Old Loughburians Golf Spring Trophy at Charnwood Forest GC

Wednesday 22 May 2019

The Spring Meeting this year was held at Charnwood Forest Golf Club just outside Woodhouse Eaves. The Club is the oldest in Leicestershire and has the distinction of being one of a very small number of Clubs in the country that has no sand bunkers. Despite the lack of bunkers and it being a 9 hole course, Charnwood provides a stern test of golf as the 9 holes wind their way round a huge rock outcrop on the Charnwood Forest. The course, as always in Spring, was absolutely stunning with the bluebells and rhododendrons in full flower. The views from the top of the course over the Leicestershire countryside towards Quorn and Loughborough were quite something.

We had an excellent turnout of 18 players with Nick Preedy, our Grafton Morrish Team Captain playing off a handicap of 2 making his first appearance at The Spring Trophy event. The first group started at 2pm on a fabulously sunny Wednesday afternoon, and their tee shots were accompanied by a flypast from a couple of World War 2, single engine fighter planes, which we thought were probably American planes rather than being Spitfires or Hurricanes. It was a fantastic sight and a fitting start to proceedings.

Despite the weather being almost perfect for golf, the course was firm and running so scoring was not easy, even without there being any bunkers! The final result was very close with the top of the leader board being very crowded, but the eventual winner after a back nine count back was Ian Burle with 35 points from Nick Chappell, who also had 35 points. Ian is coincidentally the current Charnwood Golf Club President so he was obviously able to apply his local knowledge to good effect. There were 3 players tied for 3rd spot on 33 points and they were, Steve Maud, Tom Barton and the Grafton Morrish Captain, Nick Preedy.

After the golf, the Club provided an excellent meal and this was followed by a first-hand update from Nick Preedy on the recent success of the Grafton Morrish Team who finished as top qualifiers at Gog Magog near Cambridge with a total team score of 94 points, 4 more than Uppingham in second place. The team now progress with a seeded draw to the finals at Hunstanton from 4 to 6 October (all support welcome). Martin Barker, who had travelled over from his home in Suffolk, then stood up to recount some of his distant memories from being proposed as a member at Charnwood back in 1955 by recently deceased OL, Tony Johnson. Martin then went on to explain how he and Tony had gone down to London in the early 1960s to the inaugural meeting where the Grafton Morrish tournament was formed, to make sure the school got a place in it. Those of us that have played in the Grafton Morrish in the years since then, owe Martin and Tony an enormous debt of gratitude for the fun we have had in playing in this wonderful event. Martin then went on to pay further tribute to Tony Johnson for his service to the Old Loughburians Golf Society, as one of its founding members, and for a long time, it’s Secretary. The speeches concluded with a short update by John Weitzel on the developments happening at the school currently and the work he has been doing getting the school archives online. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you search for your name and those of your contemporaries in the archives at www.lgs-heritage.org

Our next event is the Quincentennial Trophy at Rothley on 6 July, limited times available from me on [email protected] around 1pm if you are quick!

Dave Barnett

L-R Chris Drane, Ian Agar and Dave Bramwell

Malcolm Carrington, Martin Barker and Ken Stevenson

John Weitzel presenting the Spring Trophy to Ian Burle