OJ Golfing Society
The OJGS is an active group with 40-50 members. We currently have six established annual fixtures, including matches against Old Alleynians, Old Cranleighans, Old Epsomians and St John's pupils.
The Society also holds an annual OJ Golf Day normally played on one of the more prestigious golf courses in the south. The OJGS is a member of the Public Schools Old Boys Golfing Association, which has over 150 members and includes close rivals Eastbourne, Epsom, Cranleigh, Hurstpierpoint, KCS Wimbledon and St George's, Weybridge. Each year the Grafton Morrish Trophy, a team scratch foursomes competition open to member schools, is competed for and, in 2010 and 2014, the OJ team qualified for the final stages.
All OJs are welcome to join the Society, which consists of all age groups (and handicaps) from recent school leavers to those who left years ago. The golf played is very sociable and great fun. For more information please contact the Development Office.
- Tuesday 23 April – The School at Effingham GC (Andrew Wildey)
- Sunday 12 May – Grafton Morrish Qualifier at Royal Wimbledon GC (Stuart Hibbert)
- Saturday 18 May – Bar GS at New Zealand GC (Richard Vosser)
- Sunday 9 June - Society Day at Tyrrells Wood GC (Andrew Wildey/Andrew Worboys)
- Saturday 14 September – O Alleynians at New Zealand GC (Barry Smart)
- *Grafton Morrish Finals - Friday 4th October - Sunday 6th October at Royal West Norfolk GC and Hunstanton GC (Practice Day Thursday 3rd October) *subject to qualifying at Royal Wimbledon on 12th May!
Match Reports 2018
OJGS v Old Alleynians at Royal Ashdown Forest GC – Saturday 30 June
As the New Zealand GC was unable to accommodate the match this year, it was played at Royal Ashdown Forest GC, as a one off, with a view to returning to the New Zealand Club in 2019. Barry Smart, our match manager, raised a strong eight man side, including three of our Grafton Morrish team and another potential member, Alex Annetts, playing his first match for the Society. As Barry was going to be on holiday at the time of the match Hugh Gibbs, with assistance from David Scrivens, took over as team captain on the day. It is fair to say that Barry had some difficulties this year finalising his side due to unavailability and late cry offs.
As it was such a hot day, it was decided that the result of the match should be decided on the morning round because it was likely a number of players would not want to play after lunch. Sadly the OJs lost the morning 3-1 which of course meant that they would not be in a position to claw some points back in the afternoon. For the record our first pair of Peter Richardson/James Smart lost a really tight match by 1 hole while the second and third pairs of Stuart Hibbert/Alex Annetts and Peter Edgar/Dom Higgitt both lost by 4 and 3. By common consent all three Alleynian pairs played unnecessarily well! It was left to the old men of the team Hugh Gibbs and David Scrivens to record our only win helped to some degree by their opponents having a difficult morning!
After a very welcome cold buffet lunch it was clear that one or two of the Alleynian players were happy to call it a day. Team captains each put two pairings together over lunch for the afternoon and two foursomes ventured out to play as many holes as they pleased in the heat.
By general consent Royal Ashdown laid on a very enjoyable day which all concerned appeared to enjoy especially the stunning views from the top of the course on such a clear day. We were grateful to the Alleynian captain, Duncan Anderson, for providing the port at lunch which should technically have been provided by us as last year’s losers! We must remember to rectify the position next year.
Report by David Scrivens
OJGS v the Bar GS at New Zealand GC – Saturday 19 May
In a celebration of sport fit to grace the Royal Wedding the OJs took on the Bar at the New Zealand golf club on 19 May. After last year when we were 4-0 down at lunch, the OJs were justifiably nervous as they assembled at the Club over coffee and the customary bacon bap.
They need not have been as, in perfect weather, all the OJ pairs took early leads, which they would not relinquish. So by lunch the OJs had won 3 out of the four matches and halved the fourth. At 3 1/2 to 1/2 the OJs lunched well on Pimms, Chablis and Claret and unfortunately this showed in the afternoon performances, with the Bar apparently being able to handle their lunch much better.
Luckily the top pair of Ben Hepden and Tristan McIllroy managed to hold on for a rare afternoon win, leaving the OJs victorious 4 1/2 to 2 1/2. Congratulations to the OJ team of Rob Harradine, Ben Hepden, Tristan McIllroy, Stephen Norris, Stephen Vickery, Richard Vosser and Andrew Worboys. Worth mentioning that what would normally be a 10 a side match was reduced, due to disappointing availability and late withdrawals, to 7 a side. It was generally accepted that the clash with the Royal Wedding and the Cup Final was mainly to blame. We were grateful to the New Zealand Club for their understanding and for laying on, as ever, an excellent day.
Report by Match Manager Richard Vosser
Grafton Morrish Qualifier at Royal Wimbledon - Sunday 13 May
The OJ team arrived at Royal Wimbledon feeling confident for the Grafton Morrish qualifier (public schools golf championship). We narrowly missed out the previous year by only one point with a combined total of 75 points. This year on paper we had as strong a team as we have ever put out with all players having handicaps 1 to 5. The format is scratch stableford foursomes, which is a tough format on a tricky course with lightning quick greens. First out for the OJ’s were James Wallace (hcp1) and Richard Warren (hcp3) our strongest pairing handicap wise, but sadly they found it tough going and came in with 23 points. Second out were James Smart (hcp5) and Peter Richardson (hcp5) and they started well being only 3 over par on the front nine, but the course fought back at them and restricted them to a total of 25 points. Last out were Stuart Hibbert (hcp5) and Andrew Wildey (hcp 4) who really struggled at the start having only 3 stableford points after 4 holes, and they were lucky to finish with 21 points. Sadly our combined total score of 69 was well below the 76 points we needed to guarantee qualification.
We are always on the look out for younger and better players! We have discovered Tim Mcilroy (no relation to Rory apparently) who will join the team next year and Alexander Annetts looks like a very good prospect for us, and Simon Daniell. We would be delighted to hear from any other OJs playing off 5 or lower to aid in our quest to qualify once again.
Report by Team Captain Stuart Hibbert
OJGS v St John’s School at Effingham GC - 24 April 2018
The annual OJ match against the School was once again played at the Effingham Golf Club. As usual the preferred format of play was four ball better ball matchplay. A cold wind and occasional light drizzle did not prevent some excellent golf being played by both teams and all four matches were closely contested.
First out were OJs Andrew Wildey and Richard Vickery who came through winners 3&2 against Luca Williams and Master i/c Claude Cox (who dropped his mantle of classics master for the afternoon to fill in for the School!). In the next match playing for the School, Ben Howe (off a handicap of 3 - quite magnificent!) and Jamie Hewson beat OJs Jignesh Patel and Pascal Sedgwick by 1up in what turned out to be a gripping encounter. In the third match OJs Dom Higgitt and Peter Edgar overcame James Paton and Alistair Blair by the same close margin and it was left to the final OJ pair Jason Gabb and Rob Haradine to seal victory with a 4&2 win against Angus Lonsdale and Ross Adams.
Without doubt this was an enjoyable match and played in the best of spirits with the few spectators being treated to an array of excellent shot making from both teams. It was heartening to see a number of new, young OJs playing and helping to make the OJ team a good blend of youth and experience. Refreshments were enjoyed afterwards. Special thanks are due to Claude Cox from The School for assembling and organising such a well balanced team and also to Johnian parent and member of the Effingham Club, Trevor Lonsdale, for all his hard work and support in making the afternoon such a success.
Report by Match Manager Humfrey Malins