The Hacker: With a name like Stableford, we've got to name a horse after him

The idea of a racehorse bearing the name of one of golf's greatest benefactors may not have occurred to many, but the notion proved popular during a convivial evening last weekend.

The benefactor is Dr Frank Stableford, inventor of the brilliant scoring system that is played throughout the world, and those who wish his name to adorn a noble beast of the turf are members of The Glamorganshire and Wallasey golf clubs who meet every year to honour his memory. Cheery relationships between golf clubs are an integral part of the game's social scene and many date back well over a century. The link between The Glamorganshire and Wallasey clubs is only 10 years old, but its roots go deep into the game's fabric.

Dr Frank was a member of both clubs. It was at Wallasey in 1931 that his system first took flight, and they rightly declare themselves the "Home of Stableford". But when researching Glamorganshire's records while writing the club's centenary history in 1990 I came across a yellowing newspaper cutting dated October 1898 stating Dr Stableford had asked members to try out a new points system.

There it was in black and white – the embryonic Stableford system. What happened in the 33 years between its first outing and its perfection at Wallasey nobody knows, but the doctor was rather busy. He was an army surgeon and served in the Boer War, the campaign against the Mad Mullah of Somaliland and the First World War before moving from South Wales to Merseyside, where he became one of Wallasey's famous members.

In 1998 we held a centenary re-enactment of the first Stableford competition and Wallasey sent a party to play and help us celebrate the occasion, which turned out to be inexcusably riotous. We enjoyed it so much we have repeated the jollity with reciprocal visits every year.

Our sole purpose is to honour a man blessed by hackers everywhere. An engaging character, Dr Frank drove a yellow Rolls-Royce and wore a polka-dot bow tie.

We can't run to a Rolls each but we wear bow ties, incorporating our club crests, at our annual get-together and two Wallasey members, Paul and Anton, have produced asplendid trophy of a bow tiecast in bronze for us to play for.

The matches invariably go to the home side, because the visitors are handicapped by the hospitality. Anton, a former captain, is one of a crowd of Wallasey members who had the idea of buying a racehorse and running it in Dr Frank's name. But the powers that be atthe club decided it wouldn'tbe appropriate.

However, it is too good a project to let die so we've decided on a joint Wallasey-Glamorganshire venture under the name of the Bow Tie Syndicate to buy and run a horse in the good doctor's name.

My only hope is that it fares better than a horse I own along with four golfing friends. His name is Mister Chatterbox and, despite one or two near misses, he has yet to oblige.

Having golfing owners may be the problem. He has acquired such a strong sense of etiquette that whenever he gets in sight of the winning post he starts waving other horses through.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk