Busy and varied season
Season off to a busy start
May 2023 The new WIGS captain for 2023-24, Bob Beckett, opened his year of office with a stunning win in the Neave Trophy competition at the New Zealand GC in the opening day of the WIGS season.
He held off a fantastic challenge from Past Master and WIGS past captain Tony Lancaster with a better back nine score with both players finishing on 42 points. Tony won the Hart Salver for his efforts and WIGS new President Mike Yardley won the former GW Bridge Trophy with the best gross score on the day of 79.
One week later a WIGS team was in action in the prestigious Prince Arthur Competition played at Walton Heath over 36 holes in a day.
This year Peter Ambler and Stuart Shepley were selected for the first time to join stalwarts Mike Yardley and Ian Chippendale.
The course had been set up for an earlier professional event and was particularly challenging for all livery participants.
Consequently, good steady golf was insufficient to command a match winning performance but our team had an excellent long day, appreciated the support from the WCI and others and were honoured to represent WIGS.
Honours shared in long-running fixture
June 2023 Last month finally saw WIGS improve its dismal past record against the Corporation of London Brokers Golf Society with a drawn match at the Denham Golf Club, thereby skilfully avoiding being the recipient of the unusual trophy (see photo) that records the longevity of the event as well as the past winners.
As always, the match was played in great spirit at a great course which was well set up on the day and provided excellent hospitality to all participants. Andy Bye and Cliff Hampton were the WIGS stars on the day with a good win over their opponents and two other halved matches ensured honours were even at the end of the match which enabled Vice Captain Nick Hughes to share trophy holding duties with his opposite number.
Close matches as busy season continues
July 2023: WIGS busy season continues with further involvement in competitions and matches both played in great golfing conditions and venues.
A team of four members competed in the Newson Smith Cup 12 team multi-livery event played at the Drift GC at East Horsley in Surrey. Competition was intense with only three points separating the top four teams including the WIGS contingent.
The format of this event also allows individuals to star on the day and Ian Jerrum finished his day with a couple bottles of wine for his performance on the day.
This was closely followed by our match at Beaconsfield GC against the Actuaries Livery Company – an event that has quickly established itself as one of the most keenly contested. This year proved no exception with the outcome not known until the final four ball team returned with the Actuarial team prevailing and winning back possession of the quaich donated to record the winners.
• The passing of Derek Biggs was marked by members. Derek was Captain of WIGS (1999), President (2000) and awarded Honorary Membership status (2011) for his work in setting up the Worshipful Company of Insurers Golf Society in 1996, along with Muir Stratford and others. Our condolences go to his wife Carole and his family.
Excellent turnout for Captain’s golf day
August 2023: The WIGS Captain’s Golf Day in July was a notable success with 24 members taking part at Flempton, a quintessential English golf club in the heart of the Suffolk countryside.
The event was hosted by Bob Beckett and blessed with some fine weather. Following an excellent lunch the participants set out on a challenging course for the 4BBB afternoon competition.
The winners were BIll Bower and his playing partner Graham Jackson with 45 points, closely followed by Messrs Jerrum and Thomson on 43 points who edged out Messrs Sales and Thomas on count back with the same points tally.
Other winners were Mike O’Conner with the best individual score of 42 points and Steve Parlett and Alison Wood for their respective nearest the pin shots.
This event was closely followed by the resumption of a match with the Lutine Society last played in 2018. Beaconsfield GC was the venue and some very close and good golf was played by both teams on yet another well set up course. A 2-2 scoreline meant both societies went home equally happy or disappointed with their efforts.
Fixture held in great affection
September 2023 Without doubt one fixture held in great affection with members is the annual match against the Insurance Golf Society played at Worplesdon GC .
This year was no different with 16 participants from both societies engaged in 18 holes of 4BBB golf in glorious sunshine in the heart of Surrey. Some excellent golf was played by both sides the eventual outcome was delayed until the completion of the final match with honours being shared. This was a big improvement by the WIGS team on last year’s performance but not quite enough to secure the John Phillips trophy which is retained by IGS .
Our other long standing fixture against Lloyd’s GS at West Sussex GC regrettably did not provide the same close outcome with the home side taking the honours convincingly.
Unfortunately, the team entered for the inaugural Financial Services Group cup competition at Royal Blackheath GC organised by the International Bankers Livery Company were disappointed as the event was cancelled by the organiser late on due to lack of support - a reflection perhaps of the parlous state of livery golf at present.
Sweet taste of victory for WIGS
October 2023 WIGS 2023 golf season finished on a very successful note when the Insurers team of Ian Jerrum (Captain on the day), Mike O’Conner, David Martin and Charles Thomson won this year’s Distillers Livery Company’s golf competition at Tandridge GC.
Competing against teams from a total of nine livery companies in less than perfect weather conditions they secured victory by the narrowest of margins in the Stapleford competition to win the painting of Tandridge’s Golf clubhouse which was presented by the former Distillers Master (Chris Porter) and organiser of the event. David Martin’s individual score of 38 points was the stand out performance on the day.
To add to their celebration each member of the team was also presented with a bottle of a fine limited edition 40th anniversary single malt whisky.
All the news from WIGS packed 2022 season
New Year news from WIGS
January 2022 Following a highly successful golf match between WIGS and the Institute of Actuaries last year at Beaconsfield Golf club one of their members has generously donated an engraved silver Quaich trophy to be competed for in future matches, making it now a total of nine trophies that WIGS and its members can compete for.
The Society is delighted to welcome new members Sam Adamson and Nick Charteris- Black to its ranks for the 2022 season. We are a very welcoming society and are happy to accommodate golfers with a range of handicaps.
On a sad note WIGS remembers with great affection the passing of past President and Captain Bryan Burnside who died in South Africa late last year. He was formerly Managing Director of Alexander Howden Reinsurance Brokers Ltd in the London Market and was a great supporter of the Society over the last 20 years. A member of the first winning WIGS team to win the Prince Arthur trophy in 2007, Bryan enjoyed many other trophy wins and was a charming man and great company on and off the course.
WIGS is very keen to increase its membership and anyone who is interested in joining should contact Bill Bower, who has taken over from Muir Stafford for the 2022 season at Billbower10@gmail.com.
WIGS takes second place in Livery Competition
April 2022 The impressive Club House and course at Moor Park GC was the venue for the start of WIGS competitive golf season when a team of Ian Jerrum, Charles Thomson and Bill Bower (a late replacement for Nick Hughes) participated in the Pewterers Challenge Cup, for 12 Livery Company teams.
The day was blessed with ideal golfing conditions – bright sunny weather after a chilly start with little wind.
A highly impressive 78 points led to a joint second place finish for the Insurers, with the Accountants taking the trophy this year. Captain Ian Jerrum was the pick of the WIGS team with 34 points.
The day finished with an enjoyable lunch, together with some bottles of wine for team members to take home.
• The draw for the Frank Morgan trophy – an internal WIGS competition – has been made and participants will be battling each other in the coming months to extend their involvement.
Busy start to WIGS season
July 2022 The opening half of the WIGS season is always very busy with the start of competitions and matches aplenty. Mike O’Conner (pictured left) set the tone by playing outstanding golf at New Zealand GC to win the Neave trophy with a magnificent 44 points in our first society meeting. Peter Ambler (pictured right) won the Hart Salver with 41 points and also the G W Bridge trophy for the best gross score on the day.
The Prince Arthur competition held at Walton Heath over 36 holes in a day returned to its normal start date and the WIGS team of Messrs Yardley, Chippendale, Martin and Matcham finished just outside the top 10 in this high quality, historic event.
Finally, our first match of the season played against the Corporation of Insurance Brokers at Denham involving 16 players resulted in a 5-3 win for the brokers with the weather, course and hospitality all contributing to an excellent day.
Captain's Day and competitions update
September 2022 WIGS Captain's Day this year – hosted and organised by Mike Yardley – was held at Chelmsford GC and attracted an excellent turnout with a good number of guests included.
Following a first class lunch, the course provided participants with a great test of their skills. Ian Clark, along with his partner Colin Johnson, rose to the challenge with a magnificent 47 points to win the 4BBB competition followed by Messrs O’Connor & Hughes who nudged out Messrs Moss &Tucker on count-back, with both teams scoring 42points. Other winners on the day were Colin Johnson and Neil Beckwith.
Thanks must go to Mike for arranging such an enjoyable day and his hospitality in providing all the prizes which was much appreciated by all.
In other news, WIGS participation in the long standing Ray Jeffs trophy competition was regrettably called off by the organisers in view of a lack of overall support and its future looks to be in considerable doubt.
However, the semi final stage of the internal Frank Morgan Trophy has been reached with Richard Bucknall playing Bob Beckett in one half of the draw whilst Nick Hughes hosts Mike Yardley in the other.
WIGS was saddened to learn of the recent passing of former Master John Phillips who was also a former President and Captain of WIGS as well as being instrumental in its formation in 1996. Our match against IGSOL later in the season is fought for a trophy that he donated and we will be raising our glasses to him in the traditional manner.
A short tribute to John appeared in the monthly members' bulletin.
Neave Trophy presented at Common Hall
October 2022 As is customary, the winner of the Neave Trophy was presented with an engraved tankard by the Master at Common Hall at the beginning of October. This year Mike O’Connor triumphed in a competition that was inaugurated by Past Master Julius Neave in 1985. Mike was joined by fellow golfers at a WIGS table at the supper after Common Hall.
Frank Morgan trophy brings the curtain down on the season
November 2022 WIGS golf season has finally closed following the conclusion of its internal knock out competition, the Frank Morgan Rose Bowl. Captain Mike Yardley – the current holder – played Richard Bucknall in the final at Tandridge GC.
The match was played on a bright sunny day on an excellent course and Richard prevailed, winning 4&2.