SMERGS History

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Key Dates

1984 First games played at Cammeray, Castle Cove. then Northbridge GC
1984 Ten second rule introduced
1986 First annual tournament against "The Morning After The Night Before Golf Club"
1986 Ten second rule abolished?
1987 Last tournament against "The Morning After The Night Before Golf Club" (click for photos)
1987 Click here for photos taken in 1987 at Northbridge Golf Club
19?? SMERGS first tour??
1992 SMERGS name introduced
1993 First Mountain Masters played
1993 SMERGS first annual dinner held
1993 SMERGS handicap system first used
1993 The first ANZAC Day Trophy
1994 Rick Chadwick first said "I can never win off my handicap"
1994 SMERGS' white shirt introduced together with famous SMERGS logo
1995 First Curtley Cup
1995 Riverside Oaks Country Classic
1996 Mother Mary McKillop Cup
1996 SMERGS' song first sung
1997 Click here for photos from Rick Butler's 50th birthday party, April 1997
1998 SMERGS' black shirt introduced
1998 The first Buenes Aires Cup
1999 First Di, Dodi and the Driver Memorial Cup
1999 First SMERGS Memorial Cup
1999 First St Nicholas Cup (at St Michael's)
1999 The first Beige Jacket
1999 The first Carlos Road Cup
2000? Web page set up by Simon Rowe
2000 Riverside Oaks Tweed Jacket first played
2002 SMERGS' green Murray shirt introduced
2002 The first Newcastle Flyer
2003 17 August - the Green Croc Award (courtesy Ken Miller) awarded for the first time
2005 The SMERGS Hall of Fame created and first member inducted (Rob Lowndes).  Only anointed members may appoint future members.
2006 2 Oct - The first Croc'n'Brock Memorial Cup to determine the Pairs Champions
2006 Second member (Phil Stabback) inducted to Hall of Fame
2007 28 Jan - a new record on the back nine by Ian Baker with 29 points (34 hits off 23 handicap)
2007 13 May - a new stroke record, 31 strokes on the back nine by Alan O'Donovan (before the temporary holes came into play)
2007 8 Sep - The first Killara Cup played on APEC public holiday
2007 16 Sep - First day on new temporary course while dams built.  10 holes each Sunday until further notice
2008 13 Apr - Peter Burns scores an Eagle on the par5  6th hole at Cypress Lakes.
2008 20 Apr - Return to the traditional back nine after completion of dams.  Possibly lowest team score ever with just 7.5 pt average and four players in team!
2008 25 Apr - Rob Miller farewelled in style at Chez Hillyard.  Read the Ode to Robbie.  Rob takes leave of absence at end June to live in Syracuse.
2008 1 June - Rob Miller departs for Jamesville NY.  Leaves legacy of SMERGS Quotes!
2008 20 June - Inaugural Avondale Medal
2008 23 November - Inaugural Northern Beaches Open
2009 5 October - Lowest recorded four player team average of 9 points (Thornton, Lowndes, Waddington, Figgis) - but see 20/04/08), lowest CROC score of 3 points (Waddington), and lowest overall average of 10.25 points (8 players), and the winner had just 15 points - and it was a lovely morning!!
2009 11 November - RNGC Club Captain, Lindsay Domingue, joins us on the 10th tee to congratulate (and thank) all SMERGS for 25 glorious years!
2009 20 November - Annual dinner and four new Hall of fame members inducted - foundation members Peter Burns, Rick Chadwick and Phil Alexander, and Nick Hillyard.
2010 11 April - Simon Rowe reaches zero handicap so 10 strokes added to all SMERGS handicaps
2010 24 October - Phil and Helen sell their lovely Wentworth Falls house so the Carlos Road Cup returns to Blackheath as the Blue Mountains Classic after an 11 year absence.
The Nick Hillyard Pastel Challenge introduced for "the most sartorially elegant pastel attired SMERG golfer" to see if anyone could match Nick's normal attire!
2010 14 November - A rule change!!  In future one shot will be deducted from handicaps for every four weeks absence.
2010 14 November - Photo taken showing heritage collection of four SMERGS shirts
2011 13 February - First SMERG booked for speeding on way to golf (Tim Becker).  First recorded instance of a group calling through the group behind while looking for lost balls and generally stuffing around!
2011 26 March - SMERGS sponsor Medley 2BBB and Individual Stableford in Saturday competition as "SMERGS of Royal Northbridge".
2011 April - RNGC News and Views features an article on SMERGS including Annual Dinner Ode
2011 13 June - Queens Birthday Club Championship and the second team (Chadwick, Ferreira, Miller, Webb) finished a record one hour behind the winning threesome.
2012 25 April - all SMERGS handicaps reset, mostly to club handicaps, and all future games, including majors, to be played based on SMERGS handicaps while club handicaps become of academic interest only.
2012 5 August - The Country Classic (Tweed Jacket) moves from its traditional home at Riverside Oaks to Lynwood Country Club due to rising costs at RO and general difficulty in dealing with staff there!
2013 31 March - Rick B wins with 17 points from a handicap of one to add 10 strokes to everyone's handicap
2013 21 April - SMERGS celebrate Alan Waddington's 70th birthday at Il Perugino.  Click to read Nick's Ode "Can you believe how old he is?"
2013 8 November - SMERGS annual dinner.  Phil Alexander reconfirmed into the Hall of Fame (in absentia!)
2014 12 January - Another record? Five turned up and played together. All finished within one stroke (four with 45 hits, one with 44) and with scores within two points (16 to 18) and a two way tie to share the huge number of balls!
2014 9 June - Peter Macdougall drops to 0 so ALL handicaps adjusted up by 10 shots
2014 13 July - And another record? Peter Thornton wins four weeks in a row and five times in six weeks
2014 19 December - 30th Anniversary Dinner held at Northbridge Golf Club
2014 21 December - Another record! Nick Hillyard has one putt on each of the nine holes to win The Bobbick with just 9 putts.
2015 3 April - Inaugural Royal Northbridge Easter Open held over 18 holes on Good Friday
2015 13 April - RNGC is 80 years old.  Click here for Kim McGlinn's detailed history
2015 19 April - Peter Macdougall drops to 0 so ALL handicaps adjusted up by 10 shots
2015 20 November - Annual DInner again held at NGC.  Click here for photos
2016 17 March - Nick Hillyard elected President of Sydney Veteran Golfers Association
2016 8 May - In his absence, Rick Butler drops to zero so all handicaps up 10 shots
2016 3 October - Founding member Phil Alexander died peacefully after long illness.  Click here for Phil Stabback's tribute at 10/10/16 funeral service.
2017 1 January - Handicaps for overseas resident members adjusted upwards to 18 and will in future lose a shot for every SIX weeks not played.  See handicapping rules
2017 23 February - believed to be the first winner of both front and back nine without winning overall in a major`, Steve Figgis wins both in the KOCUP
2017 21 August - Golf NSW Newsletter publishes a history of SMERGS written by Nick Hillyard.  Click here for article.
2017 12 November - Rick Butler hits a blistering 36 shots for 16 points to drop his handicap to zero so all handicaps raise 10 shots.
2017 17 November - Annual Dinner at RSYS and farewell to Ray and Kim.  First performance by the Smerg Brothers (later the Triple Bogeys).  Click here for photos and more
2018 17 June - One group of Waddington, Bell and Butler scored three birdies on the 17th green from 6,5 and 3 metres respectively
2018 9 September - DDD match, Figgis plays Webbie and together lose 5 balls on the 10th and score a DDD record high of 11 and 12 shots each on the same hole.
2018 22 November - Annual Dinner at NGC.  Click here for photos and here for words to "The Legend of the SMERGS"
2019 11 January - Annual Dinner at NGC.  Ricky B wins his tournament at St Michaels to drop his handicap to +1 so all handicaps increase by 10 shots.
2019 20 January - Two teams with total seven players exceeded 20 points average. Two with 22 points, three with 21 and two with 20.
2019 7 April - Steve Penny joins Smergs.
2019 6 December - Annual Dinner at NGC.  Click here for Peter's full scorer's report.  Click here for start of photo gallery. Click here for Nick's tribute to Lonnie Donegan.  Click here for The Triple Bogeys' tribute to Bob Dylan
2019 22 December - Declan O'Donovan joins Smergs and, as father Alan is playing more often and handicap was +1, all handicaps increased by 10 shots.
2019 29 December - Nine players and seven finished with 21 points!  Winner was Mike Bell with 22 points.  A seven way tie for second.  Records galore.
2020 19 January - Ken Miller scores a record 29 points on the back nine off 22 handicap with just 35 shots.  Seven 3's and two 4's!
2020 24 January - SMERGS runs a successful golf day to raise over $60,000 for BlazeAid.  Click here for event summary by organiser Nick Hillyard
2020 2  February - More records created with just six players all hitting between 40 and 45 shots.  21 points won the Croc and an average of 22.33 paid for coffee.
2020 5 April - new rules adopted to play in pairs to minimise risk from COVID19 pandemic and to comply with government/NGC advice and regulations.  No more coffee statistics will be collected while the rules are in place.
2020 Feb - Peter Thornton's brother in law Neil McLaren joins SMERGS after several guest appearances over recent years.
2020 May - The Golden Putter.  Previously also known as The Bobbick until extensive research by Peter Thornton revealed the error. Click here for Peter's research revealing the true name should be The Bobbitt.
2020 16 Aug - David Thornton joins SMERGS and on 19 Nov 20 becomes first smerg to marry while a smerg,  Click here for photo.
2020 7 Sep - First Ladies event ever with the Goodwill Pairs.  Teams of Louise Ferreira and Sue Webb, and Robyn Burns and Bernadine Penny
2020 12 April - NGC's Black Tee rule adopted for players 65 years and older.
2021 22 Mar - First handicap review as a result of Covid absences and other distortions leads to Peter B gaining 5 shots,  and Johnny F 2 shots and Roger's handicap being tied to Nick's.  Rules tidied up.

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The People

Start End


Introduced by

1984   Phil Stabback Carlos Road
1984   Rob Lowndes Carlos Road
1984  2016 Phil Alexander (died 3 October 2016) Carlos Road
1984   Rick Chadwick Carlos Road
1984   Peter Burns Carlos Road
1984 2007 Mike Bell (rejoins in 2014) Carlos Road
1984 1987 Russell Spear Rob Lowndes
1986   Alan Waddington Peter Burns
1986   Tim Becker Rick Chadwick
1986 1987 Lynton Franzi Rick Chadwick
1987   Nick Hillyard Alan Waddington
1987 1990 Russell Higlett Peter Burns
1987 19?? Peter Stenning Phil Alexander
1991   Peter Macdougall Peter Stenning
1991   Peter Thornton Peter Burns/N Hillyard
1992   Ken Miller Rick Chadwick
1994 2008 Robert Miller Ken Miller
1994   John Webb Carlos Road
1995   Rick Butler Nick Hillyard
1996 2012 Simon Rowe John Webb
1996   Steve Figgis Alan Waddington
1996 199? Julian Tre Evans Nick Hillyard
1997 1999 Andy Knott Nick Hillyard
1998   Gary Skulander Rob Lowndes
1998 1999 Tim McAndrew Andy Knot
1998 2002 David Spencer Robert Miller
1998 2007 James Halliday Rick Chadwick
1999 2014 Bruce Rowe Simon Rowe
2001 2002 Steve Ashby Simon Rowe
2004 2015 Alan O'Donovan Gary Skulander
2004 2013 Ian Baker Rob Lowndes
2005   John Ferreira Ian Baker
2009   Roger Meadows Nick Hillyard
2014   Mike Bell returns Carlos Road
2015   Steve Urwin Rob Lowndes
2017   James Halliday returns to the fold after a ten year absence Carlos Road
2018   Alan O'Donovan returns to the fold after a four year absence Gary Skulander
2019   Steve Penny Gary Skulander
2019   Declan O'Donovan Alan O'Donovan
2020   Neil McLaren Peter Thornton
2020   David Thornton Peter Thornton


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