Stowe Putter 2017
29 August 2017
As we celebrated the 51st year of the extremely prestigious Stowe Putter, a stellar field of Prep School competitors took to the iconic Stowe Golf Course, which had been superbly prepared by Steve Curly and his team. Over the years, thousands of young budding golfers have locked horns in friendly competition contesting the trophy - a classic Andrew Kirkaldy Putter of St Andrews design. During this period, much in the world of golf has changed, not least the composition of club heads, club shafts and the golf balls themselves. However, some things have remained the same: firstly, the magical and iconic Stowe Golf Course, which was re-designed in the 1960s by C.K.Cotton, and in spite of the significant developments in club and ball technology, it is interesting that the winning scores have not changed so very much over the last 50 years. Another constant has been the etiquette, courtesy and sportsmanship displayed by the players. This, without question, makes golf such a special sport and this year was certainly no different.
We were thrilled to have Mr Bernard Gallacher OBE in attendance as our Guest of Honour. Bernard has had a remarkable career as both a tournament golf professional and PGA Club Professional but many of us will remember his three consecutive campaigns as European Ryder Cup Captain in 1991, 1993 and, of course, the infamous victory in 1995 on American soil at Oak Hill. Bernard spoke very highly of the Stowe Putter and was hugely impressed with the quality of golf on display. In his address during the closing ceremony, Bernard passed on some remarkable wisdom to our golfers of tomorrow by stressing the importance of having regular golf lessons with a PGA Professional in order to iron out any technical faults within the golf swing, along with being able to develop and maintain sound basic fundamentals such as grip, stance, posture, ball position, alignment and swing plane. In addition, Bernard highlighted the role that is played by the short game and quoted the great Bobby Locke ... "drive for show and putt for dough"! Indeed, Bernard's advice here is very pertinent and all young golfers that aspire to play the game to a high level must focus on their short game and course management as these areas will help them significantly in their quest to lower scores.
The winner of this year's Stowe Putter, with an outstanding score of 58 stableford points, was Freddie Turnell of Millfield Prep School. I spent some time with Bernard Gallacher during the afternoon observing Freddie's golf and it is safe to say that he is a very talented young golfer who possesses serious potential for the future. Freddie was fearless in his approach as he attacked flag after flag and remained positive with his putting throughout. It was also refreshing to see the game played in such a simple fashion and at a very good pace. We look forward to welcoming Freddie back next year as defending champion.
The winner of this year's Junior Jigger, with a very good score of 45 stableford points, was James Brash of Hall Grove Prep School. It is clear from James' fine performance this year that he will be a serious contender in future years.
Harriet Lockley of Millfield Prep School recorded 46 stableford points and claimed the Girl's Prize.
During the presentation, the Headmaster, Dr Anthony Wallersteiner, spoke very highly of the fine and distinguished history which surrounds the Stowe Putter and golf at Stowe in general. He thanked Bernard Gallacher for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come and join us at Stowe on this special occasion. Special thanks were also made to Andrew Hancox for organising and coordinating the smooth running of the event, along with Di Proctor for her help as official scorer and all of the volunteers.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Peter Simmons - Secretary of the Old Stoic Golf Society - for supporting the event and setting up a fantastic display of Old Stoic golfing memorabilia, along with Chris Atkinson for his support in the build up to the event.
Take a look here for a selection of photos from the day and here for full results.
We very much look forward to seeing you all again next year."
PGA Golf Professional & Head of Golf