Last Wednesday Richard Bevan, OSGS Team Captain, organised eight Old Salopians to play in this annual golf meeting.
The history and background to this fixture is as follows:
“Public Schools golf tournaments really got started with the Halford Hewitt in 1924.
A tournament to be held in the Midlands, was conceived in the late 1930’s and a driving force behind it was one M. K. Foster, after who the main trophy is aptly named. Sadly, Hitler got in the way and M. K. Foster passed away before having a chance to rekindle his idea in peacetime.
Thankfully, the baton was picked up by J. Cooke of Uppingham, H. M. Pepper of Repton, T. Heaton of Clifton and S. Scribbins of Malvern ably assisted by H. Lindop, the first Hon. Sec.
At a meeting held in the Walsall Club, Bridge Street, Walsall on May1st 1947, a committee was formed for the purpose of running the first tournament on July 17th 1947 at Little Aston Golf Club.
Over 110 players from 13 schools now compete for five separate trophies. The foursomes format consists of 18 holes in the morning and 15 in the afternoon with great camaraderie and conviviality at lunch, afternoon tea and a well patronised Pimms bar at the halfway house.”
The Four Pairs of Old Salopians selected this year were:
Richard Bevan & Neil Crawford
Anthony Smith (OSGS President) & Charles Hill (Hon Sec)
Oliver Howl & Andrew Hulme
Richard Holt and Jonathan Hope
The Format of this event in the morning is Foursomes Stableford, off Half Combined Handicaps, with the best three scores from each School to count towards their overall score.
I replicate the Public Schools Midlands Meeting 2019 Report below:
In the 87th year of the tournament 100 golfers took part and, in their second year, Stowe raised a full team of 6 and competed with all.
An overcast morning did not dampen the spirits of the competitors who played in good pace, no doubt eager to enjoy the excellent lunch provided in the clubhouse.
The course was not running in the style of summer heathland as in 2018, due to a torrential downpour 24 hours prior that had closed the course. Notwithstanding the previous days weather, the greens were in superb condition and highly praised. Clearly the damper conditions suited many, as scoring for the top three teams was 6% higher that 2018.
Keith Andrews, President of Little Aston, presented the prizes.
Much to the delight of the tournament’s long standing and diligent card checker, David Warmington, Shrewsbury were the easy winners by 4 clear points. This was due to their anti-youth policy which paid dividends as septuagenarian, 5 handicapper, Anthony Smith played a sublime round in the morning and carded 40 points with his partner and 10 handicapper Charles Hill.
In contrast, Cheltenham’s youth policy was also a success as Andrew Morris (1) and Harrison Ottley-Wood (+1) won the gross prize with a 76. We look forward to seeing them for many years to come.
Many thanks to all the participants; we hope to see you again next year.
For the morning round:
The M K Foster Challenge Cup for the school with the best three scores
1st Shrewsbury – 103 points
A Smith & C Hill – 40
R Bevan & N Crawford – 33
R Holt & J Hope – 30
2nd King Edwards School – 99 points
3rd Cheltenham – 98 points
The Rusti Guzzi for the partners returning the best Stableford score
1st A Smith & C Hill (Shrewsbury) – 40 points
2nd C McEvoy & D McEvoy (Cheltenham) – 37 points
The Pud Bowls for the partners returning the best net strokeplay score
1st A Morris & H Ottley-Wood (Cheltenham)- 76
2nd A Smith & C Hill (Shrewsbury) – 76
After our successes in the morning Richard Bevan and Neil Crawford were unable to successfully defend their win in the Malvern Salvers in the afternoon foursomes.
All eight members of the OSGS Team received a Glass as a Prize to keep along with the Team Trophy which the OSGS now hold for a year.
Shrewsbury last won the M K Foster Challenge Cup in 1997 – so this is really good news.
I would like to make special mention and give high praise to Old Salopian, David Warmington, who as both a Little Aston GC Member and OSGS Member has single handedly Captained and organised the OSGS Entry for this event for the last 20+ years.
Below is a photograph of part of the Winning OSGS Team with the M K Foster Challenge Cup
L to R: Neil Crawford, Richard Bevan, David Warmington, Richard Holt, Charles Hill & Andrew Hulme