Scottish Handicap Singles

Trophy: A Silver Quaich donated by the Scottish Clubs in 1968.

This event was first played in 1967 as part of the first Championship Finals Day, covered in more detail in the description of the Scottish Open Championship.  From 1968, the Scottish Croquet Committee introduced a formal annual handicap competition, the final of which continued to be played on Finals Day each year.  Nowadays the final is usually scheduled to be played on the same day in September as the Handicap Doubles final, and possibly the Inter-Club League final.

Roll of honour:






R.D. Sinclair

J.E. Rowe


R. Duncan

L.F.X. Brown


D.J.H. Philip



R. Hollingworth

V.M. Macpherson


R.M. Milne

F.V.X. Norton


R.M. Milne

S.J.H. Wright


S.J.H. Wright

F.V.X. Norton


D.I. Nichols

I.H. Wright


F.V.X. Norton

D.I. Nichols


F.V.X. Norton

R. ap W. Williams


E. Mackenzie-Bowie

F.V.X. Norton


E. Mackenzie-Bowie

W.M. Spalding


R. ap W. Williams

P. Simpson


B. Gallivan

V.M. Macpherson


A.M. Ramsay

A.H.M. Adam


G. Anderson

A.H.M. Adam


A.H.M. Adam  (won Draw and Process)


W.M. Spalding

P. Ribbans


I.H. Wright

D. Warhurst


J. Surgenor

A.H.M. Adam


D.P. Arnot

A.H.M. Adam


C. Rogers

M.J. O’Connell


C.M. Townsend

D.S. Warhurst


D. Rothwell

C.M. Townsend


G. Anderson

S.M. Barnett


C.M. van Griethuysen

R. ap W. Williams


A.E. Foster

J. Walker


J. Walker

A.J. Campbell


C.I. Morrison

M.P.W. Smith


B.R. Durward

J. Walker


M.P.W. Smith

A.E. Foster


M.P.W. Smith

D.P. Arnot


J. Walker

D.R. Appleton


A.S. McKendrick

D.P. Arnot


D.P. Arnot

A.A. Wilson


G.G. Brooks

R.G. Lay


J. Lennon

M.P.W. Smith


M.A. Stephenson

T.L. Whateley


S. Boyne

R.A. Hawke


J. Lennon

S. Boyne


W.M. Spalding

R. Inder


R.G. Lay

R.A. Hawke


W.M. Spalding

R. Inder


R. Inder

R.A. Hawke


F.R. McInnes

R. Inder




This was the Handicap Final on the first Finals Day in 1967 (see Scottish Open for more details).  In the semi-finals, Lt-Cdr R.D. Sinclair (Edinburgh, h/c 3) beat Miss C.A. Crawford (Glasgow, 7) +21 and J.E. Rowe (Edinburgh, 7) beat T.S. Stobbs (Glasgow, 9) +18.  In the final, Lt-Cdr Sinclair beat J.E. Rowe +1T (23-22).


From this year, the Scottish Handicap Championship was formally established.  No report has been found.  Lt-Cdr R.D. Sinclair beat J.E. Rowe in the final.


No report has been found.  R. Duncan beat L.F.X. Brown in the final.


No report has been found.  D.J.H. Philip was the winner, no runner-up recorded – did he win both Draw and Process?


No report has been found.  R. Hollingworth beat V.M. Macpherson in the final.


No report has been found.  R.M. Milne beat F.V.X. Norton in the final.


No report has been found.  R.M. Milne beat S.J.H. Wright in the final.


The first semi-final between Jimmy Rowe (Edinburgh CC) and Stephen Wright (The Whins CC) was played at Lauriston Castle before Finals Day at Gleneagles Hotel on 13 July, and was won by Stephen Wright.  The second semi-final was an Edinburgh-Glasgow duel between Miss Anne Murray (Edinburgh CC) and Jack Norton (Incorrigibles CC).  The Edinburgh player found the pace at Gleneagles hard to judge and the Glasgow player won.  The best match of Finals Day was the Handicap Final.  Jack Norton had one bisque and clung onto it, forcing Stephen Wright to play a cautious game. At last, with all four clips between 4-back and the peg, the bisque went but Jack had the innings.  However Stephen hit a ‘last shot’ across the width of the court and got one ball to the peg with the other on penultimate.  Jack got in again and scored rover for his second ball but managed to peg out only one.  Stephen hit a second ‘last shot’, put Jack’s ball to the end boundary and laid a rush to penultimate.  Jack missed the peg narrowly, and Stephen scored penultimate.  Again Jack missed and Stephen scored rover and laid a wired rush to the peg.  Once again Jack’s ball just failed to contact the peg and Stephen won by the narrowest of margins.


In the first semi-final at Gleneagles Hotel on 5 July, David Nichols (Edinburgh) played Neil McKinnon, an improving young player from Glenochil CC, who gave him a good run for his money but was unable to beat the more experienced player.  On the other court Ian Wright (Alloa) and Jim White (Glasgow) played their game in front of a camera from Scottish Television (present all Finals Day) – an ordeal which did not seem to disturb them.  Jim was unfortunate at a critical stage in the game to play the wrong ball after taking a bisque, and handed back the innings to his opponent who, a little later nearly went out with a straight double peel which failed when he stuck in rover. In the Final David Nichols used his half-bisque early on and from then on it was virtually a level game which he dominated, making two very good breaks and giving Ian Wright few opportunities.  The prizes were presented by Mr Russell Galbraith, Head of News, Current Affairs and Sport for STV and the SCA are very grateful for the interest he has shown in our minority sport, bringing interviewer Bob Currie and a full camera crew for most of the day.


Both semi-finals were played the day before Finals Day, which was on 3 July at Gleneagles Hotel.  Jack Norton beat David Nichols in the Final to capture the trophy for which he had been runner-up in 1972 and 1974.  The prizes were presented by Mr W. Bell, Director of Recreation and Leisure for the City of Edinburgh.


One semi-final was played before Finals Day on 2 July at Gleneagles Hotel, between Bob Maclean and Jack Norton, with Jack winning +7, but the other, between Rod Williams and Margaret Lauder was played in the morning, which was cloudy with a cold wind.  Because SCA is using Gleneagles less than in previous years, the courts were less well maintained and were patchy and bumpy, making breaks rare.  The game started with some confident hitting by both players but neither seemed able to make the first hoop, both either sticking in it or over-rolling the approach.  It was only when Margaret took one of her bisques to make the hoop that the game really got under way.  For much of the early part of the game Margaret played very confidently, playing her croquet strokes very accurately.  However, when her bisques were finally gone, Rod Williams succeeded in making up the deficit and went on to win by 8.

With Rod Williams and Jack Norton winning through it was the first all-Glasgow Scottish Final – an indication of the strides forward that the club has made in recent years.  Again both players had difficulty in getting going, and it was only in fits and starts that hoops were scored.  At one point Rod had a break, but he used more bisques than he liked in starting it up, so Jack took advantage to win by 8 and become the third person to win the Open and the Handicap in the same year, this being the third year in succession the double had been completed, after Stephen Wright and David Nichols.


Bulletin No 13 (missing) will have these details.


There was no Finals Day for the first time, as the competitions were allowed to run for more of the season to avoid players from scratching.  So there are no details recorded.  But a late-August fixed date was agreed for the Finals in 1980.


The Exec minutes record that a Finals Day took place with a small number of spectators, but no other details are recorded in Bulletins.  Rod Williams beat Phillip Simpson in the final.


The Handicap final at Morningside on 29 August produced a tense finish after some 3½ hours.  Vera Macpherson had rallied well after being some way behind to reach peg and rover, but Bernard Gallivan hit a long shot and managed to retain the innings to win by +3 a few turns later.


The 26 entrants were divided into four blocks on the Central and Eastern Section and two on the Western section.  There were only two outright block winners, Alasdair Adam (8) and Rod Williams (1½); the other qualifiers were Allan Ramsay (14), Campbell Morrison (13), George Anderson (10) and Bill Spalding (1½).  In the knock-out stage between these six, Allan Ramsay beat George Anderson, and Alasdair Adam twenty-sixed Rod Williams.  In the semi-finals, Allan used his bisques well to beat Bill Spalding by eleven, while Alasdair got an unfortunate walk-over when Campbell Morrison had to withdraw because of injuries received while cycling.

In the final, Alasdair, now playing off 6, was given only one decent chance by Allan, himself now off 10, who won a rather undistinguished affair by +25.


After a gap of four years the Scottish Championship Finals returned to Gleneagles Hotel.  The semi-final was between two Bush / Edinburgh players George Anderson and Allan Ramsay, the latter having a half bisque to play.  To begin with neither player scored any big breaks, but Allan gradually drew ahead until he was for peg and peg.  Trying to peg out from five yards, he played too gently, causing the croqueted ball to wander off line, but he did peg the other ball out.  George kept the innings and before long scored rover with his second ball and laid up with a rush to the peg, wired from Allan’s ball by rover.  As often happens in a pegged-out game, Allan forgot his lift, but George made a poor rush and ended up pegging out only one ball.  Allan missed the peg from seven yards, and George hit to win an exciting game +1.

In the final, George received four bisques from Alasdair Adam, and started well making four hoops for the first of these.  Alasdair hit in, but immediately came to grief with an unsuccessful big split, returning the innings to George.  He made a second good break going from hoop 5 to penult, and with the bit between his teeth, took the second ball to 4-back in his third break, stopping because he missed the return roquet after 3-back.  A few turns later he finished +26, Alasdair having made ten strokes only in the whole game.


No report has been found.  Alasdair Adam won both Draw and Process.


The 1985 Finals Day, 14 September, held in Glasgow, was a West of Scotland affair with all the contestants coming from two clubs.  Three were from Glasgow Croquet Club, where most of the low handicap players in Scotland are now concentrated, and three were from the fairly new, Troon-based, Piersland Croquet Club, which is starting to make its mark.  In a perfect world, from the manager’s point of view, no finalist would be in more than one event, but players are not as co-operative as that!  This year Bill Spalding was in both the Open Singles and the Handicap Singles finals, and John Surgenor in the Open Singles and Handicap Doubles finals.  This meant that both handicap finals were played in the morning, one on each court, and the Open Singles in the afternoon.  All the rain this summer has helped the Glasgow Club’s courts recover from the serious trouble they were in by the end of the drought last year.  There still are quite a few bumpy patches where the grass is thin, but generally they are better than they were at the start of the season, and now the surface is much more true than it was.

Peter Ribbans (11) gave Bill Spalding a good game in the Handicap Singles final.  Three times, Bill got the innings with long hits, but failed to get anything going.  Although being possibly too defensive, Peter used his bisques to reach 4-back and rover, but once they had run out, Bill took control to win by +6.


‘Finals Day’ for the Scottish Championships, held at Bush Croquet Club, turned out to be ‘Finals Days’, because of absence on holiday and illness.  On the original day, only the Handicap Singles took place, and the two contenders, Ian Wright (2, Edinburgh & Dollar clubs) and David Warhurst (7, Glasgow club) did their best to give the spectators an exciting game to watch.  This they managed with frequent changes of innings, and, by the time David had used his five bisques, he was on penultimate and rover, with Ian back on penult and hoop 2.  At this point Ian got the innings back and managed to get a break together, getting it under total control within a few minutes.  He completed the penult peel after he scored hoop 6, and the rover peel before 3-back, making the final peg out nice and straightforward.  The winning margin of five points was an accurate reflection of the closeness of the game.  Surprisingly, this was the first time Ian Wright had won this championship.

12 September, 1987 at Bush:

It had been expected that the two new courts at Bush would be ready, but the legacy of the atrocious September of 1985 was still there in the form of drainage problems.  Sustained heavy rain overnight made one lawn unplayable; the other was waterlogged but without any visible pools of water on it, although steady rain during the morning added moisture quicker than it was draining away. 

One Handicap Singles finalist, Alasdair Adam, was on holiday, so that was postponed, but the other finalist had to be decided, so it was the opening match on the barely-playable new court.  This was followed by the final of the Handicap Doubles – a dogged marathon of a match.  The much drier old court was reserved for the Open Singles.

John Surgenor started well in the semi-final against Margaret Lauder by hitting the tice and opening the scoring.  While rolling to hoop 5 from a puddle, the croqueted ball reached its destination but John’s ball did not, and his long hoop shot bounced off beside Margaret’s ball; she gratefully accepted this gift and scored the first four hoops.  For a while both scored hoops slowly, but when the bisques had gone, Margaret lost her slender lead.  John was on penult when Margaret was still on 2-back and 3-back.  Then John failed a long peg out, putting one ball out; Margaret hit in and reached rover; in the next turn, John hit the peg to win +7.

The Final was played later in Glasgow.  It started with Alasdair Adam playing in his own inimitable style, but when he stuck in hoop 3, John Surgenor took his first ball to 4-back.  Alasdair decided that now was the time to take his half bisque, but after setting up the balls, he missed a five yard roquet.  After a few more shots each, Alasdair took his full bisque and scored hoop 1, but on his take-off to his pioneer just behind hoop 2 his ball rolled up against the wire.  Unable to run the hoop, or hit the pioneer, he had to retire.  John scored five hoops but stuck in hoop 6.  Alasdair peeled John through hoop 6 to gain the innings and scored a few more himself, before John hit in and took the backward ball to the peg.  Alasdair missed and John scored the last three hoops to peg out and win by +20.

For the second year in succession, each of the three Scottish Championships has been won by players who have not won it before; a good sign for Scottish croquet.


No report has been found.  Dave Arnot beat Alasdair Adam in the final.


No report has been found.  Colin Rogers beat Malcolm O’Connell in the final.


No report has been found.  Charlotte Townsend beat David Warhurst in the final.


No report has been found.  David Rothwell beat Charlotte Townsend in the final.


No report has been found.  George Anderson beat Steve Barnett in the final.


No report has been found.  Corla van Griethuysen beat Rod Williams in the final.


The final was between Tony Foster, who knocked out Donald Lamont in the semi-final, and Jamieson Walker, who beat Tony Brightman.  Tony Foster won +14.


No report has been found.  Jamieson Walker beat Andy Campbell in the final.


No report has been found.  Campbell Morrison beat Malcolm Smith in the final.


No report has been found.  Brian Durward beat Jamieson Walker in the final.


No report has been found.  Malcolm Smith beat Tony Foster in the final.


No report has been found.  Malcolm Smith beat Dave Arnot in the final.

25 September, 2000 at Meadows West:

(Report by David Appleton)

Rolling to Victory

There were very few errors in the final of the Scottish handicap singles which was played at Meadows West on Monday 25th September between Jamieson Walker and David Appleton.

Jamieson hit in on the third turn and gave himself a rush to David’s ball, but David hit on the fourth turn and went to penult leaving Jamieson’s balls near corner III and halfway down the east boundary, with his own in corner II and near corner IV.  After Jamieson had used three of his four bisques there was little sign of a break developing, but he then played what was probably, at the time, the best split pass roll his opponent had seen: from corner II he put a ball a few yards south of hoop 2 going to the ball on the east boundary, this on a lawn which took considerable effort to hit a single ball from the north boundary to the south one.  He then went to rover without using his last bisque.  David should have hit the leave (with his forward ball) but missed to the boundary behind hoop 2.

Jamieson then made hoop 1 and set up his second break with the (new) best split pass roll his opponent has seen: from near hoop 4 he put in a good pioneer at hoop 3 going to (very nearly behind) David’s ball behind hoop 2.  Her then safely went to 4-back where he needed his final bisque to make up for being hampered.  As a result he did not get the rover peel done, for which he had been anticipating using the bisque, and he laid up with a rush to rover.  However, he unwisely did this near hoop 1 and also left David’s backward ball near hoop 2, so David decided to hit.  The break was well established and the peelee was sitting nicely in front of penult when David got a little hampered after 1-back.  He should have escaped easily but did not play the shot firmly enough and missed.  This allowed Jamieson to get in and roll to rover from beside hoop 1, a brave shot with David’s ball still in position to run penult.  Rover was run and the seven yard peg out successfully accomplished.

Game and the Scottish Handicap title to Jamieson +10.

29 – 30 September, 2001 at Meadows West:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

The finals of most of the SCA Championships were played as scheduled.  The Handicap Singles final was played on Sunday afternoon between Stuart McKendrick and Dave Arnot; Stuart achieved his second win of the weekend +17 and a handicap reduction to 2½.


No report has been found.  Dave Arnot beat Alan Wilson in the final.

28 September, 2003 at Glasgow:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

Traditionally the Scottish Championship Finals comprise the finals of the Scottish Open, Handicap Singles, Handicap Doubles and Inter-Club League, and are scheduled to be played at the National Centre (formerly at Bush, now at Meadows West) during the last weekend of September.  In recent years it has also been the tradition that at least one of the finals is played late: the 2001 Doubles final, for instance, was played on the 6th of May 2002, and the 2002 Handicap Singles final on the 26th of October.

This year's finals broke with tradition in several respects.  Firstly, the Open had a new format and was completed in one weekend in July rather than being split into separate qualifying and final stages.  Secondly, the National Centre was not available at the designated weekend because of the need to do some serious scarifying, and so one of the three remaining finals was played a week early and the others were relocated to Glasgow.  Thirdly, all the championships were finished on schedule!

After the Inter-Club League final, Robert Lay and Graham Brooks then had to play again, this time against each other, in the final of the Handicap Singles.  Robert started well, and was on rover and 4-back with Graham on rover and hoop 1, but after Robert missed a four-yard roquet he got no further chances and Graham won +6.


No report has been found.  Joe Lennon beat Malcolm Smith in the final.


The combined report of the Handicap Singles and Doubles Finals, including the Inter-Club League, is already on the website.  Depending on standards employed for the integrity of different events, it may have to be split.


The combined report of the Handicap Singles and Doubles Finals, including the Inter-Club League, is already on the website.  Depending on standards employed for the integrity of different events, it may have to be split.


No report has been found.


The combined report of the Handicap Singles and Doubles Finals, including the Inter-Club League, but not including the final matches (no report from those has been found), is already on the website.  Depending on standards employed for the integrity of different events, it may have to be split.


No report has been found.


No report has been found.


No report has been found.


No report has been found.



1967:     Semi-finals: 
Lt-Cdr R.D. Sinclair (Edinburgh, h/c 3) beat Miss C.A. Crawford (Glasgow, 7) +21
J.E. Rowe (Edinburgh, 7) beat T.S. Stobbs (Glasgow, 9) +18
Lt-Cdr Sinclair beat J.E. Rowe +1T (23-22)

1968:    Final:
Lt-Cdr Sinclair beat J.E. Rowe

1969:     Final:
R. Duncan beat L.F.X. Brown

1970:     Winner:
D.J.H. Philip

1971:     Final: 
Reg Hollingworth beat Mrs Vera Macpherson

1972:     Final: 
R.M. Milne beat F.V.X. Norton

1973:     Final: 
R.M. Milne beat S.J.H. Wright

1974:     Semi-finals: 
S.J.H. Wright (3) beat J.E. Rowe (9) +14
F.V.X. Norton (4) beat Miss A.M. Murray (10) +18
S.J.H. Wright beat F.V.X. Norton +1

1975:     Semi-finals: 
D.I. Nichols (1½) beat N. McKinnon (5) +14
I.H. Wright (1) beat J.C. White (6) +11
D.I. Nichols beat I.H. Wright +12

1976:     Semi-finals: 
D.I. Nichols (1) beat W.M. Spalding (2) +10
F.V.X. Norton (1½) beat R.N. Maclean (1½) +10
F.V.X. Norton beat D.I. Nichols +13

1977:     Semi-finals: 
F.V.X. Norton beat R.N. Maclean +7
R. Williams beat Mrs M. Lauder +8
F.V.X. Norton beat R. Williams +8

1978:     Final: 
Ewen Mackenzie-Bowie beat Jack Norton.

1979:     Final: 
Ewen Mackenzie-Bowie beat Bill Spalding +23

1980:    Final: 
Rod Williams beat Phillip Simpson

1981:     Final: 
Bernard Gallivan beat Vera Macpherson +3

1982:    Final stages (six block winners qualified):
Round 1:
Allan Ramsay (14) beat George Anderson (10)
Alasdair Adam (8) beat Rod Williams (1½) +26
Round 2: 
Allan Ramsay beat Bill Spalding (1½) +11
Alasdair Adam w/o Campbell Morrison (13, injured)
Allan Ramsay beat Alasdair Adam +25

1983:    Semi-final: 
George Anderson (7½) beat Alan Ramsay (8) +1
George Anderson beat Alasdair Adam (3½) +26

1984:    Alasdair Adam won both Draw and Process

1985:     Final: 
Bill Spalding (½) beat Peter Ribbans (11) +6

1986:    Final: 
Ian Wright (2) beat David Warhurst (7) +5

1987:     Semi-final:
John Surgenor (2½) beat Margaret Lauder (6) +7
John Surgenor (2½) beat Alasdair Adam (4) +20

1988:    Final:
Dave Arnot beat Alasdair Adam

1989:    Block ‘A’:
David Warhurst (3 wins) beat Charlotte Townsend +17, Alastair Hunter +8, Dave Arnot +11
Alastair Hunter (1 win) beat Charlotte Townsend +5
Dave Arnot (1 win) beat Alastair Hunter +11
Nigel Gardner (1 win) beat Alastair Hunter +6
Block ‘B’:
Corla van Griethuysen (3 wins) beat Mona Wright 18, Alasdair Adam +14, Mary Fotheringham +3
Alasdair Adam (2 wins) beat Mona Wright +9, John Hearnshaw +8
Malcolm Smith (1 win) beat John Hearnshaw +21
Mona Wright (1 win) beat Malcolm Smith +11
Mary Fotheringham (1 win) beat Mona Wright +9
Block ‘C’:
Malcolm O’Connell (2 wins) beat George Anderson +18, Roger Hissett +3
Anne Rutter (2 wins) beat Fred Mann +2, Roger Hissett +23
George Anderson (2 wins) beat Anne Rutter +19, Fred Mann +3
Fred Mann beat Malcolm O’Connell +6
Block ‘D’:

Colin Rogers (5 wins) beat Rod Williams +14, John Surgenor +26, Basil Townsend +2T, William Laing +25, Donald Lamont +13T
John Surgenor (4 wins) beat Basil Townsend +16, William Laing +25, Donald Lamont +4, Rod Williams +11
Rod Williams (2 wins) beat Donald Lamont +15, Basil Townsend +11
Basil Townsend (2 wins) beat William Laing +22, Donald Lamont +10
Unknown results
Colin Rogers beat Malcolm O’Connell

1990:    Final:
Charlotte Townsend beat David Warhurst

1991:     Final: 
David Rothwell beat Charlotte Townsend

1992:     Final: 
George Anderson beat Steve Barnett

1993:     Final: 
Corla van Griethuysen beat Rod Williams

1994:     Semi-finals:
Tony Foster beat Donald Lamont
Jamieson Walker beat Tony Brightman
Tony Foster beat Jamieson Walker +14

1995:     Final: 
Jamieson Walker beat Andy Campbell

1996:     Final: 
Campbell Morrison beat Malcolm Smith

1997:     Final: 
Brian Durward beat Jamieson Walker

1998:    Final: 
Malcolm Smith beat Tony Foster

1999:     Final: 
Malcolm Smith beat Dave Arnot

2000:   Final: 
Jamieson Walker beat David Appleton +10

2001:    Final: 
Stuart McKendrick beat Dave Arnot +17

2002:    Final: 
Dave Arnot beat Alan Wilson

2003:    Final: 
Graham Brooks beat Robert Lay +6

2004:    Final:
Joe Lennon beat Malcolm Smith

2005:    Final:
Martin Stephenson beat Tony Whateley

2006:    Final:
S. Boyne beat Allan Hawke

2007:    Final:
Joe Lennon beat S. Boyne

2008:   Final:
Bill Spalding beat Robert Inder

2009:    Final:
Robert Lay beat Allan Hawke

2010:    Final:
Bill Spalding beat Robert Inder

2011:     Final:
Robert Inder beat Allan Hawke

2012:    Final:
Fergus McInnes beat Robert Inder +8