03 November 2023

Golfing in South Carolina, USA

With our pupils already competing in ISGA and HMC Foursome competitions, as well as friendlies against other schools at our home venue Sandy Lodge, golf is moving from strength to strength at John Lyon.

Over October half term, four pupils – Jonny (L6TCF), Racheith (11MWV), Arun (10NJB) and Nathan (10LHF) – had an amazing trip, travelling to Hilton Head, South Carolina, with Head of Maths Mr Muhley to compete against other UK independent schools including Harrow School, Radley College, and Uppingham in the Huddle Cup.

This overseas competition was a great opportunity for our pupils to experience the sport at a new level, and during the trip they enjoyed five rounds of golf across Palmetto Dunes Resort and Harbour Town Golf Links, which is host to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Following an initial practice round at the Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall, the pupils embarked on three days of competition, where they played at the Arthur Hills, George Fazio and Robert Trent Jones courses at the Palmetto Dunes resort. Despite a slow start at Arthur Hills, the pupils found their rhythm at the George Fazio course, carding impressive scores relative to their handicaps. Star of the day at the Geroge Fazio course was Johnny who carded an impressive 36 Stapleford points.

Play on the Robert Trent Jones course saw outstanding scores from Racheith and Nathan. Racheith scored an impressive 2 over gross to put him in a strong position for the overall gross competition, finishing with a birdie and two pars. Nathan scored an outstanding 5 over gross, parring the last three holes to finish with an excellent 43 points. This moved him right up the leaderboard for the individual nett competition and helped catapult John Lyon into a strong position in the overall schools’ competition. In terms of consistency throughout the competition Arun was the standout golfer, carding persistent scores in the 30’s.

The final day in South Carolina saw the pupils experience a non-competitive round at Harbour Town Golf Links. It was a delight to play such a prestigious golf course that the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have competed at. The pupils particularly enjoyed the final hole finishing in front of Harbour Town’s famous Red and White Lighthouse.

Alongside the competition, there was a masterclass tuition session from ex PGA Tour professional Doug Weaver, which left us all with some tips on improving our game, and in fascination of his experience and knowledge of golf.

The trip to South Carolina has been an incredible experience and one that will not be forgotten. A big thank you to all our parents for their support, and huge congratulations to the pupils on their successes, with special mentions to:

  • Racheith who finished in 3rd position, beating 40 other pupils in the process, including numerous scratch and plus handicap golfers.
  • Nathan who finished in 4th place in the Nett Stapleford competition.

Overall, John Lyon finished second, ahead of Harrow School and Uppingham School and only 0.2 shots behind the eventual winners Radley College. This is an outstanding achievement, especially as we were competing against schools who have their own indoor golf simulators and golf courses, and the beginnings of what may be a growing golf legacy for the School.