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 24 April - The School at Effingham Golf Club (Humfrey Malins)
- Sunday 13 May - Grafton Morrish Qualifier at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club (Stuart Hibbert/Andrew Wildey)
- Saturday 19 May - Bar Golf Society at New Zealand Golf Club (Richard Vosser)
- Sunday 17 June - Old Epsomians at Walton Heath Golf Club (David Glasscock)
- Saturday 30 June - Old Alleynians at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club (Barry Smart)
- Sunday 23 September - Old Cranleighans at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club (David Scrivens)
- Sunday 30 September - Society Day at Tyrrells Wood Golf Club (Andrew Worboys)
- Grafton Morrish Finals - Friday 5 to Sunday 7 October at Royal West Norfolk Golf Club and Hunstanton Golf Club (Practice Day Thursday 4 October)
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
Match Reports 2017
OJGS v O Cranleighan GS at Royal Ashdown Forest GC - Sunday 24 September
Just like last year the match was played in perfect weather with the Old course playing and looking its best. It was agreed on this occasion, after some earlier debate, that the morning round only would count in the match result and that play in the afternoon round on the West course would be optional. I think it would be fair to say this format met with general approval bearing in mind Royal Ashdown is widely regarded as quite physically demanding.
Once again it was 8-a-side and the Match Manager had gathered together a strong team including three members of our Grafton Morrish team. He also had the luxury of keeping himself as a reserve making way for Pascal Sedgwick, a recent newcomer to OJ golf and a late applicant to play in the match.
On paper the OJ side looked the stronger and so it proved. It seemed at one point that we might win all four morning matches though eventually the Cranleighans rallied in the first match to make the score 3-1 at lunch. Graham Warren/Jig Patel, Andrew Wildey/Peter Edgar and Andrew Worboys/Barry Smart all won their games. Our newcomer Pascal Sedgwick playing with James Smart managed to lose his match which they had looked like winning.
After lunch one or two on both sides decided to opt out but the remainder drew for partners and went out to play on the West course. I didn’t hear anyone say they hadn’t enjoyed the experience of playing this shorter, but testing, lay out. The OJs were happy to win the match, the 11th in the series, in what was an enjoyable and fun day. However, the O Cranleighan match manager, Tim Kemp, is concerned that he needs to recruit some younger players in future and will be calling for help next year. Let’s hope he doesn’t take it too far!
Report by Match Manager David Scrivens
OJGS v Old Alleynians - Saturday 1 July
After two years at The Berkshire Golf Club the venue for this year’s match was switched to New Zealand Golf Club. This was due to the unavailability of The Berkshire course on a suitable date. The New Zealand course awaited our 15th annual encounter with the Old Alleynians. The weather was set fair with a light breeze and the course, as ever, was in excellent condition.
The O.J team was represented by Stuart Hibbert, Hugh Gibbs, Richard Vosser, David Scrivens, Jignesh Patel, Richard and Graham Warren, Pascal Sedgwick and myself. We were delighted to have the Warren brothers and Pascal playing as they were newcomers to the match. The format for both morning and afternoon rounds was one singles match and four foursomes. At lunch the OJ team found itself in a “spot of bother” and was 5 down having lost all the morning matches.
The Club provided us with an excellent lunch supported by the customary wine and port. Traditionally the previous year's losing team provides the port. As the match was halved in 2016 the OAs retained the privilege - and we enjoyed their hospitality!
In the afternoon session the match was reduced to 14 holes due to time constraints. After a brave struggle the OJs managed to secure one win and a halved match so that the OAs ran out overall winners on the day by 8.5 to 1.5. A disappointing result for the OJs but we will be keen for revenge next year.
The 15 years' statistics for this match show an overall position of OJs 10.5 wins to the OAs 4.5, so we should not feel unnecessarily depressed! Everybody enjoyed the day immensely. There were some very tight matches most of which sadly went the OAs way. Come next year we would we would love to further new faces playing for the OJ side.
Report by Match Manager Barry Smart
OJGS v Old Epsomians GS at Walton Heath Golf Club – Sunday 4 June
We were lucky enough to be able to play this year’s fixture against the OEs on both the Old and New courses which had recently been set up to host an annual qualifying event for the 2017 US Open. We were equally lucky that top amateur golfer David Boote, an OE, who shot 62, 73 in the qualifying rounds to miss out narrowly on a US Open spot, was not a member of the OE side!
After the disappointment of last year’s fixture having to be cancelled, we were able to contest a 6 a-side match against some familiar OE faces .The morning foursomes was played over the Old Course, in which the OEs took a lunch time lead of 2.5 to 0.5. After the usual splendid (and ample) lunch served in the private dining room at Walton Heath we set off to try and overcome the deficit, this time playing on the equally challenging New Course. I am pleased to say we were able to prevail in the afternoon to take the overall match by 3.5 to 2.5. Special congratulations to Jignesh Patel for playing very solidly throughout and for being unbeaten on the day.
We are extremely fortunate to be able to play this fixture at Walton Heath, which not only hosts the US Open qualifying event but has also previously hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup, the European Open and most recently the Seniors Open Championship. I would urge those who have not played at this venue, or for that matter in any other OJ Match, to put their name forward to the relevant match manager. OJ Team: Paul Deeprose, David Glasscock, Stephen Glasscock, Alistair Hooper, Jignesh Patel and David Williams.
Report by Match Manager David Glasscock
OJGS v Bar GS at New Zealand GC - Saturday 20 May
This was the third year of playing this match at New Zealand Golf Club and a beautiful day awaited us. After bacon rolls and coffee and the usual banter we headed off to the tee. First off, David Williams and John Martyn, struggled against strong opposition and suffered a heavy defeat; second off Steve Vickery and Jignesh Patel also lost so we were two down. However, Nick Presley and David Glasscock and Hugh Gibbs and Andrew Warboys won the next two matches to bring the scores level only for Stephen Norris and Richard Vosser to lose the final match of the morning to give the Bar a 3-2 lead.
New Zealand provided their usual excellent lunch with most of both teams tucking into a roast of their choice followed by treacle tart or sponge pudding .But the OJs, with their eye on the afternoon, must have lunched more prudently than The Bar, and proceeded to win the first four matches in the afternoon to clinch victory. The eventual score finished 6-4.
It was another great day and as usual the New Zealand Club looked after us really well. The excellent condition of the course attracted much comment too from both sides. It is certainly an excellent venue for the match.
Report by Match Manager David Williams
Grafton Morrish Qualifier at Royal Wimbledon GC - Sunday 14 May
The OJ Grafton team met up on Sunday 14 May with the strongest side they have been able to put out since qualifying previously in 2014. As usual the format was scratch stableford foursomes and between 3 pairs our target was a total of 75 points which in most years would be sufficient to qualify. First out was James Wallace and Richard Warren achieving 24 points, followed by Peter Richardson and Graham Warren with 25 points. Our final pairing of Andrew Wildey and Stuart Hibbert scored 26 points. We had therefore reached our minimum target of 75 points but had a nervous wait to find out if we had qualified as there were still many teams out on the lovely Royal Wimbledon course hoping to overtake our score. Agonisingly Eton managed to amass one more point than us, apparently with their final pair sinking a wonder putt on the last hole to deny the OJ team’s qualification. Everyone was desperately disappointed as the team was really keen and hopeful of representing the School in the final stages once again. Sadly it will have to wait another year.
Report by Team Captain Stuart Hibbert
OJGS v The School at Effingham GC - Tuesday 25 April
The venue for this year's match between the School and the OJs was again the local and delightful Effingham Golf Club. A strong breeze and sunshine greeted the two teams, with the School anxious to reverse last year's result, which they did in some style. Despite the OJs winning the first game, where Tim Mcilroy and Pascal Sedgwick, playing the first 9 holes in one over par, beat the School pair of Ben Howe and Buster O Callaghan five and four, it was uphill thereafter for the OJs. Alistair Blair and Angus Lonsdale triumphed over Dom Higgitt and Jignesh Patel, James Patton and Will Payne saw off veterans Peter Edgar and Will Scrivens, and Harry Snell and Kimball Klintworth overcame James Smart and Stephen Vickery. Overall three victories to the School and one to the OJs.
Once again David Scrivens and Humfrey Malins took on the Masters i/c, Richard Davidson and Adrian Gale, in a fun match which, like last year, produced no clear result! We were particularly pleased to welcome three new, young members of the Society to the OJ team - Tim Mcilroy, Pascal Sedgwick and Dom Higgitt – all good golfers off low handicaps.
Sandwiches and chips rounded off an enjoyable afternoon. Our special thanks to Richard and Adrian for their input to the match organization, to Trevor Lonsdale a current St Johns parent and Effingham member i/c junior golf at the Club for his help, and not least to Effingham Golf club for their welcome and hospitality.
Report by Match Manager Humfrey Malins