Savoy Gastronomes Golf Society

SGGS  -  Beverly Griffin Memorial Trophy 

The golfers amongst the Savoy Gastronomes came together in 2000 and played their inaugural match on the Dukes course of Richmond Park, London.  This was reputedly the busiest course in the world (with two 18 hole courses) - by Trivial Pursuits reckoning! 


Every year since we have come together in early summer and taken up the challenge of many a different course including The Old Course at the RAC in Epsom, Leatherhead, New Malden, Effiingham, and Rudding Park in Harrogate.


Formerly the Savoy Gastronomes Golf Trophy, in 2003 our trophy was renamed as The Beverly Griffin Memorial Trophy in honour of “Griff”, fondly remembered from his days as General Manager at The Savoy.  Griff joined us for our tournament in 2002 at the RAC and, after the round, we had a most amusing lunch in one of the private rooms where he regaled us all with the most wonderful stories of his Savoy days.


The golf society is a group of mixed ability golfers with a handicap range mostly between 20 & 28.  We have enjoyed many a fun, and frustrating, round over the years and whilst we relish a day out in the English sunshine the competition can be more than quite competitive! 


A special moment in 2005, when we played at The Leatherhead Golf Club, was to have the then US Open Champion, Michael Campbell, present our trophy to the winner Tony Elliott.   


More recently we remember David Ward who is sadly missed. Not a golfer, David used to join us to walk part of the course and present the prizes at the end of play.  We always had a good laugh and enjoyed his endearing chuckle. 


We try and keep costs to a minimum by playing during the week and we budget around £50 for the day. Match format is Stableford off full handicap and we indulge in a few beers and sandwiches after the round with prize giving.  (More recently  we also try to choose a course that allows “mans best friend”).



Our Membership includes: - Peter Banks, Richard Bellman, Paul Brackley, Christian Duffell (Captain), Michael Duffell, Rupert Elliott, Tony Elliott, Martin Harvey, Julian Payne Jnr, Julian Payne Snr, Jim Sarton, Peter Thomas, Peter Tyrie, Andy White & Knut Wylde. 


New members
We are always on the look out for new members to join us.  Please contact any of the existing members or myself, mobile is best.

Golfing attire includes SGGS golf shirt, socks and cap. (Shirts & Caps will need to be ordered for new members). We endeavor to keep things relaxed and remain in our golf playing attire for prizes.


Past Winners

2000    Christian Duffell
2001    Christian Duffell & Rupert Elliott
2002    Christian Duffell
2003    Andy White
2004    Jim Sarton
2005    Tony Elloitt
2006    Jim Sarton
2007    Tony Elliott
2008    Christian Duffell
2009    Jim Sarton
2010    Peter Banks
2011    Martin Harvey
2012    Paul Brackley
2014    Martin Harvey
2015    Martin Harvey
2016    Michael Duffell

2017    Christian Duffell & Martin Harvey

2018    Christian Duffell



Thank you
We would acknowledge Lanson Champagne who have always contributed Champagnes for the winners’ podium. 


Thank you to Michael Duffell for refurbishing our Torphy it is looking quite splendid.


Useful Links:
The Rules of Golf & Equipment – The R&A

Golf Courses & Driving Ranges in London & Greater London


Christian Duffell
November 2017

Stop Press with courtesy of The Bloomberg News:


Making Time To Play 18 Holes On Your Lunch Hour

It looks like the United States Golf Association is taking a page out of George H.W. Bush's scorecard. The former president was famous for putting a priority on speed around the links at the expense of, ahem, a dogged adherence to the rule book. He reportedly once played 18 holes in 51 minutes, while the rest of us duffers rarely come in under four hours.

Now, in the stated purpose of making the game's rules "easier to understand and apply," the USGA, along with the U.K.'s governing Royal and Ancient Golf Club, is considering cutting the game's main regulations to 24 from 34. And while some changes involve obscure penalties for things like balls bouncing off one's caddie -- one of the few embarrassments I've never managed to suffer on the course -- most seem to be about speeding things up.
This makes a lot of sense. Golf's popularity has cratered since the Tiger Woods-fueled bubble of 15 years ago; an estimated 31 million Americans played the game in 2003, as opposed to fewer than 25 million today. TV ratings, equipment sales and club memberships have also swooned, and every year in the last decade, more courses have been shuttered than opened.

A big reason for this is that it simply takes so much time to play a round. And you cannot get any good at the game unless you play regularly, at least a couple times a week. Plus, most country clubs ban phones on the course, so you lose all those hours of tweeting and sharing and trading commodities futures and all other joys of our digitally connected lives.

The most important proposed changes will affect pace of play at every hole's bottleneck, the area on and around the putting green. These include eliminating the penalty for hitting an unattended flagstick still in the hole with a putt, which is a godsend to those of us who are tired of spending 15 minutes standing over our approach shot while the foursome ahead fuzzes with taking the pin out. Players would also be allowed to take a ball out of a sand trap for a two-stroke penalty.

Other time-savers include reducing the time allowed searching for a lost ball to three minutes from five, and mandating that after a certain amount of strokes on a hole, a player has to pick up his or her ball and move on. The big goal is to encourage "ready golf," which means abandoning the rules of etiquette that, for instance, require the player farthest from the hole to take the next shot. The new ethos is: if you have the chance, fire away.

Golf isn't the only sport that's worried about pace of play -- Major League Baseball is also looking at rules changes to bring back fans to the seats. The Olympics chose to add a speeded-up seven-man team version of rugby last year rather than the traditional 11-man sides.

But golf is far more dependent than other sports on recreational players, who spend billions annually on clubs, greens fees and memberships to feed their habits. These proposed rules changes aren't just about simplification for elite players; they are needed to confront an industry-wide crisis.

Golfers are a hidebound lot, often fixated on the game’s ancient traditions and aura of gentlemanliness. (Which conveniently ignores the significant role women play in the sport’s popularity.) So expect a backlash against the proposals, which will undergo a six-month review for comment from pros and amateurs alike. But traditionalists should take note: the health of the game, not to mention the peace within uncounted marriages, depends on speeding things up.


Bloomberg News.

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