Goodwood sees Revival of golfing traditions

Golfers enjoy their own Goodwood Revival
Golfers enjoy their own Goodwood Revival

GOODWOOD turned back the clocks as the Revival Golf Challenge transformed the Sussex course with its vintage clothing and hickory golf clubs.

The annual event has become one of the highlights of the Golf at Goodwood calendar with many competitors returning year on year.

The history of the game is very important to Goodwood so to be able to hold such an intimate and unspoilt competition bringing golf back to its roots is truly inspirational.

Stuart Gillett

The players left their distance-measuring devices, graphite shafts and belly putters at home in favour of carrying stick-thin bags filled with brassies, spoons and niblicks with whippy shafts and small persimmon heads.

Being far less forgiving than the modern day equivalents, the Hickory golf clubs provided by the South of England Hickory Golf Society proved a real challenge, especially for those using them for the first time.

On a stunning morning on the Sussex Downs, more than 60 golfers arrived in a range of costumes to take part in the 18-hole event on the glorious James Braid-designed Downs course.

The idea behind starting the competition eight years ago was as a tribute to the renowned golf course architect who was an icon of the game during his ten-year career in winning five Open Championships. Braid was famed for his panache, Norfolk jacket and idiosyncratic tweed cap that were always accompanied with a collar and tie.

Revival golfers embraced the fashion of the Edwardian era, with waist-coats, bow-ties and flat caps out in full force.

Despite the old-fashioned clubs and handicaps being three-quartered for an even greater challenge, the standard was remarkably high.

Playing together, Golf At Goodwood general manager Stuart Gillett and the UK’s highest-ranked amateur, Golf At Goodwood ambassador Marco Penge, managed a highly-respectable 37 points. However the pair were beaten by Geoff Bleasby from Westhampnett, and Boris Lietzow from Germany, who finished with 42 points to win the event for the second consecutive year.

Gillett, said: “Revival Golf is such a unique and nostalgic day. To witness golfers in such authentic outfits at Goodwood makes us all very proud.

“The history of the game is very important to Goodwood so to be able to hold such an intimate and unspoilt competition bringing golf back to its roots is truly inspirational. The event continues to redefine golf year on year.”

CHICHESTER

In recognition of the country’s longest-reigning monarch, Chichester veterans played a Stableford with additional prizes of suitably-engraved tankards for the winners of each division.

This enlivened the competition for the 53 players and on a lovely day the scoring was good with one card with 40 points and three with 39 from just the first three playing groups.

The overall winner and recipient of the division-two tankard was Andrew Grant with a magnificent 42 points, two clear of his nearest rival. The quest for the division-one tankard was even closer with three players tied on 39.

With back nines of 22, 21 and 20 points there was little in it and the eventual winner Roy Harding was extremely grateful for his birdie on the 13th which earned him five points.

Result: Overall winner & Div 2 Tankard - Andrew Grant 42pts; 2 John Paul 40; 3 Mike Arthur 39; Div 1 Tankard - Roy Harding 39; 2 Norman Moore 39; 3 Brendan Sharpe 39.

Chichester veterans continued their fine home form with a good victory over West Chiltington. A blustery day with a few showers did not spoil an enjoyable hard-fought contest with just one game being very one-sided. Chichester won 6-2.

Scores: B Shrives-Wrist & B Martin halved; M Hunter & J Paul won 3&2; D Matthey & J Styles won 4&3; P Collyer & R Holden won 3&2; G Williams & J Fox won 4&3; C Page & C Duthie lost 3&1; B Santer & E Root halved; K Dowinton & R Chandler won 8&7.

COWDRAY PARK

Cowdray Park members raised the roof recently when one of their oldest and most respected players returned to the clubhouse having recorded a score less than his age.

The player in question was 87-year-old Denis Stillwell, a member since 1983, who returned with a gross score of 82 off his handicap of 19, which gave him a Stableford score of 43 points and left his younger opponents trailing in his wake.

Denis is an all-round sportsman, having played football for Worthing, Horsham and Petworth, while he was also a top-class cricketer, having played for Sussex.

Having just lost their 100 per cent home record, Cowdray Park seniors bounced back immediately with an excellent away win at near neighbours West Sussex GC.

The 4½-1½ victory was all the more creditable as this is the only time in the year when Cowdray play the foursomes format. As tee-off time approached, the heavens opened and the players remained in the clubhouse deciding whether to start the match or not. After a vote they agreed to carry on, although four players from each side dropped out, resulting in only six matches going ahead.

Match manager David Tilley and Chris Hoare set a fine example for their team, winning by 3&1, before seniors’ vice-captain Derek Smith and John Newman followed up with a narrow one-hole victory.

Bill Hummerston and John Smith beat a strong home pair 3&2 to put the visitors three up. The hosts recorded their first win but any hopes they had of staging a recovery were quashed by Ken Marjoram and Peter Hallt who fought doggedly for a one-up win.

The final match, between two evenly-matched pairs, was halved.

Results (Cowdray names first): David Tilley & Chris Hoare beat Alan Hunt & Rob Davidson 3&1; Derek Smith & John Newman beat Larry Culliford & Jack Wigan 1up; Bill Hummerston & John Smith beat Lex Wills & John Varney 3&2; David Wickham & Brian Carpenter lost to Colin Sharman & Graham Curtis 5&4; Ken Marjoram & Peter Hallt beat Stuart Reid & Mike Sherwood 1 up; Wally Mitchell & Mike Cardiff halved with Derrick Simpson & Roger Skillin.

Despite days of torrential rain, Cowdray Park’s course was in fine condition for the seniors’ monthly Stableford on a bright and sunny day.

The winner of division one, and overall with 40 points, was Mike Hughes, who began the year off a handicap of 18 and, following this win, has had it reduced to 13.

So far this year he has won three competitions and finished runner-up twice. Second was former captain David Tilley with 39 points from another ex-captain, Bill Hummerston, with 38 on countback from Mick Colban.

Division two was won on countback by the popular Alistair Proctor with 39 points from John Wyatt, both players earning a place in the end-of-season seniors’ Champions’ Trophy.

Long-time leader Wally Mitchell finished third with 38 points from four players on 37 - Paul Chater, Neville Gibbons, Jim Booth and Graham Thompson.

The top three all had their handicaps reduced.

The greens had received their annual autumn treatment and many players found them difficult to get to grips with, so fewer twos than usual were recorded. The raffle raised a further £157 for Dreams Come True.

The afternoon was tinged with sadness when news came through of the death after a protracted illness of seniors’ stalwart Keith Chapman.

Keith had been fixtures secretary for many years and also served as captain and match manager for the West Surrey fixture. He was a popular member of the section and will be sadly missed by all.

Leading scores: Div 1 - Mike Hughes 40; David Tilley 39; Bill Hummerston, Mick Colban 38; Allen Sibley 37. Div 2; Alistair Proctor, John Wyatt 39; Wally Mitchell 38; Paul Chater, Neville Gibbons, Jim Booth, Graham Thompson 37. Twos - Div 1 - Allen Sibley, David Tilley, Trevor Nash (all at 11th); Div 2 - Jon Fife (3rd), Alan Richardson (9th), Mel Milburn and Tony Castley (both at 11th).

BOGNOR

There was an excellent turnout for the Autumn Tankard with 105 playing on Saturday, 97 on Sunday and 73 players entering the 36-hole event.

Martin Leo won the Autumn Tankard nett and gross with excellent scores of 71 and 71 (65/65 nett) a total of ten under handicap for the two rounds.

Mark Carter was runner-up with nett scores of 67 and 67, a six-under total of 134. This means he shot better than his age both days – a fantastic achievement.

Simon Ostrom came third in his first event since rejoining Bognor with nett scores of 69 and 66, five under.

Leo’s scores were good enough to see him win the Scratch Tankard by four shots from Andy Brown. This is awarded to the player with the four best gross rounds over the Spring and Autumn Tankard. Leo won the Scratch Tankard with a 12-over total of 292; Brown came second with a 16-over total of 296.

Bognor seniors entertained Singing Hills and after winning both home and away matches 4½-3½ last year, they contrived to lose both matches by the same score this year. Steve Flack and Paul Cooper found themselves four down at the turn but fought back to all square before finally losing on the last hole. 

Scores: Richard Kaemena and Roger Selway won 1 up, Clive Millett & Alan Fitzgerald lost 2&1, David Turner & Frank Hodder halved, Steve Flack & Paul Cooper lost 1 down, Brian Wolstencroft & Peter Collins lost 4&3, Vic Ward & Hugh Diaper halved, Ian Bright & Ken Catt halve; Mike Wadley & Chris Hickling won 1up

Bognor seniors played in the last Fletcher Round before the final. It was a particularly wet and windy day and 54 players took part.

Winner was John Chapman with 40 points, second was Peter Selby with 39 and third on countback Trevor Till. Chapman, with a total score of 57 points over the four rounds, goes into the final as clear favourite.

Blackmoor mixed seniors had a torrid time getting to Bognor because of Goodwood Revival traffic but the rest of the day went very well and Blackmoor said they all enjoyed the day, with praise going to the green staff and to the caterers. Bognor won 5½-2½.

Scores: David Chalmers & Eileen Morris won 2 up, Derek Dady & Sue Crossen halved, Rob Redmond & Sue Redmond lost 4&2, Chris Hickling & Sue Monger won 3&2, Alan & Davina Rumsby lost 6&4, Allan & Margaret Delves won 3&2, Robin & Kay Walker won 3&2, Brian Poston & Pauline Littlejohns won 4&3.

SUSSEX

The Sussex women’s golf first team had a fantastic week in the English Counties Championships at Frilford Heath. Having clinched their place by narrowly winning the south region competition, Sussex hoped to follow in Hampshire’s footsteps by going on to take the national title.

Against Buckinghamshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, each Sussex match consisted of three foursomes and six singles matches.

With many of the country’s top amateur golfers taking part, the Sussex squad of nine played some fantastic golf in very testing conditions, particularly with torrential rain making the course play very long.

The whole week turned on Wednesday’s game against Nottinghamshire, with the match reduced to five games througho the weather conditions. Sussex were narrowly defeated by just one game, with Nottinghamshire then going on to clinch the title.

On the final day and having secured a convincing 6-3 win over Buckinghamshire, the Sussex team had an anxious wait for the outcome of the Lancashire v Gloucestershire match to know their final placing – with that match halved, Sussex were confirmed as the runners up; no mean feat having not made the finals since 2011.

County captain Sue Todd said: “We are really pleased – we were gunning for second place, the whole team were highly motivated and very determined. This is the highest we’ve ever been placed.

“We’ve changed our coaching and selection system, and it’s been a year’s work to get here. We’ve got an incredible team spirit, both on and off the course, and our team manager, Hannah Ralph has made an enormous contribution’.

The team was a strong mix of experience and youth. The squad comprised Chelsea Masters (Highwoods), Penny Brown (Worthing), Paula Carver (Worthing), Chloe Court (Bognor), Jelina Fernando (East Sussex National), Aileen Greenfield (Pyecombe), Sophie Kennard (The Dyke), Katherine Russell (Royal Ashdown Forest), Karen Sykes (Worthing).

Making a great week for Sussex women’s golf even better, the county second team secured the Stovold Trophy which is contested annually against Surrey, Hampshire, Kent and Middlesex.

Having not won the trophy since 2009, led by Tessa Stockwell and a squad of 13, they secured resounding wins in all four matches.

LITTLEHAMPTON

There was a familiar feeling to events on the links at Littlehampton Golf Club as the team from Lee-on-the-Solent GC retained the trophy they won for the first time last year in the prestigious Norfolk Trophy team event.

Named in honour of the club’s president His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, the Hampshire-based club produced some solid golf in the rain and ended up clear winners for the second year running with their aggregate stableford score of 143 points, seven points ahead of runners-up and first-time participants Bramshaw Golf Club. The team from Bramley, winners in 2013, were placed third.

Twelve teams from Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire were taking part and winning captain Pete Fletcher from Lee commented how well the course stood up to the recent rainfall, and what a friendly welcome they all received.

Some 72 golfers enjoyed a buffet breakfast on arrival and a sumptuous two-course carvery after play. Home captain Mike La Foret led his side to a spirited fourth place and thanked all the members and guests who also raised £105 on the day for his chosen charity Teenage Cancer Trust.

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