2007 - Brook Hollow GC, Dallas, Texas
The BGCS touring party arrived by various means at the Hilton Hotel, Luther Lane, Dallas, Texas on Friday 26th October. All appeared to have travelled well and were ready for the various events that our BGCS American hosts had organised for us. We were allocated rooms on the Executive floor, and a large envelope with a schedule of events, maps and brochures, collated by John Crow Miller, was eagerly studied and discussed.
Saturday 27th October
Our splendid team bus awaited outside to take us to Cedar Crest for a warm up round. The journey of approximately twenty minutes afforded us the opportunity to have the first rehearsal of the tour song, composed by our musical director Ron Beatt to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas. Ron sang it and we all listened and wondered if we’d ever master it! Every time we were on the bus we rehearsed the song. The bus driver must have thought us nuts. Cedar Crest is an excellent Tillinghast course which hosted the US PGA Championship in 1927 and had a fairly recent make-over by DA Weibring. It is now a municipal facility and cost a very reasonable $40 per head. On Saturday evening both teams and supporters gathered in John Miller’s splendid home for a welcome party, hosted by the Millers, Padgetts and Farmers. A truly memorable time was had and Ron Beatt found a piano – need I say more.
Sunday 28th October
The US organisers were keen that we had a bonding session and organised a team breakfast for us in the restaurant of the hotel. Meanwhile they were bonding at the golf club. At 10am the bus arrived on time to take the party to the Grail venue, Brook Hollow Golf Club, where the members were waiting in period dress to play a Stableford with the team players. The course is of a Tillinghast design, still in its original layout, greens about 12 on the stimp, slopey Bermuda rough, tree-lined and a very good golf course. The event was very successful, and much enjoyed by the members playing with wooden shafted golf clubs for the first time.
A large scoreboard had been erected close to the clubhouse, and a four-piece string quartet played as the teams filed in front of the crowd. The two captains introduced their teams and National anthems were sung – and even Claes Kvist joined in God Save the Queen. The evening function took place in the holy of holies – the nineteenth hole or ‘Men’s Grill’, duly open to all of us that night. A marvellous atmosphere with members, wives and Grailers all enjoying the excellent buffet. The superb string ensemble, four young ladies, played some great music and when asked if they knew The Yellow Rose of Texas immediately started to play it.
The US team and the Brook Hollow members were then treated to the European team’s best performance, the words of which follow this report. I was duly informed by John Crow Miller that NOBODY had sung in this room for 89 years and that maybe his membership would be discussed at the next board meeting. It is very hard to describe just how moving and memorable that rendition was, and I congratulate all the Europeans for taking part. I will remember the occasion for a very long time.
Monday 29th October - The Grail
As per normal we started with foursomes and for a while things were quite bright with all but one of the matches being fairly close. Rowley and Norcott turned a four-hole deficit into a narrow win on the last green; Muller and McMullin proved too strong for Mitchell and Truett. Superstar Notley teamed with Kirkwood to edge out Aaron and Alhschwede. Local hero Miller with the baritone Holland proved too good on the greens for Stuart Gibbs and Captain Hanna. The all-Scottish foursome of Still and Beatt went down on the last green to Roger Hill and the wily veteran Tad Moore. Our secret weapon Willie Tanner was paired with John Sherwood in a couldn’t lose
combination – they lost to the all Texan pairing of Wehring and Farmer.
Morning Result: USA 4 EUROPE 2
The afternoon singles went very smoothly for the Americans and European successes were hard to come by. In order to get in before dark, we resorted to a two-tee start. Claes Kvist opened the batting and managed to score a point for Europe. Nigel Notley continued his strong Grail form by defeating Chuck McMullin in the second singles but sadly the fight back ended there with just one more win towards the end, by Tanner with a very welcome victory over Brian Siplo.
Match result: USA 13 EUROPE 5.