Berks Bucks & Oxon Golf
Message from the County Secretary/Treasurer – Peter York
The 2014 golf season is now underway and we have our first winners, with Woburn taking the Junior Champion Club title at Bird Hills during the Easter Holidays. They now go on to represent the County Union at Woodhall Spa in August and we wish them the best of luck and hope they can return as England Junior Champion Club.
Our Futures Tour, kindly sponsored by Nike, continues with 11 events for those in the age categories of Under 12 and Under 14. There is also an Order of Merit running within each Age Group. We have had 2 events so far at Ellesborough and Temple. Results can be found on later pages. Again, our thanks to Nike for providing kit for the Squad Members.
This year will see us start the complete reassessment of all our Courses using the USGA Course Rating System. The Ladies’ Associations have been using this system for the past 10 years as have the other 3 Home Unions. The amount of work this will create for our team of volunteers can’t be overestimated. As a consequence we are seeking more volunteers who would be keen to lend a hand when we visit Clubs in the vicinity. You do not need to be a Scratch Golfer but you may need to be able to think like one! Please get in touch with me for an informal chat about what it might entail.
Best wishes for good golfing in 2014
Since the start of the playing season the first team has completed 3 matches, winning against Calcot Park and Frilford Heath by good margins and losing narrowly to Surrey at Calcot Park. The morning foursomes was disappointing, losing 3-1 before halving the singles 4-4, giving a losing margin of 7-5. Having fielded a fairly inexperienced side the result was encouraging with some of our new additions winning their singles match. The stand out result was George Gardner taking his point against David Ryles (Surrey) by a margin of 4/3.
The Junior Elite Squad played our season-opener against Wellington College on March 8th which was one of the most pleasant days of the year so far. The course was in good condition considering the heavy rain and was, as always, a good test for the boys. The match was played in a slightly different format to last year with each player returning a medal score and the best 8 out of 10 scores from each team going to make up the overall aggregate for their team. This format is very similar to that of the England Golf Boys Regional Qualifier (6-Man team).
The matches were played in a friendly and competitive spirit, which is a credit to both teams. The result turned out to be very close again with BB&O for the third time in succession running out narrow victors with the BB&O aggregate totalling 592 and the Wellington College aggregate score just one more at 593. Wellington will no doubt be looking to reverse their fortunes when the teams meet again at East Berks in October. Thanks to all the parents and supporters from BB&O and also to Wellington College for their excellent hospitality.
Team at Wellington College: Patrick Bart (Burnham Beeches), Alex Buckner (Bearwood Lakes), Michael East (Castle Royle), Nick Elmey (Drayton Park), (George Gardner (Castle Royle), John Gough (Stoke Park), Chris Little (Frilford Heath), Alex Nicholls (Goring & Streatley), Steven Stanhope (Frilford Heath), Robin Sullivan (Castle Royle), Elliot Wills (Beaconsfield).
The Elite team really turned on the style on a wet and blustery day against Hampshire at Sandford Springs. on 6th April.
The ‘Woods’ and ‘Lakes’ 9’s were in good condition though all the players found the pace of the greens difficult. The match consisted of 5 morning foursomes matches played over the ‘Woods’ 9 holes, followed after lunch by 10 singles matches played over the ‘Woods’ 9 and the ‘Lakes’ 9.
BB&O came out ahead in all 5 of the morning foursomes although 4 of the matches went to the last hole. The afternoon singles matches were quite even over the first 9 holes of play with each County up in three matches with the rest all square. BB&O were well behind in the three rubbers with Michael East, Alex Nicholls and George Gardner all struggling against dogged opponents. All three staged spirited fight backs over the back 9 with each taking their opponent to the 18th hole. Michael won the last two holes to win his match whilst Alex won the 18th to halve his match. George having pegged his opponent back to all square by the 16th lost the 17th and went on to lose his match by a single hole. It was great to watch the three of them demonstrate such a strong competitive spirit when not playing at their best.
Elliot Wills, Patrick Bart and Louie Moore played extremely well in their respective rubbers dispatching their opponents with plenty to spare. Patrick at 6ft 3in played Hampshire’s smallest player, George Saunders, at 5ft nothing. It was something of a ‘David and Goliath’ matchup. George, being out driven by 80 yards on most tee shots, established a ‘2up’ lead at one stage through accurate driving and a tidy short game. Patrick held his nerve, however, and made his length off the tee pay turning the match round in his favour.
The overall margin of victory was 13-2 in favour of BB&O though this was probably a bit harsh on the Home side. Of the eight matches on the day that were won by a single hole, BB&O won seven of them against Hampshire’s one. It is testimony to the BB&O boys that they managed to come out on the right side in a number of the close matches.
The matches were played in a competitive manner despite this fixture being in essence a friendly. It was apparent that both Counties had a good respect for each other as both BB&O and Hampshire have a history of producing good quality juniors and junior teams. It was therefore pleasing to come out on the winning side on this occasion.
The first League match of the year was played at Richings Park on 11th April against Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. We have won this League for the past 2 years with Hertfordshire having been our biggest rivals. The morning foursomes were shared, each County scoring 2-2.
The afternoon singles were mostly very close against Hertfordshire but unfortunately we were not able to close out the match and ended a point short, losing 5½-6½. Against Bedfordshire we faired better losing just one game and taking the match 8½-3½.
Team at Richings Park: Nick Elmey (Drayton Park), Ross Hampshire (The Oxfordshire), Ollie Huggins (Frilford Heath), Sebastian Jones (Sonning), Guilhem Loisel-McFadden (Castle Royle), Aaron Siddell (Sonning), Kristian Tannum-Donaldson (Buckinghamshire).
Our first event took place at Ellesborough on 10th April. In stark contrast to last year it was a lovely Spring day and the overall scoring was very good. It was a close contest and ended with just one shot each separating the three front runners in the U14s category. Gregor McKenzie (Frilford Heath) was the winner with Harrison Arnold (East Berkshire) in second place and Bradley Tuckett (East Berkshire) in third.
In the Under 12s category Thomas Gregory (Stoke Park) had an emphatic win, beating Oscar Fuentes (Bearwood Lakes) into second place with Carl Banner (Stoke Park) in third.
We then travelled to Temple for our second event on 15th April. This was another lovely Spring day again with some very good scoring. In the Under 14s Kristian Tannum-Donaldson (Stoke Park) scored 77 with William Kent (The Oxfordshire) in second and Harrison Arnold (Mill Ride) in 3rd spot.
In the Under 12s Kristian’s brother, Sebastian Tannum-Donaldson (Stoke Park) was the winner with Joshua Roche and Thomas Gregory in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, both also members at Stoke Park.
Junior Champion Club
The BB & O Junior Champion Club was played at Bird Hills Golf Club on Thursday 17th April. The format is the best two medal net scores from three counting. Players are restricted to 20 handicap for Boys and 28 handicap for Girls. The leading Club goes on to represent BB&O in the English Junior Champion Club Tournament being held this year at Woodhall Spa in August.
In a really close competition, the team from Mill Ride were leading right from the outset after posting a very good 8 under par total. Henley looked likely to challenge as their first score was 6 under but unfortunately neither of the other two could beat par. Calcot Park matched Mill Ride's score but were behind on countback. It was left to the last group out on the course to decide the outcome and a par 3 at the last for Joe Kennedy gave Woburn the title by the narrowest of margins. The Club now go on to represent BB&O in the England Junior Champion Club at Woodhall Spa in August and we wish them the best of luck.
All the players were a credit to their respective Clubs and the event was played in great spirit and everyone wished Woburn the best of luck in their attempt to become English Junior Champion Club in August.
The 52nd Annual Dinner of the County Union was held at the Blue Mountain Golf Centre on Monday 3rd March. Some 235 people had an excellent evening listening to our three Guest Speakers. Ray Saunders, President of England Golf and Sandy Dawson, Captain of the R&A were the Principle Guests and Roger Dakin was our final - and extremely amusing - speaker.
Steven Stanhope (Frilford Heath) won the Boddington Trophy in 2013. This award, given by the Honourable Company of Oxfordshire Golfers, is for the most improved Junior in BB&O.
Ashley Walton (Frilford Heath) was the Captain’s choice to receive the Player of the Year award and Tom Wilde (Castle Royle) won the Order of Merit Trophy.
A turnout of over 50 attended the Annual Council Meeting on 27th March at Maidenhead GC. Duncan Forbes highlighted the achievements of the year and the County Secretary/Treasurer presented the Annual Accounts which were approved. Nomination of Officers for 2014 was agreed as follows:
i) President D M Forbes(Sonning)
ii) President-Elect R W Crisp (Ellesborough)
iii) Captain: G B Wilson (Calcot Park)
iv) Vice Captain T Crockford (Woburn)
v) Junior Manager: J Hubrecht (Gerrards Cross)
vi) Seniors Manager: M R Partridge (Frilford Heath)
vii) Junior Golf Chairman I A MacCaskill (Denham)
In accordance with the Notice sent to all affiliated clubs in November 2013 Alistair Booth (Frilford Heath), David West (Calcot Park) Bob Mavis (Newbury & Crookham) and Norman Gardner (Gerrards Cross) were unanimously elected to the Executive Committee.
I am sad to report the passing of R M F Fenning earlier this month at the age of 93. Bob was a long standing member of Denham, Secretary of BB&O from 1983 to 1987 and President from 1988 to 1990. He moved down to Somerset a few years ago but still enjoyed his travels back to Buckinghamshire to meet with his old golfing colleagues and regale them with his thoughts on the modern game after a few glasses of wine. We will miss him.