.....William Shakespeare on the 22nd Old Salopian Tour 2018 or Sonnet 97.
As long ago as December 2017, the tour was oversubscribed. Thanks to the sponsorship of Angus Stormonth Darling, father of Douglas (Churchill’s), an overspill meeting of five young contemporaries, commanded by Major General James Shaw (off 4 at Denham), was arranged at Archerfield over two courses: the Dirleton and the Fidra: an inviting mixture of pine forest and sweeping Scottish links. These five young heroes kept their word; let them be recorded for posterity. In alphabetical order: Luke Gerrard (SH 2003-08), William Matthews (Rt 2003-08), George Thomas (Ch 2003-08), Mark Tomley (SH 2003-08) and Ed Towers (PH 2004-09). Other newcomers this year included Michael Brabner (R 1963-63), Richard Holt (SH 1979-84) (all the way from the Philippines), David Moorhouse (I 1965-69), Andrew and Ed Saunders (M 1990-95 and 1987-92 respectively) and Peter Thwaites (R 1960-64).
We played first at Luffness New (established 1894), an Open Championship Qualifying Course, where the OSGS tour began in 1996, inspired by Vice President Sandy Bell. Our round this year was sponsored by William Backhouse (father of Tim, Churchill’s) and his fellow member Colin Macinnes who was up at Clare College, Cambridge, with tour regular Mark Summers, who could not be with us, off games temporarily.
The weather was beautiful with clear sunshine and a cooling Easterly.
The winning team was William Backhouse, Andrew and Ed Saunders and James Shaw: 93 points.
There followed another sumptuous supper party at Winterfield, North Berwick, the home of Kate Hume who has hosted an invasion of Old Salopians for countless years with beaming pleasure and delicious food and wine. As the retiring Hon Sec remarked, Wordsworth may have written that heaven lies about us in our infancy, but for the Hon Sec heaven lies about OSGS golfers (young and ageing) at Winterfield, Luffness, Muirfield, Gullane and Kaimend.
The next day at Muirfield, the morning four balls were won by a team of Tim Backhouse, John Bolton (DB 1949-54), Robert Bennett (SH 1982-87) and Simon Cullingworth.
Runners-up: Jonathan Mitchell (Rt 1977-82), Dr Stefan Hindmarsh (Ch 2006-11), Julian Mitchell (S 1979-84) and local member Alick Hay (79 points).
Also on 79 points: Christopher Denton (M 1960-65), Tom Denton (M 1994-99), Frank Higham (O 1968-72) and local member Hugo Balfour-Melville.
Afternoon foursomes for The Lewis-Bell Quaich resulted as follows: winners: Simon Mellard (Ch 1973-78) & Jonathan Mitchell (32 points), runners-up: Tim Backhouse and Julian Mitchell (31 points: with 18 points on back 9 holes), tied 3rd Place on 31 points: Andrew and Ed Saunders (with 16 points on back 9 holes), Charles Hill (SH 1980-84) (Hon Sec Designate) and Stefan Hindmarsh (with 16 points on back 9 holes)
The party then adjourned for drinks at Kaimend where yet again Andrew Lister’s hospitality matched the glory of the earlier two rounds at Muirfield.
On the third morning at Gullane No 2 the results were as follows:
Mixed foursomes winners: Charles Hill and Jane Hill beat Andrew Lister and Maura Backhouse 2 x 1; Individual: Stableford; Ladies winner: Deborah Backhouse (36 points); Ladies runner-up: Mary Bolton (29 points); Mens winner: Jonathan Mitchell (39 points) (back 9: 19 points: back 6: 15 points); Mens runner-up: Jonathon Mitchell (39 points) (back 9: 19 points: back 6: 12 points); Newcomers’ winner: Andrew Saunders (38 points), runner-up: George Thomas (Ch 2003-08) (33 points)
Save the Date: the 23rd Grand Scottish Tour will take place from Wednesday 15 May to Friday 17 May 2019.
Ladies are invited to play at Gullane No 2 on Thursday 17 May.
OSGS members wishing to play next year should email Charles Hill to register interest at an early stage.