September/October 2021 report

The last playing action of the season took place in late October. The final of the 2021 Challenge Cup, the society’s annual knockout competition, went to a replay after Ian Chicken won The Addington’s 18th hole in the first match, to level things up with Simon Beck. Since extra holes would have meant waiting for a large society to tee off, the pair decided to play all over again at Ian’s home course, Burhill where an emphatic putting display saw Ian take the trophy. In truth, it never left his hands, since he won it in 2019 and the 2020 version – delayed by Covid – only finished a couple of weeks beforehand (see immediately below)!


The 2021 Autumn tour took a party of 15 to south Wales. We are indebted to John Gould, tour organiser, for the following report and photos ….

The 10th OWGS autumn tour eventually took place on 3-5 October having been cancelled in 2020 due to Covid. This year the tour taking place was in the balance, not just from the rising Covid cases but the chaotic petrol crisis. Messrs Scovell, Kelley, Gould, Brown and Stanyard all travelled a day early and experienced torrential rain on the M4 for most of the journey.

Day 1: Links golf at Pennard (left), an interesting experience. To quote Tony Harris ‘Pennard is the only course I’ve played where you need to look for balls even when all 3 players have hit straight down the middle. Maybe it would get easier after a few times…..  did they actually have fairways?’ Difficult was an understatement. Although fearful of more rain there were only a few showers. Plenty of sheep on the course with the greens being surrounded by electric fencing. Winner John Grima.

Day 2: Golf at Ashburnham. Links but far, far easier and only early light rain. Cows on the course. Winner Jeremy Stanyard.

Day 3: Links golf at Southerndown. A beautiful course set on the top of cliffs overlooking the Bristol channel. Very scenic, a tough test when playing in a gale force wind. Plenty of sheep on the course, hundreds of them. The winner – Alan Blok won on countback with 24 points! Hospitable club and home cooked ham, egg, chips followed by white chocolate roulade were compensation for the battering on the links.

Jeremy Stanyard and John Butler were paired together and were at last able to play the final of the OWGS knockout cup (note – the 2020 version). Congratulations to John the eventual winner. Condolences to Jeremy, at least he won prizes for the longest drive and a nearest the pin.

The last round was followed by the award of tour prizes. Overall winner on the tour was John Grima (pictured right receiving the trophy from John Gould). The unfortunate Alan Longhurst had to cry off sick on the morning of the tour, and was perhaps unsympathetically awarded the unsympathetically-named Christian Benteke prize. “For missing everything”. Many thanks to Alan for buying a round of drinks for us all at Southerndown. Finally, a special thanks to my band of helpers: Tony Mason and Alan Scovell for helping put the tour together. Alan Scovell for also arranging the pairings, competitions and prizes. Don Anderson for being our bookmaker and Tony Harris for taking care of the daily tour finances.

The 2022 tour will be to the Midlands.


The Grafton Morrish finals were played in North Norfolk, also at the start of October, when the warmth of late September had been dispersed by a strong wind. Whitgift had qualified for the finals as one of the top seven in a field of 15 London schools at Royal Wimbledon, earlier in the summer. The qualifying team was Jack Raison/Harry Sellers, Martin Hayes/Toby Kemp, and Joe Firth/Carl Hills, and four of them (Kemp and Firth were the missing two) were in the team for Norfolk, aided and abetted by Tom Bloxsome and Matt Webster. The school had the benefit of a bye in the first round but that is where the good fortune ended. Drawn against Marlborough in the second round, Hayes/Hills won their match comfortably on the 14th, whilst the other two looked pretty even coming to the closing holes. However Raison/Sellers went down by one hole, losing both the 17th and 18th, whilst Bloxsome/Webster also lost one down, just failing to convert a 20ft putt to take the tie into extra holes. Marlborough went on to reach the semi-finals where they lost to Millfield, who then prevailed in what must rank as one of the closest of finals against Malvern. The first two of the three matches in the final were halved, with the third being level coming down the last, and both teams pitching to be within 12ft of the hole in three shots. Malvern did not sink their putt, but Millfield did. That final individual match was, amazingly, the only match in the entire week that Malvern lost. Such is golf!

Whitgift participated in the Plate competition, played as stableford foursomes, on the Saturday, but had the worst of the weather and finished just below half way down the field.


As reported in last month’s page, Gordon Garment (photo featured on the News page) passed away in late August. Fittingly, given his lifelong love of, and participation in, the Halford Hewitt, his memorial service was on Thursday 9th September, the same day as this year’s competition started. The Whitgift players and spectators remembered Gordon at a lunch held after the first round match, with recollections around the table not only of his golfing achievements, but also his celebrated skill as an after-dinner speaker.

Unfortunately there was little to celebrate from the morning’s match. Despite a team which boasted some wise heads alongside some talented younger players, Whitgift lost to Shrewsbury. Princes’ rough penalised too many wayward shots and the simple fact is that Shrewsbury holed more of the critical putts. However the final result, 4 1/2 – 1/2, belied the closeness of the overall match, which saw four of the games go down the final hole, and three of those go to extra holes. There was therefore at one stage the tantalising prospect that, despite having won or halved all of the five foursomes matches over 18 holes, Shrewsbury could be denied victory if Whitgift could snatch each of those three last matches to finish. But it was not to be. Nor was it in the Plate competition, so often a source of solace to teams beaten in the first round; Whitgift met a strong Winchester side and went down 2 1/2 – 1/2.

Four intrepid Hewitt supporters played in the Peter Kenyon Bowl on the Wednesday of Hewitt week. This year’s competition, as always a foursomes event, took place at North Foreland, Broadstairs, and Messrs Butler, Hedges D, and Stanyard are shown below with the North Foreland Lighthouse, built in 1691, in the background. Hedges and Stanyard finished as the more successful pair but are by all accounts unlikely to feature on the podium!


September began with a bright day on which to play the society’s Autumn Cup, the last open event of our season. The venue was Hever Castle GC, visited only once before for an open meeting, but looking very attractive in the sunshine, particularly around its very own ‘Amen Corner’, where water is a dominant feature of the 11th, 12th and 13th on the Championship course (picture right). 24 players turned up, but unfortunately Terry Newman, a Hever member, was unable to participate on his home course because of a shoulder injury. Nonetheless he kindly patrolled the inward nine offering advice where needed.

The main prize, the Autumn Cup, was taken by Paul Smeaton, in only his second outing with the society, scoring 38 points playing off 7. Second and third were two Hewitt players, David Hedges scoring 35 and Martin Hayes, honing his game in preparation for the following week’s Hewitt, on 33. Paul is shown receiving the cup from Captain Jeremy Stanyard (left).