This was another fun ORGS weekend and the ingredients for the recipe of its success are not entirely weather-dependent, but also thanks to the enthusiasm of its participants, and this time it was the quite Magnificent Seven – teen! Damp at Luffness – blame the “Over-organiser”; brilliant at Muirfield – credit the “Under-organiser” (once he enjoyed the title ‘Scottish Hon Secretary’). Well, change is inevitable, I suppose!
Nick Hills’s match against a strong team from Luffness who ‘thrashed us’ was lost – which was a first apparently, but I’m not convinced N H knew which team he was playing for, so the ORGS might even have won 3 ½ – 1 ½. Never mind, it really is the lunch which we came for and wasn’t it beautifully served.
And so to the afternoon and Round One of the Howard Thompson Trophy played on a course in peak condition. The pairings were deemed fair so everyone should have produced a fairly similar score. Not a bit of it! Captain-elect, Alick Hay with former Captain Christopher Johnson-Gilbert somehow amassed 42 points! There was a hoard of runners-up a distance behind – 5 lengths. Results from the drugs test are expected before the ORGS AGM in September.
Dinner at the Open Arms was in a lovely private room – as in 2016. The staff didn’t sit us down until we had near-emptied their wine cellar, but from what little I can remember it went well. Authentication of the story told by the (Hon) Organiser will be sought soonest.
Rarely has the air been clearer and the views finer as the sun came out to shine on the worthy Old Rugbeians, and even in their 450th year and creators of the noble game, they headed out onto the links ignoring those who chose to watch the Lions draw the series. The course was in impeccable condition, especially the rough!
The morning Round Two was won by a margin of 5 ½ points – by, guess who? Yes, Alick Hay, this time carried by none other than Ultra-Organiser, Nick Hills. The rest of us languished behind and longed to attack the lunch.
On we go to the final Round Three. The Draw was carried out most expertly and independently (several times) in an attempt to somehow “fix” the Leader! I failed! He had as his partner, John Hendry, and they put up an excellent show to come storming in to 2nd spot. The scorer/Organiser/fixer played his own ball and won by 2 points to avoid Alick winning a clean sweep – he would never have found a hat big enough.
The Prize giving! Well, it started with fielding practice as golf balls were hurled at unsuspecting players in the Smoking Room before Trophies were awarded.
It will come as no surprise that the Winner, and a most worthy one, of the Howard Thompson Trophy for the best 3-Round score was Alick Hay. A tremendous effort, and I believe his score is a record (115 ½ points). The runner-up, and equally worthy with all the effort he put in to organise half of the weekend, is Nick Hills (a mere 8 points adrift).
The parallel holes-up competition (which seems very popular and keeps contestants on their toes and engaged for every hole) was also won by the indefatigable Hay but not without a strong late challenge from you know who, who had the benefit o=f not being burdened by a partner.
Things went a little awry when it came to announcing the winner of the Coburn/Osborn Seniors Cup (Best 2 round + half age). I failed at maths and handwriting and gave credit to John Hendry as the winner. Being the stalwart he is, he demanded a recount, and how right he was! Credit was not due to him (other than for honesty) but to the most delighted of surprised winners Nick Hills. The runner-up was the guy that can neither add nor read.
Those participating were HCEG Members: John Drysdale, Alick Hay (well done again!); John Hendry (sorry John!); David Fargus (aka Farclas); Harry Turcan; Niall Kennedy (a major threat after his lessons) and JRF.
ORGS Stalwarts comprised Peter Mason (defending title); Jamie Clark our Captain; Nick Hills (didn’t he do well!); Keith Irwin; Richard Jones; Christopher Johnson-Gilbert; Richard Lloyd; John Todd (first-timer) and of course our most loyal supporter, the ORGS Hon Secretary & Treasurer, Tim Watts, without whose dedication the ORGS might well collapse.
Next year’s date, I am happy to say has been confirmed at Friday/Saturday 8th and 9th June – back to a more familiar time. I have written to the Club to thank all who helped to make our weekend such fun.
Bernard Darwin Trophy
Woking Golf Club
Burnham & Berrow
Tues 25th & Wed 26th
Match v RND
Royal North Devon
Huntercombe Golf Club