London University GS - Rye - 2 February March 2007
The historic town of Rye, one of the ancient Cinque Ports, played host to this match for the first time. Rye Golf Club, the spiritual home of the Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society, and venue for the President's Putter, provided a fine venue, with a classic links course played over a long dune that crossed through the course, and several tough par 4 holes as indicated by the Par 68 / SSS 71 figures.
As usual, the morning pairings were arranged at dinner the previous evening. On paper, SUGS looked to have the edge with several recent and low handicap graduates earning their first SUGS "cap". Despite this injection of youth, SUGS also appeared to have the edge on the social side of the match. This was confirmed early on Friday morning, when the last of the LUGS stalwarts (known as Yeandle) had to retire for the evening, leaving 2 of the SUGS contingent (who shall remain nameless) as the last men at the bar.
Friday morning dawned cool but fair, with a light breeze; ideal conditions for foursomes golf. The wind had obviously turned during the night however, as LUGS raced to a 4 - 2 lead at lunchtime. As Rye was being played for the first time by many of the participants, there was limited local knowledge advantage for the home side, and LUGS could afford to lunch well after a good morning's work.
Some rethinking for the afternoon pairings was required by SUGS master tactician McCluskey, in order to secure a turnaround in fortune. Sadly for SUGS, LUGS proved equal to the challenge, and held on to draw the afternoon series 3 -3. Yeandle, despite his lack of sleep, played some fine golf in partnership with Wells in taking the strong SUGS pairing of McCluskey and Connolly to the 18th. The SUGS Hon. Secretary may need to review the Rules of Golf, as his failure to play from the correct tee at the 1st (played as the 10th) was spotted thereafter by Rules Committee member Lloyd, resulted in a loss of hole, and contributed to a 2 & 1 (??) defeat.
And so, with a 7 - 5 win, a delighted LUGS Captain Neil Falconer regained his eponymous rugby ball at the match dinner (see pictures in the gallery) repeating his last victory on home turf in 2005. There was little consolation for Scotland the following day, as the Calcutta Cup was won by England at Twickenham. However, the enjoyment of these matches always outweighs the result, and the hospitality offered by LUGS on our bi-annual trip south is always grateful received, and reciprocated when north of the border. Roll on 2008!
Results from Rye (SUGS names first)
1) David Connolly & Ian Attoe beat Jeremy Smith & John Sugden by 8 and 7
2) Anthony Shields & David Archibald lost to George Yeandle & Neil Falconer by 4 and 3
3) Mike Morrison & Fraser McCluskey halved with Mike Kershaw and Nick Yeates
4) Graeme Belch & Andrew Thomson lost to Hugh Maurice & Jimmy Bull by 2 holes
5) David McLeary & Richard Inglis lost to Stuart Lloyd & Alastair Wells by 6 and 5
6) Roy Maconochie & Alex Leslie halved with Ed Clutton and Gorm Nielson
Morning Result: SUGS 2 - 4 LUGS
1) Richard Inglis & Andrew Thomson lost to Stuart Lloyd & Ed Clutton by 2 and 1
2) Graeme Belch & Anthony Shields beat Hugh Maurice & Mike Kershaw by 1 hole
3) Fraser McCluskey & David Connolly beat George Yeandle & Alastair Wells by 1 hole
4) Alex Leslie & David Archibald beat Nick Yeates & John Sugden by 3 and 2
5) Mike Morrison & Roy Maconochie lost to Neil Falconer & Jeremy Smith by 3 and 2
6) Ian Attoe & David McCleary lost to Gorm Nielson & Jimmy Bull by 4 and 3
Afternoon Result: SUGS 3 - 3 LUGS
Overall Result: SUGS 5 - 7 LUGS
Heriot Watt University - Gullane 2 - 18 February 2007
The second match of 2007 saw Graeme Belch still looking for his first team victory as Captain. Match Captain Don Reekie had organised this fixture over Gullane 2 with his usual thoroughness, and ensured that everyone was there in time by cunningly telling the team that the first tee time was 10 minutes earlier than that actually booked! This proved a blessing in disguise to the Glasgow contingent who motored along the M8 at a sedate 69mph to ensure that the no more points were accumulated by chauffeur Gold!
Yet again in a SUGS match, the weather was perfect (a sign of global warming given the time of year??), and memories of university matches played by many of the SUGS during their student days in howling gales and driving rain seemed very distant. A number of the Heriot Watt team had attended their Sports Union ball the previous evening, and the students arrived a man short after one of their players could not be shaken from his slumbers. Despite this setback, Heriot Watt made some tactical changes to their pairings, and fired some impressive tee shots down the first hole, indicating that they were not going to concede defeat lightly. That said, there was strength in certain quarters of the SUGS ranks, including Match Captain Reekie, whose own score in this fourball encounter was around 4 under the card, and enough was done to secure a 3-2 victory for a relieved Captain Belch.
Results from Gullane (SUGS names first)
1) Nicky Gold & Hugh Harvie beat Chris Anderson & Mark Sanders by 1 hole
2) John Yuille & Stephen Govenlock beat Adrian Brogan by 5 and 4
3) Graeme Belch & Andrew Thomson lost to Bruce McKay & Scott Aitken by 3 and 1
4) Don Reekie & Colin Steele beat Gary Reid & Ally Love by 2 and 1
5) Robin Duncan & Andrew McCrone lost to Brian Soutar & Andrew Sanaghan by 3 and 2
Result: SUGS 3 - 2 Heriot Watt University
Stirling University - Stirling GC - 25 February 2007
It had been 4 years since this match was last played, due to variety of factors including bad weather. At the last encounter in 2003, SUGS managed a commendable 2-2 draw. On paper, it looked as though SUGS would need to pull something special out the bag to achieve a similar result (or better!) in 2007 against the current British University champions, buoyed by the success of recent graduate Richie Ramsay (2006 US Amateur Champion). Stirling were obviously mindful of SUGS's reputation, and fielded a near full strength team containing some familiar names on the Scottish amateur circuit, including Bobby Rushford (semi finalist in the 2006 Scottish Amateur Championship) and Gordon Yates (winner of a recent international collegiate event at St Andrews Bay, and 6th in the World Student Championships), along with a number of junior international caps. Furthermore, whilst SUGS turned up with the usual level of preparation (a week in the office), Stirling, concerned they might lose an unblemished home record, had recently returned from a 10 day golfing trip to South Africa.
The course at Stirling was wet underfoot, but offered some compensation with fine views of the Ochils and Southern Highlands to the north. The weather stayed fair (yet another SUGS "winter" fixture played in balmy conditions!), and the rain forecast avoided Stirling, but gave residents of Edinburgh a dreich Sunday. As for the golf? Unfortunately for SUGS, the result was never in doubt as Stirling ran out comfortable winners. That aside, the match was played on very sociable terms, and provided an ideal opportunity to see how the university bursary system is benefiting some of the game's future stars.
Results from Stirling GC (SUGS names first)
1) David Wallace & Alistair Hudson lost to Euan Polson & Karl Shepherd by 3 and 2
2) Graeme Belch & Ewan Cairns lost to David Booth & Richard Stevenson by 2 and 1
3) David Webster & Gary Shepherd lost to Scott Borrowman & Paul Betty by 6 and 5
4) Andrew Thomson & Euan Mordaunt lost to Gordon Yates & Bobby Rushford by 6 and 5
Result: SUGS 0 - 4 Stirling University
Strathclyde University - Western Gailes - 4 March 2007
After a run of relatively benign conditions in the SUGS fixture card, the visit to Western Gailes provided a return to normal winter weather, with a strong wind from the south west, and steady rain. On paper, the SUGS team was similar in strength to that which secured a win last year, and Captain Belch was hoping for a win to improve the recent run of poor results against the student sides, with only 1 win since the Strathclyde match in 2006. The conditions were to prove testing for all - 3 balls were lost on the 3rd hole of the 3rd match by 3 different golfers (luckily, the 1 ball remaining belonged to SUGS), and the Captain commented afterwards that his golf bag got lighter as the round progressed, courtesy of a number of lost balls. All the matches were close, but in the end the students did enough to secure a narrow victory.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Nicky Gold & Gregor Munro halved with Andrew Gordon & Jack Ferrier
2) Graeme Belch & Andrew McCrone lost to David McInroy & Colin Colraine by 1 hole
3) Peter Kinloch & Andrew Thomson lost to Grant Minnes & Alasdair Leggate by 2 and 1
4) Jim Kinloch & David Wallace beat Fraser Campbell & Jonathon Gilmour by 3 and 2
Result: SUGS 1½ - 2½ Strathclyde University
Dublin University GS - Prestwick - 9 March 2007
The 30th anniversary of the inaugural match saw the teams pay a visit to Prestwick Golf Club, the 3rd time this fixture had been played on the historic Ayrshire links. Memories of the 2006 fixture, where SUGS narrowly avoided a whitewash in the morning foursomes, had not been forgotten, and despite the afternoon comeback at Portmarnock, it was obvious that a change in tactics was required. Captain Smith was sadly in absentia for this year’s fixture due to a prior engagement supporting Celtic in the Champions League in Milan. However, he pulled no punches in the squad selection beforehand, dropping former captains Mullins and Duncan to the bench, and introducing 3 new signings during the transfer window – Andrew Thomson, Iain Crawford and Prestwick local Paul Stevens.
For Belch, recently elevated to SUGS Captain, the pressure was building. During his captaincy, SUGS had only mustered 1 win, and he badly needed another win to avoid further humiliation, and possible relegation to Division 2. His mood was hardly improved the following morning when new cap Thomson screeched late into the Prestwick carpark, having inadvertently decided to visit unchartered parts of South Lanarkshire on the journey from Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, a number of the DUGS had given themselves the ideal preparation by enjoying a game at Dundonald with “The Dutchman” on Thursday afternoon, and arrived in Prestwick with a familiar, yet mature, squad – D Conway clearly forgetting that he had “consigned the veteran Caldwell to pasture” following the 2004 fixture.
Both sides fielded some strong pairings in the first 2 matches, but SUGS had the edge to take an early 2-0 lead. Match 3 saw the Aberdeen duo of Farks and Rennie pitted against Kenny and resident DUGS hustler Pigot. Sadly, it appeared that map reading did not feature in the résumé of either SUG as Farks, playing the 2nd shot from “Position A” on the 3rd, hit a wild hook, leaving Rennie off the beaten track. The Vice Captain then played what he thought was a fine recovery towards the flag, only to be told moments later that he had actually played for the 12th flag. Suffice to say, SUGS lost the hole, which later contributed to an Irish win.
Hibernia’s fortunes were further improved when O’Brien and DUGS Captain Dunnion grabbed a vital half against Haggart and Archibald. However, any thoughts that the DUGS had about lunching all square were quickly extinguished by the new SUGS signings. Match 4 pitted the 2 Honorary Secretaries in a head to head encounter. Thomson put his recent run of poor form to one side in combining with One Putt Crawford to a comfortable victory over Lauder and J Conway, whose “greens in regulation” tally was sadly not as impressive as that of “bunkers in regulation”. In the last match, Inglis proved once again that he is a fine pre lunch player and helped new cap Stephens to a maiden victory against the First Sea Lord and venerable veteran Caldwell.
Despite a lead for the SUGS of 4½ to 1½ at halftime, both sides could afford to lunch well in the splendid Prestwick clubhouse, with confit of duck and roast partridge both on the menu. The SUGS Hon. Secretary opted for the latter, and was understandably concerned when the partridge flew off the plate. Fortunately the waitress was to hand, who quickly apologised for her slip, and soon brought another (dead) specimen to be enjoyed. Adequate levels of refreshment were consumed, and the teams went out well primed to face the darkening storm clouds that were gathering overhead.
The honours were shared in the opening 2 matches, before news filtered in via telegram that Lauder and Jameson, playing at number 6, had achieved a precious and comfortable victory somewhere in North Ayrshire; Inglis and Crawford both showing that they need further work to improve on their post lunch golfing ability. This left the Scots needing to secure a point from the remaining 3 matches, which were destined to reach the 18th. The crucial point for SUGS was duly delivered in match 3 by one Farmer who is not a farmer, and one farmer who is not a Farmer (figure that one out if you can), who won on the 18th against Kenny and O’Brien.
In match 4, habitual gambler Pigot, desperate to ensure his afternoon partner The Nudger recorded a win as DUGS Captain, resorted to some desperate tactics in the locker room prior to the off, and was to be seen sporting a “European Champion 2004” shirt, in an attempt to psyche out the SUGS opposition. This entirely orthodox approach appeared to be working, as DUGS stood 1 up on the 17th tee, but SUGS drew deep and managed to secure a well earned half with a 3 foot putt on the 18th.
Match 5 saw the DUGS – Caldwell and Conway (J) – 2 up on the 17th tee, but the courageous SUGS, Farquharson & Stevens, fought back valiantly and 20 minutes later were the proud possessors of a valuable half point. This proved too much for the elder Conway, who had to be steered clear of sharp objects for a full 45 minutes after returning disconsolately to the confines of the Prestwick clubhouse. Thus, the final score read SUGS 7½ – 4½ DUGS.
A fine post match dinner was held in the Prestwick clubhouse. The Scots were delighted that the Robinson Decanter had agreed to make a personal appearance, and Belch ensured his growing reputation as a safe pair of hands (during his year of captaincy at least) by not dropping the crystal gem during the presentation. The SUGS were further honoured during the evening when a very fine match book was presented by Caldwell to mark the SUGS Centenary the previous year. To round off the night, Flanagan, obviously with aspirations to become The Flying Doctor, took a quick trip onto the floor after his chair collapsed.
Results from Prestwick (SUGS names first)
1) Nicky Gold & Graeme Belch beat Dougie Heather & Nick Dillon by 2 and 1
2) Bobby Watson & Stuart Farmer beat David Conway & Kevin Flanagan by 1 hole
3) Niall Farquharson & David Rennie lost to John Kenny & Peter Pigot by 3 and 2
4) David Archibald & James Haggart halved with Conor O'Brien & Brian Dunnion
5) Andrew Thomson & Iain Crawford beat John Conway & Huntly Lauder by 5 and 4
6) Richard Inglis & Paul Stevens beat Aedan Jameson & Gavin Caldwell by 6 and 5
Morning Result: SUGS 4½ - 1½ DUGS
1) Nicky Gold & David Archibald beat Dougie Heather & David Conway by 3 and 2
2) Graeme Belch & Bobby Watson lost to Nick Dillon & Kevin Flanagan by 3 and 1
3) James Haggart & Stuart Farmer beat John Kenny & Conor O'Brien by 1 hole
4) David Rennie & Andrew Thomson halved with Peter Pigot & Brian Dunnion
5) Paul Stevens & Niall Farquharson halved with John Conway & Gavin Caldwell
6) Richard Inglis & Iain Crawford lost to Huntly Lauder & Aedan Jameson by 7 and 6
Afternoon Result: SUGS 3 - 3 DUGS
Overall Result: SUGS 7½ - 4½ DUGS
Dundee University - Gleneagles (Queens) – 11 March 2007
This year's match was played over the Queens Course at Gleneagles in wet conditions.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Keith Macintosh & Bobby Watson lost to Andy Keir & Fraser Bone by 3 and 2
2) Donald Reekie & Charles Hammond lost to Daniel Elder & Shaun Gordon by 2 and 1
3) Jim Patrick & Andrew McCrone halved with Ian Hutchison & Mark McKenna
4) Ewen Cairns & Robin Duncan lost to Stuart Cramb & Ian McMillan by 5 and 4
5) Mike Mullins & Harry Linklater beat Adam Jenkinson & Murray Taylor by 2 and 1
Result: SUGS 1½ - 3½ Dundee University
St Andrew University - St Andrews (Strathtyrum & Old) – 17 March 2007
After losing in 2006 for the first time in 3 years, a strong SUGS team travelled to St Andrews with cautious optimism that victory in this university fixture (the only student match still played over 36 holes) could be achieved. This optimism was boosted further on arrival at St Andrews, where a number of the students could be seen gulping down pints of water - a sure indication that there were some sore heads that morning from the night before. It soon transpired that 2 of the St Andrews team were still in the land of nod, but the students, sensing an opportunity to display their crisis management skills, quickly rounded up 2 extra players to fill in the gap and all was well. This included the rare sight of a left hander (Mark Horne) participating in a SUGS fixture.
The morning matches (foursomes) were played over the Strathtyrum Course in mild and dry conditions, but with a strong north westerly wind. This wind quickly blasted away any remaining Friday night cobwebs from the St Andrews team, and the students finished the morning with a 4-2 lead. An enjoyable lunch was taken in the New Club dining room (the R&A dining room being unavailable due to refurbishment) overlooking the 1st and 18th fairways on the Old Course, venue for the afternoon matches. The roll of honour in the New Club showed that a fellow SUGS member (Neil Steven) was the reigning Club Champion, but with a 2 point deficit, it looked as though a Herculean effort would be required by SUGS to match Neil's victory on the St Andrews links.
In the face of a strengthening wind, the afternoon matches teed off at 1.30pm under the watchful eye of the usual St Andrews bystanders. The sides were photographed by match organiser for the day, Nigel Watt, who ensured that all games were ready in time. As the wind was now reaching gale force proportions, there was a real sense of heading off into the unknown, and the afternoon proved to be a bruising experience for many, particularly out on the Loop. By now, the weather was perhaps helping SUGS, as the demands of the conditions, coupled with a lack of sleep on the part of the students, began to tell, and by the completion of Match 5, the score read 5½ - 5½. It all hinged on the last game, but with a strong pairing of final year student Lando and university captain Hetherington, the undergraduates ran out comfortable winners by a dog's license in old money.
Drinks were taken inside the sanctuary of the R&A clubhouse afterwards, when SUGS Vice Captain, David Rennie, noted that the 50th anniversary of the inaugural match will be played in 2010. St Andrews University has always been one of the more fertile recruiting grounds for SUGS, and hopefully this trend will continue to allow some of the current students to be playing in this fixture in 3 year's time.
A.M. Results (SUGS names first)
1) David Wallace & Fraser McCluskey lost to Ned Fox & Stephen Pointon by 2 and 1
2) Nicky Gold & Dougie Hunter beat Steven Hillson & Martin Heliker by 3 and 2
3) Alasdair Woodman & Benjamin Kelly lost to Ollie Bell & Chris Bulmer by 5 and 4
4) David Rennie & Martin Hopley lost to James Hetherington & Al McKinley by 1 hole
5) Andrew Hubble & Lance Sloan lost to Angus Watson & Ross Lando by 4 and 3
6) Roy Maconochie & Andrew Thomson beat Michael Stephenson & Mark Horne by 2 and 1
Morning Result: SUGS 2 - 4 St Andrews University
1) Nicky Gold & David Wallace beat Ned Fox & Martin Heliker by 4 and 3
2) Dougie Hunter & Martin Hopley beat Angus Watson & Steven Hillson by 1 hole
3) David Rennie & Fraser McCluskey halved with Chris Bulmer & Michael Stephenson
4) Andrew Hubble & Benjamin Kelly lost to Al McKinley & Stephen Pointon by 2 and 1
5) Lance Sloan & Andrew Thomson beat Ollie Bell & Mark Horne by 4 and 3
6) Alasdair Woodman & Roy Maconochie lost to James Hetherington & Ross Lando by 7 and 6
Afternoon Result: SUGS 3½ - 2½ St Andrews University
Overall Result: SUGS 5½ - 6½ St Andrews University
Spring Meeting - Prestwick GC - 13 April 2007
Like the previous year, wall to wall sunshine greeted members at Prestwick for the 2007 Spring Meeting, with temperatures nudging 20°C. Numbers (18 golfers) were down slightly on 2006, but this did not reflect on the quality of the field, with the lowest 6 players having an average handicap of 0.8. Duncan Lawrie made his first appearance at a SUGS fixture as President, and was tipped to do well - reports from St Andrews indicated he had played excellent golf in the annual R&A vs Stirling University match 2 days previously. Current holder of the Baird / Purdie trophy, Graeme Belch, had found time to clean the claret jug, and was hoping to be the first captain to win the trophy whilst in office, and the first captain to win any competition in office since Fraser McCluskey won the Boase Putter in 1999.
A fine Prestwick lunch was enjoyed before venturing out onto the course. Despite the calm conditions, Prestwick still proved no pushover, as several tales of woe involving bunkers, walls, gorse bushes, and out of bounds were retold in the clubhouse afterwards, and that was only the first 3 holes! One by one, the contenders came to grief, but Captain Belch proved he was made of sterner stuff and arrived on the 18th tee needing a birdie on one of the more straightforward holes on the course to score 71. This looked doubtful after he drove into a fairway bunker short of the green, and became impossible after his 2nd shot went through the green and out of bounds. He recovered with a 6, giving a round of 74. At this point, memories of Gary Player at Muirfield in the Open Championship of 1959 (Player broke down after taking 6 on the 72nd hole, thinking he had lost the championship) were perhaps going through his mind. Like Player though, this mishap did not prove too disastrous, and 74 was enough to win on the better inward half from 2004 winner and current holder of the Boase Putter, Nicky Gold.
Baird / Purdie trophy
1) Graeme Belch - 74 (BIH)
2) Nicky Gold - 74
3) David Wallace - 76
Aberdeen SUGS - Royal Aberdeen GC - 6 May 2007
A win for SUGS by 5 matches to 4 against Aberdeen SUGS - individual match not available.
Glasgow University - Glasgow Gailes - 6 May 2007
Results from Glasgow Gailes (SUGS names first)
1) Jim Kinloch & Peter Kinloch lost to Pat Mulcahy & David Currie by 2 holes
2) Dougie Hunter & Alistair Morrow beat Ville Sinkkonen & Fraser Inglis by 1 hole
3) Barry Hickey & Paul Stephens beat Niall Finaly & Ali Pugh by 1 hole
4) Gavin Greer & Donald Reekie lost to Simon Kyle & Ally Fernside by 1 hole
Result: SUGS 2 - 2 Glasgow University
Scottish Universities - Royal Burgess - 18 May 2007
The match was cancelled at the 11th hour when SUGS were advised that the students could only field a team of 6 for this 10 aside match due to exams and other commitments. Subsequent attempts to find a better slot to play this match have drawn a blank, and this fixture is consigned, for the time being at least, to the history books. (AMT July 2015)
Dispatch Trophy – Braids – May 2007
For the first time in a number of years, the line up for the 2007 Dispatch Trophy (a knockout foursomes matchplay tournament, played over the Braid Hills in Edinburgh) featured a team from SUGS, who were keen to emulate the success of previous SUGS teams who had won the event in 1954, 1968, 1978 and 1980. The team was led by the experienced campaigner, Ian Smith, alongside some more youthful SUGS members in Neil Steven, David Boyce and Kenny McKay.
The team was fortunate to get a bye into the 2nd round, but faced stiff opposition in MCBA, who had lost in the semi final the previous year. However, the lack of a practice round for 3 of the team members did not prove a handicap, as both foursomes matches were won by 1 hole - an excellent opening result. The 3rd round opposition were Barnton Hotel (DN - or Edinburgh City Chambers?), and despite a gallant effort, the match was lost at the first extra hole.
Midlothian Ladies - Gullane 2 - 1 June 2007
Following a misty start, the weather cleared to leave a perfect, sunny evening with a gentle breeze, and Gullane 2 was found to be in the usual excellent condition. This was the first year when both sides were competing for the Stags Trophy, presented by MCLGA to mark the SUGS Centenary the previous year. For the 2nd year running, Joanne Watt was drafted in to play, and partnered another honorary SUG for the evening - Line Mortensen, a member of the East Lothian Ladies team. The score were tied after the first 3 matches, before SUGS edged ahead and won the remaining 2 games, to seal a famous victory for the first time since 1997. The match was followed by a bar meal in the Visitors' Clubhouse.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Graeme Belch & Andrew McCrone beat Fiona De Vries & Mandy Easton by 6 and 5
2) Andrew Thomson & Donald Reekie lost to Noreen Fenton & Louise Fraser by 5 and 3
3) Douglas May & John Wood halved with Kate Rorke & Cara Easton
4) Joanne Watt & Line Mortensen beat Tracy Laughland & Gillian Simpson by 4 and 3
5) Jim Barnet & Sandy Kirkwood beat Hilary Laughland & Rhona MacLennan by 2 and 1
Result: SUGS 3½ - 1½ Midlothian Ladies
St Andrews SUGS - St Andrews (Jubilee) - 19 August 2007
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Andrew Thomson & Douglas Ross beat Mike Todd and Graham Murray 5 and 4
2) Graeme Belch & Roy Maconochie lost to Hamish Macnaughtan & Ian Kerr by 5 and 3
3) Robin Duncan & Mike Mullins lost to Craig Fotheringham & Alastair Russell by 3 and 1
4) Fraser McCluskey & Steve Govenlock beat Hamish Phillips & Bobby Alexander by 2 and 1
Result: SUGS 2 - 2 St Andrews SUGS
Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society – St Andrews – 31 August 2007
There are few societies, sporting or otherwise, that can claim to have celebrated 2 centenaries in successive years, but this was the fortunate position that SUGS found itself in 2007, with the centenary of the inaugural match against the OCGS following hard on the heels of the centenary celebrations in 2006. To the majority of members, this fact might have quietly slipped by had it not been for our centenary historian, Gordon Simmonds, who had the foresight to agree with Robin Lawson, one of the senior OCGS members resident in Scotland and a guest of SUGS at the 2006 Centenary Dinner, that the occasion ought to be marked. Fixtures between SUGS and the OCGS since 1907 had happened on a somewhat irregular basis with the most recent encounter in 2003 at Sunningdale resulting in a 3-7 loss, but despite this, the OCGS remained very much the senior society, and had undoubtedly provided much of the inspiration to graduates of the ancient Scottish universities to form SUGS in 1906.
The obvious choice of venue to celebrate the centenary of the inaugural match was St Andrews, in so far as the first match ever played between the two societies took place on the Old Course on 10 September 1907. Arranging tee times at St Andrews in high summer is never easy, but thanks to some friendly dialogue with the St Andrews Links Trust, tee times were duly secured on both the Old Course and the New Course - a two course strategy ensuring that as many people as possible from each society would be able to participate. The obvious format for the matches was always going to be foursomes, the staple diet for all SUGS matches against other societies, and similarly so for the OCGS. Members of both societies would pride themselves under normal circumstances of playing an 18 hole foursome in well under three hours, but as this was never going to be an option when teeing off soon after lunch in high summer at the home of golf, it was decide to make the most of the situation and play two foursomes matches simultaneously within the confines of a single tee time. This master stroke doubled the number of golfers who would be able to participate, and ensured the resulting pace of play would be more in keep with that of the average St Andrews fourball.
After what had been a wretched summer, Friday 31 August dawned fair and sunny with a steady breeze - perfect for golf, and the two teams gathered to do battle over the famous links. SUGS opted for experience, and fielded a number of weel kent faces, whilst OCGS contained a wider mix of youth and experience. Three of the participants were eligible to play for both sides - James Bryce and Hamish Phillips both played for OCGS, whilst Chris Gotla played for SUGS.
It was inevitable for such an occasion that golf would only take up part of the day, thus allowing plenty of time for socialising and adequate refreshment at regular intervals. As both societies were able to draw upon a large number of R&A members, the Big Room of the R&A clubhouse provided the perfect venue for pre-lunch drinks, before participants moved across to Forgan House overlooking the 18th green on the Old Course, which will be remembered by many as being the location of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, before being acquired by the R&A to provide additional accommodation. The steps at the back of the 18th green provided the ideal location for a photoshoot en route, and the OCGS were delighted to be joined by longstanding member Alan Elliot. During lunch (future historians may wish to note that a choice of chicken casserole or beef stroganoff, followed by treacle tart and custard, or strawberries and cream was provided!), the code of practice for the afternoon was announced by Robin Lawson as follows -
1) Foursome "A" has the honour when teeing off on the front nine
2) On the front 9, once all four balls are on the green, foursome "B" should mark, and foursome "A" should complete the hole
3) Foursome "B" has the honour when teeing off on the back nine
4) On the back 9, once all four balls are on the green, foursome "A" should mark, and foursome "B" should complete the hole
Obligatory post lunch drinks were taken in Forgan House, or back in the Big Room, prior to the off. Despite the complexity of the matches, the modus operandi for the afternoon worked well, and would certainly be recommended on the rare occasion when four ball eightsomes are played again. Conditions were ideal for golf on both courses, with a good St Andrews breeze and increasing sunshine as will be evident from the pre dinner picture in the gallery, and although there were no runaway victories in any of the games, SUGS performed well enough to be victorious in both the Old Course and the New Course series of matches.
There was time after the matches for a brief drink in the Trophy Room of the R&A clubhouse before the teams checked into their accommodation for the evening. St Andrews University provided a cost effective and very appropriate solution in the form of Macintosh Hall (SUGS) and New Hall (OCGS). A quick turnaround around was required before the evening photocall on the steps at the back of the 18th green on the Old Course. The photographer was true to his word, and the resulting photograph plus a match report duly appeared in "The Courier" the following day. The diners then walked (or in the case of some, hitched a lift courtesy of the Links Trust golf buggy transfer service!) to the Links Trust clubhouse adjacent to the 1st tee on the New Course, where a fine evening was had. Our guest of honour for the evening was Alan McGregor, manager of St Andrews Links Trust, without whose assistance the match would not have been possible. Future historians may also wish to note the (set) menu for dinner comprised scotch broth, fillet of beef, and sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream! Speeches were limited to one per side, Robin Lawson (OCGS) and David Purdie (SUGS) performing the honours. In an attempt to ensure the match would be played on a more regular basis going forward, Robin and David had seen fit to "borrow" a quaich from Kirkwoods (an Edinburgh engravers and trophy business) in an attempt to solicit donations to purchase some suitable silverware for future use, and by the end of the evening £590 had been collected.
It would have been inappropriate for the evening to have ended at this point, and the Jigger Inn, conveniently located on the way back to both Macintosh and New halls, proved too much of an attraction for most, rounding off what had been a memorable day, and a fitting way to mark the centenary of the first encounter between the two societies.
Main Match Results (Old Course) - SUGS names first
1) Graeme Belch & Fraser McCluskey halved with David Hayes & Steve Seman
2) Blyth Bell & Chris Gotla halved with Matthew Webster & Logan Mair
3) Duncan Lawrie & Ewan Cameron beat Peter Dawson & Rob Simpson by 4 and 3
4) David Rennie & Gordon Cairns lost to Alan Holmes & Michael Gray by 3 and 2
5) Michael Brown & Sandy Gray halved with Rhuraidh Stewart & Harry Westall
6) Gordon Simmonds & Keith McCall beat Iain Smith & Rob Mann by 2 and 1
Result: SUGS 3½ - 2½ OCGS
Senior / Committee Match Results (New Course) - SUGS names first
1) Ian Smith & Clifford Hastings beat Mike Cowman & Hamish Phillips by 3 and 2
2) Richard Muckart & David Purdie beat Nigel Theyer & Garth Morrison by 1 hole
3) Alistair Low & Mike Mullins beat Robin Lawson & Tony Kay by 1 hole
4) Neil Edward & Andrew Biggart lost to James Bryce & Matt Dawson by 2 and 1
5) Pat Burnet & Hamish Macnaughtan beat Robin Ashworth & Tim Hanson by 1 hole
6) David Greenhough & Andrew Thomson lost to Peter Green & Tim Sale by 1 hole
7) Kenneth Chrystie & Bobby White beat Michael Grint & Keith Booth by 2 and 1
8) Keith Oliver & Robin Duncan lost to Tony Stoker & Charlie Saywell by 3 and 2
Result: SUGS 5 - 3 OCGS
Overall Result: SUGS 8½ - 5½ OCGS
Gullane GC - Gullane No 1 - 2 September 2007
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Graeme Belch & Will McWilliams beat Alan Macdonald & Robert Dick by 2 and 1
2) Hugh Harvie & Charles Hammond beat Graham Aggett & George Barnes by 6 and 5
3) David Boyce & Andrew McCrone beat Ronnie Garrett & Iain Macdonald by 5 and 4
4) Andrew Thomson & Kenny McKay beat Jordan Ramanauskas & Jim Riach by 1 hole
5) John Wood & Stephen Govenlock halved with Alastair Brown & Keith McCall
Result: SUGS 4½ - ½ Gullane Golf Club
Queens University GS - Muirfield / Gullane – 20-21 September 2007
Day 1 - Results from Muirfield - SUGS names first
1) Graeme Belch & Robin Duncan beat Barry Clements & Brendan Cashell by 1 hole
2) Keith McCall & Sandy Gray beat Brian Fleming & Keith McGarry by 2 and 1
3) Alan Blair & Andrew McCrone lost to Gary Jones & Colin Darrah by 2 and 1
4) Ewan Cameron & Alastair Brown beat Alistair Dick & Tim Browne by 2 and 1
5) David Rennie & Pat Burnet beat Ian Young & Arthur Bell by 1 hole
6) Ken Chrystie & Richard Inglis lost to Andrew Dick & Alan Irwin by 5 and 4
7) Bobby White & James Bryce beat Niel Kelly and Chris Gardiner by 3 and 2
8) Clifford Hastings & Jim Barnet beat John Neill & Peter Conlon by 5 and 4
Morning Result: SUGS 6 - 2 QUGS
1) Graeme Belch & Andrew McCrone lost to Keith McGarry & Colin Darrah by 4 and 2
2) Keith McCall & Pat Burnet beat Gary Jones & Ian Young by 1 hole
3) Alan Blair & Richard Inglis beat Brian Fleming & Brendan Cashell by 2 and 1
4) Sandy Gray & Robin Duncan lost to Barry Clements & Alistair Dick by 2 and 1
5) Alastair Brown & David Rennie lost to Tim Browne & Andrew Dick by 1 hole
6) Ewan Cameron & Bobby White beat Arthur Bell & Peter Conlon by 1 hole
7) James Bryce & Jim Barnet beat John Neill & Niel Kelly by 5 and 3
8) Clifford Hastings & Ken Chrystie beat Alan Irwin & Chris Gardiner by 5 and 3
Afternoon Result: SUGS 5 - 3 QUGS
Day 1 Result: SUGS 11 - 5 QUGS
Day 2 - Results from Gullane 2 (AM) / Gullane 1 (PM) - SUGS names first
1) Ian Esslemont & David Rennie beat Brian Fleming & Ian Young by 3 and 2
2) Graham Belch & Colin Steele lost to Gary Jones & Keith McGarry by 4 and 3
3) Ewan Cameron & James Haggart halved with Alistair Dick & Colin Darrah
4) Andrew McCrone & Jim Kinloch beat Arthur Bell & Brendan Cashell by 2 and 1
5) Peter Kinloch & Robin Duncan beat Tim Browne & John Neill by 3 and 2
6) David Anderson & Douglas May beat Niel Kelly & Alan Irwin by 3 and 2
7) David Purdie & John Davie halved with Barry Clements & Chris Gardiner
8) Jim Barnet & Andrew Thomson lost to Peter Conlon & Andrew Dick by 1 hole
Morning Result: SUGS 5 - 3 QUGS
1) Graeme Belch & Ian Esslemont beat Tim Browne & Colin Darrah by 1 hole
2) David Rennie & James Haggart halved with Barry Clements & Ian Young
3) Ewan Cameron & Robin Duncan beat Brendan Cashell & Alistair Dick by 6 and 4
4) Andrew McCrone & David Anderson lost to Brian Fleming & Gary Jones by 3 and 2
5) Jim Kinloch & John Davie beat Keith McGarry & Niel Kelly by 3 and 1
6) David Purdie & Douglas May beat Peter Conlon & Alan Irwin by 4 and 2
7) Jim Barnet & Colin Steele beat John Neill & Andrew Dick by 2 and 1
8) Peter Kinloch & Andrew Thomson beat Chris Gardiner & Arthur Bell by 2 and 1
Afternoon Result: SUGS 6½ - 1½ QUGS
Day 2 Result: SUGS 11½ - 4½ QUGS
Overall Result: SUGS 22½ - 9½ QUGS
Autumn Meeting - Gullane 2 - 27 October 2007
W N Boase Putter:
1) Dougie Hunter - 73 scratch stableford points
R S Sloan Trophy:
1) Nicky Gold - 36 scratch stableford points
C R Duncan Leeds Trophy:
1) Mike Reid - 40 net stableford points
1) Andrew McCrone - 38 net stableford points
Edinburgh University - Gullane No 2 - 25 November 2007
The annual encounter for the Roy Thompson trophy took place over Gullane 2 in dry but cold conditions. A change in management was required, following Dr Smith's failure to win the silverware in recent years (the last SUGS victory being 1997) and new blood in the form of Dougie Hunter took over team selection. The line up featured a number of the SUGS low handicappers, together with a father vs son encounter in the last match. Edinburgh's recent performances in the winter league matches had not been impressive, but on paper their line up was impressive, containing a number of players that would be welcome in future SUGS sides.
With SUGS being led by backmarker Gold, alongside Dispatch Trophy veteran Boyce, there was optimism that points could be scored. Alas though, this optimism quickly evaporated as the pair were crushed by the very strong Edinburgh pairing of captain Niven, and medic Dickson, helped by a hole in one at the 11th from Niven with a 5 iron. The students also proved victorious in matches 2 and 3, although it should be noted that 2 of the Edinburgh team - Dickson & Wilkie, both medics, are already graduates, and therefore eligible to play for SUGS, a tactic that may have to be considered for next year?!!! Victory for SUGS in the last 2 matches made the scoreline more respectable, resulting in an Edinburgh victory by 3 matches to 2.
Results from Gullane (SUGS names first)
1) Nicky Gold & David Boyce lost to Fergus Niven & Mark Dickson by 7 and 5
2) Neil Steven & Andrew McCrone lost to Mark Wilkie & Keith Godley by 2 and 1
3) Dougie Hunter & Ross Mackay lost to Jack Musgrove & Jake Halliday by 2 and 1
4) Douglas Morton & Andrew Thomson beat Pete Rowlinson & Joe Dilks by 2 and 1
5) Stuart Farmer & Mike Reid beat Sandy Farmer & Andy Ponsonby by 2 and 1
Result: SUGS 2 - 3 Edinburgh University
Aberdeen University - Royal Aberdeen - 2 December 2007
After rearranging the match two weeks ago to fit around the students' winter league fixtures, match captain Martin Duncan was heard to comment "all we need now is a frost-free day". Alas, 2 December dawned complete with the first frost of the winter! It was a marginal frost, but enough for the cautious greenstaff at Royal Aberdeen to close the Balgownie course for the 1st time this winter. Frustratingly it was a clear, sunny and windless day otherwise.
The last-resort alternative was to play the match over the much shorter Silverburn course at Royal Aberdeen, albeit on winter greens with oversize "bucket" holes. As the match was played over a shortened course, the format was amended from foursomes to fourball better-ball. Due to the format and bucket-sized holes, there was no shortage of birdies and eagles. The student pairing of Mackay and Barthel in match 5 achieved no fewer than 5 two's (at different holes) in the first 11 holes, including two chip-ins - on their way to a comprehensive 6&5 victory. There was a similar story in the first 4 match as the students eased to a 5 - 0 win.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) John Johnston & Gavin Greer lost to John Duff & Michael Spence by 5 and 4
2) Donald Macandrew & Hamish Macnaughtan lost to John Wybar & Rory McCormick by 3 and 1
3) Robin Duncan & Ian McPherson lost to Michael Rolland & Colin Shaw by 1 hole
4) Niall Farquharson & Alastair Morgan lost to Neil Gordon & Anand Shah by 2 holes
5) Graham Young & Martin Duncan lost to Blair Mackay & Dan Barthel by 6 and 5
Result: SUGS 0 - 5 Aberdeen University
Luffness New GC - Luffness – 2 December 2007
Although SUGS had played against Luffness New GC on 2 previous occasions, it had been some time since the last encounter - 99 years to be precise! The only other encounter was in 1907, therefore it was very timely that the 2 sides should meet at Luffness in 2007 to play the centenary match. Luffness has been host to SUGS fixtures in recent times, although a number of the SUGS side were making their first visit to the links. A warm welcome from both the host side and a roaring fire were to be found inside the clubhouse, where pre lunch drinks were enjoyed before an equally enjoyable lunch. With daylight at a premium given the time of year, a two tee start was adopted, via both the 1st and the 5th. Conditions were noticeably calmer compared to the previous Sunday, when the SUGS vs Edinburgh University match had been played on nearby Gullane 2, although the rough was still sufficiently fearsome to ensure that Luffness would be no pushover, particularly when combined with some new tees which had lengthened the course. The spoils were shared across the first 5 matches to return to the clubhouse, leaving match 4 as the deciding game. Despite being 3 down at one point, Iain Crawford and Mike Reid fought back but in the end ran out of holes as Colin Wood and David Loudon managed a 1 hole win in rapidly diminishing daylight, enough to give Luffness victory. This proved a most congenial fixture, and it is to be hoped that it will not be 99 years before the next match!
Results (SUGS names first)
1) David Rennie & Andrew McCrone beat Alastair Milne & Lawrie Hall by 2 and 1
2) Dougie Hunter & Hugh Harvie lost to Colin Cuthbert & Keith Yuille by 2 and 1
3) Andrew Thomson & Colin Steele beat Douglas Loudon & Andy Macfie by 4 and 3
4) Iain Crawford & Mike Reid lost to Colin Wood & David Loudon by 1 hole
5) Ross Mackay & Richard Inglis halved with Max Gaunt & Robin Hill
6) Nigel Watt & John Wood lost to Ian Bryson & Peter Grant by 1 hole
Result: SUGS 2½ - 3½ Luffness New GC