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Our 2017 Fixture List is now available.
Match vs. Uppingham, 2nd August 2016, North Hants GC
A day in the life of an OEGS Match Manager! Tue 02.08.16 saw our inaugural match v Uppingham (OUs) held at N.Hants GC in dry but overcast conditions. Jo Grey (JG), Ben Burrows (BB), David Burt (DB), Anthony Eden (AE), Colin Farrant (CF), John Maclean (JM), Brian Meaby (BM), Peter Robinson (PR), Ian Sands (IS) and Chris Walker (CW) formed the agreed team of 10. An excellent 2-course hot lunch was held in the Justin Rose Room but our BM only just made it in time for dessert. The OUs were so worried about losing they turned up with extra men, thinking Ryder Cup format probably! Hang on! The OUs struggled to count at lunch whether they actually had 13 or 14 players. Blimey! Final count of 14. The Secretary's office and the Chef were at sixes and sevens! So the OUs loaned us David Stewart (DS), an OU but now on the OE staff, who never really knew which team he was playing for (poor fella) and Ben Marsh. Carefully and skilfully prepared OE pairings needed rapid re-arrangement. Our BM was lost on the first tee, so JM / CF had to go off first and produced an inspirational win 3&2 against a 6 handicap. The 'loan sharks' DS / BM followed and lost 6&5 - trojan horse I say and scuttled off early in shame, pre-drinks. CW & our BM were due next. BM still not in sight! So next due up were JG & BB. BB was not in sight! So JG grabbed CW to form our 3rd pair which CW led with hickory clubs to a fine win 5&3. IS / DB followed and lost a close game 2&1. Next off were AE / PR who lost 5&4 despite a good walk in a buggy! Then a miracle - our BM is on the tee with BB at the same time! Clearly concerned about a potential bollocking from Captain JG they produced the goods winning 2&1 just before sunset, after the penultimate pairing, as the rest were going home! If you have been following this story you will clearly understand that technically the OEs beat the OUs 3-2. As played, to cheer up the OUs, it was a 3-3 draw. JG went home for a hot toddy to recover! What a day! Amazingly, everyone declared it great fun on a lovely course in a good location (Fleet) and want to do it all again - which we will in 2017. And for the record, Chris Gotla who is a friend of JG and an OU old boy, is general manager of NHGC, but could not play this year (he is rather good!).
Summer Meeting, 21st August 2016, Royal Ashdown Forest GC
Ten members of the OEGS played in this fixture on a sunny day, after an excellent lunch but on a very challenging golf course. The Old Course may have no bunkers but it does have quite a few hills, a number of streams and masses of heather. Indeed, the Match Manager, Jo, has now banned his children from naming any future offspring "Heather"!
We played for both low and high handicap prizes, the dividing line being a handicap of 10. The first pair were Paul Wickman (7) and Ziggy Trezbinski (18), followed by 4-balls of Ian Sands (6), Chris Walker (6), Richard Day (11) and Christian Trezbinski (17) and then Andrew Langlands (7), Michael Sands (10), local member Sue Eccles (13) and Jo Grey (17). The difficulty of the course meant that nobody played to their handicap. Nevertheless, Sue took the high handicap prize with 30 points (having hit straighter drives than her male playing partners) and Ian Sands won the low handicap prize with an impressive 34 points.
Autumn Meeting, 10th September 2016, Cooden Beach Golf Club
A delightful gathering and the course was in excellent condition. It was warm and windy in the morning and the forecast rain held off until the afternoon. The morning golf consisting of a Stableford competition, played in pairs, was followed by an excellent 2-course lunch. Congratulations to club member Jay Lorton, winner of the low handicap trophy with 37 points, and to another club member Brian Jay, winner of high handicap trophy with 34. The Merritt Cup which used to be awarded here to the lowest scratch score has now been moved to the annual AGM Piltdown fixture. Informal singles were played in the afternoon as the rain started and some pairs played only 10 or 14 holes. The whole day was great value at £35 for the two rounds of golf and our thanks go to Andrew Langlands in his role as Match Manager.
2016 Sussex Schools - 25th September 2016 at West Sussex Golf Club
A lovely day at Pulborough set the scene for the 13th Sussex Schools match between Eastbourne, Lancing, Hurstpierpoint and Brighton with each team having previously all won three times. The course was in excellent condition with the greens running true and relatively fast. Our top pair of Mark Justice and Adrian Sharpin were 4 up quickly and managed to maintain their lead bringing the first points to Eastbourne. Our second pair, Chris Walker and Chris Hampton, managed to overcome their opponents with relative ease while the last pair of Paul Wickman and Ben Burrows lost one down to a fine birdie on the 18th. The scores at lunch had Eastborne, Lancing and Hurstpierpoint all on 4 points and Brighton (the previous year's winners) on zero points. Mark and Adrian managed to win their afternoon match 2&1 but losses from the other two pairs resulted in Lancing coming through to win the cup. Eastbourne were second with Hurstpierpoint in third place. The competition is now attracting strong sides from all the schools with many scratch and low single figure handicap players. West Sussex provided an excellent location for the match and proved to be very good value for money. My thanks for all the players who turned up to play and made it an enjoyable day's golf.
Match vs. Allhallows, Tuesday 18th October 2016, West Surrey GC
Unfortunately Nigel Toeg had to drop out at the last minute owing to an injury, which left us with 7 players, including a guest member from West Surrey, John Oldman.
John Oldman played in a three ball in the first group. This resulted in a very closely fought match, going to the last hole, but the Allhallows pair emerged victorious. The second match of Colin Farrant and John Maclean ended up as a loss of 4 and 3, whilst the third match involving David Burt and Will Thornton was very even on the front nine but unfortunately the back nine was a different story and they also ended up losing by 4 and 3. Not to be outdone, the final pairing of Peter Jamieson and Anthony Eden also lost 4 and 3.
Despite the result everyone enjoyed the match and it was agreed that the fixture should be repeated next year, again at West Surrey, but perhaps slightly earlier in October and with an earlier tee-off time.
Scratch Match vs. Old Cranleighans, Sunday 12th March 2017, Royal St George's GC
A team of 9 Old Eastbournians took on the might of Cranleigh over two rounds of 18 holes (playing foursomes except for one single). And I am glad to report that we did not disgrace ourselves, losing both the morning and afternoon sessions but in each case only by 3 matches to 2. In previous years we have practiced alone at Royal St George's but this new format was judged to be a success and may well be repeated next year.
2017 Halford Hewitt
Whilst not being able to repeat our 2016 victories in two rounds of the Halford Hewitt, our 2017 campaign was judged to be a success. We played a lot of golf and the weather was brilliant all week. There was practice at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club at Deal on the Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday. We then played (and won) a friendly match against Framlingham at Prince’s. In the first round of the Hewitt itself we beat Clifton (winners in 2010) by 3 matches to 2, winning one match on the second extra hole and two others on the 18th. We then lost to Tonbridge (the holders) by 4 matches to 1 which came as no surprise. But at least we took one point off them.
The team comprised: Mark Stewart, Ben Dawson, Grant Leonard, Richard Day, Paul Wickman, Ben Burrows, Adrian Sharpin, Geoff Campbell, Angus Stewart and Chris Walker. And we were extremely grateful for support from Brian Meaby, Nigel Wheeler and David Stewart and also to Chris’s wife Sally for cooking for the team.
Roll on next year’s Halford Hewitt which takes place between 5th and 8th April 2018.
AGM – Piltdown GC, Sunday, 23rd April 2017
The OEGS Annual General Meeting fixture was held at the welcoming Piltdown GC for the second year in succession. There were nine players in all on a sunny afternoon with a cool breeze. The course was still undergoing some substantial improvements with one temporary green but noticeable progress had been made in the last year. The Merritt Cup was played for off scratch and was won by Andrew Langlands with a modest 12 over par. College 150th Anniversary golf balls were given as prizes for the handicap Stableford competition, These were won by Andrew Langlands (3rd), David Stewart (2nd) and Jo Grey (1st, on countback). Anthony Ross very kindly donated prizes for Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin which were won by Andrew Langlands and John Maclean respectively. Thank you to everyone who supported the AGM and golf and hope we may see more people next year.
Grafton Morrish Qualifying – Knole Park GC, Saturday, 13th May 2017
After several years of failure, we have managed to qualify for this year’s Grafton Morrish Finals which take place at Brancaster and Hunstanton between 29th September and 1st October. Qualifying took place at Knole Park, playing alongside our old foes Hurstpierpoint. Mark Justice and Chris Hampton lead the charge with Mark hitting a great tee shot at the opening par 3 for an easy par to settle the nerves. Mark and Chris eventually returned 29 points. The second pair of Adrian Sharpin and Ben Dawson scored 25 points and Jay Lorton and Tim Mote contributed a respectable score of 20. Our total of 74 sealed the final automatic qualifying spot ahead of Hurstpierpoint! A great effort by the whole team.
Match vs. Charterhouse Common Room – West Surrey GC, Monday, 15th May 2017
A last minute change of venue from Worplesdon GC to West Surrey GC worked out well for the OEGS team. Last year the inaugural match against the Charterhouse Common Room at West Surrey resulted in a 2 / 1 defeat. This year with increased teams of 8 a side we won the match 3 / 1.
Our first pairing of David Wells and new OEGS member, Will Hylton put up a very credible performance against Charterhouse’s top pairing but lost by 2 & 1. Brian Jay and Will Thornton beat the husband and wife team of Bob and Freda Noble (the current West Surrey ladies captain) 2 & 1. John Maclean and Anthony Eden successfully won their match 3 & 2. The final match of David Burt and Stephen Yorke started initially with only one opposition member and after three holes the OEGS team were three up. From the fourth hole onwards Charterhouse were back to full strength but Burt and Yorke maintained their lead and won the match 5 & 4. The evening ended with a few drinks and an enjoyable chicken curry in the clubhouse. All the players enjoyed playing the very well maintained, attractive and tranquil Surrey Hills course.
OEGS vs Hurstpierpoint – 26th April 2017
A cold breezy day at Walton Heath greeted our 12 players to celebrate our 25th match against OHJGS. Jeremy Waud is the irrepressible OHJGS captain. We owe him many thanks as we are treated most generously by the club. We play on a superb course and then dine in great style. After all these years, the matches are almost reunions. First off Jeremy Miller, a popular returnee, together with Grant Leonard managed a half. Mark Justice, our scratch player, together with Richard Day cruised home in 4&3. Hard on their heels, Paul Wickman managed to win 2 up. Unlike the esteemed President of Walton Heath Brian Meaby and your scribe were dog licenced by Alex Fleet who was 2 over after 16 holes. Our woes continued as Secretary David Burt and octogenarian Peter Robinson succumbed 7&6. A splendid effort by Charles Oakley and Jack Yarrow wasn’t quite enough, losing narrowly 2&1. Perhaps playing in a hail storm didn’t help! But we are improving slowly.
Dinner in the club house was a delightful affair, where we were treated to an excellent meal, capped by the usual joshing from Hurst as they extended their winning run. We were joined at dinner by Peter Jamieson, who in spite of a bad back had lent vital support out on the course.
Match vs. Eastbourne College - Royal Eastbourne GC, Thursday, 18th May 2017
Due to ghastly wet weather the match was abandoned after nine holes but it was noted that the College fielded some very capable junior players.
Summer Meeting - Calcot Park GC, Sunday, 4th June 2017
This was a post-lunch Stableford competition made up of two groups of three - Jo Grey, Colin Farrant and Richard Day, followed by David Dunn, John Mclean and Will Thornton. Pleasant but slightly blustery weather combined with very undulating greens, provided a stern test, which was reflected in the winning score of 28 points by Jo Grey (off 16 handicap). Prizes for nearest the pin and longest drive were won by David Dunn and Richard Day. This was an excellent parkland course (designed by Harry Colt) in superb condition, offering great golf for all handicaps and just an hour's drive West of London. I urge more members to consider this fixture next time around!
Cyril Gray Tournament, 22 and 23rd June 2017, Worplesdon GC
I am sorry to report that we put up one of our least memorable performances in the 2017 Cyril Gray Tournament but I still want to thank those OEs who did turn out for the team. It was particularly good to have Philip Hanbury who was completely new to OE golf. In the first round of the tournament proper we lost by 3 matches to nil against Blundells who went on to reach the semi-finals. The only notable performance came from Jo Grey and Ben Burrows who from 7 down with 7 to play ended up only losing by 2 & 1. In the first round of the Plate we went down by a similar score to Merchiston. Brian Jay had by then come in for Philip Hanbury. Our other team members were Stephen Yorke, Anthony Eden and myself.
Match vs. Tonbridge, 16th July 2017, Royal Ashdown Forest GC
After some last minute rallying, both Eastbourne and Tonbridge assembled midday at Royal Ashdown Forest GC for our 12 a-side annual fixture. We all enjoyed a very good lunch and tee’d off at 2.00 p.m, this year playing four ball better ball match play for 1 point and 1/4 on the bye. The course appeared empty but for us and was in the best condition that I had seen it. The weather was mostly overcast, warm and very humid, which left most of us feeling very dehydrated by the end and was put right in the bar after. We had a cracking team and I am delighted to report, in my inaugural year as organiser, recorded a splendid victory: Eastbourne 4 1/4 points to Tonbridge 2 1/2 points. From my memories of Eastbourne/Tonbridge sports fixtures, a very rare occurrence.
Match vs. Lancing, 24th July 2017, West Hill GC
OE dominance in this annual match against Lancing at West Hill ensued with a fine 4-1 victory. A decent lunch on arrival was made even better with news that the WH staff had found the missing Lanbourne trophy in the club’s vaults (after a four year absence.)
Playing a Greensome format, David Burt and Will Thornton lost by 2&1 but Grant Leonard and Richard Day, playing some good golf (7 over gross on the day), won by 2 holes up. Tony Dunn and Anthony Eden obliterated a shell shocked Lancing pair 7&6 and Jo Grey and David Wells came in winners by 4&3. The Lancing Captain, nursing a well needed drink stated “That was some of the best ball striking I have ever seen a 16 handicapper (Jo Grey) play.” Playing as our reliable solitary anchor, Ben Burrows won by 2&1. A great effort by all of the OE players.
Match vs. Uppingham, 1st August 2017, North Hants GC
This was the second year of the our new Uppingham. Sadly the OEGS could only muster 8 players but Uppingham produced 12 and so we were kindly loaned David Stewart (Eastbourne College Development director) and A.N.Other. After an excellent hot 2-course lunch, playing four-ball better ball, our strong 1st pair of Ben Burrows and David Wells lost by 3&2. Our 2nd pair of Jo Grey and Ian Sands halved the first 8 holes until an Uppingham putter caught fire and its partner 'woke up' and OEGS went down 5&3. The 'bounce back' came in the form of 3rd pair Anthony Eden and Will Thornton who were on fine form, winning by 3&2. Our 'loaned' shark 4th pair of David Stewart and partner left it extremely late to produce the goods but won with the last putt of their game. Not to be outdone, the final pair of Sue Eccles and Colin Farrant did extremely well to win the overall match for OEGS by also winning their game on the last putt. There were many favourable comments on the food, golf course and fixture as a whole on a mostly sunny afternoon which therefore gives us good reason to carry the event into 2018.
Autumn Meeting, 9th September 2017, Cooden Beach Golf Club
The meeting consisted of an 18 Hole Stableford competition for the Cawston Cup played from the yellow tees with full handicap allowance. The weather was fine but the CBGC course was playing long after recent heavy rains. The competition was won with 37 points by Tony Dunn who scored on every hole. CBGC members Jay Lorton and Andrew Langlands tied for second place with 35 points. Breakfast prior to the golf was plentiful and most of the players stayed on for one or more drinks after their rounds. The single round format found favour with the majority of the participants.
Grafton Morrish Finals - 28th to 30th September 2017, Hunstanton and Brancaster
The 6 players representing Eastbourne in the 2017 Grafton Morrish Finals were: Chris Walker, Mark Justice, Ben Burrows, Grant Leonard, Andrew Sherwood and Mark Simpson. We all played an afternoon practice round at Hunstanton Golf Club on Thursday, 28th September before taking on the might of Epsom in the first round of the main competition.
The two Marks lead off and had a very close game but lost on the 17th green. Ben and Andrew followed but lost much further out, on the 13th green. Grant and Chris put up a really good fight against a very experienced Epsom pair, won the 17th hole to get back to all square and there accepted a half from Epsom since the overall match was over and Epsom had to play again that afternoon.
Epsom were one of the strongest teams in the competition and indeed did go on to win in the final on the Sunday afternoon (thereby completing a Halford Hewitt / Grafton Morrish double in 2017).
On the Friday afternoon Chris, Mark Justice, Ben and Grant went across to Brancaster for another practice round in preparation for the Plate Competition there on the Saturday morning. This is in the form of a scratch foursomes Stableford competition with the total number of points counting. We came in with 78 (25, 26 and 27) which was no disgrace but not sufficiently high to get us into the top four and thereby eligible for the Committee Cup (knockout) back at Hunstanton on the Sunday.
All of the OEs had an excellent time and we thank the OEGS for their financial support and George Eve for arranging our accommodation and cooking us breakfast on both days.
2017 Sussex Schools - 24th September 2017 at West Sussex Golf Club
Another beautiful September day at West Sussex GC was the setting for the 14th Sussex Schools match between Lancing, Hurstpierpoint, Brighton and Eastbourne. The event consists of two rounds of scratch foursomes and the course was again presented in excellent condition with lovely, true running greens. Unfortuantely the only points in the morning came from Chris Walker and Tim Mote who managed a very convincing win over the Hurstpierpoint 2nd pairing. At lunch, Hurstpierpoint and Brighton were joint leaders with all to play for in the afternoon. However, for the second year running, Lancing had a near perfect afternoon, not losing any of their matches and they managed to catch Brighton with the same number of points. The Eastbourne 1st pair of Mark Stewart and Adrian Sharpin managed a half but this was our only success in the afternoon and we ended up in fourth place. The winning team was decided by a 'putt off' which was eventually won by Lancing who thus claimed top spot for the second year running. My thanks to Adrian Sharpin, Mark Stewart, Chris Walker, Tim Mote and Ben Burrows for playing in this thoroughly enjoyable event.