Delight on the Downs as Goodwood golf course makes top 100

The Downs Course's 7th Green at Goodwood

The Downs Course's 7th Green at Goodwood

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The James Braid-designed Downs course at Goodwood, regarded as one of the best downland courses in the UK, has been formally ranked by Golf World magazine as one of England’s top 100 golf courses.

The 7,104-yard course was ranked 77th in the first top 100 of English golf courses by the long-established publication, widely regarded as the most authoritative guide to first-class golf in the UK.

England has around 1,950 golf courses, putting the historic Downs course in the top five per cent in the country.

Each course was judged by an esteemed panel of golf experts including double major winner Tony Jacklin, Ryder Cup star Oliver Wilson, four-time Solheim Cup captain Mickey Walker and broadcaster Bruce Critchley.

Every course was assessed on factors including visual appeal, routing, conditioning and historical significance by the independent judging panel.

Stuart Gillett, general manager of Golf at Goodwood, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised by Golf World magazine and this is testament to the on-going hard work of the greenkeeping staff and long-term investment plans for both courses”.

The course, which celebrates its centenary in 2013, was designed by five-time Open champion James Braid, a true legend of the Royal & Ancient game.

In 2006 more than £2m was spent remodelling the course including the creation of six new holes so that the historic layout provided a challenge for the modern game while retaining the essential character of Braid’s original concept. Membership enquiries can be made on 01243 755132.

Here’s the latest from our other local golf clubs...

COWDRAY PARK

Cowdray Park seniors entertained their counterparts from Bognor, who had beaten them 6-2 in the first fixture between them this season.

The balance of the teams was evident in the results, which had three matches decided on the final hole, two matches halved and another decided by one hole.

Deputising for match manager Mike Hancock, Tony Castley took over and partnered David Manning to a victory by one up. Castley birdied the first and Manning birdied the 18th, which proved decisive in the close battle with the Bognor pair of seniors’ captain John Owen and John Woodhead.

The second match went the way of Cowdray again by a birdie on the final hole and match three was won by seniors’ captain Peter Burton and John Smith.

Match five produced a 4&3 win for Pat Harrison and Roger Poat to give Cowdray an unassailable lead. The result was a reversal of the first fixture, with Cowdray winning 6-2.

Results (Cowdray names first): Tony Castley & David Manning beat John Owen & John Woodhead 1up; John Newman & Colin Tebbutt beat Roger Selway & Clive Millett 1 up; Peter Burton & John Smith beat Richard Hedge & Tony Wells 2&1; Derek Smith & Wally Mitchell halved with Peter Lott & Hugh Diaper; Pat Harrison & Roger Poat beat Andy Bence & Alan Fitzgerald 4&3; Richard Histed & Chris Hoare lost to Gerry O’Neill & Ian Simpson 1dn; Roy Penrose & Mel Milburn halved with Paul Archer & Mike Wadley; Ralph Fanshawe & Clive Brine beat Bob Bennett 5&4.

Players from Cowdray Park Seniors’ section continue to play well in open competitions in the area.

At Ham Manor, David Heard claimed third prize and was denied second place only on countback.

The course was playing very long with a stiff wind blowing in from the Channel, and the greens, having been speeded up by the new ironing process, proving very difficult for many of the players.

Today Cowdray Park hold their annual seniors’ open, with a full field of home players and visitors.

When heavy overnight rain continued into the morning, a reduced field of 76 competed in the Cowdray Park seniors’ monthly Stableford.

The brave souls who set off early in the rain were rewarded with sunshine before the end of their round and still returned some creditable scores.

Big-hitting Mike Burgess carved his way through the rain to return an excellent 39 points for an early clubhouse lead. He held this until ultra-consistent Graham Evans returned a score of 40, boosted by twos on the ninth and 11th holes.

Late in the day, 19-handicapper Mike Morling belied his rating with 39 points, claiming second place on countback from Burgess, who had to settle for third.

Peter Clarke, who finished third in the previous two Stablefords, again finished in the top ten to advance his challenge for the Carter Trophy, while David Heard, fresh from his success at Ham Manor the previous day, scored 37 for fifth place. The raffle raised £138 for Help for Heroes.

BOGNOR

Continuing a sequence of away matches, Bognor veterans lost 6-2 at Haywards Heath.

Scores: J Owen & E Payne lost 1 down, F Hodder & J Bumfrey lost 5&4, G O’Neill & V Ward lost 1 down, D Turner & D Burke lost 7&5, G Steventon & J Woodhead lost 2 down, I Simpson & T Wells lost 1 down, C Millett & B Kingswell won 3&1, B Bennett & P McCormack won 3&2.

Thirty-nine players took part in the veterans’ midweek Stableford. The winning score of 42 points by Ian Simpson was outstanding on a very windy day. Second on 38 was Cliff Willis, with Eric Payne third on 37 and Roger Selway fourth on 35 on countback from Peter Lush.

AVISFORD PARK

The Lee Rogers birthday golf competition was a four-ball Texas scramble won by Carl Corbin, George Stillwell, Danny Carter and Stephen Porter with a nett score of 48.

In the senior Stableford, division-one winner was Barrie Goble with 40 points and in division two it was Colin Robinson with 38.

The midweek Stableford winner was Chris May with 40 points. He struck a hole in one on the 15th.