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Old Warwickians

The History of the OW Golf Society

We are grateful to OW Peter Gedge who kindly put together these recollections of the origins of the OW Golf Society.
Sometime around 1965, the OWA committee heard about the Grafton Morrish golf tournament for independent schools and recommended that Old Warwickians should enter a team. The OWA asked OW Peter Gedge to found a golf society.

There were a number of OWs at Leamington & County GC and, after some discussion, it was agreed that the new society should not only field a team of six for the Grafton but also hold a Spring meeting which would offer more OW golfers the opportunity to gather and play. The delightful country course at Tadmarten Heath was chosen as it was near Warwick and also accessible from London and the South of England. Tadmarton was a quiet club in those early days, most welcoming and short enough for two rounds in a day. Early players included Jack Marshall, John Camkin, Ian and Dave Thorburn, Terry Spooner, Michael Wardle, Nigel Gracey and John Higginson. 

We had a trophy - a large silver cup - donated by George Langley. When we had been 50 years at Taddy (as it is affectionately known) to our great surprise their current Captain & President appeared at dinner and presented us with a port decanter, inscribed and full! 

The number of OW players at the spring meeting fluctuates and there were over 40 for the 25th anniversary meeting. Nigel Gracey presented a pair of tankards, to be played for in foursomes. Latterly the Peter Gedge jug has been added for the best gross score. For many years the singles competition was played in the morning but an inspired change turned the format around, allowing a number of the more senior golfers the opportunity to come and play one round and stay for dinner.

For some years a hotly contested match against the now defunct Leamington College was played in the evening at Leamington Golf Club. 

The Grafton Morrish has a qualifying round in May at Olton GC and finals in Norfolk in the autumn. The first time OWs qualified for the Finals was in 1970. The Finals are played on the two famous courses of Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk called Brancaster and have to be arranged around the high spring tides as the access road can be flooded. Over the years OWs have had various degrees of success in the competition. 

With the OW Golf Spring meeting, the Grafton Morrish and the match against Old.Leamingtonians established, an Autumn meeting was introduced, this time at Broadway - a hilly terrain with wonderful views, fiendishly fast sloping greens and excellent catering. There are two trophies at the Autumn Meeting - the OW salver and tankards for foursomes. One final trophy is the John Higginson salver for the joint best two rounds Spring/Autumn combined.

An annual match against the school is now a hotly contested event. 

Over the years the society has been indebted to huge amounts of time and enthusiasm given by various OWs who have served as Captains and Honorary Secretaries, including Peter Gedge, Michael Cook, Peter Miles, Richard Gash, Alan Alderman and, current Hon Sec, Julian Marcus.