Registered Charities
England: No.1100707
Scotland: No.SC032670
2016 World Championships at Craigielaw Golf Club, 20th – 24th June, 2016
We returned to this idyllic strip of golfing territory with magnificent views over the Firth of Forth after an absence of 29 years when we were at North Berwick to honour the work of our then retiring Hon President Sir David Home. Strangely on a poignant note we learned on arrival at Craigielaw of the sad passing of his daughter Lady Hermione Malcolm, a long standing Vice-President and great supporter of the Society.

The entry level was a rather modest 25 from the three Home Regions continuing the downward trend of Championship entries in recent years. However, the international appeal of the event was maintained with a further 7 entrants from South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Spain and Andora making a total of 32 competitors.

The week began with the usual match against the host club followed by the Flag Raising Ceremony and Handover of the Presidency from David Schutsander to Frank Foley.

The play during the week was of a very high standard not least because of the wonderful condition of the course and the brilliant weather. The qualifying score of 163 probably one of our lowest ever, not surprising given the field contained five previous Champions.

In the knock out stages the two favourites Alex Hjalmarsson, the leading qualifier, and Reinard Schuhknecht, who had the longest drive of 366 yards, were defeated in the semi-finals. This resulted in a final between Robert Paul, a finalist on three previous occasions, and David Schutsander. David got off to a fast start, then the front nine ebbed and flowed with David turning one up at the turn after holing a 30 foot downhill put at the 9th for a half. Robert then played very consistent golf to go 3 up standing on the 14th tee. David's second shot to the 15th was probably the shot of the round if not the championship week, to a foot, winning him the hole with a birdie 3. After halving the 16th Robert remained 2 up. Both players hit good shots into the 17th green. Robert then pretty much assured his 3 with a lag putt. David then with nerves of steel holed from fully 20 feet for another birdie taking the match down 18. Robert in turn kept his nerve and ably assisted by his Dad Mick saw out the match, an excellent final played in fine spirit and credit to both players. This was Robert's 4th final and he is a worthy champion and we saw just what it meant to him as he received congratulations from a fine gathering.

At the Annual General Meeting held on Monday held on 20th June discussion largely centered on issues related to the declining membership. Consideration had been given to shortening the Championship week but the overwhelming majority agreed that the traditions of our historic Society should be maintained including the Flag Raising and Final Dinner. It was agreed that only a single Autumn meeting be held each year rotated in turn be each region. Scotland would not hold an Autumn meeting this year but others would proceed as planned. However, they would host the first combined meeting in 2017 in the Borders region. Prior to this event we would require to agree the format for each meeting and rationalise the trophies. To provide greater interest for the higher handicap players, it was agreed that there would be 8 qualifiers for the Handicap Cup instead of the current 4 at the Championship in 2017. The meeting unanimously agreed the nomination of Peter Priscott as an Hon Vice President of the Society.

The Dinner was held in the Clubhouse with 70 people present. The toast to Craigielaw GC was very well presented by Keith Dewhurst. The Captain of Cragielaw GC, Mr Duncan Thomson responded for the Club and then Society President, Frank Foley responded with a Vote of Thanks. Three excellent and well received orations.

Frank Foley presented the prizes and Robert Paul made a fine Speech as Champion. Bouquets of flowers were presented to the Captain's Lady, Tracey and to President's Lady, Nancy. A plaque was also presented to Captain, Duncan, on behalf of the Club in recognition of hosting a quite splendid event.

At the close of proceedings, Hon Secretary, Jerry Woodley, announced the team for the Fightmaster Cup that would be held in September in California.

How it happened...