Read Johnny Allbrook's (WW 75-80) end of season review from the Old Tonbridgian Golfing Society
|2019 was another full year. As well as entering the Halford Hewitt, Grafton Morrish and Bernard Darwin trophies, we ran four meetings (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter), played ten friendly matches and competed in four other golf days. The calendar from February to November is very busy and provides something for all our members no matter what their ability and appetite to play. In all more than 125 members participated, which means that the OTGS is one of the strongest public school old boy golfing societies. |
In the Halford Hewitt we ended up losing to Malvern in the Quarter Finals, who deservedly went on to win an exciting final with the deciding match only reaching a conclusion on the 23rd hole. Despite this disappointment, we did record three fine wins against Forest, Felsted and Bedford. During the competition 11 players participated: - Richard Partridge (Captain), Christo Lloyd, John Spurling, Nick Winder, Matt Greenwood, Ed Richardson, Colin Jones, Brian Ingleby, Julian Spurling, Jimbo Hedges and Mike Cox.
Having qualified (just!) at Knole Park for the knockout stages of the Grafton Morrish, we were defeated in the last sixteen by Seaford College, having beaten Reed’s in the first round. A shame, as we had a good team: - Jimbo Hedges (Captain), Christo Lloyd, Mike Hall, Julian Spurling, Matt Greenwood and Brian Ingleby.
In the Bernard Darwin (55+) we were unable to defend the trophy we won last year, losing to Winchester in the Quarter Finals. We had a good chance of recapturing the Senior Darwin (65+) following solid wins against Clifton, Wellington and Malvern. However, Charterhouse proved too strong for us in the final, which they won 3-0. Andrew Sims and Adrian Cooper won three of their four matches, which was definitely the highlight from a Tonbridge point of view. Additionally, Miles Connell (80) racked up his 36th tie in the competition, which is a record for any school.
In 2019 we enjoyed successful meetings played on some wonderful courses. The Spring Meeting returned to Royal St George’s GC and Royal Cinque Ports GC as it does every third year. In all 49 members participated, which was a wonderful turn out. The reward was to play these two majestic courses in somewhat challenging conditions; such is life in March on the English coast. The Scratch Medal was successfully defended by Richard Partridge (75), who held off stiff competition from Jimbo Hedges (77) and George Taggart (77). The Singles Stableford was won by Will Morgan, while James Moses & Tom Lavery won the Foursomes.
The Summer and Autumn meetings were held at New Zealand GC and Woking GC respectively and some very competitive and enjoyable golf was enjoyed by those attending. Matt Greenwood was the star, picking up the Scratch Medal at both events together with the Foursomes in tandem with David Reich at Woking. Jonathan Davie & Peter Abelson won the Foursomes at New Zealand but the overall “player of the year” was Will Morgan, who continued his fine form the Spring Meeting by winning Singles Stableford at Woking and the trophy for the best aggregate score of the Spring and Autumn Meeting medals to boot.
Every year we hold a match play knockout, which all members may enter. The semi-finals and final are normally held at a leading course and this year was no exception as we visited West Sussex GC. James Thomlinson won the trophy beating Will Morgan 2&1 in the final.
Although we could not emulate the achievements of the OTCC (congratulations to Olly Durrell and his men) we did finish runners-up in the annual Cricketer Cup Golf Trophy, which was won by Oundle.
Our annual match against the school was another closely contested affair. For the second year in a row the match was tied, with one win for both teams and the other three matches being halved. The school have had a strong pool of talent over the last few years, as is evidenced by their excellent results. We hope that most of them will come and play some OT golf in the future and provide additional competition for places in our Halford Hewitt and Grafton Morrish teams. Our congratulations and thanks go to James Nicholls, who has run the School golf so well for the last 15 years. We wish his successors, Keith Froggatt and Chris Ashurst, every success as they take over his responsibilities.
We have a strong core of senior members in the OTGS and it is encouraging to see a growing group of younger golfers coming along to play. Our younger members do benefit from lower subscriptions and subsidised green fees at all our events and matches and every year we hold a golf day specifically for our U35 members, which this year was won by Josh Gunson. We will be returning to the Wildernesse GC for this event in 2020 on Saturday 25th April.
The OTGS is always keen to welcome new members no matter whether they play off low or high handicaps. So, do come and join us.
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