Inter Collegiate Golf Day at the Gog Magog Old Course
Thursday 19th April 2018
This was the third time this Golf Day has been held – and the number of teams has steadily increased over the years, largely thanks to the organisational efforts of John Sefton from Christs. This year 12 Colleges took part. The other Colleges playing were Clare, Christs, Corpus Christi, Emmanuel, Jesus, Kings, Magdalene, Peterhouse, Sidney Sussex, St Johns and Trinity. As before – our team was selected on the basis of form shown in the previous Fitz Open and our team therefore included Mike Sellers, Pete Bennett, Richard Newport, Ian Hall and Alan Wood (the top 5 players in the 2017 Fitz Open) and Mike Hamment (as Captain). It’s worth noting that the 5 players were all rookies to this event – and over the three years we’ve now had 13 different players joining up with the Captain (who’s an automatic pick!). So that’s good as it’s not the same faces appearing each year.
After the very cold and wet Spring weather it was a surprisingly hot day and the temperatures may have actually reached 30 degrees (Centigrade!). The fairways and the general course were in very good condition – but the greens staff had clearly been having a very difficult time over the last few months – and the greens were therefore still heavily sanded, which made for some very slow putts and at times, inconsistency on the greens. Largely because of this, the Stableford scores were generally (with one exception, see below) much lower than in the previous year.
The format of the scoring on the day is that the top 5 Stableford scores for each College are added together – discarding the 6th player’s score – to give a total. Our score was 155 (average 31 points) this year – and I’m afraid that this was only good enough for equal 6th place. The winners this year were St Johns – but not that far ahead of us – on 165 points. Clare were second (on 161 points) and Jesus and Trinity were equal third (on 159 points). I think that most of our team agreed – as is seemingly often the case with golf – that it was a case of what might have been.
Nevertheless I believe that all of our team enjoyed the experience of the Golf Day – and also the Dinner at Clare College in the evening. Apparently Clare is the second oldest College in Cambridge and we were privileged to have drinks before the meal in the Scholars Garden by the Cam – and the meal itself in the main Dining Room. In my opinion, the Dinner is an important part of the Day – and it was great that all of our team attended the dinner – and we were, as usual, the last men standing in the Clare bar afterwards.
The Inter Collegiate Golf Day will again be held next April – with hopefully one or two more colleges participating (where are Catz for example?!). St Johns – as winners this year – will be hosting the Dinner.
One final point worthy of mention is that one player from Corpus Christi (Raof Daud) – playing off 7 (so not a bandit!) – was the top individual scorer with 44 points. A brilliant performance – with a gross stroke score of 69.