2023 Halford Hewitt

We have just returned from the Kent coast where our team have enjoyed our best Hewitt for decades. Please read the report prepared by our team Captain, Dan Burstow.

We arrived for the 2023 Halford Hewitt with, on paper, our strongest ever squad of players and a reasonable draw. We welcomed 2 new recruits in the form of Will Collard (3) and Charlie Parsons (+2) who had also joined us the previous weekend at Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George’s for a very successful warm up weekend and some team bonding!

Our draw gave us an unusual first round tee time early on the Friday morning at Royal St Georges with the majority of the 64 schools playing on the Thursday. We enjoyed a practice at RSG on the Wednesday, followed by a splendid dinner in the Jack Aisher Room at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club attended by 18 players and supporters. On the Thursday the team squad played at Prince’s Golf Club in the ‘Peter Kenyon Bowl’ – Foursomes golf off handicap for Stableford points. Messrs Waud and Huxford came in with 34 points after a birdie barrage on the back 9 to take the spoils.

Thursday night we enjoyed a more relaxed dinner in Deal at The Court Yard with 22 in attendance as the support numbers swelled. At the dinner Dan Burstow, the Hewitt Captain, announced the pairings for the First round and society blazers sponsored by the Headmaster were awarded to Will Collard and Charlie Parsons for making their debuts in the competition. Our line up to take on King Edward’s Birmingham at RSG at 08.20 was;-

  • Russell Ogden & Will Collard
  • George Atkins & Joe White
  • Dan Burstow & Charlie Parsons
  • Alex Taylor & Paul Turrell
  • Christian Wimshurst & Tom Fairfax

We had been closely watching the weather as a named storm was due to make conditions extremely tough with rain and wind gusts up to 50mph! It was indeed extremely tough conditions (4-5 club wind) but that didn’t deter our golfers or the hardy and very welcome support we had at every turn despite the conditions.

A tight top match was won 1up, our second game recorded a 3&2 win and with our third match a 2&1 win the match was secured. Our fourth string won 3&2 and our anchor pair 5&4 to secure a 5-0 whitewash which incidentally was the only 5-0 score line in the whole 2023 competition, and also the first time ever Hurstpierpoint has enjoyed a whitewash since we started playing in the 1930’s!  It also secured both Will Collard and Charlie Parsons a win on debut to join an illustrious and small group to do the same!

With a win secured we learnt we were to play Downside that afternoon in the 2nd round who had dispatched Eastbourne 3.5/1.5 in the morning. We kept our pairings and batting order the same, and headed back out into the wind and rain.

It soon became apparent that our top pair had drawn two exceptional golfers when they holed their second shot on the long par four first for Eagle and then nearly holed out for an Ace on the 220 yard par 3 third! By the time our boys were beaten early into the back 9 the opposition were still under par in brutal conditions!

Our second pair of White and Atkins were enjoying a very close game that they would ultimately lose on the 18th 1 down, leaving us needing to win all of our back 3 matches. Burstow and Parsons found themselves 2 down at the turn but after a hot drink at the hut they won 4 holes on the spin and ended up 4 & 3 victors and Charlie’s second win in a day on debut! With our fourth tried and tested pairing of Turrell and Taylor wrapping up a convincing 5&4 victory the match was going to be decided by the final pairing. Having gone 1 down on the tough 14th the 15th and 16th were halved with strong pars leaving us one down with two to play! The 17th was into the wind and both teams were short in two with Tom Fairfax facing a tricky chip over a bunker to an elevated green. Anything on the green would have been a good shot but Tom played an unbelievable shot to 6 feet. With the opposition missing their 20 foot putt for par, Christian held his nerve and slotted the par putt to take the match down the last All Square with a hoard of supporters and golfers following. Again playing long both teams missed the green in two with Hurstpierpoint in the front left bunker leaving a nasty 40 yard bunker shot out of wet sand. Downside also had a tough chip and ran through the green into Lyle’s swale on the left. Christian Wimshurst then stepped up and hit a fantastic bunker shot to 10 feet under enormous pressure. A tricky putt from Downside up the ridge was not hit hard enough and still left them 15 feet from the hole and when they failed to hole it left us two putts to secure a fantastic win in the second round for the first time since 1948!

We enjoyed some Champagne in the clubhouse before a good curry in Deal and a few more drinks knowing we had a reasonably leisurely 10.40 tee time on Saturday morning at Royal Cinque Ports (Deal) where all the final rounds are played and our opponents would be Kings Canterbury.

We kept our tried and tested pairings the same but tweaked our batting order as follows;


  • Christian Wimshurst & Tom Fairfax
  • Dan Burstow & Charlie Parsons
  • Alex Taylor & Paul Turrell
  • Russell Ogden & Will Collard
  • George Atkins & Joe White


The weather was still challenging with strong wind and some rain as we headed out into the third round.

It some became apparent that the match would be close as all the matches ebbed and flowed, however, our stars from match 2 in the bottom match now out top pair played brilliantly again and secured a thumping 7&6 win.

Burstow and Parsons found themselves 2 down at the turn again and battled back to be 1 up after 12 before the opposition starting holing putts from everywhere and sadly a 1 down loss on the 18th.

Taylor and Turrell were all square at the turn in a close match and despite playing the back 9 in level par (including a holed second shot by Alex on the 13th) they all succumbed 1 down on the 18th.

Ogden and Collard had drawn their top pair and despite falling behind to a birdie on the first then reeled off 3 holes in a row to go 2 up and were 1 up after 12 before the oppositions quality showed and they won 2&1 sadly leaving a close match lost. We were ahead in the back match as well who shook on a half on the 17th with the match lost. An incredibly close match that we could easily have won, which despite being in unchartered territory left a slightly bitter aftertaste.

We retreated to the warmth of the clubhouse and the final act was to award the ‘Hewitt Award’ donated in 2011 by our President Rob McCowen and presented to the pairing with the most outstanding performance. This year the award went to Tom Fairfax and Christian Wimshurst who won all 3 of their matches, 2 very comfortably – 5&4 and 7&6 and the crucial Downside match where they fought back in stunning fashion to secure a famous win. Only 7 previous Hurst players have won a point in the third round and none 3 points in one Hewitt so a fantastic achievement by these two.

Special mention to Charlie Parsons with 2 points and Will Collard also winning a point on debut.

A final mention to the fantastic support the team enjoyed all week despite the weather conditions, as well as all the good wishes and support from around the globe from fellow OJ’s.

A big thank you to Jeremy Waud and other members of the committee for all the organisation and hard work that is put in every year.

With more young Hurst golf talent on the horizon the future looks very bright for future Hewitts and some exciting years ahead.

Dinner at RCPGC

Will Collard receiving his blazer

Charlie Parsons receiving his blazer

The Maiden at RSG

Tom Fairfax & Christian Wimshurst with their Hewitt goblets


All in all a great few days. If we can manage to recruit a few more of our low handicap players to join us, there is no reason why we cannot go further in the competition in future years. Well played everyone.

Graham Negus Hon Sec 5th April 2023