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Est. 1923

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The Old Wellingtonian Golf Society played their first fixture in May 1924 as a result of a conversation held at our “spiritual” home, Rye GC, in December 1923 when Arthur Croome – OW – who was Captain of Rye that year set up a friendly match between Rye and a few of his OW friends. After the match, and history doesn’t record the result, the OWs had inevitably gathered for a small libation and a suggestion was put forward to create an OW Golfing Society.

After several discussions through the early part of 1924 the Old Wellingtonian Golfing Society was duly formed officially in May 1924 with its object being “the bringing together of Golfing O.W.s, irrespective of handicaps, for their mutual enjoyment”. This objective is still the guiding principle today of the O.W.G.S. The first Captain was A.C.M. Croome and J.A. Board, the Honorary Secretary. Amongst other resolutions at that meeting were that there would be a Spring and Autumn meeting and that the O.W.G.S would be entered into the Halford Hewitt Cup foursomes tournament which was inaugurated in 1923 with the first event being in 1924. The O.W.G.S. was too late to join the 1924 competition but started in 1925.

It was also resolved to play as many matches as could be arranged against other Public School Golfing Societies and Clubs.

At the meeting Arthur Croome presented a Challenge Shield to be competed for at the Spring
Meeting over 18 holes of medal play, off handicap which is still played for today.

The Genesis of the OWGS, summarised in the 1924 Yearbook

Spring Meeting

After the death of Arthur Croome in 1930 a new scratch medal competition was put in place for the Spring Meeting. It was originally called the Croome Putter but became the O’Brien Trophy in the early 1960s after the untimely death of Robin O’Brien from cancer in his 30s.
Robin was a superb golfer and played for many years in the Halford Hewitt team, right up to just before he died. Recent winners include Bas Gowar – 4 times, Mike Gowar, Harold Deane - past President, twice. Ed Bragg, Chris Rummery, Richard Webb-Eggleshaw, James Wyke, James Harper, John Wakely, Mike Power - past President, Stuart Mackie twice, Freddie Edmunds and Jack Sallis with scores ranging from 70 to 78.

Rye winners (Recent)
2021 Freddie Edmunds 72
2019 Jack Sallis 79
2018 Stuart Mackie 70
2017 Stuart Mackie 75
2016 Ed Bragg 74
2014 Mike Gowar 71
2012 Bas Gowar 70
2011 Bas Gowar 75
2010 Bas Gowar 74
2009 Bas Gowar 70
2008 Richard Eggleshaw 70
2005 James Wyke 75
2004 Mike Power 77
2003 Harold Deane 72
2002 Chris Rummery 78
2001 James Harper 77
2000 John Wakely 74
1999 Harold Deane 75

Halford Hewitt


To date, the OWs have won the prestigious Hewitt once, in 1959.

Three members of the team Paddy Shillington, Peter Dobbs and John Churchill are still members of the OWGS, and David Frame was once a Walker Cup Player but there is  one member whose name might surprise many of you.

He was famously known as for playing Saruman in Lord of the Rings, Count Dooku in Star Wars and of course, Count Dracula - Christopher Lee is the man.

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