We gathered once more at Sandwich in Kent for the Summer Meeting but this time in early July rather than mid June and what a success it was with an optimum turnout of 24 pairs to challenge for the Howden Cup, Cyril Wintle Putter, Hogg Trough, Bedford Bowl and the Quaich.
With customary enthusiasm a large number of members gathered on Thursday evening at the George & Dragon in Sandwich for dinner and a splendid evening was had by all attending. In the absence of Stephen Wilcox this year, Andrew Sturdy and Graham Findlay agreed to run the book and trade was brisk as various markets were created on Watson and Hon.Sec, the Kemp’s and Sandler and Hall.
We had a number of new lions in attendance this year and one sensed that the new intake would be chasing hard at the heels of the established pride. A new hunting party was on the move with trophies of a silver nature in their sites.
And so Friday morning arrives and Royal St George’s is basking in the most glorious sunshine and with such dry weather the customary fearsome rough was nowhere to be seen. More importantly the tall blonde fescue grass could not provide cover for the new hunting pack to lurk in and pounce on their prey. Had the young lions lost a vital edge? All would be revealed at lunch!
Play commenced and certainly the course gave the appearance of offering us benign playing conditions and a high tally of points but the mild zephyr that had been blowing in from France seemed to gather in strength, not quite enough to turn par threes into a lash with a driver but enough to add some protection to the course.
With the morning round over we gathered on the terrace and much to everyone’s delight Vodka Pimms was back in town, although there did seem to be an issue with ice having a flattening effect on the lemonade. A minor issue that did not seem to dent our usual enthusiasm to quench our thirsts.
With the scores counted our Summer Secretary Nick “Goose” Young brought the dining room to heel to announce the results:
Winners of the Howden Cup:
Tim and Robert Kemp 36 Points
Qualifiers for the Cyril Wintle Putter
Kemp & Kemp, Cantlay& O’Connor, Attwood & Flood, Hall & Sandler, Parker & Brown, Allport & Watson, Daly & Henniker-Heaton, Findlay & Findlay.
Qualifiers for the Hogg Trough
Parcell & Tillie, Cheetham & Pearce, Ohlson & Davies, Waddell-Dudley & Dunlop, Young & Cox, Whitbread & Innes, Aldwinkle & Wheeler, Clapham & Hitchen
Qualifiers for the Bedford Bowl
Scade & Sturdy, May Turnbull, Bushell & Smith, Wash & Walker, Groom & Windsor, Donald & Hall, Clapham & Davies, Berry & Gadsby.
The first afternoon matches tee’d off at 2.30pm and all matches were closely fought and soon news of winners and challengers emerged and the Semi Final of the Cyril Wintle Putter would see a challenge arising from the young lions.
Friday evening saw us reconvening at the club for our champagne reception followed by our formal dinner in the Clubhouse dining room.
I can report as Hon. Sec that the club coffers faired well in selling Club Bow Ties once again – Black or Club bow ties please. Additionally, and rather sadly, I must remind members that one is not supposed to rise from one’s chair until after the Loyal Toast, so perhaps we can all bear this in mind for next year. It is a formal dinner and formalities will be observed please.
Our guests for dinner were Michael Faber who is a former Captain and John Bragg President, of Royal St George’s Golf Club. Simon Clapham rose and addressed the throng and we gave thanks in the normal way of Grace, which was delivered with aplomb.
As is normal partners were drawn from the Howden Cup by Hon.Sec. and with the formalities completed we withdrew to the bar where the festivities continued.
Saturday morning came and members returned to the club, some not fairing too well from the previous nights festivities. The Semi Finals of all the competitions got underway on time with all present and correct and in the top flight Mike Hall & Ron Sandler beat Tim Kemp & Robert Kemp and they were to play Robert Henniker-Heaton and Alan Daly who, playing in their first Summer Meeting, had beaten Ian Parker & Elliot Brown.
So as I suspected on Thursday evening, the young lions would challenge the Pride!
The final of the Cyril Wintle Putter got underway with a good standard of play from both pairs. They were joined by a number of us as spectators but Mike Hall & Ron Sandler prevailed 3&1 to win the Putter.
In the Hogg Trough Richard Ohlson & Charlie Davies beat Edward Aldwinckle & Ben Wheeler.
In the Bedford Bowl Andrew Sturdy & Sean Scade beat Andrew Groom & John Windsor.
As is customary the various victories were celebrated by the stragglers on the terrace.
The Cyril Wintle Putter will be presented to the winners at our annual dinner in March next year at the Merchant Taylors Hall.
The date for the Summer Meeting next year has been confirmed as 8th/9th July 2016.
The date for the Summer Meeting in 2017 is yet to be confirmed but we are seeking the 7th/8th July 2017. Hon Sec. will notify the members as soon as the date is confirmed.
Finally I would like to thank Nick Young for all his tireless work on our behalf in organising the Summer Meeting and ensuring that we were so well looked after.
Our thanks also to Tim Checketts, the Secretary of Royal St George’s Golf Club and to all his staff for making us so welcome. I must also give special mention to Neil Attwood who rose to the occasion with 24 hours notice and ensured that we had a full compliment.