Halford Hewitt 2017

As the dust settles on another successful Halford Hewitt, we can reflect on some of the highlights. Undoubtedly the important achievement this year was the introduction of two new young players who are both still at University – Tom Fairfax and Freddie Newmarch, they both played really well showing great power and enthusiasm and were both rewarded with wins in their first campaign. Also still at University and competing in the Hewitt for the second time was George Atkins who won both rounds in the Plate whilst partnering Dan Burstow. Christian Wimshurst at 27 years of age is a relative old boy in our team now! – He struck the ball with great power and played well though sadly didn’t record a win – he can reasonably blame his captain and organiser Jeremy Waud who had a mare in our first round! Our Society Captain, Mark Baldock and Mike Harrison played solidly but also found the competition a bit too tough in match 1.

Matches 2,3 and 5 of our pairing all played well in the main event against a predictably powerful Edinburgh side but sadly they were too strong for us. We moved on into the Plate competition and faced Watsons who were in all probability still sulking from their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Epson in round one of the main event. They were even less happy when we dispatched them 2/1 . Our youth team powered on into round two on Saturday morning to face Lancing, who like us were fielding a largely youthful and very talented side including Laird, their +4 handicap star!

The Lancing match was a highlight in terms of drama, skill, power and entertainment for the spectators who enjoyed watching this great but friendly encounter. We were up in all three matches early on and eventually Dan and George closed out their game having created a dormy six lead against their pairing that included their 1 handicap captain. – a great result.  Turrell and Fairfax playing against the ‘Wonder Kid’ and eventually lost on the 19th having had a 12 foot put to win on the 18th – an awesome encounter that they deserved to win. Christian and Freddie played some superb golf coming back from 4 down to be just 1 down on the 18th tee and also had an outside putting chance of forcing the match down the 19th – sadly it didn’t drop.

The President, Rob McCowen presented ‘The Hewitt Award’ for the best performance in the team after the main event. This went to the rookie Hewitt player Freddie Newmarch who, partnered with the experienced Hewitt campaigner Nick Budge, and were 2up on their opponents Edinburgh when the game finished.  Freddie played extremely well in his first Hewitt and together with Nick’s five decades of Hewitt play, formed a formidable pairing. Nick’s first Hewitt was in 1978 and this is his first Halford Award.

Previous winners of the Hurst Halford Hewitt awards are;

  • Waud  and  D.Burstow.
  • Turrell  and  A.Taylor.
  • Waud and D. Burstow.
  • Kelly and E.Welch.
  • Turrell and M.Baldock.
  • Budge and F.Newmarch.

The society now has a theoretical potential squad of 19 single figure players and we should rightly expect to many of the ‘old guard’ relegated to caddying duties as our young and talented team take us on to higher achievements than we have managed in the past – all very exciting.

Talking of the caddies and supporters, it was great to share fun, golf and wine in spades with the non team players – John Fraser, Dudley Stratford, Jim Fawcett, keith Jenkin, Derick Fulcher, Graham Negus, Rick Holgate and Rob McCowen. ‘Gentleman Jim’ also treated us to a plentiful array of team stash and OHJGS Cross pens which were presented to the team as the order was read out at our Halford Hewitt private dinner on Thursday evening at 81 Beach Street.