The countdown is under way for the 119th Dispatch Trophy after Edinburgh Leisure announced the dates for this year’s event at the Braids.
The historic team tournament will get begin on May 19, running through until the next Saturday after following its traditional pattern.
George Heriot’s will be the defending champions, having triumphed for the first time in 38 years with a 19th-hole win over Silverknowes in the final last May.
“It’s like winning any major trophy at any venue at any sport but better,” said John Archibald, a member of the triumphant George Heriot’s quartet, in recalling that victory,
“You are trying your heart out for your partner, the other pair, the supporters, the club, yourself and desperately trying to get all four through to the next round.
“Having the trophy at the Heriot’s FP Golf Club Annual Dinner at Goldenacre was really special, not just because of the distance between the previous win but also because the members of the club seemed to appreciate the enormity of winning such a prestigious tournament.
“It was also especially nice to show off the trophy in front of our guests from Stewart’s-Melville, Edinburgh Accies and, of course, get the chance to rub Watsonians’ nose in our glory!”
Archibald, who joined forces with Dave Campbell, Rory Smith and Willem Kerr to claim last year’s success, will be making his 43rd appearance in the event this time around.
“I have said for many years that it has been the single most important tournament in my golfing year since I first played in it way back in 1975,” he added.
“It has character, an atmosphere on that first tee made up of camaraderie with fellow competitors and banter from supporters of all teams and has a course simply built for match play, especially the last four or five holes.
“I can’t wait to get the guys back together to defend the trophy in May and hopefully with a great crop of youngsters coming through at Heriot’s, old timers like myself will be able to bow out gracefully in the not to distant future and watch the youngsters take over steadily one by one.”
For the first time, last year’s event was open to course-owning clubs and that will be the case once again in the hope that the entry will keep increasing after going up by four to 46 in 2017. Newcomers then included Murrayfield, Dunbar and Turnhouse.
The entry fee is still £70 per team and the closing date is Monday, April 30. To enter a team, email DispatchTrophy@edinburghleisure.co.uk
For the third year running, the event will be sponsored by Golfclubs4cash, the Midlothian-based company that sells second-hand equipment.