Belfast Royal Academy Old Boys’ Golf Society.
The Belfast Royal Academy Old Boys’ Golf Society was formed in 1939 and the inaugural competition was held in 1939 at Fortwilliam Golf Club. The first winner of The Picken Cup was C.C. Harte, B.R.A. teacher and later President of the Irish Rugby Football Union. The war put an end to the competition, but it was revived in 1946 and has been played every year since.
At its height in the 60’s and 70’s there were 4 or 5 outings each year playing Fortwilliam, Malone, Knock, Royal Belfast and Royal Portrush Golf Clubs. Current Warden and Society Secretary, Ken Knox, recalls that on one round at Royal Portrush, he lost more golf balls than points scored due to the severe weather and severity of the rough.
There are two competitions and two trophies for which Golf Society members play each year. The first, The Picken Cup, was donated by Jimmy Picken, and Old Boy who was one of the school’s most distinguished cricketers and a talented golfer.The trophy is awarded for the best points score and played at Malone Golf Club.
The second competition is the Society’s Captains Day and is played at Royal Belfast Golf Club. That competition results in two awards; the Captain’s Prize for the best score and The Ferguson Trophy, presented to the player with the best aggregate points total over the two outings. The latter prize, first competed for in 1973, is named after Billy Ferguson, one of B.R.A.’s outstanding golfers.
The 2018 Season
The Society’s 2018 Captain was Jeremy Weir.
The 2018 Picken Cup was played for by 26 golfers on June 14, at Malone Golf Club. The course was in immaculate condition though the new greens were challenging with many bumps and borrows. The winner of a low scoring competition was Chris Cooper with 39 points, an excellent score. He was followed by Sheldon Coulter with 35 points and Ivan Connolly with 34 points.
Jeremy Weir’s Captain’s Day was held on September 14 at Royal Belfast Golf Club. The weather supplied perfect conditions and 39 competitors (comprising 18 former pupils and 21 guests) enjoyed the day and the Captain’s excellent prizes. The winner of the Captain’s Prize was Mark Cooper with 37 points, followed by Tim Weir with 36 points and Peter Smyth with 35 points.
Much to his modest surprise, Mark Cooper also won the Ferguson Trophy, having scored 32 points at Malone and 37 points at Royal Belfast, amassing a total of 69 points over the two outings.
Society Captain: Dominic Walsh
The Picken Cup at Malone Golf Club will be played on Thursday 20th June 2019 and Captain’s Day will be on Friday 13th September 2019 at Royal Belfast Golf Club.
Old Boys and their guests are welcome, a starting sheet will be in place so to book a time contact Ken Knox on email@example.com