Match Managers submit the results and a brief report as soon as possible after their matches have been played in order to keep the website current. Please also submit any golfing news from elsewhere.
Particular thanks to Nick Holt for his work in maintaining and improving the website since it was re-launched two years ago and in reaching the point where more than 150 Wykehamists have registered and receive regular updates.
88 Old Wykehamists played in 26 fixtures, tournaments and meetings during the year with OWGS winning 14 and losing 10 of the 24 matches played and winning 96 individual points out of 176 (55%).
Highlights include our recent trip to Hollinwell organised by Mark Coulman, rare wins over the host club sides at Brancaster, Rye and Worlington and comprehensive victories over The Rifles and Bradfield, the latter giving us encouragement in the run up to the Halford Hewitt in April. Low points include OWGS’s first ‘selfie’ when Andrew Tusa and Simon Whitehead posed immediately after Simon holed their second shot at the 18th to win their morning match at Brancaster and Tim Rowan-Robinson and your Captain’s 6, 8, 7, 7 start to the back nine at Aldeburgh that ceded the initiative to Uppingham in the final of The Dick Watson Trophy in October.
Thank you to all Match Managers for their vital role in running these matches and tournaments.
Of the 29 members who played 5 or more matches this year, the 10 players with the best records are as follows:-
Fixtures Games %
1.= Tom Hawkings 3 5 90%
1.= Alastair Maxwell 2 5 90%
- Michael Phillips 4 5 80%
- Patrick Maxwell 3 7 78.6%
- James Whittington 3 6 75%
6.= James Dinwiddy 4 5 70%
6.= Francis Elton 3 5 70%
6.= Christopher Green 3 5 70%
9.= Nyren Scott-Malden 10 15 66.7%
9.= David Hough 4 6 66.7%
9.= Charles Hewetson 3 6 66.7%
Of the 26 members who played 10 or more matches for OWGS during the past two years, the 10 players with the best records are as follows:-
Fixtures Games %
- Nyren Scott-Malden 17 23 2%
- Patrick Maxwell 7 17 7%
- James Alexander 9 19 2%
- Richard Sanders 6 12 3%
- Alastair Maxwell 5 12 7%
- Ben Twiney 13 22 8%
- Colin Scott-Malden 10 15 7%
- George Close-Brooks 12 17 9%
- David Wybar 23 29 55.2%
- Charles Dinwiddy 8 10 55.0%
The new format did not attract a bigger field although it did enable us to have a healthy debate about OWGS and, in particular, the future of the Spring Meeting. This was followed by an excellent lunch and a lovely afternoon’s golf at New Zealand GC when we were joined by 7 boys from the school and two dons. Dayrell McArthur won an informal singles stableford competition with 38 points, two clear of George Close-Brooks and Ben Twiney – special thanks to Ben for organising the day and for continuing to serve as our Hon. Sec.
We held an Autumn Meeting at Aldeburgh, the day before the match against the club, and 8 members played. George Close-Brooks won the Captains’ Salver for the best scratch score and Mike Symonds won the Captain’s prize for the best stableford score.
26 members represented Winchester in 7 tournaments.
Halford Hewitt (April)
Winchester lost 1 – 4 to Rugby in the 3rd round having beaten Glenalmond 4.5 – 0.5 in the 1st round and Shrewsbury 3 – 2 in the 2nd round. Eton beat King’s, Canterbury in the final.
This was a terrific performance – the win against Glenalmond was comprehensive while the match against Shrewsbury was full of drama as Claudio Consul & Dino Varkey won the deciding match in extra holes. Rugby proved too strong in the 3rd round but, with Paddy Buckley & Jay Varkey both unable to play, I am confident that our best team might have progressed further. The only disappointment was Paddy Buckley’s withdrawal on the eve of the tournament with a back problem after he had flown from New Zealand to play – he has had an operation and we wish him well as he strives to recover fitness and form. Many thanks to Tim Rowan-Robinson and David Bonsall for covering Paddy’s absence at short notice.
The emergence of Tim Lewis (whose handicap is down to +1) as one of our top players and a flow of players through the school, starting with Jack Keating this year, should continue to strengthen our team and give us a genuine opportunity to reach the later stages of the tournament regularly over the next decade. Claudio Consul & Dino Varkey, having won 7 matches out of 8 – losing only to Rugby this year, are one of the best pairs in the tournament and are 5th equal in OWGS rankings for pairs who have played 6 or more matches in the Hewitt.
It is good to see strong competition for places with younger players coming through from the school and those on the edge of the team striving to improve their golf to be in the frame for selection both of which will help Winchester to compete with the top schools in the tournament.
As in 2014, the trial in 2015 took the form of a match between Under 40s and Over 40s. The older team won the match narrowly (4.5 – 3.5) and Charlie Hewetson & Richard Sanders won the Captains’ Coasters for the best performance of the day.
Tom Hawkings & Nick Holt 2.5/3
Claudio Consul & Dino Varkey 2/3
Tim Lewis & Richard Sanders 2/3
Jack Keating & Ben Twiney 1/3
Mark Coulman & Tim Rowan-Robinson 1/2 (Glenalmond & Rugby)
David Bonsall & Mark Coulman 0/1 (Shrewsbury)
Grafton Morrish (qualifying round – May)
Winchester’s score of 69 stableford points in the regional qualifying tournament at North Hants GC was 6 short of the score of 75 that was required to qualify for the finals. Charterhouse beat Reed’s in the final at Hunstanton.
- Tom Hawkings & Tim Lewis 29
- David Bonsall & Ben Twiney 22
- George Close-Brooks & Andrew Tusa 18
Alba Trophy (June)
Nick Holt & Tim Lewis represented Winchester in the Alba Trophy at Woking – their score of 153 (77, 76) put them in 6th place, 11 shots behind West Hill Golf Club’s winning score of 142, and they won the handicap prize.
Senior Bernard Darwin (65 and over – June)
Winchester lost 2 – 1 to Harrow in the 2nd round having beaten Malvern 2 – 1 in the 1st round. Marlborough beat Charterhouse in the final.
- Dayrell McArthur & Tim Rowan-Robinson 1/2
- Andrew Brownrigg & Colin Scott-Malden 0/2
- Val Powell & John Sanders 2/2
Veteran Bernard Darwin (75 and over – June)
Winchester’s top score (29 stableford points by Roskill & Wauchope) was 8 points behind Charterhouse’s winning score (37).
- John Roskill & Michael Wauchope
- John Arthur & Val Powell
Bernard Darwin (55 and over – July)
Winchester lost to Repton in extra holes in the 2nd round, having beaten Highgate 2 – 1 (also in extra holes) in the 1st round. Harrow beat Clifton in the final.
- Tim Rowan-Robinson & Nyren Scott-Malden 5/2
- James Hudson & James Tindley 1/2
- Andrew Brownrigg & Michael Wauchope 0/2
All of the Bernard Darwin tournaments are played at Woking.
Dick Watson (October)
Winchester and 10 other schools played in The Dick Watson Trophy at Aldeburgh. Playing foursomes off handicap, the team scored 127 stableford points to lead the 36 holes qualifying event before losing by 4 holes to Uppingham in the final.
Team – James Dinwiddy, Tristan Hanson, Tim Rowan-Robinson & David Wybar.
Golf in the school is strong and the relationship with OWGS excellent. The don in charge, Rob Moore, brought Alex Cheung, Captain of Golf, to play in our Halford Hewitt trial in March which was good experience for Alex. Oliver Dickman, a very promising young golfer from Sussex who started at Winchester in September, is the latest to benefit from the Golf Bursary Fund and all three recipients of bursaries in the school won their singles matches at the Aldington Match against OWGS in October. With Will Townsend in his second year and Oliver in his first year, the future is promising.
Several past captains reached this milestone during the past twelve months – Tim Stubbs in December 2014, Murray Lawrence in February, Tim Bebb in April and John Arthur in June. Congratulations and thanks to them all for their significant contributions to OWGS over many years.
With thanks to you all for your support during my two years in office and wishing all members and our teams a happy and successful golfing year in 2016 under your new Captain, Mark Coulman. Special thanks to our President, Rodney Hall, for his leadership and determination to improve communications within OWGS and to our Treasurer, James Whittington, for keeping the books in order and allocating funds to assist some of our younger members when representing OWGS in matches and tournaments.