Sunday and Monday 20th and 21st June was the RIGS National Finals weekend contested at the Hawkstone Park Golf and Spa Hotel.
This was the 99th time that this trophy has been contested for, as the society was established in 1922 and we will celebrate our centenary next year.
“I have been fortunate enough to win it three times now and I am very honoured to be part of a Society that has traditional core values and offers fantastic camaraderie.
Our society is thought to be one of the oldest industry golf societies. The Institution of the Rubber Industry was founded in 1921 by a group of rubber manufacturers who felt it necessary to have some central organisation which would collect, discuss and distribute the increasing amount of technical information which was becoming available and so ‘ promote a better understanding and a closer relationship between all branches of the Rubber Industry. ‘ ”
The social side of an institution or other organisation affords its members an opportunity to relax and get to know one another, which is an advantage to all concerned.
That was the object Colonel James Wallwork of Manchester had in view when, in 1922 , he presented to the I.R. I. a handsome silver golf challenge cup together with 5 replicas, for annual competition. This was the beginning of the I.R.I. Golfing Society which has done so much in bringing members of the Institution into personal contact with each other .
The first competition was played at Hesketh, in Lancashire., on June 12th , 1922, when H. W. Franklin was the w inner. A truly significant happenig, as no one man did more than Howard Franklin in forming the Society, and with his unfailing enthusiasm and energy, directing its affairs until his death in 1959.
After the Hesketh meeting, a further meeting was held of the I.R.I. Golf Centre, as it was then called, on the 7th of March, 1923. at the I.R. I. off ices. Faraday House, Charing Cross Road, when H. W. Franklin and Colonel Wallwork were present. R. W. Crummack was co -opted. and rules were drawn up to govern the competition with the assistance of W. F. V. (Virgil) Cox who was then General Secretary of the Institution and who was to render in valuable service to the Society.
H. W. Franklin was elected Captain and so we were off on the long, long, trail which, for the next 50 years was to provide us with the companionship, at times fierce competition (international and sectional) and all the other mixed frustrations and delights which make up this wonderful , self-inflicted torture called golf.
Until 1925 there were only 2 sections. the Midland/Southern and the Northern/Scottish. and the rules were such that although Qualifying Rounds were held, the Semi -Finals and Final consisted of a complicated system of knock-outs which would have baffled anyone and resulted in only a handful of members attending, and for the one day on July. In 1926 4 sections were formed. Lond on. Manchester , Mid land and Scotland, and the title was changed to the I.R.I. Golfing Society and this has now been changed to three sections, Manchester, Midlands and London.
This weekend saw golfers from the London, Midlands and Manchester sections compete against each other and individually the Wallwork Cup. I was fortunate to win the cup and Manchester take the section prize.
To all that attended, thanks for a great weekend. #RIGS