The Antlers, the 36-hole Scratch Medal Foursomes competition with a rich heritage in elite amateur golf dating back 89 years, made a welcome return to Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club in Richmond on Sunday 19 June with the pairing representing Sunningdale coming away with the coveted trophy.
The event was being staged for the first time in three years since the COVID-19 pandemic forced its postponement and 68 elite amateur players took on the special challenge.
Open to Men and Lady amateur golfers from all parts of the UK with a maximum combined handicap of 12, the packed field played two rounds in the notably challenging format on the famous JH Taylor Course at the 36-hole venue located a short distance from central London.
A closely contested event saw Stephen Ross and William Shucksmith of Sunningdale win The Antlers trophy after impressive rounds of 72 and 71 for a total score of 143. They were closely followed by Harry Light and Robert Lyon of Fulwell Golf Club in second spot with rounds of 74 and 70 – the lowest round of the day – for a 144 total.
Home pairing Graham Badger and John Glenn recorded a total gross score of 145 to finish third and just two shots back of the eventual winners. Demanding weather conditions in the morning saw median scoring at 79 and 77 in the afternoon when the wind dropped.
Volunteers from the Club helped marshal the event, while local Artisans assisted with scoring, ball spotting and bunker raking to ensure the conditions were fair for all competitors tackling the par-69 course measuring 6,360 yards from the back tees.
“We’re delighted to have staged The Antlers again for the first time in three years and it provided a real challenge for golfers from all across the country,” said Angus Armstrong, Men’s Captain at Royal Mid-Surrey for 2022. “There was a great buzz around the Club and we can’t wait to welcome another strong field of amateur golfers again next year,” he added.
The Club undertook extensive maintenance work in 2011 to introduce 18 new USGA greens across the JH Taylor Course and it was decided to put The Antlers event on hold until championship level playing surfaces could be assured. The competition was revived in 2019 and saw former Royal Mid-Surrey junior members Dom Cotton and Simon Peck take victory after a 3-hole playoff.
Well-known names in broadcasting and Tour professionals such as Bruce Critchley (1974), Richard Boxall and Roger Chapman (1981) are among those appearing on The Antlers’ roll of honour board displayed in the Royal Mid-Surrey clubhouse.
Other highlights at the Club this year include the Men’s Guest Day on 24th June, Captain’s Charity Day on 2nd July and a Ladies Pro-Am scheduled for September. Both the JH Taylor and Pam Barton Courses will be maintained to the highest standards to host numerous member board competitions and trophies.
“Both Courses are in fantastic condition right now and we were thrilled to have so many accomplished amateur players see what Royal Mid-Surrey has to offer,” said General Manager Carl Rutherford. “We hope soon to be awarded GEO Certification, which would also mark the Club as one of the most environmentally friendly in the country.”
More details on The Antlers and Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club can be found at www.rmsgc.co.uk