Congratulations to the School Golf Team who won the Independent Schools Golf Association National Plate Final, making them yet another group of Dean Close National Champions.
The competition was played at The Shire Golf Course in Barnet, the boys having secured their place as winners of the Midlands and Wales section. The competition involved seven other teams from around the UK.
The team travelled up a day early to have a practice before the competition, providing them with valuable knowledge of the course to give them the best possible chance. This helped greatly with tactics, leaving their drivers in the bag in the early rounds, knowing the amount of trouble waiting, and pulling them out at the 9th hole. On this difficult course, they knew that accuracy was the key to scoring well.
The team of Lee Cowan, Craig Graham and Mike Dawson played some stunning golf throughout the day, ably supported by the School captain, Josh Chaplin. Lee’s birdie on the first started them off brilliantly and he was solid throughout, scoring 19 points (stapleford) on both the front and back 9. He ended up joint top scorer of the day. Mike, who was a little rusty after suffering from food poisoning a few weeks before, survived early scares and put in a magnificent 23 points, 2 over par, on the back 9 to lift the trophy for best score of the day, beating Lee on count back. Craig held the team together and put in a great performance, particularly early on, and took pressure off the team as he kept scoring hole after hole.
What typified the performance was on the difficult 18th hole. Once again the team opted for accuracy over length off the tee but it left them 170 yards short of the island green. They all showed nerves of steel as one after another hit perfect shots with long irons onto the green to walk off that hole with 7 points. The team finished with 107 points combined, one over the combined handicap. As the final card went in it became evident that Dean Close had won the National ISGA Plate Final by 3 points.