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2018

2018 Dinner at the RMGC

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‘The Intertwined Lives of Sam Snead and Ben Hogan’

4 June 2018 – The Royal Melbourne Golf Club

100 members and guests were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable and informative night as speakers Richard Allen & Christopher Leach presented ‘The Intertwined Lives of Sam Snead and Ben Hogan’

American golfers Sam Snead and Ben Hogan were born ten weeks apart in 1912 and dominated American golf in the 1940s and early 1950s, winning between them a total of 230 tournaments, including 16 major championships.

They also captured the imagination of millions of their countrymen recovering from the hardships of World War II, and inspired generations of golfers.

These two wonderful speakers cleverly presented along side each other and explored the lives of these two men, enhancing their presentation with audio-visual images.

2018 Don Lawrence Trophy

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15 May 2018 – Woodlands Golf Club

The annual Don Lawrence Trophy, our popular 4BBB event was played at its regular venue Woodlands Golf Club. The bureau got it right, the predicated wet morning eventuated with heavy showers greeting the players as they arrived. The small field was made up of regular faces, some new members and past winning combinations.

Steady rain fell as players enjoyed the light lunch provided and the odd glass of wine, as we discussed whether play would commence… many were keen but some of the “fair-weathers “ were not so. There was much radar watching and as tee time came around, some clear sky appeared even blue in some parts so the full field got under way and the 18 holes was played in surprisingly fine conditions.

After play Muriel Lawrence Don’s widow along with Brendan Moloney attended the dinner. Last year Muriel moved to South Australia to be closer to her family, so it was nice to see her back in Melbourne and taking the time to come and make the presentation to the winners.

Results

Winners of the Don Lawrence Trophy

Andrew Thomson and Committee member Tony Rule- successfully defended their 2017 win with a fantastic score of 48 points.

Best score by member/ guests – Murray Cropley and Peter Adam 45 pts

Best 9 out – Neil and Claire Walker 25 pts

Best 9 in – Andrew Thomson and Tony Rule 24 pts

NTP 11th Women Kim Hastie 11th Men Anthony Lang
NTP 17th Brian McPhail

President Graeme Ryan thanked Woodlands GC for their wonderful hospitality and another successful and thoroughly enjoyable day.

Andrew accepted the trophy and spoke fondly of his memories of Don Lawrence.

2018 Annual Hickory Day

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09 September 2018 – Kingston Heath Golf Club

The 2018 Annual Hickory day was held at Kingston Heath Golf Club. With the course in great condition it once again proved to be a superb track for playing hickories.

Playing for the Frank Shepherd and Burtta Cheney trophies, a field of 22, played the 9-hole competition with many wearing clothes of the era.

New member Jeffery Anderson scored 17 points off a 6 handicap won the Frank Shepherd and Secretary Kim Hastie successfully defended her title winning the Burtta Cheney trophy.

A most enjoyable day closed with refreshments and snacks as Secretary Kim Hastie and President Graeme Ryan made the presentations.

The Golf Society appreciates and thanks the club for their ongoing support and hospitality with this event.

Results

Men’s Winner – Jeffrey Anderson

Women’s Winner – Kim Hastie

Longest Drive Men – John Cornish

Longest Drive Women – Kim Hastie

Nearest the Pin Men – Jeffrey Anderson

Guest winners – Bradley Tatnell

It is worth noting that several players in the field were playing the following week at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in the 2018 Australian Hickory Shaft Championships. It is the first time this event has been played in Victoria.

This event will be run by our NSW counterparts the Australian Golf Heritage Society with GSA assisting by gaining access to RMGC, securing the tee times, running the competition and providing the hospitality at the presentations.

– Kim Hastie GSA Honorary Secretary

Women’s Winner – Kim Hastie

Men’s Winner – Jeffrey Anderson

Peter Gompertz at the top!

Rod H on the tee.

Style at the Annual Hickory Day

Gillian Ednie on the tee.

2018 Presidents Trophy

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30 July 2018 – The Royal Melbourne Golf Club

The Presidents Trophy was played at its regular venue The Royal Melbourne Golf Club. This quirky but fun event allows the players only 7 clubs and the four best Nett scores qualify for sudden death matchplay.

This year’s event had good entries with 30 players, enjoying their qualifying 9 holes on the West course in very cool but dry conditions. The sunshine broke through at times, enabling Secretary Kim who was roving through the groups to take many photos.

As the cards rolled in, the four top four scores began to take shape and after count backs the final players were determined.

At lunch, President Graeme Ryan welcomed a number of new members to the society who were participating. It was interesting and fun see to some playing with their hickories which no doubt added to the challenge.

Rod Hiscox the top qualifier (34.5) was to play Jean Gilbert (38.5) and Max Findlay 2nd qualifier (36) was to play David Worley (38) Both Max and Jean are Past Winners of this event.

After lunch a good gallery assembled to watch the sudden death playoffs on the East course with David Worley winning the first hole over Max Findlay.

In the other match, the result didn’t come as quickly, with Rod and Jean fighting it out for four tense holes, both players have their chances to win. Finally, at the Par 3 4th Jean sunk a putt to win the match.

It was decided rather than cross the road the final pair continue at the Par 3 16th

The first playoff hole was halved even with David Worley skying his front bunker shot to the back and taking unplayable from the Heath and Lomandras and Jean with her own troubles couldn’t close out.

Play went down the Par 5 17th, both drove it well, but from then on Jean struggled to keep her ball in play and with David comfortably on the green in 3, Jean concedes the hole and David is declared the 2018 winner.

So, after an entertaining afternoon the players and gallery return to clubhouse for refreshments and presentations.

The Golf Society Thanks Royal Melbourne for their hospitality and another thoroughly enjoyable day.

2018 Historians Forum

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19 August 2018 – ‘Little’ Frankston’ Golf Club

Our second forum of the year was held at Frankston Golf Club on Sunday 19th August. In a first for the Society it was decided to hold the forum on a Sunday rather than a Monday and to include golf.

Our host for the day was Millicent Gould who is both Chairman and President of the Club. Millicent spoke about the history of the course, the clubhouse and membership. Also on display were old photos of some of the early influential members of the Club.

​Frankston is unique in many ways. It was the first Golf Club in Australia to have motor mowers. These were bought by boat from England to the club by member Mr. AH Sargood in 1921. This was at a time when all other golf courses were cutting their fairways and greens with horse drawn ‘slashers’.

It is also unique in that it doesn’t hold a Club Championship. Nor does it adhere to the Golf Australia Handicapping system…it still retains its own handicapper to determine a ‘Little’ Frankston handicap. This quaintness extends to the clubhouse which was built in 1905. An entrance hall, lounge, kitchen and locker rooms are all maintained by the members with no house staff required. A substantial verandah looks down on the first hole and on a clear day the City of Melbourne provides a backdrop.

The course itself is built on rolling and at times hilly topography, the soil is sandy and the native vegetation a delight. We were fortunate to play at a time when much of the indigenous vegetation was starting to flower. The course is relatively short in length, but the greens are small and sloping as they rely largely on surface draining. The green structures are its protection and of the fifteen hardy souls who ventured out on a cold wet and windy winter afternoon only one player managed to better his handicap. Nonetheless an enjoyable time was had by all highlighted by an enjoyable post round glass of red in front of the lounge room fire.

We are indebted to the generosity of Millicent Gould and the committee of The Frankston Golf Club and we look forward to returning to the club next year as part of the Hickory Hero’s rotation.

Tony Rule
Historians Convenor

2018 Dinner at Metropolitan

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19 Feb 2018 – Metropolitan Golf Club

Record attendance at February Dinner
by Renny Cunnack

The first dinner of the year on the 19th February at Metropolitan GC was attended by a record 140 guests. They were attracted no doubt by the unique opportunity to hear three legends of Victorian – indeed Australian – golf; Head Professionals Bruce Green (Royal Melbourne), Brian Simpson (Victoria) and Brian Twite OAM (Metropolitan).

Hosting the session, Tony Rule was able to elicit many interesting and very entertaining observations from each of the distinguished panel, even going back to the very first jobs in their collective 147 years of service. Brian Simpson was a clubmaker and Brian Twite’s journey to Metropolitan started at Sunningdale in England. He recalled being rebuked as a junior professional by Henry Cotton for having the temerity to speak to him at Wentworth. Cotton added insult to injury by telling Brian, “If you can’t improve on that last round, you’ll never make it.” Brian then had the last laugh by outscoring Cotton by five shots and beating him in the event.

Bruce Green caddied for six shillings (caddies now command $140 plus tips!) and hunted for lost golf balls. Then as Assistant Professional at Peninsula, Bruce applied for the Head Professional position at Victoria, where manager Jack Merrick told him that the job involved being starter on the tee for 30 hours a week. Bruce baulked at that, and went to Royal Melbourne, where he has been ever since – “you find a job you like, and you never have to work!” The Victoria job went to Brian Simpson, who later told Bruce, “The first thing I did was hire a starter!”

Asked who was the best golfer they ever saw, Brian Simpson named Peter Thomson and Tom Watson, who “could play in the States, here, anywhere”. Brian Twite said Sam Snead was the best swinger he ever saw. Bruce Green cited Bob Stanton and Lee Trevino, who “had the ball on a string all day” – except on a famous occasion when he stormed off

6W at Royal Melbourne, never to return, saying “No wonder you b*st*rds don’t have any hair, putting on these greens! I’m outta here!” 6W is Bruce’s favourite hole: “a challenge to drive, a challenge to get it on the green and keep it on, and a challenge to get it in the hole.” Brian Twite likes 9 at Metropolitan: “a thinking hole – Lee Trevino birdied it four times out of six, because he could work the ball.” Brian Simpson’s favourites are 11 and 15 at Victoria.

Asked about the most memorable lesson, Brian Twite had a new pupil who was having great difficulty making contact with the ball, which led Brian in some desperation to suggest left-handed clubs. Brian got great credit for the resultant progress; later it transpired that the person was blind in the right eye. Brian added that he himself shanked a ball onto the next fairway at Rosanna and was asked by an indignant player what club he belonged to. When he said, “Metropolitan”, he was told, “Well, you should get a lesson from Brian Twite!”

Bruce Green also had a blind pupil, one Eric Hales, who despite his disability shot 47 for nine holes at Peninsula. Eric challenged Bruce (Victorian PGA champion at the time) to a match for $100, giving Bruce 7 strokes – on just one condition: the match to be played at 3 a.m.

Brian Simpson recalled Gary Player, plagued by a persistent low fade in a tournament at Victoria, turning to him for advice. Brian gently offered, “I think you might be hitting it a tiny bit late, Gary?” Good results followed.

Finally, asked “How do you get into, and get back, into the zone?”, Brian Simpson’s answer was, “Play the course a thousand times in your mind”. Doing this before a round, about which he was rather nervous, he shot 63. He also believes in balance and rhythm, and the need to hit the ball in the centre of the club, which small clubheads made you do.

Bruce believes there is too much “paralysis by analysis”, but how to get back into the zone: “impossible!” Brian Twite reflected that the modern preoccupation with gym work gives players such as Tiger Woods, and potentially Jason Day, big, wide shoulders with muscles that actually don’t relate to the golf swing. Muscles must be relaxed, he said.

The Society is very grateful to Bruce Green, Brian Simpson and Brian Twite for being so generous with their time and making possible a memorable evening which the audience acknowledged with enthusiasm.

Brian Simpson, Brian Twite & Bruce Green at Metropolitan Golf Club Dinner

2018 Doug Bachli Trophy and AGM

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19 November – Riversdale Golf Club

The Doug Bachli and AGM go to Riversdale

The Society’s final golf event the Doug Bachli Trophy was played a Riversdale Golf Club due to the events regular venue Victoria Golf Club being unable to host due their Greens renovation program.

A good field of 30 played 18-holes of Stableford enjoying the challenging Riversdale hills in very warm conditions, yet despite the hot weather many good scores were returned.

Results:

The Men’s winner and Doug Bachli winner was Past winner Max Findlay with 37 points in a countback from Paul Bray.

The Women’s winner also a Past winner was Kim Hastie with 35 points and the Runner up was Virginia Gorrell with 33 points

The Nearest the Pin for the Men was Riversdale member Ron Mathieson and no record for Women

The AGM was held after the golf, the meeting was chaired by President Graeme Ryan

who presented his Annual Report, followed by the Treasurer Neil Walker who presented the Financial report for 2017- 2018.

Secretary Kim Hastie read out the Committee Elections-

Retiring committee members were David Hewitt and Mango Maguire both stepping down due to work commitments.

The Secretary acknowledged Mango for his wonderful contribution as editor of The Long Game for past two years.

The two newly elected committee members were Peter Vlahandreas and Greg Bain who has agreed to take on the role as Editor of The Long Game.

After the AGM the 40 attendees enjoyed a Cocktail Party to close out the night.

President Graeme Ryan and Committee give thanks to the Riversdale Golf for their generous hospitality ensuring another successful day for the members.