McClune’s team strives to victory in tough Portugal conditions

McClune’s team strives to victory in tough  Portugal conditions

16th April 2018

McClune’s team strives to victory in tough

Portugal conditions


11 students and 2 teachers travelled to Obidos in Portugal to take part in the 2018 Balby Academy’s Warm Weather Training at the Bom Successo resort. The trip took place over 7 days, playing 6 rounds, at 4 different courses.  The annual team event which has been dominated by team McClune in recent years, was the main competition in the week and is a combined stableford score from all of the players in the team from every day’s round. There is also an individual competition in the week which is again a stableford format and is an aggregate of the best 5 scores in the week for each player to decide the 2018 Tour champion. As well as the team and individual competition, there is also a blind match play.  Players are drawn out at random and their stableford score on the hole decides who wins the match over 18 holes. There is a prelim round, a quarterfinal and semi-final in the blind format then the final is played on the last day in a normal match play scenario against the two remaining players.  The week is a great chance for the players to get some good practice in ahead of the season and to play some incredible courses.  As well as the golf, it is a chance for the team and teacher to bond making a better team environment for when the players return home.

Overall individual scoring:


Day 1 Royal Obidos

1st Lewis Harrison (37 pts)

2nd George Mason (31 pts BB9)

3rd Charlie Daughtrey (31 pts)

4th Ralf Marshall (30 pts)


Day 2 Bom Successo

1st Oliver Sullivan (32 BB9)

2nd Jack Wilson (32 pts)

3rd Trafford Grimes (30 pts)

4th Charlie Daughtrey

Day 3 West Cliffs

1st Jack Harris (32 pts)

2nd Jack Wilson (31 pts)

3rd Charlie Daughtrey (28 BB9)

4th Ralf Marshall (28 pts)

Day 4 Praia Del Rey

1st Charlie Daughtrey (39 pts)

2nd Lewis Harrison (38 pts)

3rd Oliver Sullivan (37 pts)

4th Ralf Marshall (36 pts)

Day 5 West Cliffs  

1st Lewis Harison (35 pts BB9)

2nd George Mason (35 pts)

3rd Lewis Branagan (32 pts)

4th Charlie Daughtrey (31 pts)

Day 6 Praia Del Rey

1st Ralf Marshall (38 pts)

2nd Oliver Sullivan (37 pts)

3rd Trafford Grimes (36 pts)

4th Lewis Harrison (35 pts) 


Lewis Harrison was the 2018 tour Champion with a winning score of 173 points. He took a commanding lead on the first day and fought off a spirted comeback by Charlie Daughtrey to win the individual title. Lewis was the form player going into the week and this showed with his high class scoring and the best average in the Portuguese sun. 

An impressive lead on the first day set the tone for the week in the team event. Team McClune who arguably had the stronger team, were firm favourites at the start of the week and the underdogs team Lindley had to a big hill to clime in order to mount a comeback. This happened on the 5th day when they clawed back points on team McClune however, the margin was to big and the favourites took the title much to the delight of Mr McClune.    

The blind match play final was between the tour champion favourite Lewis Harrison and Lewis Branagan. Branagan played his way into form in the week and the final was a close battle with brilliant golf played throughout. Birdies and eagles were abundant as the players landed blows back and forth. Eventually, Lewis Harrison made a uncharacteristic mistake bogeying 17 and 18 to open the door for Branagan who finished with a birdie and a par to seal a confident 2&1 victory.   


 As the scores showed in the table for the individual results the courses we were playing were extremely difficult and low stableford scores were common throughout the week. Royal Obidos was a stunning example of a tournament-based golf course and some of the views were amazing. The Par 5’s were score able but the par 3’s and some of the greens were where the course got its own back. The second day was Bom Successo which is a good resort course with plenty of water to frame the course and make it harder.  Praia Del Rey was a beautiful part links part parkland course that had been around for many years with some of the parkland hole resembling Augusta National. The course lends itself to good scoring however if the wind picks up it can bite back.  The last course we played was West Cliffs which is a spectacular new development only open a year, but the course and club house were amazing. Views on every hole and the high-quality finish means it is the second best course in Portugal. When the wind blows, which it did, scoring is difficult however the stunning holes and backdrop mean it was a delight to play.  




Huge Thank you goes to Mandy from Travel Counsellors, the people that made the trip possible and especially the teachers Mr Lindley and Mr McClune for making the trip such a success and without them it wouldn’t be as much fun.


Finally, we are seeking anybody or company that would like to sponsor this elite squad. If you would like to get on board with this highly successful team, please contact Ian Lindley (details below). If anybody need any further information regarding applying to join the academy, please contact


Jack Harris Tour Vice Captain

Team McClune Vice Captain

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