The President's Putter - Live Scores & News

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The Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society, founded in 1898, is one of the oldest golfing societies in the world. Known simply as The Society and carrying the motto 'serious fun', the majority of its 750 members gained their blue by taking part in the annual university match. The Society holds its annual meeting each January at Rye, where members compete for the President's Putter. In addition, the Society plays some 40 matches a year, always in foursomes format.

Arthur Croome
Arthur Croome

The origins of the Society

A match was held at Hinksey on Saturday 4th December 1897 between the "present" university team and a "past" team picked by Arthur Croome, an Oxford man who had graduated ten years before and had not then played golf, but had now become addicted to it. His star selection was John Low, one of the outstanding recent Cambridge players, who earlier in the year had reached the semi-final of the Amateur Championship at Muirfield.

John Low
John Low

The present university team had won the game but Low had taken eight holes from W.A. Henderson in the top match and, in the process, had broken the course record by two shots with a 68. The two teams dined together at the Gridiron Club and Low was in good humour when he rose to speak in response to the Oxford Captain, Raymond de Montmorency, who had toasted the visitors. It was a matter of regret that such occasions were so rare. That was the view expressed over dinner by many of those present and Low too voiced it in his speech, suggesting that there should be a golfing group on the lines of the Free Foresters at cricket, which would play matches against clubs and tour together. Thus was the seed sown and after an indecently short period of gestation, a mere fifteen weeks, the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society was born.

Text and pictures courtesy of The Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society - 100 Years of Serious Fun (Bathurst and Behrend)

The origins of the President's Putter

The second annual report of the Society's activities issued in 1900 by the secretary, A.C.M. Croome, contained two comments of great significance. First, "the Committee of the Rye Golf Club have with great kindness suggested that the Society should regard the Rye course as its home green". A little further down the following appears: "It has been suggested that the Society should have a meeting at Rye annually at which a tournament for the championship of the Society might be played. I shall be glad if members will communicate to me their views about this suggestion. The best time for such a meeting would probably be the earlier part of January."

Sadly there is no record of reactions to this proposal and not until the closing months of 1919 was there any further mention of such a tournament. Maybe it was reconceived on the occasion of the "coming of age" celebrations when, on 15th November 1919, there took place a foursomes match at Addington between "Age" and "Youth" followed by a dinner at the Criterion. At any rate, very soon after this, an approach was made to the Rye Golf Club, which led to the first mention of the event that later turned into "the Putter". It is contained in the minutes of the Rye Golf Club Committee meeting held on 13th December 1919. "A request has been received from the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society to hold a two-day meeting at some date in January next."

The club responded with an offer of three days, 16th, 17th and 18th January 1920. On 17th January The Times reported "that the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Societv's tournament was begun at Rye yesterday: There were fifteen players and match-play on level terms was decided upon."

Text courtesy of The Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society - 100 Years of Serious Fun (Bathurst and Behrend)

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Summary Statistics and Facts on the President's Putter

Past winners of the President's Putter

1920 E W E Holderness
1921 E W E Holderness
1922 E W E Holderness
1923 E W E Holderness
1924 B Darwin
1925 H D Gillies
1926 R H Wethered, E F Storey
1927 R H Wethered
1928 R H Wethered
1929 E W E Holderness
1930 T A Bourn
1931 A G Pearson
1932 L G Crawley
1933 A J Peech
1934 D H R Martin
1935 R H Wethered
1936 R H Wethered
1937 J B Beck
1938 C J H Tolley
1939 J O H Greenly
1940-46 No Competition – War Years
1947 L G Crawley
1948 A A Duncan
1949 P B Lucas
1950 D H R Martin
1951 L G Crawley
1952 L G Crawley
1953 G H Micklem
1954 G Huddy
1955 G Huddy
1956 G T Duncan
1957 A E Shepperson
1958 A A Duncan
1959 I D Wheater
1960 J M E Anderson
1961 I D Wheater
1962 M F Attenborough
1963 J G Blackwell
1964 D M A Steel
1965 W J Uzielli
1966 M F Attenborough
1967 J D Midgley
1968 A W J Holmes
1969 P H Moody
1970 D M A Steel
1971 G T Duncan
1972 P H Moody
1973 A D Swanston
1974 R A Biggs
1975 C J Weight
1976 M J Reece
1977 A W J Holmes
1978 M J Reece
1979 No Competition – Snow
1980 G S Melville
1981 A W J Holmes
1982 D M A Steel
1983 E R Dexter
1984 A G Edmond
1985 E R Dexter
1986 J J N Caplan
1987 D C Meacher
1988 G D Wuollet
1989 P M Froggatt
1990 G D Wuollet
1991 B S Ingleby
1992 M R A Cox
1993 C J Weight
1994 S R Seman
1995 A L Woolnough
1996 C J Rotheroe
1997 C J Rotheroe
1998 N Pabari
1999 C J Dale
2000 C J Dale
2001 B G Streather
2002 T J Etridge
2003 D G Hayes
2004 I M Henderson
2005 O J C Lindsay
2006 D G Hayes
2007 I M Henderson
2008 C J Rotheroe
2009 R D Marett
2010 R D Marett
2011 M S P Benka
2012 A P Stracey
2013 B C Wescoe
2014 E Greenhalgh
2015 C A Consul
2016 T J Etridge
2017 W J Dugdale
2018 C A Consul
2019 M S P Benka
2020 B A C Fitzpatrick