The successful PGS’s team debut in the European Journalists’ Nations Cup in Italy last year has spurred us on to accept the invitation to this year’s event at the wonderful Royal Obidos Golf Club in Portugal.
Teams of 10 players from all over Europe will contest the event from 11-15 November at Obidos and the challenging Praia d’el Rey course.
Outgoing Captain John Quinn, watched by wife Sheena, bids farewell – Patrick EagarIN WITH THE NEW…
New Captain, Tony Smith, obviously unaware what he’s let himself in for, and Caroline Lawrence – Ian McIlgorm
The Captain’s Dinner saw outgoing skipper John Quinn’s last act of his official year: removing the society’s double chain of office from around his scrawny neck and eagerly placing over the elegant head of incoming Captain Tony Smith.
Breathing a heavy sigh of relief, John was heard to say, ‘Blagged those 12 months then!’ No one disagreed…
The swanky surroundings of the Sloane Club in London’s Chelsea were graced with many of the current and past ‘great and good’ of the PGS. After an excellent meal, President Peter Dazeley spoke of the society’s previous presidents and Liz Kahn told the diners about her successful battle to allow women members to join the society, resulting in Liz becoming its first female Captain in 1994.
The annual awards ceremony followed, with Nick Jones trying hard, but failing, to look embarrassed following his domination of the society’s season and needing extra transport to get all his trophies home!
All images curtesy of Ian McIlgorm and Patrick Eager.
Never let it be said that a drop of rain can ruin a day’s golf for the PGS. But amazing quantities of the wet stuff landing on the already-sodden fairways and greens of The Berkshire can dampen the spirits.
The inevitable decision was finally taken by the club, the klaxon hooted and the course closed. With some 10 drenched holes having been navigated, everyone wound their wet and weary way back to the warmth and dry of the clubhouse…
It was decided that the match would be decided as a ‘first 9 holes played Stableford’ for the scramble with some very impressive scores recorded.
The winners were the formidable team of Dylan Dronfield, Ben Monroe-Davies, guest Dominic Gesua and Paul Harrison, who scored 25 points.
Second, on countback, were Khalid Javid, Jeremy Thompson, Lawrence Lee and Nick Toksvig.
Just a point behind were the third and fourth place teams of Nic Brook, Tim Dickson, Tom Crone and Charles Collier-Wright, and Chris Stevens, guest Ian Johnstone, Felix Duckworth and guest Bob Hughes, respectively.
Following the traditional excellent Berkshire lunch, Ian Mcilgorm took up his auctioneer’s gavel and the well-lubricated PGS members and their guests raised an impressive sum for the Journalists’ Charity.
Photos by Patrick Eager, Jonny Bramley & John Quinn
The names of the winners of the PGS’ two major competitions in 2023 have been revealed:
Andrew Porter series of great results meant he is crowned the society’s Golfer of the Year and wins the Sir John Gordon Golden Putter;
Nick Jones beat all comers to be named as the PGS’ knockout champion, winning the Sir Emsley Carr trophy.
Congratulations to them both!
Pic by Nev Appleton
Given the recent biblical amounts of rain, God was in heaven for the PGS’ visit to West Hill: the sun shone, the grass was green and the golf was, mostly, glorious!
Neil White’s excellent 37 points landed him the Division One title, but wasn’t good enough to allow him to take home the Peggy White Vase as Mike Waker, on countback, beat him and took the Division Two title.
In excellent conditions scoring was high, with Khalid Javid claiming second prize in Div One with 36 points and Andy Glen third with 35.
In Div Two Colin Hancock followed Mike Walker home, with 35 points, one shot ahead of Tony Smith.
Pics by Khalid Javid, Nick Toksvig, Nev Appleton, Evan Samuel & Jonny Bramley
The event might have been running for 30 years but the Great British press had somehow eluded an invitation to the European Nations Cup for golfing journalists. That all changed this year when Jonny ‘Bubbles’ Bramley led the first PGS team to compete in the Cup at Chervò Golf San Vigilio near Verona – alongside those from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and the Czech Republic.
It’s quite a considerable undertaking to host eleven teams of 10 players, with partners and additional golfers playing alongside in a ‘Friends’ tournament but the resort, situated close to Lake Garda, was more than up to the task. As you would expect in Italy the food and hospitality were superb and there was a seemingly endless supply of the excellent local wine.
With only 8 PGS members (Neale Adams, Nev Appleton, Cornelius Bohane, Nick Buckley, Colin Hancock, Keith Malone, Neil White and Jonny) signed up to play we were delighted to be joined by Jane Malone and Andi White to make up a full team. Also a pleasure to have Colin and Jonny’s partners Lisa and Suzi along for the trip too.
And it was Andi who made a big impact on the first practice round with her first ever hole in one. Fortunately local tradition dictated that Andi received a bottle of Prosecco rather than having to buy an extremely large round of drinks!
The 2nd practice round was a bit of a washout but did allow some of the team to visit the beautiful local town of Sirmione on the shores of Lake Garda – or just enjoy the hotel’s extensive leisure facilities and spa.
So to the competition itself, which was one round of a 2-ball ‘Louisana’ Scramble followed by a better-ball format. After a 2-hour delay for fog play finally started in warm autumn sunshine. The PGS performed well on Day 1, ending it in 5th place and ahead of our old adversaries the APG of France. Nev and Jonny, hot off victories at the Wryter Cup and the Berkshire continued their fine form with a 63 to finish in 2nd place out of 55 pairs.
Standard evening fare consisted of a 4 course meal with Prosecco, red and white wine plus some fine local grappa, and the entertainment stepped up a notch after the first round with a local singer belting out Italian Europop alongside standard favourites. It became clear that he was working his way through the Nationalities to perform a well-known song from their country. We all had a go at guessing ‘our’ song but no-one managed to come up with ‘Yellow Submarine’. And certainly no-one could have predicted some of the dance moves that ended up accompanying it…
Day 2 of competition saw the PGS festooned in Irish green to the delight of Cornelius. Maybe it was the collective hangovers, but the luck wasn’t quite with us and we were overtaken by our playing partners the Danes.
But nevertheless a very respectable mid-table placing in our first foray into Europe.
The winners Germany were a long way in front – perhaps explained by rumours they have 200 players competing for 10 places. And this is supposed to be the ‘friendlier’ tournament!
It was universally agreed though that it had been a magnificent event and the mix of male and female golfers created a wonderfully convivial atmosphere.
Next year we have the more competitive European Team Championships for golfing journalists at Royal Obidos in Portugal from 11-15 November. It would be great to see more PGS support and perhaps challenge those podium places!
The French press golfing fleet were sunk, without loss of life but extreme damage to Gallic egos, at Gullane by the missiles fired from the clubs of the PGS team.
Captain, surely soon to be Admiral, Quinn was handed, with great good grace, the Wryter Cup from the manicured hand of his French counterpart, Laurent Louet.
Reversing the thrashing handed out by the APG team in Bordeaux last year, the Brits ended day one three points ahead and then closed out the match on ‘Tornado Tuesday’ – well, it did blow a bit on the famous No. 1 links course – to win 18 points to 14!
Special mention for Jonny Bubbles Bramley, the only PGS player to win all his matches!
For a fuller report and full results click here.
And here’s a gallery of all our photos, double click on the individual pic, then click again once an image appears, to see it full size.
According to Keats, autumn may be the time of mellow fruitfulness, but it’s a time of winning golf competitions for the unstoppable Bramley and Appleton, both together and apart!
Jonny Bramley’s 36 points picked up the Sun Challenge Trophy and Division 2 winner’s prize at a windswept and rain-battered Berkshire Golf Club. And pal Nev Appleton took the Div 1 title with 33 points. If that wasn’t enough the dynamic duo then went out in the afternoon gusts to claim the Sir George Sutton Salver!
The salver has never been so hotly contested: the Bramley & Appleton pair (pear?); Jono Baker & Colin Hancock; and Paul Kelso & Ian Woods all scored 41 points, with countback required to separate the teams.
In Div 1, Nev was followed home by Olly McCormack with 31 and Paolo Minoli came in third with a very respectable 30 points. Div 2 saw the Bramley boy only one point ahead of Hugh Whittow’s 35 points, just better on countback than Jono Baker.
ON a damp Captain’s Day at Royal Winchester Golf Club skipper John Quinn’s blushes were saved by his wife, Sheena, in the ‘beat the Captain & his Mrs’ challenge on the 17th.
Mr Quinn recklessly offered a glass of port, to accompany the cheese course at the post-match dinner, to anyone who could beat his tee shot on the Par 3 hole. At the last minute he, sensibly, changed the rules, meaning that PGS players in the 4-balls had to also beat Sheena’s tee shot. Thankfully for the Captain’s wallet, she hit the green much more regularly than her shame-faced hubby.
The players loved the rolling course set in the Hampshire Downs, although the recently treated and slow greens did come in for criticism. The wonderful food and service at the club was also much commented upon.
Mike Allen’s 38 points saw him win Division 2, the Millennium Bowl and a trio of magnums of fine wine. He beat Phil Harris on count back and Rick Evans was just four points behind. In Division 1, Andy Porter’s 37 points, again on count back, beat Ollie McCormack with Dylan Dronfield coming home with one less point.
Nev Appleton took the nearest-the-pin bottle and RWGC member Richard Jeffrey pocketed the prize for straightest drive.
The presentations were followed by the announcement of this year’s Wryter Cup team to take on the French in Gullane in October, with different levels of cheering greeting secretary Tim Allan’s pronouncement of each name!