Scratch tournament last contested in 2010 adds mixed pairings for first time
The Antlers, an event with a rich heritage in amateur golf dating back 86 years, is being revived at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club in Richmond next month after a nine-year break.
The 36-hole Scratch Medal Foursomes tournament will be played on Sunday 30 June and will feature mixed pairs for the first time. Requiring maximum handicaps of 12 combined and 8 for individuals, it has already attracted a strong entry from accomplished male and female golfers across the UK.
The Antlers was first played in 1933 through until 2010, when it was last competed for and won by Messrs M.A. Booker & R. E. T. Rea, who spent their formative years at Royal Mid-Surrey and won the title a total of six times. In 2011, the Club undertook to introduce 18 new USGA greens across the JH Taylor Course and it was decided to put The Antlers event on hold until the Club could assure championship level playing surfaces.
A generation ago, the event was deemed as an opportunity for the Walker Cup captain to try out prospective foursomes pairings ahead of the Walker Cup itself. Current Royal Mid-Surrey President Martin Christmas took part in such a trial and then came up against an American team including Jack Nicklaus.
“Having taken part in The Antlers tournament and enjoyed it so much in past, I’m naturally delighted to see it return to Royal Mid-Surrey and be welcomed by so many scratch players who appreciate its value to the amateur game,” said Martin, who first played in the event in 1959, and then many times thereafter being runner-up 3-times with Michael Burgess.
“The JH Taylor course is now in prime condition and the addition of the mixed pairings is very much in line with the Club’s approach to promote a social occasion for competent golfers who relish the rare opportunity to play in a scratch foursomes event over 36 holes,” he added.
Well-known names in broadcasting and Tour professionals such as Bruce Critchley (1974), Richard Boxall and Roger Chapman (1981) are also among those appearing on The Antlers’ roll of honour board displayed in the Royal Mid-Surrey clubhouse.