SUGS V LUGS – Muirfield - 4th February 2022
Morning dawned on a cool, clear but breezy day in Gullane, and all was set for the SUGS v. LUGS fixture of 2022. The fixture was returning to its usual slot on the Friday before the Calcutta Cup game following a dalliance last year with an autumnal slot as result of Covid lock downs. Having been played in February 2020 and October 2021, this was the one SUGS “major” match that survived Covid and as a result has been played every year since inception in 1988.
The warmup at North Berwick on Thursday allowed for some fine tuning and, alert to the possibilities of being ‘Holt-ed’, the young LUGS came through the pre-match dinner in the Old Clubhouse in Gullane without significant scarring.
A fine performance from the top of the Order meant the first three matches went to SUGS. The Bruntsfield duo of Reid and Kernaghan triumphed over Gorm “persimmon” Neilsen and the evergreen Hugh Maurice. The shoeshine game (played, unusually, in the morning series) saw Andrew Jessop and Anthony Shields triumph over ‘Porky’ Kershaw and Kaihan Mobed. The Hon Sec and SUGS’s very own Phil Mickelson (aka Mike Morrison) triumphed over Nicola Taylor and Sean Dryden. And then a valiant half from our host Fraser McCluskey and Vice-Captain Simmonds meant a decent 4.5 to 1.5 lead for the SUGS at lunch. But as recent history will attest such a lead is far from insurmountable in a fixture such as this.
The only pair licking their wounds were Captain Farmer and The Laird (aka Ewan Cameron). Both took long hard looks at themselves in the mirror ahead of the afternoon foursomes.
Lunch at Muirfield is hard to beat and being the day before the Calcutta Cup, the dining room was filled with legendary ex rugby players, many of whom had achieved glory through leading great comebacks. Might their stories of astonishing feats inspire the LUGS to a mighty turnaround in the afternoon?
Thankfully not. With Kernaghan, Shields, Reid and Calder at the top of his team sheet, Match Manager Jessop was looking to post blue on the scoreboard early. And so it proved with some solid SUGS victories. Farmer and Holt earned a hard fought half, whilst Porky avenged his morning defeat with a victory over Cameron and Jessop; he was ably supported by the now full time amateur Neil Falconer. And there was a Jacklin and Nicklaus style half in the final match when they came in after 9 holes due to the cold wind which was causing some challenges.
Dinner at Luffness was marvellous starting with an excellent salmon platter before moving on to every slimmer’s dream, pheasant stuffed with haggis; delicious! We were honoured to be joined by the SUGS President, Nigel Watt, who had played in the very first fixture in 1988. There was much reflection about having been in the very same clubhouse exactly two years ago with little anticipation of what was about to happen to the world. Stuart Farmer spoke beautifully for the SUGS illustrating clearly what these days mean to all of us and Neil Falconer was as entertaining as ever with his reply. A terrific day. We look forward to reconvening at Royal St George’s in 2023. The Falconer Ball resides again back on Fraser’s mantlepiece.
AM Results (SUGS names first)
1) Mark Kernaghan & Sandy Reid beat Gorm Nielsen & Hugh Maurice
2) Andrew Jessop & Anthony Shields beat Mike Kershaw & Kaihan Mobed
3) Simon Holt & Jonny Calder beat Joe Park & Jeremy Smith
4) Stuart Farmer & Ewan Cameron lost to Sam Campbell & John Dennis
5) Iain Crawford & Mike Morrison beat Nicola Taylor & Sean Dryden
6) Gordon Simmonds & Fraser McCluskey halved with James Bull & Neil Falconer
Result: SUGS 4½ - 1½ LUGS
PM Results (SUGS names first)
1) Mark Kernaghan & Anthony Shields beat Sean Dryden & Hugh Maurice
2) Sandy Reid & Jonny Calder beat Jeremy Smith & Sam Campbell
3) Simon Holt & Stuart Farmer halved with Gorm Nielsen & James Bull
4) Ewan Cameron & Andrew Jessop lost to Mike Kershaw & Neil Falconer
5) Mike Morrison & Gordon Simmonds lost to John Dennis & Joe Park
6) Iain Crawford & Fraser McCluskey halved with Nicola Taylor & Kaihan Mobed
Result: SUGS 3 - 3 LUGS
Overall Result: SUGS 7½ - 4½ LUGS
SUGS v Heriot Watt University - Gullane No 2 - Saturday 27 February 2022
The weather was bright sunshine with a cold two or three club wind at times. Greens were fast for this time of year but very true. One of the students was a Dutch lad who had never played in Scotland before, he was stunned by the quality of the course and the views across the Forth, lovely to see someone exuding such happiness for the duration of a meal. Charles and I played against Conor Clarke who compressed the ball the way his generation can, it turns out that his father is called Darren……….
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Kenny McKay & Mark Kernaghan beat Kyle Perkins (c) & Jonny Canning by 3&2
2) Drew McCrone & Daniel Forbes beat Blare Callan & Lewis Ross by 3&2
3) Charles Hammond & Andy Pendry halved with Conor Clarke & Alex Young
4) David Giffin & Phil Prichett beat Sam Van Pomeron & Tom Lammers by 1 hole
Result: SUGS 3½ - ½ Heriot Watt University
Charles Hammond gave an excellent speech on behalf of the absent SUGS Captain. In particular he commented on how impressive the students were on and off the course, they are a credit to their generation. The meal was really excellent, and everyone at the table commented on how much they enjoyed the course, the meal and the company.
SUGS v Aberdeen University at Royal Aberdeen GC - Sunday 6 March 2022
A superb day for the match - wall to wall sunshine, blue sky, a testing breeze, and a magnificent golf course. Fortified by pre match coffee and bacon rolls, the matches teed off under the watchful eye of SUGS President, Nigel Watt. With 3 x RAGC Past Captains in the SUGS side, course knowledge was not in short supply. One of the PCs, Steve Judge, making his SUGS debut, got off to a perfect start by winning the opening game comfortably in partnership with the current holder of the Norman Boase Putter (main scratch prize at SUGS Autumn Meeting), Daniel Forbes. The remaining 4 matches were all closely contested, and could have gone either way, but SUGS prevailed to take a further 3 points, resulting in a 4-1 overall win.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Daniel Forbes & Steve Judge beat D'Artagnan Voegt & Sean Whyte by 4&2
2) Callum Connacher & Ross Finlay beat Aidan Fulton & Matthew Jacques by 1 hole
3) Niall Farquharson & Stuart Farmer (c) beat Campbell Watt (c) & Weston Farnsworth by 1 hole
4) Andrew Thomson & Noel Crilley lost to Gregor Logan & Simon Burnett by 2&1
5) Shaun George & Robin Duncan beat Thomas Snodgrass & George Hilton-Rhind by 1 hole
Overall Result: SUGS 4 - 1 Aberdeen University
Glasgow University – Western Gailes GC - Sunday 13 March 2022
SUGS managed to beat Glasgow University 3.5 - 0.5 on a sunny day on the west coast.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Stuart Farmer & Stewart McCaffrey vs Patrick Lawrence & Jack McDonald - Result: SUGS won 3&1
2) Al Pugh & Charles Hammond vs Euan Griffin & Liam Martin - Result: SUGS won 6&5
3) Noel Crilley & Michael Choong vs Bruce Grant & Francisco Miranda - Result: SUGS won 3&2
4) Ross Finlay & Phil Pritchett vs Dan Toner & Thomas Simmons - Result: Half match
Overall Result - SUGS 3½ - ½ Glasgow University
Strathclyde University – Western Gailes GC - Sunday 20 March 2022
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Robert Watson & Callum Connacher beat Robbie Main & Hamish Roy by 2&1
2) Kenny McKay & Bobby Alexander beat Phil Devine & Daniel Norris by 2&1
3) Andrew Biggart & Al Pugh halved with Seamus Donaghy & Ben Paterson
4) Kenny Hunter & Andrew McCrone halved with Tom Merton & Jack Headon
5) Sandy Reid & Michael Choong beat Ben Paterson & Euan MacDonald by 1 hole
6) Ben Gibson & Ross Finlay beat Jamie Hay & Callum Byres by 3&2
Overall Result - SUGS 5 - 1 Glasgow University
St Andrews University - Saturday 26 March 2022
Morning Foursomes (Jubilee Course, SUGS names first)
1) Simon Holt & Stuart Farmer beat Sean Millar & Thomas Murray by 2 holes
2) Alex Hill & Phil Pritchett beat Doug Wright & Teddy Wallace by 5&4
3) Fraser McCluskey & Mark Kernaghan beat Charlie Webb & Christie Paul by 2 holes
4) Colin Steele & Richard Muckart lost to Fin Matheson & Finlay Watson by 5&4
5) Bobby Watson & Daniel Pilley lost to Kevin Kane & Nici Kur by 8&7
6) Al Pugh & Peter McCallum beat Adam Fotheringham & Billy Cropper by 5&4
AM Result: SUGS 4 - 2 St Andrews University
Afternoon Fourballs (Old Course, SUGS names first)
1) Mark Kernaghan & Phil Pritchett lost to Teddy Wallace & Fin Matheson by 1 hole
2) Stuart Farmer & Bobby Watson beat Doug Wright & Charlie Webb by 2&1
3) Simon Holt & Richard Muckart beat Thomas Murray & Christie Paul by 1 hole
4) Colin Steele & Peter McCallum lost to Sean Millar & Adam Fotheringham by 3&2
5) Alex Hill & Daniel Pilley beat Kevin Kane & Billy Cropper by 3&2
6) Al Pugh & Fraser McCluskey halved with Finlay Watson & Nici Kurz
PM Result: SUGS 3½ - 2½ St Andrews University
Overall Result: SUGS 7½ - 4½ St Andrews University
DUGS - Portmarnock GC - Friday 1 April
Lost 5½ - 6½
DUGS Seniors - Portmarnock GC - Friday 1 April
Lost 1 - 5
Spring Meeting - Prestwick GC - 10 April 2022
A wonderful spring morning greeted the twenty-six SUGS who had made their way to Ayrshire on a Sunday in April. The two-tee start was an attempt to lunch at 1:00 pm which unfortunately didn’t quite work. Although the play was unhurried, it was of high quality. Eight players broke 80, which off the White Tees is very solid scoring.
Some including Hon.Sec. Crawford and past captain Hammond fell foul of the local rule which designated the Pow Burn as OOB, rather than a lateral hazard and it was the formers good fortune to be playing with R&A rules official Andrew Biggart which saved him being disqualified.
The greens were consistent although some said that they were slower than those in East Lothian. The first group out (the sum of their handicaps being +4) were setting the pace, but it was Ross Finlay in the second group, who finished with two 3’s and posted the winning score of 73 and left with the Baird/Purdie Trophy. Second was Robert Watson, who can clearly putt better than his father, with a 76. Robert edged out Sandy Reid by dint of a better back nine.
The handicap prizes had Andrew Biggart (78-6) 72 in second place, but the clear winner was David McLeary with a wonderful (80-13) 67 to carry home the Thomson Quaich and a significant handicap reduction.
Lunch was the usual Prestwick excellence, and our Captain took the opportunity to remind those present that he had the pleasure of playing with someone who knew every nook and cranny of the course and the past amateur champion of both Belgium and Scotland. Captain Farmer also made a compelling case for the day to be known as SUGS Sunday, rather than Masters Sunday, due to our longer history.
The efforts made by Anand Shad, who had driven from Bath and headed home before the afternoon round in order to catch the end of the Masters, and to Ewan Cameron who had flown in specially for this event, were noted.
After such a good lunch, the afternoon games went off much later than intended and provided there were no more than three balls in play in any match met with the Hon. Sec’s approval. Some of course took this at face value and played a 3 ball sixsome, which looked like great fun.
The last word goes to Stewart McCaffrey who lost his wallet and after emptying his bag, the boot of his car and searching the changing rooms was pleased that Andrew (from PGC) took him out onto the course as the light faded to search the final few fairways. Nothing was discovered, until he looked on the roof of his car ……..
Our heartfelt thanks go to Ken Goodwin and all at Prestwick GC who make this such a special event.
Perthshire Pinehurst - Sunday 22 May - Comrie Golf Club
A similar format to the previous year, 16 golfers comprising 14 x SUGS and 2 x invited guests to make up the numbers. Without question one of the most relaxed fixtures in the SUGS calendar, with Comrie's dog friendly policy adding 8 legs to the numbers taking part, perhaps attracted by the post golf BBQ provided by the Comrie GC caterers. To those not familiar with the Pinehurst Foursomes format, it is an extension of Greensomes, and is 2 against 2. Within each pairing, both players tee off, then they switch their play of golf balls, meaning Player A plays Player B's ball, and Player B plays Player A's ball (and similarly for Players C and D). After the second shots, each pairing select which ball they will continue to play, and that ball is then played by alternate-shot until the hole is won / lost / halved. Whilst the results are included, they are most definitely immaterial. What does matter is the enjoyment of golf amongst old and new friends, with plenty time to relax and catch up, whilst enjoy all that the 9 hole Comrie course has to offer.
1) Nigel Watt & Alastair Anderson halved with Joanne Watt (Guest) & Craig Cameron (Guest)
2) Bobby Watson & Sandy Reid halved with Callum Connacher & James Haggart
3) Stuart Farmer & Robin Duncan lost to Andrew Thomson & Michael Choong by 2&1
4) Charles Hammond & Andrew Biggart halved with Dave Greenshields & Phil Pritchett
SUGS vs Midlothian Ladies - Friday 27 May 2022
Following a cancellation in 2020 and restrictions on post match socialising in 2021 due to COVID, it was a relief to return to normal in 2022 for the annual foursomes encounter over Gullane 2 in sunny but breezy conditions. The course was in excellent condition, but the conditions placed a premium on shotmaking. Club selection was also challenging, and 2 approach shots were witnessed that both ended up 50 yards beyond the target green! MCLGA Captain, Isla McCrone, was out on the course lending support, and slowly word got around that SUGS were performing better than expected. By the time matches 3 & 4 had finished and were walking in, they were able to watch David Anderson hole the winning putt on the 16th in match 2, guaranteeing the overall win. This was further enhanced when it became apparent that match 1 had gone the way of SUGS too. This was only the second whitewash in the long history of this match (the first being a clean sweep win for MCLGA in 2015). Drinks, sandwiches and the trophy presentation followed in the recently refurbished Gullane Links clubhouse - all in all a very enjoyable evening. A team photo was taken to mark the occasion, lest it never happens again! (click here).
1) Andy Pendry & Joe Dilks beat Hilary Laughland & Caroline Steedman by 3&1
2) Andrew Thomson & David Anderson beat Karen Ferguson & Fiona Wait by 3&2
3) Kenny McKay & Nigel Watt beat Karen Marshall & Anne Hanson by 4&3
4) Richard Muckart & Tim Edward beat Grace Cannon & Wendy Nicolson by 5&4
SUGS 4 - 0 Midlothian Ladies
L to R - Joe Dilks, Kenny McKay, David Anderson, Andrew Thomson, Nigel Watt, Andy Pendry, Richard Muckart & Tim Edward
Tantallon Golf Club - North Berwick West Links - Saturday 11 June 2022
The match was played in blustery conditions; blustery may be an understatement as drivers were the order of the day at the 4th. There was a warm welcome from our hosts and excellent hospitality was provided before and after the match. The ‘Tantallon salad’ was particularly welcome after 4 hours in the blustery conditions and occasional heavy showers. A major highlight of the day was the presentation of the magnificent trophy commissioned by Charles Hammond OBE, who is a member of both the club and our Society.(Pictured below).
Overall, the match finished in a 3-3 tie, the pairings being as follows (SUGS names first)
1) Calum Connacher & Andrew Cunningham v Pugh & Shinon
2) Roddy Forgie & Stewart McCaffrey v Holt & McMahon
3) Mike Reid & Charles Hammond v Brown & MacCaskill
4) Joe Dilks & Tim Pakenham v Lang & Coverdale
5) Noel Crilley & Stefan Hindmarsh v Stevenson & Waite
6) Iain Crawford & Phil Pritchett v Adamson & Warren
SUGS v Tantallon GC Trophy - donated by Charles Hammond
The Quadrangular Match – Luffness New GC – 23 & 24 June 2022
This was a fantastic few days.
The camaraderie between members of the four sides was clear to see. This match was envisaged as a way to kick start ‘UGS golf and to remind us what we had missed over the past two years of Covid based restrictions. In Luffness New GC we found the perfect hosts, allocating us sufficient tee times to allow 40 players morning and afternoon on consecutive days and the bonus of wonderful catering at both lunch and dinner. Each side played the other three and the fourth corner (on Friday afternoon) was made up of one member of each team playing foursomes.
The weather was excellent throughout and the speeches made on both evenings were first class in all regards.
We invited the Captain, a Past Captain and the Secretary of LNGC to dine with us on the Thursday evening and everyone certainly enjoyed themselves. This was evident in certain key absences on the first tee the following morning.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few examples which would take a while to describe.
Rye GC - Saturday 30 July 2022
SUGS won 6½ to 3½
St Andrews SUGS - Sunday 28 August 2022
Following a first-class dinner on Saturday evening in R&A Forgan House, attended by 18 players, the match was played on the Eden Course in fine weather - a week or so later than normal, the result SUGS in fine form retained the GUR Trophy, details below.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Bobby Watson & Iain Crawford beat David Jubb & Sandy Reid by 3&2
2) Fraser McCluskey & Andrew Thomson lost to Peter McCallum & Ian Kerr by 4&3
3) Nigel Watt & Mike Reid lost to Daniel Pilley & Peter Burnett by 3&2
4) Phil Pritchett & Doug Reid beat Alastair Russell & John Hall by 3&2
5) Robin Duncan & Stuart Farmer beat Mike Todd & Graham Murray by 5&4
Match Result: SUGS 3 - 2 St Andrews SUGS
Team captains Fraser McCluskey and Alastair Russell, and SUGS Captain Stuart Farmer with the GUR Trophy
Gullane GC - Sunday 4 Setember 2022
SUGS won 4 - 1
QUGS - 22 & 23 September - Royal Portrush & Royal County Down
SUGS won 19-13
QUGS Seniors - 22 & 23 September - Royal Portrush & Royal County Down
SUGS lost 1-5
Luffness New GC - Sunday 9 October 2022 - Luffness
A drawn match 3-3
SUGS Autumn Meeting – Gullane GC – 22nd October 2022
The Autumn Meeting again ran into bad weather, and this prevented the early start on Gullane 2 the Boase Putter entrants had been anticipating. The haar persisted and the courses eventually opened for play around 11:00.
Gullane GC takes the approach of ‘shunting tee time’ that is determining who had the earliest tee times and allowing them first option on the newly opened course. This meant that we were unsure when the first tee times on Gullane No 1 would be available. In the end we used both No 1 and No 2 courses and everyone was able to complete 18 holes.
Play was of a high standard and Callum Connacher beat Daniel Forbes by a single point to win the W. Norman Boase Putter scoring 38 points. Past captain Charles Hammond OBE won the RS Sloan Trophy, beating the Vice-Captain Gordon Simmonds, again by a single point. The CR Duncan Leeds Trophy was won by Craig Armour, relegating Captain Farmer to second place. Craig Armour also carried off the Senior Salver, beating Robin Duncan by a handful of points.
My thanks go to all who attended, with a special mention for Sandy Reid who organised this event.
SUGS v Oxford & Cambridge GS - Friday 28 October 2022 - Prestwick GC
Lost 5 - 7
SUGS v Edinburgh University - Saturday 29 October 2022 - Gullane No 2
A week on from the AGM and already the second fixture on Captain Gordon Simmonds' watch. Gordon was excused active participation in the match, having had a full day 24hrs earlier at Prestwick in the SUGS v OCGS fixture, but his son Thomas, a past GGC Club Champion, was present to bolster the SUGS side. An excellent lunch was taken in the GGC Members' Clubhouse before the fourball matches teed off. In game 4, Thomson could be seen sporting his EUGC team sweater which has last seen active service 29 years ago; fortunately the moths had left it intact. Some good golf was played on both sides, and with the previous weekend's winner of the Boase Putter, Callum Connacher, holing a testing 12' putt for birdie on the 17th to avoid going down the 18th (Connacher and Thomson having been 3 up with 3 to play!), it was left to the final match to determine the destination of the Roy Thompson Trophy. A half it was, a fair result to a most enjoyable fixture.
Results (SUGS names first)
1) Daniel Forbes & Thomas Simmonds lost to Patrick Smiley & Freddie Fearn by 3&2
2) Barry Templeton & Robert McNutt beat Gianni Pera & Gregory Dayao by 3&2
3) Stephen Govenlock & Andy Pendry lost to Zac Hogg & Finlay Patterson by 1 hole
4) Andrew Thomson & Callum Connacher beat Hugh Myers & Calum Ross by 2&1
5) Alan Smith & Phil Pritchett halved with Max Holford & Dexter Conrad
Match Result: SUGS 2½ - 2½ EUGC
Dundee University – 20 November 2022 - Panmure GC