Hickory pair win Lamington Cup

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Bruce Collins and Dave Mansfield have broken a 75-year drought by winning The Brisbane Golf Club’s annual Lamington Cup, using hickory clubs.

The Lamington Cup, a knockout Foursomes competition, is steeped in tradition. Named after Lord Lamington, a former Governor of Queensland and foundation President of BGC, it is the club’s second-oldest Honour Board event and was first played in 1898.

Bruce and Dave were one of eight teams which qualified back in August, and they won their quarter-final match against two Junior Pennant players, Demos Drakos and Harvey Palmer, 3&2. They then disposed of Greg Mitchell and Ashley Barrett in their semi-final, 4&3, and in Saturday’s final defeated the father-and-son team of Mark and Christian Yates-Round, 1-up.

“This is truly a memorable result, and a very special achievement,” said Bruce who is 59, plays off 13 and has been a member of BGC for 36 years.

“I actually won the Lamington Cup back in 1999 playing with ordinary clubs, and was pretty chuffed with that victory, considering the history of the event. But to win it with hickory clubs, against players using normal modern-day clubs, is quite surreal.”

Bruce said the greatest disadvantage of playing with hickory clubs was lack of distance from the tee.

“Generally, we are 30 to 40 metres behind playing our second shots,” he said, revealing he has been playing ‘full-time’ with hickory clubs for the past three years.

Although Dave – who is 52 and plays off 11 – only joined BGC this year and lives at Canungra, the pair first met at the NSW Hickory Championships in 2021.

The victors lost their opening two holes on Saturday, but turned at the ninth square. They then won holes 12 and 13, lost 15 and 16 and won 17, despite Dave snapping his three-iron hitting his second shot.

“Despite the breakage, he still hit it near the front of the green and we were able to win the hole, go one-up and hold them off at the 18th,” a jubilant Bruce revealed.

The Brisbane Golf Club has four members – Bruce and Dave, as well as Alan Grieve and Greg Mellifont – who play solely with hickory clubs. And Alan, a former BGC Captain, is thought to have created history back in 2017 when he won a Monthly Medal using hickory, the first time the feat had been achieved since World War One. – TONY DURKIN