- About Us
- Through The Green
- Contact Us
2011 Past News
2011 Competition & Match Reports
7th Bi-annual Grail Match USA v Europe was held at the Dormie Club, Pinehurst, North Carolina USA, on 8th and 9th November 2011
The seventeen-strong European Team with a small band of supporters arrived at Pinehurst with the "Grail" trophy, which was wrested from our BGCS American friends in Falsterbo, Sweden in 2009. Home advantage was evident when we arrived at the Dormie club to find greens registering 12 on the stimp and firm. Nevertheless we made a fight of it on a very good golf course designed by Crenshaw and Coore and co-owned by Bobby Hanson, one of the great golf collectors, who kindly provided courtesy of the course and facilities - Thank you Bobby on behalf of all of us in the BGCS.
Society Captain, Richard Atherton, had the dubious honour of playing in the opening four ball with Scottish Hickory scratch winner Jorgen Isberg, going down 2&1 to top professional Fred Muller and my good friend John Miller. This set the tone for the four balls and the foursomes leaving Europe with a mountain to climb in the singles. Europe did win the singles 5.5 to 6.5 but USA took the trophy by 14 points to 10.
The famous Holly Inn was the venue for the Convivial dinner. USA Captain Bill Farmer received the "Grail" from David Kirkwood and the Society of Hickory Golfers awarded the Ralph Livingstone Medal to Nigel Notley for services to hickory golf.
Europe now look forward to London 2013 and hopefully will regain the trophy left in Pinehurst.
Fourballs USA 4 Europe 2 (USA names first)
Fred Muler and John Crow Miller beat Jorgen Isberg and Richard Atherton
Rick Wolffe and Michael Beckerich lost to William Tanner and Martyn Pryce
Curt Sampson and Jeremy Moe beat John Still and Ian Hislop
Roger Hill and Mike Stevens beat Nigel Notley and Jean-Louis Panigel
Breck Speed and Chris Deinlein lost to Erik Brandstrom and Czeslaw Cruk
Bill Farmer and Mark Wehring beat Jonas Fack and Claes Kvist
Foursomes USA 4.5 Europe 1.5
Wehring and Moe beat Kvist and Fack
Jay Harris and Robert Ahlschwede beat Philip Truett and Clive Mitchell
Ross Hays and Chuck McMullin beat Hislop and Antti Paatola
Farmer and Sampson halved with Notley and David Kirkwood
Stevens and Speed beat Isberg and Ron Beatt
Deinlein and Miller lost to Brandstrom and Tanner
Singles USA 5.5 Europe 6.5
Ahlschede lost to Isberg
Sampson beat Fack
Muller beat Notley
McMullin lost to Tanner
Stevens beat Hislop
Hays beat Kirkwood
Wolffe lost to Kvist
Beckerich lost to Brandstrom
Wehring beat Truett
Moe halved with Still
Speed lost to Mitchell
Hill lost to Kruck
Overall result USA 14 Europe 10
Previous Grail results
2000 at Kilspindie GC, Scotland Europe 5.5 USA 6.5
2001 at Kilspindie GC, Scotland Europe 7.5 USA 10.5
2003 at St Andrews GC, New York USA 8 Europe 10
2005 at Kilspindie GC, Scotland Europe 9 USA 9
2007 at Brook Hollow, Texas USA 13 Europe 5
2009 at Falsterbo GK, Sweden Europe 14.5 USA 9.5
2011 at the Dormie Club, Pinehurst NC USA 14 Europe 10
The PGA team included BGCS Members Geoff Morris, Geoff Pook, Eddie Bullock, Richard Wooller and Alasdair Barr. The home Professional Simon Peaford also turned out to win a point with his partner George Ritchie. David Talbot, Richard Harrison, Colin Clingan, Doug Edgar, Alan McGinn, Alan Hall and ryan Patterson completed the team.
Fifteen members attended the above meeting on a blustery day which luckily stayed dry apart from one shower early on. Conditions underfoot were wet however with little run in places. The course was in good order but unfortunately most of us could not take advantage of this.
Nearest the pin prizes were won by John Wood and myself. In third place was Ian Hislop with 29 points, runner-up was John Wood with 30 points and the winner once again was Willie Tanner with 35 points.
The game was followed by an excellent meal and the usual banter and chatter associated with these meetings. It was nice to see Alan and Jean Jackson so far North, always a welcome addition to our meetings and also to welcome Tom Tew back after a few years absence.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Spring meeting next year.
Report by Hamish Ewan
On 4th September fourteen BGCS hickory players visited Luffenham Heath Golf Club for a Centenary Match, including Captain Richard Atherton and others who had driven many miles to be there.
The format was Rye Greensomes, which took a bit of explaining to the teams, but we had a warm welcome from the members, who admired the stoicism of those in Edwardian dress who did not flinch at playing in quite heavy rain. Luckily the sun came out after a few holes and everyone enjoyed this gem of a course with its wonderful views over the rolling Rutland countryside.
The encounter was friendly - the home members who played with hickories provided by Gavin Bottrell were keen to face the challenge but struggled to get to grips with the old clubs - and those who stuck with modern clubs won the day. Afterwards the bar was noisy and a cheerful supper was followed by an amusing talk about the history of the rules on dropping the ball (either free or with penalty) from our President, Philip Truett.
BGCS Captain Richard Atherton presented John Edmond, Captain of Luffenham Heath, with a Society plaque to commemorate the event, which was enjoyed by all concerned.
On Sunday 28th August another hidden gem was discovered by some members of the North Scottish Area of the BGCS. We had been invited to play the club in a Centenary Match to mark this celebration in the Club's history. Some eight members braved travelling conditions which were to say the least horrendous. Having met our hosts it was decided that due to the weather, which was 'blawing a hoolie' as they say in those parts, we would play foursomes and possibly only 9 holes. However although the wind did not lessen the rain stayed away and after 9 holes most decided to play a few more with most of us managing 15.
This is a beautiful 18 hole course which rises above the Don valley and had we had decent weather and been able to stand straight the views round us would have been magnificent. The fairways are firm with the ball sitting up there just begging to be hit and the greens were fast and true with a great variety of trees providing obstacles and definition to the course. The members boast that they never close the course despite some severe frost in the winter. Definitely one to be considered in future years for a Spring or Autumn meeting.
After a nice meal and the usual speeches we braved the weather again to return North and South having spent a very enjoyable day at another of Scotland's hidden gems. Unfortunately it does not seem likely that a book will be produced for their Centenary,
Report by Hamish Ewan 30th August 2011
Droitwich Golf Club, Worcestershire, the home club of Midlands Captain, John Weston, was the venue for the Midlands Region Summer Meeting on Wednesday 24 August.
Golf has been played at Droitwich since 1897 when the original nine hole course was laid out and this was extended to eighteen holes in 1924 following an invitation to the legendary designer, James Braid, to lay out the new course. However the changes over the intervening years means that the present course does not show all Braid's work.
A field of thirty one Society members and guests, including Roger Whiteman, the Captain of Droitwich, enjoyed the fast running fairways and tricky greens originally bathed in summer sunshine but later spoiled by rain over the latter part of the round. The golf was followed by a most convivial dinner and the presentation of prizes by John Weston, the Midlands Captain.
Experience and local knowledge of the course proved to be invaluable with long standing Society member Jim Gray from Droitwich becoming the worthy winner of the Walter Mechilli Trophy with 37 points (is Jim the oldest winner of a Society event at 81 years young?)
Richard Jeffs from Coxmoor GC was the runner up with 36 points following a count back with Ian Douglas from Ganton GC. The prize for the hickory players was won by Gavin Bottrell and Luke Grant won the separate event for guests.
A most enjoyable and well attended event.
Keith Bilbie Organiser posted 1st September 2011
The results were:-
Ray Gossage Trophy for best overall score - Robin Morris (playing with hickories)
Best Hickory ( runner up to Robin Morris) Ian Lawlor
Best Lady Anne Waite
Best Guest Richard Fry
Best Score with modern clubs Ross Galgut
A dozen members joined the players for dinner in the clubhouse and enjoyed a good meal and shared many anecdotes. John Hawkins was thanked for making the arrangements for another successful event.
Report by Richard Atherton. 17th July 2011
Overall winner - Warren Latham 36 pts.
Hickory winner - Philip Truett 35 pts.
Second - Bob Fletcher 35 pts.
Ladies’ prize - Glen Fletcher 34 pts.
Report by Bob Fletcher
David Easby & Bill Black v Nigel Notley & George Scoble
The golf was followed by a convivial dinner at which Alec Shepperson, BGCS member and current President of the Nottinghamshire Union of Golf Clubs, presented the prizes. Warren Latham won first prize with a score of 40 points, our guest Paul Druce was runner up with 39 points and Ian Spann was third with 36 points.
Report by organiser : Keith Bilbie 17th June 2011
The weather at Gullane on Friday the 27th of May had quietened from the fierce storms earlier in the week. But there was still a stiff wind from the north, which made it difficult for competitors in the Scottish Hickory Championship to find the small greens on Gullane Three. The warm spring had made them beautifully true, but very slick – a distinct challenge in combination with the wind. Not so to the event organiser, Ron Beatt, who was the popular winner and admitted a hot streak of only 23 putts, while missing a lot of greens, but holing a remarkable number of six-footers. His net 63 pipped last year’s champion, Willie Tanner (64), and an American member from Pinehurst, ‘Lang’ Willie Engelson (67). Norah Aitchison won the ladies prize and Jörgen Isberg the Scratch award, with a superb 75, by a couple of shots from runner-up Neil Hutchinson. Winners of the George Colville Memorial Trophy for nine holes of foursomes in the morning were Jörgen Kertsna and Willie Engelson with a net 33.
Forty-three members and friends sat down to a noisy dinner in the Gullane clubhouse that included three Americans, two Canadians, two Swedes, four French, a Pole and a New Zealander, all of whom were warmly welcomed by presiding Vice-Captain of the Society, David Kirkwood.
This was a fine days golf over a truly challenging links.
Report by John Pearson 30th May 2011
The Central England Hickory Championships were held at the Coxmoor Golf Club, Nottinghamshire on Monday 23 May 2011. As usual Coxmoor provided a challenging course for these championships with fast fairways due to the recent dry weather and greens of various speeds.
The presence of high winds and squally rain showers added to the trying conditions. Warren Latham from Leominster Golf Club was a worthy champion winning the Tony Thorpe trophy with a score of 30 points Neil Hutchinson from the Wilton Golf Club was the runner up. Keith Bilbie from the Radcliffe-on-Trent Golf Club won the BGCS Seniors Hickory Championship with 28 points while the Society Captain, Richard Atherton from the Cavendish Golf Club, won the John Hanna Trophy with 27 points.
Report by Keith Bilbie, Championship Organiser 24th May 2011
Summer seemed to have arrived as we got to Wales on Friday, with sun on the mountains and a warm reception at Machynlleth Golf Club. After six foursomes matches, the result was a friendly draw: 5 holes up on each side and a cheerful supper was enjoyed by all. Similarly, Aberdovey was at its most benign on Saturday and Sunday, those in tweed jackets sweltered, the fairways were fast and the rough not too punishing. However, the home team, who produced 24 members, was too strong and won the Darwin Trophy by 11 holes up to 4, despite the best efforts of seven fine Swedish players on the BGCS side and frequent use of the ‘Sunningdale’ system. After 12 matches in the sunshine, we were again well entertained in the clubhouse with amusing speeches and, as is now traditional, a couple of Welsh songs beautifully sung by Gwyn James.
For next year’s diary: the Welsh Hickory events are planned for 30th March to 1st April 2012.
Other News Items
Memorial to David Malcolm
A seat is being placed on the 9th hole of the Jubilee Course on the Links of St Andrews by ‘Family and Friends’ in commemoration of David’s life and contribution to the game of golf, its history and St Andrews. It has been suggested that some of David’s friends and admirers may wish to be associated with this. If you would like to make a contribution (say £15-25) to this memorial, please indicate this, and details will be sent to you (PayPal facility is available). Peter Crabtree and myself are co-ordinating this.
A London Meeting
We are planning a meeting on Saturday November 26th 2011, hosted by Richard Williams at the Royal Blackheath club in London. We will gather in these historic surroundings for an informal lunch from 12.30 onwards, followed by our meeting from 2 - 5 p.m. Richard will make this meeting known to club archivists in the area, and, as always, others interested are welcome. Golf in the morning is possible. As usual, I seek contributions of up to 20 minutes which will be added to by the usual updates and news from each other. Please RSVP to me and further details will follow.
BGCS Member in the News
Shaft – The remake
Busiest man at this week’s Open? The bunker raker assigned to Sandy Lyle’s group? Japanese superstar Ryo Ishikawa’s translator? American clotheshorse Ryan Moore’s personal wardrobe assistant?
No, none of the above. Instead step forward Ron Beatt, veteran clubmaker at the R&A-owned Tom Morris golf shop in St Andrews. Beatt is one of only a handful still practising the craft, and is in Sandwich to look after the traditional hickory-shafted clubs that visitors can try out at the HSBC Golf Zone, close to the first fairway.
Unfortunately, hickory and modern practice mats are a bad combination, and Beatt has been kept occupied fixing clubs broken by over-enthusiastic golfers. “I’ve had to repair 10 or 11 already,” he said. “There’s just no give in these mats. We’ve only got another seven or eight shafts to get us through the weekend.”
Daily Telegraph Saturday July 16 2011
It is with great sadness the British Golf Collectors Society announces the passing of Brian Bowness. Brian was an early member of the Society, and was the acclaimed author of - The Golf Courses of Newbury & Crookham published in 1996.
His memorial service will be at St Nicholas Church, Newbury on Tuesday 19th July at 1.30 pm. followed by a reception at the Golf Club.
We extend our sympathy to Gillian and their family.
The British Golf Society are sad to announce the passing of David Malcolm on Saturday 4th June 2011. David was a very respected golf historian and author of a number of books. He is particularly remembered for being the co-author, with Peter Crabtree, of "Tom Morris of St Andrews - The Colossus of Golf 1821-1908" published in 2008 and winner of the Murdoch Medal. in 2009. He will be sadly missed and our condolences go out to his family. Further details will be announced in due course.
Peter Lewis wins President's Medal
The Society's congratulations go to Royal Liverpool' s Head pro John Heggarty who has been elected vice-chairman of the PGA's board of directors . The 52-year-old succeeds Worplesdon's Jim Christine who stepped down in April.
BGCS member Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa) took third place in the English Mens Open Mid Amateur Championship held at Ipswich with a three round total of 213.
(Courtesy of English Club Golfer)
Swedish Year Book
Per Thermaenius has sent an online English version of the Swedish Society of Golf Historians Year book. To read this click here.
The Society congratulates Eddie Bullock, B.G.C.S. member on his election as P.G.A. Captain for the next two years.
His career in golf began in 1971 as a young assistant to Hedley Muscroft at Roundhay Municipal Golf Course in Leeds. He later gained his first head professional post at Bedford & County Golf Club where he served the club for 21 years, including ten years as general manager.
Eddie then moved onto Woburn, one of the country’s most prestigious venues as managing director and more recently as a non-executive director of golf at Goodwood and consultant to Bournemouth University.
His other career achievements include being awarded Advanced Fellow of the PGA status and he is also a member of the Golf Club Managers Association. He is on the Golf Foundation's board of trustees and key advocate for the advancement of golf among all walks of society.
2011 AGM Report
The 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Society opened at 6.47 p.m. at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Wednesday 27 April 2011.
With numbers down 20% on previous years, possibly due to a switch in the day of the week (Friday to a Wednesday) on account of the Royal Wedding and, maybe, the general economic situation prevailing, it was, nevertheless, a Day that was greatly enjoyed by all who attended and, I am bound to say, easier to organise!
It was particularly good to have several Overseas members present with Tom and Paige James, Duane Hayden and Bill Anderson from the US, the Kazmierczaks and Panigels from France and Antti Paatola from Finland.
The day followed the traditional format with a few of us taking advantage of a morning nine holes before the competition proper for the John Behrend Shields after a buffet lunch. As luck would not have it, the number taking part was not divisible by four, mainly due to some (literally) last minute changes, so there had to be a three-ball sixsome at the back of the field, clearly identifiable from all parts of the links!
The course was in its usual fine condition but, as ever, extremely challenging as you would expect and the scores certainly reflected that. Of the 27 pairings, only seven broke 30 pts but, what was so encouraging, was the sight of more than half those entering playing with their hickory clubs.
The winning pair who played to par was Liz Macdonald and Ros Weston who stormed back with 21 pts on a better back nine to take the Shields from George Payne and Thomas James with an identical score of 36 pts (BB9 18pts). The Heath Mitchell salver for the best hickory score was won by none other than Clive himself and Ian Lawlor (whose first visit to Hoylake this was) with 31 pts narrowly pipping Alan Henderson and Robin Morris also on 31 pts, but whose back nine was marginally inferior.
John Behrend Shields
1st Liz Macdonald and Ros Weston 36 pts (gold medal)
2nd George Payne and Thomas James 36 pts (silver medal)
3rd Richard Atherton and Alistair Smith 34pts (bronze medal)
Heath Mitchell Salver
1st Clive Mitchell and Ian Lawlor 31pts (BB9 17pts)
2nd Alan Henderson and Robin Morris 31pts
Following the golf was, as usual, the AGM, reported upon elsewhere, and then the Dinner in the Club Room with the evening sun streaming in making for a wonderful vista of the course. Grateful thanks to Archie Baird for delivering Grace in his customary inimitable fashion. We were delighted to welcome as the Society’s guests the Captain of Royal Liverpool, Nick Peel and his wife Sally and David Cromie, the Club Secretary whose staff ensured that the day ran as smoothly as ever and to whom the Society’s great appreciation has been conveyed.
After Dinner, the President exchanged the traditional and always amusing speeches of thanks etc with the Club Captain and then presented the prizes. Special thanks to David Kirkwood for once again producing the medals which are so greatly coveted – David, you will not be allowed to retire! David then conducted a brief(er) auction of golfing memorabilia with Gillian K kindly undertaking the accounting and Archie Baird (Head Porter) and his assistant Ron Beatt supporting. As a result of some generous bidding and the donation of certain items, £254 was raised for the President’s Charity, Camp and Trek.
With next year being the 25th anniversary of the Society’s formation, plans are at an early stage to make this meeting a two-day affair. Arrangements will be communicated as soon as they are known, but the last week in April looks a possibility, Royal Weddings permitting!
Peter Heath 30th May 2011