amateur golf
amateur golf
St George's Champion Grand Challenge Cup
The St George's Champion Grand Challenge Cup

Sunday, 20th June 1999 - Results

Royal St. Georges Clubhouse

This year see's the 100th playing of this prestigious amateur golf event. In 1888 the wife of the Honorary Secretary, William Anderson, presented the Club with the trophy (at the time said to be worth around four hundred guineas). The trophy was to be won by the best scratch aggregate score over two rounds of golf on the Course at the, now, Royal St. George's. The competition is open to amateur golfers of recognised golfclubs.

Many great amateur golfers have played in this event as the Grand Challenge Cup would precede the main event when the Amateur Championship was held at Sandwich. This includes such greats as John Ball Jr , Harold Hilton, Freddie Tait (so tragically killed in the Boa War), Mure Fergusson and Jack Graham. All won the "Vase" as it was frequently called and it was clear by 1914 and the subsequent interruption during the war, that the Challenge Cup had become second only to the Amateur Championship itself. The Honours Board at the Royal St George's also contains names such as Philip Scrutton, "Laddie" Lucas, Gerald Micklem, David Blair, and John Blackwell.

Robert Harris and Francis Ouinet playing in
the 1923 Grand Challenge

Bobby Jones was among those playing in 1926 and 1930 when, in the former, he is said to have had one of his worst rounds ever, returning an 86, with the comment that it was the coldest day on which he had ever played.

At the turn of the century, the play often extended over two days,due to the large field. The event was originally staged in early November, but but the turn of the century had moved to the Summer, where until the Wars it often preceded the Walker Cup. This resulted in the entire United Stame Team participating in 1923, 1926 and 1930.

The Wars prevented play but after resuming again in 1947 the entries had a very international flavour, with Mario Gonzales from Brazil winning in 1948 and Harry Berwick from Australia in 1954. In 1959 a young American by the name of Jack Nicklaus had his name added to the Honours Board.

The Grand Challenge Cup has always had some very well known names participating, and over the last 30 years the list of entries reads like a Who's Who of golf. During the 1970's Sir Michael Bonallack was successful on three occasions and other year's entrants included John Davis and more recently, before turning pro, Russell Claydon, Lee Westwood, Michael Welch and Michael Brooks amongst others.

This year's St George's Champion Grand Challenge Cup, being the 100th playing of the event, is sure to see more important entries; becoming another milestone in the club's history.