The cloud and cold of the 'Beast from the East' were still hanging around at Hoylake on Friday 13 April when the OSGS visited the famous links of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
This, however, did not dampen the Old Salopian spirit as nineteen Golfers turned up to play this test of golf. This included five members to whom we are particularly grateful - Nicko Williams (SH 1954-58), Sean Duncan (SH 1956-61), Georg Styr, Michael Brabner (R 1963-67) and Lloyd Whiteley (I 1972-77) - without whose support this day would not be possible.
Following tea/coffee and a bacon or sausage roll in the newly refurbished spike bar, we set out in three balls playing a stableford competition.
The course was in pretty good condition, considering all the weather we have had, apart from the bunkers which were very wet. Despite a period of about 40 minutes of light rain at Midday - there was no real wind to speak of - making the course quite tame.
Richard Hanson (Rt 1986-91) took full advantage of this and had a blistering round scoring 42 points off his handicap of eleven. He won the Nearest the Pin in three shots on the third hole appropriately called 'Long Haul'.
On the par 3 thirteenth hole, called Rushes, Richard Hanson was leading the way with the Nearest the Pin when David Schofield, Father of four Salopians - the last of whom is about to start his final term in Oldham’s Hall – thought he was going to have a hole-in-one, but just came up short of the hole and pipped Richard Hanson to win this nearest the pin competition.
On the 430 yard par 4 fifteenth hole, called Lake, Richard Hanson prevailed in the Longest Drive competition with a magnificent drive outstripping all others in the centre of the fairway.
One of Richard’s playing partners, Julian Mitchell (S 1979-84), said he played Par Golf and it was sheer joy to watch him beat up the course! A handicap cut is surely on its way with this performance. Richard won first prize and took home a Royal Liverpool Crested Driver Head Cover to treasure the memories of this round.
Michael Moore (R 1956-61), currently off games, drove around the course on a buggy offering morale boosting support and encouragement and we hope to see Michael back playing soon.
Jonty Godfrey (S 1960-64) brought along for tea his elder bro, Robert (S 1949-53) who won a Cambridge Golf Blue at Burnham & Berrow in 1959.
Other prizes were awarded to Ryan Lewis (G 1991-96), James Lowes (R 2000-05), Jonathan Perkins (Rb 1990-95), and Martin Hood who was a guest for the day.
Following the golf, the whole party sat down to Gammon, Chips and Peas in the Club Dining Room on the first floor overlooking the links (see a photo from each end of the table).
Prize Giving followed with a vote of thanks to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club from the President of the OSGS, Anthony Smith (I 1954-59).
Next year’s fixture has been booked for Friday 12 April 2019. We hope that some of you reading this report might feel the need to put this date into your diaries now for next year. Personally, speaking I can’t wait to go back!
Charles Hill (SH 1980-84) (Hon Secretary Designate)