Whitgift School Victorious in VII European Schools Team Championship

Whitgift School Crowned Champions of the

VII Desert Springs & Millfield European Schools

Team Championships


Sixty-One (61) full time students accompanied by seventeen (17) coaches and staff representing; Millfield, Bradfield, Loretto, Reeds, Gordons & Whitgift School, competed in the ‘VII Desert Springs & Millfield European Schools Team Championships’ at the Desert Springs Resort between Sunday 16th to Wednesday 19th February 2020.

The Team Championship was open to boys and girls of all ages with a maximum handicap of 24 for boys and 36 for girls and was held over 3 days (54-Holes). For tournament day one & two the format was 4 Ball-Better-Ball Pairs Stableford Points. The format for tournament day three was team individual Stableford Points Scores being combined to achieve the Teams accumulative Stableford score. 

Ian Muir, Director of Golf at Loretto Golf Academy based at Scotland’s leading Scottish private boarding school, set in 85 acres of leafy campus just outside Edinburgh that provides an all-round education for just over 600 boys and girls aged 3-18, commented:

From the accommodation to the facilities, everything has been first-class. The condition of the practice facilities and course get better and better every year. Thanks to all at desert springs for another great event.”

David Mathews, Director of Golf at Gordons College commented:

Once again Desert Springs has delivered a wonderful experience for our students and staff. The golf facilities and service provided has given our golfers a once in a lifetime experience in a tournament environment – thank you desert springs. We will most definitely be returning as this is one of the best organised tournaments of the year for us.”

The VII Desert Springs & Millfield European Schools Team Championships got under way at Desert Springs Resort on Sunday 16th February with a practice round on the Championship Indiana course, providing all players the opportunity to experience Europe’s first and only true desert golf course in preparation of the tournament rounds, followed by a Welcome Reception & Dinner at the Resorts Crocodile Club restaurant.

Monday 17th February saw tournament day one take place where the teams played 4 Ball-Better-Ball Pairs Stableford Points for team rankings. Team ‘Bradfield 1’ led the way with an impressive 84 points, closely followed by ‘Whitgift 1’ and ‘Reeds 1’, both tied one point behind, with 83 points.

The tournament format was repeated on day two Tuesday 18th February, and in true golfing fashion this was the day for some teams to try and hold their position whilst others would be trying to climb the team rankings!

Team ‘Loretto 4’ kick started the charge on the leaders with an improvement on their first-round total by 4 points, achieving an impressive 85 stableford points, making their 36-hole tally 166.

However, it was the team of ‘Whitgift 1’, who by securing the best score of the day of 86 points, improving on their first round score by 3 points, rose to a total of 169 points to claim a share of joint first place after 36-holes with ever consistent ‘Bradfield 1’ who returned a score of 85 points!

Enjoying their evening BBQ & ‘Quiz-Night’ at the Resorts Crocodile Club restaurant, the competitors were informed of the team rankings going into tournament day three, which was to see the team individual Stableford Points Scores being combined to achieve the Teams accumulative Stableford score.

Overnight joint leaders, ‘Bradfield 1’ surprisingly dropped back with an uncharacteristic 70 points on the day for a grand total 239, to take 5th position.

Teams from ‘Millfield 3’ and ‘Gordons 1’ made an impressive final day burst to return 83 and 85 points respectively, and take joint 3rd and 4th place overall of 241 points.

Team ‘Loretto 4’ showed a great display of golf during the last tournament round, returning cards amassing a combined total of 78 points, leading the charge and climbing spots on the leader board to secure runners up place on 244 points

Hats off to the team of ‘Whitgift 1’ who consistently held their nerve until the end and scored a final day 79 points, 248 total to be crowned the 2020 champions! It promised to be an enthralling roller coaster final round and it certainly delivered.

A fitting and climatic end to a tournament played in the best sporting spirit and nice to see first time winners, Whitgift lift the trophy!

Neil Kendrick, Whitgift School Head of Cricket and Golf, commented:

Another extremely enjoyable week at Desert Springs. Everything is so well organised, no stone unturned. Look forward to seeing you all in April for our cricket camp, and most definitely we will be back for the Golf Championships again in 2021!”

Further, there were individual trophies on offer to be awarded to the male and female player with the Best Individual Scratch Score and Best overall individual Stableford points score for tournament round three.

Best Male Scratch score was awarded to Aiden Milhan from Team ‘Whitgift 1’ with a playing handicap of 3 and an impressive score of 1 under par 70.

Best Female Scratch score was awarded to Louise Dahl from Loretto Golf Academy with a playing handicap of 6 and a score of 2 over par 74.

Best overall individual Stableford points score was awarded to Alex Champion of Millfield School with a resilient 48 points.

Karen Nicholls, Millfield School Director of Golf, commented:

A fantastic event once again. The feedback received from the pupils and teachers has again been excellent. Very much looking forward to 2021 and trying to grow the event even more! Thank you to everyone at Desert Springs.”

17-year-old Sarah Mardani with a handicap of 3, from Gordons School remarked:

“By chance I got to come to this tournament as my county trip to Portugal was cancelled, and I’m so glad to be able to come here for the first time. The tournament was fun, the golf course tough but fantastic and the food was excellent, hope to come back next year!

16-year-old Shunny Murase with a handicap of 12, from Reeds School remarked:

One of the best School trips I ever had, Malcolm and his team did everything to make us feel welcome and encourage us on the 1st tee which settled some nerves!”

17-year-old Oscar Fowler with a handicap of 4, from Bradfield School remarked:

Really well run event, I’m disappointed we fell at the last hurdle but can’t wait until next year!”

The students, coaches and school staff were accommodated in some of the privately-owned Apartments, Townhouses and Villas normally reserved for holidays and short breaks at Desert Springs and the resort’s executive chef was on hand to cater for the special dietary requirements of individual players dining in the Crocodile Club and El Torrente Restaurant.


For further information:

Malcolm Lacey
+34 670 613 900