OW Golf Society Report

Mike Wilkinson OW (1953-61) held his President’s Meeting (the last of his three year term) on The Old Course at Walton Heath in early May. The sun shone and there was a good turnout. It was nice to be able to welcome a number of younger OWs and also some of the Hewitt team; this was the first society event for some time to include a golfer with a handicap better than scratch (Neill Williams +1, some of us thought he must be bringing a guest!). Scoring was very respectable overall; Nigel Huxtable took first prize and the President’s Putter with 36 points, closely followed by Nick Matthews and Nic Gates. Many thanks to Mike and to John Gould for organizing such a successful day.

The same month saw the Whitgift team qualify comfortably at Royal Wimbledon for the finals of the Grafton Morrish. This is a scratch foursomes tournament, second in importance only to the Halford Hewitt. Matt Webster is the captain of the side and reports that Martin Hayes and Neill Williams led the way with a very solid 32 points, followed by Richard Gibson and Nic Gates (27) and the two Matts, Dawton and Webster (25). The total of 84 was second best out of the 15 schools looking to qualify for the finals in October; only Epsom scored more.

There were three matches played during the period. The first was a match in which we combine with the Masters to play the school at Croham Hurst. This was a chastening experience from a golfing perspective (a comprehensive 4-0 whitewash by the school) but equally encouraging to see the quality of some of the golfers being produced by the school. We were more successful in the fixture against the OMWs at Shirley Park; all four matches were closely contested, but we prevailed in three of them and halved the other. Lastly, in June, the society took on the Old Alleynians at Tandridge for another annual get-together; the result was another win for Whitgift, 5.5 to 1.5.

One disappointment was the abandonment of our Saturday meeting at Croham Hurst. The ground was already very wet from overnight rain when we teed off but the rain promptly returned and the course was closed before anyone had reached the third tee.

Disappointing as well was a first round loss in the Cyril Gray (a version of the Halford Hewitt but for over-50s). Playing against Chigwell on 23rd June, our team went down 2-1 in a tight finish, with the deciding match going to the first extra hole. Wexit?

Our next main meeting is on 9th August at Hankley Common, always a privilege and a delight to play. Anyone wishing to join the society should contact the secretary at peterbgale@sky.com.

Peter Gale (Hon Sec)