Bobby Stovold

It is with great sadness that I write to you to tell you of the death on Saturday 28th January of Bobby Stovold, one of the nicest and most accomplished OCGS golfers. Aged 91, Bobby was three years older than two other great OC golfers, Robin Elsdon-Dew and Nigel Paul, his partner in 15 Halford Hewitt matches. Bobby was captain of the OCGS in 1958 at the age of 27 and President from 2000 to 2003. He played 66 matches in the Halford Hewitt from 1957 to 1989, winning 34 times, an average of nearly 55%. Indeed, he won his match (one up) in the final HH match against Eton in 1968 as well as being on the winning side of the OCGS’s first appearance in 1959 at the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club Putting Competition, now known as the Public Schools Putting Competition.

Andrew Cronk relates the story about Bob at the time we won the Mellin in 2006. “Bob was our non-playing captain and as such he chose the pairings. We reached the finals and were due to play Haileybury, who had a very strong side. Bob took me aside and said, “Andrew, we can beat them, and I believe that we will! You must believe it yourself. Now don’t let me down as it is my 75th birthday today and I want to celebrate it with a win!” How could we lose after the “great man” had spoken so passionately!! We duly won and we celebrated with several bottles of fizz!  This was the first (and last) time we had won the trophy.”

Bobby’s last appearance at an OCGS meeting was in the 2018 Autumn Meeting at West Surrey when he won the Veterans Handicap Cup, which he first won in 1991, 27 years earlier!

An indication of the respect in which he was held at an early age is the fact that he was appointed captain of West Surrey Golf Club in 1959 at the age of 28, an extraordinary distinction and honour. He subsequently was made president in 2007 and made an Honorary Life Member, having won every West Surrey competition at least five times. He also represented Surrey on several occasions.

An example of Bobby’s kindness is this from Tony Whitty, “when I left school, he got me in to West Surrey but I didn’t have a car, so he used to drive over to Cranleigh to pick me up and play 18 holes and then drive me back.  Very kind.”

Bobby is an example to us all in terms of loyalty, decency and achievement having been a playing member of the OCGS for 69 years. His humour, support and kindness will be missed.

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