Grafton Morrish Qualifier 2024 – Worplesdon

Sunday 19th May, beautiful day again, course in good condition and OTGS looking for a performance like last year!  Welcome back Hewi after a long period away through injury.  There were 10 teams in the qualifying group at Worplesdon and only the top 5 went through to the finals at Hunstanton & Brancaster.

Team consisted of:

Richard Willacy & Ed Bradnock
Simon H-Avison & Greg Whalley
Pete Whalley & Tim Blood

After an interesting shot at the 18th following Ed’s flier from the semi rough approaching the 18th green 1 point was still made for an overall 28 points.  Simon & Greg scored 25 points and probably the clincher was Pete and Tim with 32 points.  The back 9, 18 points, from Pete & Tim secured our position at 4th place to qualify for the finals for the second year running.

Well done boys.

Reigate Heath Meeting – 17 May 2024

Another wonderful day had by all (14 Attendees) as the sun shone, the wind was non existent and the terrace beckoned us at the end of the day to talk about the golf and admire the view of the North Downs.

The day started at noon with the AGM for the OTGS which updated those attending what had happened within the society over the past year and golf at the school.  The minutes can be read on the OTGS website.  The course was in superb condition and once again Matt, head greenskeeper, has raised the standard of the course.  After lunch we played for the Fairwater Cup, Vets Cup (over 9 holes), Nearest to the pin, Longest Drive, best Team score and a prize for the best Guest.  There were 10 OT’s and 4 Guests.  Banter on the terrace was typical after golf which I believe reflected how much people enjoyed the day.

Fairwater Cup  –  Richard Parsons 35 Points
Vets Cup  –   Andrew Horne 15 Points
Nearest to the Pin –  Mark Banham
Longest Drive  –  Greg Whalley
Best Guest  –  Mark Welsh 34 Points
Best Team  –  Mark Banham/Rob Mazur/Richard Parsons

Thone Cup & School Match April 2024

Once again the Thone Cup meeting at Taunton & Pickeridge GC was a success on Sunday 28th April.  A huge thank you to Clive Large who has taken over match managing this from Hugh Todd.

Terry Davidge won the Thone Cup with 38 points, Finley Pyke (son of Matthew Pyke) won the GB Johnson salver for the best pupil (who went around Taunton and Pickeridge in one over par off the middle tees playing off 6) with 41 points (A future Halford Hewitt team member!)

The OTs won the team competition versus the school.


Halford Hewitt 2024

Centenary year of the Halford Hewitt and many celebrations had been organised.  In January we had the Centenary Dinner and Draw at the Grosvenor Ballroom where I believe between 700-800 members of the PSGS attended and Taunton were honoured to host on our table Jonny Ovenden, who is a great nephew of Halford Hewitt.  Guest speaker for the evening was Andrew Reynolds Head Pro at Deal for 45 years who told some stories of his experiences during the HH week.  In the actual HH week a celebratory reception was being held for schools at Deal on the Wednesday evening and a further reception on Friday evening to thank the host clubs Royal St George’s, Royal Cinque Ports (Deal) and Prince’s.  Included in this report I have attached photos of the scene at Deal celebrating the schools that take part with their flags lining the 1st fairway at Deal.

Taunton this year were drawn against Gresham’s in the 1st round.  However, we didn’t actually start until Friday morning so we had 3 days to practice before hand.  The weather was forecasted to get better following what was endured at Burnham in the BNB but we still had the tail end of high winds on Tuesday and Wednesday but thankfully dry.   R Willacy, P Whalley and P Stickler came down on the Tuesday and played that afternoon.  The rest of the team followed down for the Wednesday and Thursday practice.  On Thursday we decided to play North Foreland as it was a course not played before and it was close to where we were staying as a team.  Fortunately Phil was returning the Scratch Trophy from about three years ago so given most of the scratch golfers in the OTGS were down for the week we decided to play for the cup that afternoon.  We played handicap stableford for the money and scratch stableford for the cup.  Gary Hector won the Scratch Cup with 31 points and Matthew Pyke came second with 29 points.  David Higginson won the handicap stableford with 36 points.  Well done Gary for winning the cup and bad luck for having to clean and engraving it!






So early start Friday 7:45 at Deal against Gresham’s.   OTGS Team, 1st Pair GHector & PStickler, 2nd Pair RWillacy & MPyke, 3rd Pair GWhalley & AFord, 4th Pair PWhalley & DHigginson, 5th Pair EBradnock & MBanham.

In the end Taunton lost 3.5-1.5.  However, we were once again close with Gary H & Phil S still going down the 21st hole until a halve was declared following other results.  Pete W & David H lost on the 18th, Greg W & Andy F lost on the 18th, Richard W & Matthew P won 4-2 and Mark B & Ed B lost 5-4.  Great company Gresham’s who in the end made it to the 3rd round.






Because we started Friday morning we now had to play Friday afternoon in the Plate at Prince’s and our opponents were Berkhamsted.  The team for this match, 1st Pair Gary H & Phil S, 2nd Pair Andy F & Mark B and 3rd Pair Richard W & Greg W.  Taunton lost 2-1 overall, 1st Pair Won 3-2, 2nd Pair Lost 3-2 and 3rd Pair Lost 5-4.  At the time of writing Berkhamsted have reached the Semi-finals of the Plate.

Another fantastic, if not exhausting week especially following on from the BNB, and thoroughly enjoyable week as always.  Big thanks to skip for organising and keeping us in order, Ed for mostly organising the food takeaways with Fordy, who did order the biggest meat fest on Thursday evening following a power cut at our chosen restaurant!  Look forward to seeing everybody again at the next event if not HH 2025.

Brent Knoll Bowl – April 2024

Once again the BNB took place the weekend before the Halford Hewitt so it was going to be a long few days of golf.  The weather was looking blustery with winds just short of 50 mph but it did remain fairly dry!   Richard Willacy, Tim Blood, Andy Ford and Jack Malden played on the Friday practice day and was later joined by Captain Pete Whalley for the welcome, draw and dinner.   Taunton were drawn to play Lloyds Bank in the 1st round on Saturday.

The team for the weekend was:
Richard Willacy & Phil Stickler
Jack Malden & Andy Ford
Tim Blood & Pete Whalley

1st Round (Main Competition) against Lloyds Bank Won 2-1
2nd Round (Main Competition) against Wigorns Lost 2-1

Round 1 Results:  1st Pair Willacy/Stickler (Won 3-2), 2nd Pair Malden/Ford (Won 3-2), 3rd Pair Blood/Whalley (Lost 4-3)
Round 2 Results: 1st Pair Willacy/Stickler (lost 19th), 2nd Pair Malden/Ford (Won 3-2), 3rd Pair Blood/Whalley (Lost 19th)

Sadly the two pairs that lost are still recovering having been dormy 3 Up and losing on the 19th!

On Sunday we joined the ranks of the consolation stableford, which was again incredibly tough with the extremely strong winds, achieving an aggregate score of 64 points.