The Oxford - Cambridge golf match took place on Wednesday May24 at the Tuxedo Park Golf Club in Tuxedo Park to do battle in the almost Annual Oxford Cambridge Golf Challenge. The course was exceptionally beautiful set against rolling green hills and the weather was perfect with sun shining on the many little lakes and perfect green fairways.
Dan Arnow (Corpus '58) submitted this report:
The Oxford - Cambridge golf match took place on Wednesday May24 at the Tuxedo Park Golf Club in Tuxedo Park.
We gathered to do battle in the almost Annual Oxford Cambridge Golf Challenge. The course was exceptionally beautiful set against rolling green hills and the weather was perfect with sun shining on the many little lakes and perfect green fairways.
Oxford University team:
Team members - left to right:
Daniel Arnow (Corpus '58) Spectator, subsequently score keeper.
Guy Spier (Brasenose, '88) Golf handicap 36
Gary Webber (Wadham '87) Golf handicap 15
Cambridge University team:
We also looked hard for the Cambridge team, but could not find anyone from Cambridge anywhere within Tuxedo Park. Side captain Spier reported to the group that Cambridge had agreed as to time, date and location of the match.
One possible location of the Cambridge team on match day.
Rather than declare an immediate forfeit, Spier designated his guest Dan Moore to represent the Cambridge side.
Substitute Cambridge team
Daniel Moore ('93 Hamilton College) with Cambridge team-mate.
Considering Cambridge substitute Moore's strong golfing skills that were arrayed against a considerably weaker Oxford team, Spier decided that the match should be played off handicap. Upon futher thought, Spier also decided that the Cambridge side should be penalized by 11 handicap points for failing to field a player who had actually attended the University. This would force Moore to play off a scratch handicap.
The decision was unanimously accepted and approved by all Oxbridge graduates present.
So with beautiful 70 degree weather the group proceeded around the 18 hole course originally designed Robert Trent Jones. Tuxedo Park itself was imagined by industrialist Pierre Lorillard to create the idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of big city life--- the country's first gated community (1886) and the origin of using the word "tuxedo" for "dinner jacket".
Oxford and Cambridge teams after the 9th hole.
At this point, it was becoming clear that Cambridge did not have much of a chance.
Oxford took an early lead in the match play and stayed there. Even though the Cambridge team had the low overall raw score, including a birdie two on the back nine, Moore's excellent play, however, was unable to overcome Oxford's rather more mediocre showing, given the state of the relative handicaps.
The final score was nine holes for Oxford and four for Cambridge with six holes halved for a total of five up for Oxford. This can only be considered a major rout for Oxford over Cambridge - one unlikely to have been exceeded in recent history.
After the match both sides gathered on the veranda overlooking the scenic eighteenth hole with it's two ponds and many sand traps set between tree lined hills to have some pints and grapes and cheese.
Oxford team captain Spier said,
"Although it was a glorious day, and the weather conditions were perfect, Oxford's prospects took a major turn for the worse when it emerged that 'tab substitute player was an excellent golfer and that the Oxford team was mediocre at best. At this point, I was expecting some tough play ahead."
To the victors, the spoils...
Oxford University seated from Left to Right: Guy Spier (BNC '88), Gary Webber (Wadham '87), Daniel Arnow (Corpus '58)
"However, just as play was about to start, I hit on the idea of penalizing the Cambridge 11 handicap points for failing to field a team. This seemed to offend Cambridge substitute Moore's sense of fairness. For my part, I was sure that the Cambridge captain was in agreement. Furthermore, I decided to put it to a vote: All Oxbridge graduates present ruled unanimously (3-0) in favour, as did a majority (2-1) of all the players.
I thought of adding in extra penalties, but decided that I did not want to push my luck. Furthermore, with an 11 point disadvantage, I was pretty sure that the Cambridge team was licked. I'm glad to say that my lousy golf was saved by the skill with which I negotiated with the Cambridge side."
Dan Moore (Hamilton, '88) shares a toast with his team:
The Cambridge team captain was not available at the match to comment.