The Al Howard Memorial Trophy was played at Wagga Wagga City Golf Club on Sunday 19th April 2015.
Under threatening skies, the afternoon 18 hole event was contested by 18 players representing The Golf Society of Australia (Vic) and Australian Golf Heritage Society (NSW). After a light lunch and the draw, teams proceeded to enjoy the course with few other players but many roos grazing down the 1st fairway.
Our Victorian friends required some bolstering of their team to achieve even numbers and my thanks to those players from NSW who rallied to the request to provide a balance for the 9 matches.
A number of long term friends and acquaintances were matched against each other, particularly because AGHS supplied additional numbers for the GSA team and friendly rivalry was the name of the game for the afternoon. To be a part of the last group of 3 pairs witnessing Tony Doggett & Tom Moore (playing for GSA) was interesting to say the least as I am sure were other matches during the afternoon.
The course was in fine condition, originally laid out by Al Howard and subsequently changed by Wayne Grady, it presented a fair challenge as we wheedled our pre-1940 hickories. The rain held off and despite the breeze becoming gusty as times, the day was a great success. Thanks go to Darron Watt for his assistance in the lead up to the event and on the day. Mention should also be made of other AGHS members who contributed to the preparations for the event, namely Dr Michael Sheret & Alan McDonald, thank you for your efforts.
Despite calls for the results to be announced at the course, it was determined all would be revealed at our evening dinner. After negotiating various road blocks, all parties appeared at Cottontails Restaurant out of town for rehydration, sustenance and to hear the result.
The AGHS team recorded a convincing win of 63 holes to 47 holes (refer to Early Matchplay Scoring) on the day and continue to hold the trophy for 2015. The evening was also notable in that an open forum invited comments on the event and plans for the future. Many positive thoughts were aired and discussed during the evening, particularly in relation to the timing of the event for future years.
From all reports, those who played on the day enjoyed the surroundings and company. We look forward to being in Victoria in 2016 to defend the trophy.
On the Monday, 8 members of the party enjoyed a morning round at Wagga Wagga Country Club, alongside Lake Albert in beautiful weather, not aware of the appallingly bad weather they would encounter on the drive home to Sydney.