The ISGA National Final was played over the 27th -29th April at Prince’s and Royal St George’s Golf Clubs, in Sandwich, Kent. Twenty regional winning schools took part, including many of the best young golfers in the country. Against a good number of golf academy schools, we wanted to aim high and achieve a top ten finish - even if it was our first National Final.
We travelled to Prince’s on the Saturday morning via a practice round at Rye Golf Club, where we were shown great hospitality by brothers Tim and Richard Austen. Richard had flown over specially to watch his son play in the final. Then onward to our digs at Prince’s and a couple of games of competitive snooker before bedtime and dreams of course records and holes in one!
Storm Hannah was still very evident at tee-off time on the Sunday, so it was a high-scoring day for many on the Shore and Himalayas course at Prince’s. Mr and Mrs Williams wrapped up well to follow Ted's progress and Mr Austen, with his four-week-old 'bionic' hip, followed Sam. Rory scored 5 over par and Ted a couple further back, with Sam struggling a little - even after scoring an eagle into the wind! The best score by anyone on the day was 1 under par, which gives a sense of just how difficult it was.
In the evening we had a prizegiving dinner at Prince’s Club House, where the boys received their Regional Winners trophy.
After more competitive snooker, we awoke to a lovely summer’s day for the final round at Royal St George’s - home to Darren Clarke's 2011 Open Championship win.
Serious game faces were in evidence on the driving range on the Monday morning, and any faint whispers of 'going low' were quickly hushed by those who knew the course's energy-sapping reputation. Rory shot level par, Sam was 3 over and Ted was disappointed not to have his best game on such an iconic golf course. Loretto edged out last year’s winners Rossall, aided by the best round of the day of 3 under par. We were delighted to finish 6th out of the 20 participating schools: top of the non-golf academy schools and ahead of a good few golf academy schools to boot!
Rory received a gold medal for his top ten individual score, Sam got a silver and Ted a bronze. I was tremendously proud of the team’s performance and thoroughly enjoyed their company over the three days. They were determined individually and there was great team camaraderie throughout. They would love to do it again next year and at St Andrews, the home of golf!
Friday 3rd May Shropshire Schools Championship at Arscott Golf Club... Ted Williams wins the U19 prize with a net 68 score; Sam Austen is second, with a net 71; and Will Austen is third, with a net 75 score. We wait to hear about the team prize... Success breeds success!
Teacher in Charge of Golf