The American Swifts Exchange Programme was inaugurated at Stowe when Blair Academy, New Jersey, first brought a team of budding golfers to compete against Stowe in 1968. This remarkable initiative has expanded to include schools from across America and Great Britain, but Stowe still holds the record of the highest number of participants from a single school.
Following a hiatus, Andrew Hancox (Stowe’s PGA Golf Professional and Director of Golf) worked incredibly hard to restore Stowe’s historic link with this initiative. On Friday 30 June 2017 a mixed team of Stoics and Old Stoics assembled at Sunningdale Golf Club to compete against the travelling USA Swifts team.
The Stoics were led by Captain Olly Clarke and featured Pierse Odell, James Watkins, Lochie Shillington, Max Smith and Tom Riley. The Old Stoics were represented by Stewart McNair (Grenville 71), who went on the American Swifts Tour in 1969), Haydn Brooks (Cobham 04), who also went on the American Swifts Tour whilst at Stowe, Stephen Wilcox (Temple 73), Simon Chilton (Bruce 51) and Peter Comber (Grenville 70).
The whole day was an incredible stroll down memory lane and although we were defeated, much enjoyment and camaraderie was had by all. Following the golf, our American visitors resided at Stowe and played the iconic Stowe Golf Course prior to their departure. With golf at Stowe now beginning to thrive, we very much hope to see a Stoic representing the British Swifts team in the coming years. Special thanks must go to Peter Comber and Andrew Hancox – without all of your hard work the event would not have taken place.