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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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SIAS golf tournament

Westminster Lodge, St Albans, Thursday 26 June 2003

The Moscow State Circus might have been visiting town, but the finest clowning around in St Albans was confined to the annual SIAS golf tournament held at the prestigious Westminster Lodge pitch and putt. Representatives from Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow, HSBC, and Towers Perrin arrived eager to put the irritation of nine holes of competition golf behind them and slake their thirsts in the traditionally nominated pub, the Fighting Cocks.

Tee times were staggered from 5.30 amid some degree of confusion. The event organiser, Bill Harris (HBW), was so enthusiastic to begin he set off shouting ‘just pay and play’ from the middle of the first fairway to the players behind him. Onlookers in the following group were left bemused as Harris simultaneously putted and acted as event broadcaster with his camcorder.

An extravaganza of excellent long iron work, pin-point chipping, and solid putting was displayed by some of the other golfers on the course, but sadly not appreciated by the majority of the SIAS players. Having decided that the existing course layout was simply not challenge enough, some played their entire rounds from the bushes and rough surrounding the course.

The award for Best Value (the most shots for your money) was handed to Nigel Pitchers (HBW) with a surprisingly low 52, smashing last year’s record 73. Graciously accepting the silver packet of pork scratchings, Pitchers commented that a stone in his shoe had affected his play, and besides, he’d had his eye on the scratchings ever since the event was announced.

Bill Harris scooped the bottle of wine award for Closest to the Pin on the 9th hole. A highly controversial and contentious decision by the match referee (Harris) to disallow other players’ attempts secured his victory, despite not actually landing on the green.

Seemingly unaffected by the tension caused by an event of this magnitude, Luke Clancy (TP) shot a match-winning 35 to collect the first prize bottle of Pimm’s, despite a disappointing triple bogey on the 9th, probably caused by a desire to get to the pub and drink his winnings. Close on his heels came Johnny McCabe (TP) with an inspirational 36 and Ross Wood (HBW) with a highly improbable 37.

As the sun set over the horizon and the competitors relaxed over a hearty meal and a cool drink (generously provided by SIAS) in the Fighting Cocks, the future of the event was assured as Wood agreed to begin preparations for the 2004 event. Next year, SIAS needs YOU!

For a full picture version of this article see the PDF of the local society news