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Cyril Gray Tournament – 25th to 27th June 2015 at Worplesdon GC
I am pleased to be able to report some success for Eastbourne in this tournament for the over-50s, playing scratch foursomes matchplay in teams of 6.
In the first round our team of Paul Wickman, Ben Burrows, Anthony Eden, Nigel Toeg, Jo Grey and Chris Walker overcame King Edwards Birmingham by 2.5 matches to 0.5. The second round vs. Epsom looked like being a good deal harder (despite us replacing Nigel Toeg with Nigel Grant) but we won by 2/1, with the deciding match involving Nigel Grant and Chris Walker going to the 18th green.
We then faced the might of Watson’s and they were indeed too strong but we did not disgrace ourselves. All 3 matches went to the 17th green and we did win the third (Grant and Walker once again). Overall this was a great effort. In this last match, I am sure that we were all playing against opponents with much lower handicaps and Watson’s did then go on to win the tournament the following day.
Next year’s Cyril Gray is on 23rd to 25th June 2016. If you are over 50 and a single figure golfer, then please do get in touch.
Glorious Victory over King’s Canterbury at Rye, Sunday, 12th July 2015
I am very pleased to be able to announce our first victory over King’s Canterbury in this fixture since 2007. Playing 6 foursome matches both morning and afternoon we were 3.5/2.5 down at lunch but then turned things around and finished winning by 7 matches to 5. This is in contrast to our more usual pattern of being ahead at lunchtime and then fading badly in the afternoon !!
Our team consisted of: Chris Stephenson (team captain), Sue Eccles, Andrew Close, Chris Walker, Peter Robinson, Peter Morris, Patrick Hole, Jeremy Reid, Ben Burrows, Harry Rimmer, Nigel Toeg, Richard Day, Paul Wickman.
Chris Stephenson has hailed this as “one of the finest performances (ever) by a group of OEs, academic or otherwise”. This might be a slight exaggeration (!) but it shows how pleased Chris was with the result.
Autumn Meeting at Cooden Beach Golf Club, Saturday, 12th September 2015
We were blessed with very good weather but there was a challenging wind. The turnout of only 8 OEGS members was however disappointing. Those who did not come missed an excellent 36 holes of golf, expertly organised by Andrew Langlands.
In the morning, Jay Lorton won the Scratch Cup with a very good 26 points. The Long Handicap Cup went to Brian Jay with 35 points off a 20 handicap. The Short Handicap Cup went to Andrew Langlands with 32 points off 7 (even though Jay Lorton had scored 34 points off 10).
After a sumptuous lunch we played greensomes. In the second match, Chris Walker and Andrew Langlands narrowly beat Peter Robinson and Brian Jay. The first match involved Jo Grey, Richard Day, Jay Lorton and Nigel Toeg.
Match vs. Allhallows School at West Surrey Golf Club, 27th October 2015
This was our inaugural match against a team of 8 players from Allhallows School (which no longer exists in Lyme Regis yet still has a thriving golf society).
We started off at 12.15pm with the first pair of Brian Jay and Peter Jamieson who, despite their buggy, could not quite keep up and lost by 3&2. Jo Grey and Anthony Eden halved their match but Will Thornton and Nigel Toeg played some impressive golf to triumph by 3&1.
So the match all depended on the last pair of Grant Leonard & Colin Farrant. They arrived all-square on the 18th green in the dark at 5pm. So dark in fact that Eastbourne played the wrong ball, thereby losing the hole.
We then moved to a local pub for a tasty pre-ordered meal nicely arranged in a private room. Everyone agreed the event had been a great success and we hope to repeat the fixture.
2016 Spring Meeting
The OEGS Spring Meeting 2016 was held again over the w/e of 15-17 April around Brancaster. There was an almost full (15) complement comprising George Eve (ever-welcoming host), David Burt (tireless organiser), Chris Walker, David Stewart, Jo Grey, Peter Jamieson, Brian Jay, Peter Robinson, Grant Leonard, Richard Day, Colin Farrant, Stephen Yorke, Paul Jeffery and Trevor Hardy (from Antwerp).
A number of determined players paused their journeys on Friday to play at Sheringham GC in rainy cold conditions. Arriving at Brancaster everyone settled in to their lodgings at a B&B, friends’ houses or at George’s own home. Golfing spirits were roused by an excellent meal at The Gin Trap Inn, Ringstead. Saturday’s very wet morning was spent in the Royal West Norfolk’s cosy clubhouse debating plans. Six gents played a mostly sunny afternoon round either at RWN or Hunstanton, while others relaxed. Tales were swopped over another fine dinner at The Rose & Crown (with Peter Jamieson memorably declaring in a speech that he was ‘conscious’! Finally!) while pairings were selected for Sunday’s round playing foursomes for the Robinson Salver.
Sunday’s weather was glorious (celebrating our very reasonable £36pp green fees) and battle was joined. The winning pair with 29 Stableford points was Peter Robinson (again!) and Richard Day. Lunch was taken in the sunny upstairs dining room before everyone headed home promising to return in 2017 to this special fixture. Next event: AGM, lunch and golf at Piltdown on Sun 8 May, starting 11.30am.
2016 Halford Hewitt
We ended up enjoying our most successful campaign in the Halford Hewitt since 1992. The team won two rounds at Royal St George’s Sandwich beating St Bees (3.5 matches to 1.5) and Merchant Taylors (3 matches to 2) before losing to Bradfield in the third round at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club at Deal.
The team comprised: Mike Sands, Ben Burrows, Ian Sands, Ben Dawson, Chris Walker, Angus Stewart, Mark Stewart, Adrian Sharpin, Paul Wickman, Grant Leonard and Richard Day. And we were extremely grateful for support from Brian Meaby, David Barnes, 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 6th and 9th April 2017.
Chris Walker, tel: 01234-771536, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OEGS vs Hurstpierpoint – 27th April 2016
It was a bright but cold afternoon at Walton Heath for our 24th consecutive match in the friendly Hurstpierpoint series for the coveted Sussex, 2 Iron. OEGS' stand-in non-playing captain Peter Jamieson helped assemble a strong team and played a private game with Peter Robinson (who was first reserve for the match). OEGS' Paul Wickman (hcp 7) and Ben Burrows (hcp 7) went out first against Jeremy Waud and Paul Ruddlesdin losing 3&2. The second match saw OEGS David Burt (hcp 20) and Mark Justice (hcp 1) take on Dan Burstow and Roger Goodacre. David was inspired by Mark's round of -1 to help achieve a close win by 2&1. Third out saw the OEGS' Walton Heath members pairing of Brian Meaby and Hugh Price battling against Rick Holgate and Mike Joly, going down 3&2. Finally, OEGS' Will Thornton and Charles Oakley secured a half in a nail biting encounter against OHJGS' captain Graham Negus and John Fraser which meant the opposition clinched the match by 2.5 to 1.5. As always an enjoyable match played in the right spirit, followed by much fun and laughter over dinner where the earlier bright afternoon was treated to the equally bright OHJGS' jackets! This was held at The Grumpy Mole in Tadworth some 25mins from the Club. Next year is the 25th anniversary of this match and it will be marked with an all day match with a lunch and the opportunity for players to play one or two rounds – details to follow.
Piltdown GC – Sunday, 8th May 2016
We had a wonderfully warm, sunny and only slightly breezy day for our first ever AGM golf day at Piltdown in East Sussex. Twenty people turned out for the lunch and golf including two ladies (Ann Arscott and Sue Eccles), two College pupils (Oli Barwell and Christian Trzebinski) and Mark Wilders their Golf Master. A half-hour meeting at 11.30am in the clubhouse was followed by a tasty 2-course hot lunch with drinks (of course!) and the first tee-off at 14.00hrs. The golf format (in our new OEGS shirts) was Scratch Stableford for the Merritt Challenge Cup plus a Handicap Stableford. Our shy and now-retired Captain Chris Walker blitzed the course winning the Cup with a score of 31 points followed by Adrian Sharpin on 24 points. Chris also achieved "the double" by winning the handicap competition with 37 points followed by Jo Grey on 30. Piltdown club was hospitable and gave us an excellent deal of £40pp for lunch/golf. The location is very good for making the AGM day accessible to a good number of people, including the College itself, and we expect to repeat the event there on a similar date in 2017 when the course will have had another year to recover from the extensive improvements the Club has recently been making.
New OEGS Captain for 2016
At the AGM of the OEGS held at Piltdown Golf Club on Sunday, 8th May, Jo Grey was elected Captain of the Society for 2016. I am sure that you will all join me in wishing Jo all the best in his new role and that you will give him your full support.
Knole Park Golf Club - Saturday, 14th May 2016
It was a tough day in the Grafton Morrish Qualifying event in dry, sunny, breezy and cool conditions… sadly we again failed to qualify for the Finals of this scratch foursomes, team of 6 competition. But many thanks to those OEs who did play when many others were not available. The team consisted of Adrian Sharpin, Jay Lorton, Chris Walker, Mike Sands, Jo Grey and Anthony Eden. Our total number of scratch Stableford points was 59 whereas we would have needed at least 75 to qualify as one of the top 6 teams out of 15. Knole Park was however in very good condition and the day was run very efficiently. It also gave us a chance to chat to friends from rival schools whom we play in OEGS fixtures.
OEGS vs. Eastbourne College, Royal Eastbourne GC – Thursday, 19th May 2016
In the first match at 2pm the new Master in Charge of Golf, Alex Roberts, played OE team captain Brian Jay. This was a closely contested match with Brian showing great consistency on the back nine to come home with a 5&3 win. The other matches were handicapped four ball better ball match play. In the second match captain Christian Trzebinski and Oli Barwell played OEGS's Charles Bradford and Richard Day and squared the rubber with some fine play and a 5&3 victory. The third match set Gleb Bykov and Peter Dickinson against Adrian Sharpin and Will Thornton and the fourth match saw Jack Keating and Josh Curryer play Chris Walker and Carl Spencer. This was Gleb's second match and for the other three pupils their first. They all acquitted themselves well despite losing by 5&4 and 4&3 respectively. The post-match analysis and refreshments were most enjoyable. The OEGS appreciates the College's full sponsorship of this fixture which gives school pupils an insight into what the OEGS might offer them in the future.
Public Schools Putting Competition, Royal Wimbledon GC - Wednesday, 8th June 2016
A wet, dank day confronted us which caused some travel problems but not to the 6pm starting time. Our team, unfortunately, was a man down so three OEs took on the other seven schools drawn on the day. Fortunately, the rain subsided as we started and we eventually basked in the late evening sunshine in this very pretty setting at Royal Wimbledon Golf club. Peter Robinson started us off with Grant Leonard and Will Thornton making up the triumvirate. Unfortunately, we could not secure sufficient points to stave off last place and relegation from the competition until 2018. We did, however, earn a special mention after a good dinner at the club for our performance with a team lacking a fourth member and managing to be only four points adrift by end of play. An enjoyable evening none the less and in future years maybe we should incorporate a round of golf before the competition to make a day of it. (Members invitation green fee rates apply, so well worth doing this.)
Cyril Gray Tournament, 23 and 24th June 2016, Worplesdon GC
The start of our first round match against Brighton was delayed by just over one hour because of earlier problems caused by heavy rain and flooded greens. And then, mid-round, we were called back to the clubhouse due to a thunder storm. However, we did end up winning by two matches to one. Stephen Yorke and Ian Fletcher-Price bravely took on Brighton's top pair but were 7 holes down at the pause in proceedings and never returned to the course. Chris Walker and Andrew Sherwood won by 5 and 4 and Paul Wickman and Ben Burrows by 2 up with Paul hitting the most glorious second shot into the 18th green from over 200 yards out.
Our second round the following day was at least played in sunshine but Liverpool proved to be too strong (at least in their top two pairs). Stephen and Ian went down by 6 & 5 but to a scratch and 3 handicap pair. Chris Walker and Ann Arscott lost by the same margin whereas Paul and Ben were 6 up when the overall result of the match was known. Ann is only the second lady ever to play in the Cyril Gray and played very well (off the men's medal tees). Liverpool went on to win the tournament so we lost to a very good side.
Match vs. Tonbridge, 24th July 2016, Royal Ashdown Forest GC
Great Lunch, super course, excellent team, horrible rough, wrong result: OEs put to the sword again by the OTs at Royal Ashdown. In our eighth fixture against the old foes from Kent we slipped to a close and well fought 3-2 defeat. OE Chris Hampton lost 2&1 against James Howie. Grant Leonard and Jez Reid halved with Mark Pettman and Ollie Litterick. Chris Pettman and Homer Cox beat Susan Eccles and Chris Walker 2&1. Richard Day and Angus Stewart halved with James Gough-Cooper and Richard Hough. Ollie Gale and Charlie Oakley won 5&4 against Maurice Holmes and James Pigot which represented a sterling effort from the dynamic duo.
We did however beat King's Canterbury very convincingly back on Sunday, 10th July at Rye GC. A full report on this match is awaited.
Match vs. Lancing, 25th July 2016, West Hill GC
A terrific afternoon's golf was enjoyed by eight players against Lancing on a superb, quite narrow, heather-covered West Hill course. We teed-off at 2.30pm in glorious weather with Ben Burrows (8) and Anthony Eden (16) in the first pair of Greensomes gained a tough half. They were followed by Brian Meaby (9) and Jo Grey (17) who snatched a half on the 18th, no pair ever being more than one-up. The third pairing of Grant Leonard (12) and Peter Robinson (23) were 3 up after 15 holes and with Grant making a stunning chip out of the green-side heather to enable Peter to roll a longish putt beside the hole they ended 1 up. The last pair of Ian Sands (6) and Richard Day (11) played outstanding golf to win by 6 & 5. So the OEGS enjoyed a fine 3-1 win which was followed by a 2-course dinner. Lancing kindly presented a new Lanbourne Trophy cup (the previous trophy having gone awol). After some discussion, it seemed a popular idea with both teams that we should hold the fixture annually at West Hill and to enjoy a lunch before golf rather than dinner after - to be confirmed.