The Dowgate Cup
The Dowgate Challenge is organised by the Skinners’ Company. It is an 18 hole Stableford competition held at Worplesdon Golf Club for those Livery Companies with their Hall located in Dowgate Hill. Eligibility has been extended to those Companies with premises in Dowgate Ward. It started some 10 years ago and has been won, once, by the Turners in 2012. Up to 9 players from each Company can take part with the best 6 scores being added together to decide the winner.
Report: 11th Dowgate Challenge 2018
Worplesdon Golf Club, 25th October, 2018
A chilly start turned into a glorious sunny day, where the Tallow Chandlers’ top 6 players took the Trophy with a total of 187, although 6 fewer than when they last won in 2009, but 7 clear of the runners-up, the Skinners. The winning Tallows averaged 31 each, against an average handicap of 17. The Dyers had difficulty in raising a team and decided not to enter this year. Recruitment for other teams may have suffered from starting a little later than usual. Thus overall turnout was only 42, a long way short of the target of 54, with one Team short of numbers to qualify for the Cup and 2 Teams with 6 rather than their ‘entitlement’ of 8. However, Tallows gave themselves the extra chance of winning by taking up 2 available places more their ‘entitlement’, entering 10. Thus Teams varied in number from 5 to 10 with Team average handicaps ranging between 15 and 24, the whole field averaging 18 overall. Following the success of the engraved tumblers as prizes, introduced last year to mark the 10th year of the Dowgate Challenge, 14 glasses engraved for the ‘11th’ year, covering the various categories were awarded for 6 ‘Winning Team’, 6 Team’s ‘Highest Scorer’, Mens’ Longest Drive and the individual Nearest the Pin. As there were 3 Ladies on the field of play a prize was available for the Ladies Longest Drive, but unfortunately could not be awarded as none finished on the fairway. It was a generally higher-scoring day despite the fairways having yet to recover from the effects of the severe summer drought, probably mitigated by applying winter rules. ‘The Dowgate Heather Drop’ was applied in a good many cases with good effect and met with general approval. The greens were up to their usual standard. Together with a splendid lunch the day was much enjoyed by all. These sentiments have been passed to and been warmly received by the Club. Thanks to the efforts by Captains and Team Managers, all players arrived in time, all cards arrived properly marked, the prize-giving was on time and the day closed earlier than ever before, enabling a prompt departure for the journey home.
The Turner’s team was made up of Liveryman and Captain Peter Godding, Master David Batchelor, Past Master Peter Ellis, Assistant Nigel Luson and Liveryman Les Thorne with Les winning the Turners’ team highest score.
12th Dowgate Challenge 2019
Worplesdon, Thursday, 24th October, 2019
Given the enthusiastic support expressed again on the day, for continuing the Dowgate Challenge, Worplesdon is provisionally booked for Thursday 24th October, 2019. It is to be hoped that all Companies will be able to take up their 8 places and more where available with their strongest players, thereby increasing their potential for winning the Dowgate Cup through the ‘self-selecting’ top 6. It will be remembered that the original purpose is to engender friendship between the Members of the Dowgate Companies by playing as many as possible from each
Company, with a target field of 54.
My thanks to all players and especially to the Captains and Team Managers / Organisers for their vital part in bringing the whole thing together and for all the participating Companies for their continued support. James Loch
Worplesdon Golf Club is one of the prettiest and most delightful of Surrey’s many heath and heather courses and it’s arguably the best of hte trinity of ‘Ws’ (West Hill and Woking being the other two); all three courses virtually border each other. It is set amongst glorious heather, chestnut and pine trees. John Abercromby’s inaugural design dates back to 1908; greens and bunkers were constructed by Willie Park Junior. Little has changed after more than 100 years.
It’s not a long course, at just less than 6,500 yards, but it’s supremely challenging and driving accuracy is far more important than length. The front nine plays across stunning undulating terrain, so expect some awkward stances. The back nine is sited on relatively even ground. The greens are always in a fabulous condition and are lightning fast with some subtle borrows and undulations. Taken from Top 100 Golf Courses.
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