Junior and senior golfers in the prizes at Bognor

The winner of Bognor's Spring Cup, Peter Lott, receives the award from Chris Hickling
The winner of Bognor's Spring Cup, Peter Lott, receives the award from Chris Hickling

Bognor juniors’ season got off with a flying start with the Mullenger Memorial. The weather was excellent, which led to a good turnout and some great scoring.

Division two was won by Andrea Cropenese with a cracking 63 nett, with the returning Charlie Brogie second.

Division one was close, with Jake Stoneham shooting a gross 72/nett 69 that was only good enough for third place. Harry Isham came in with what he must have thought was a winning 66, but hard-working Harry Malin scored a fantastc 76 off his 11 handicap to win by won with nett 65.

The trophy was again kindly donated and sponsored by Maureen Mullenger. Malin now has the early lead now in the order of merit

A year ago, Bognor’s Harry Isham at the age of 12 won the Sussex Under-14 county championship. He returned this year this year for the tournament held again at Mid Sussex Golf Club knowing a defence with his new single handicap was going to be tough.

Isham played some great golf, scoring six over par which proved the winning score and gave him the handicap and scratch championships in back-to-back years – a rare feat in the county.

Twenty-four Bognor seniors thoroughly enjoyed their bi-annual pilgrimage to Meon Valley Golf Club for their two golf games and overnight stay.

An excellent turnout of 75 Bognor seniors took part in their Spring Cup. It’s one of the ‘senior majors’ at Bognor and the majority of the scores reflected the unexpected cold and blustery conditions.

It was a difficult day for Steve King as his trolley and clubs fell into a ditch... twice. He blamed a faulty on-off switch.

Seniors’ captain Chris Hickling presented the prizes, which this year included six nearest the pins. Hickling also presented Roly Heath with the Tommy Thomson Trophy he won in March.

Results: Overall competition winner Peter Lott 40pts, 2 Roger Leverton 39, 3 Joe Flanagan (cb). Team winners – 1 Roger Leverton, Bob Young, Richard Kaemena, 2 John Harnett, John Chapman and Mick Wilson, 3 Andy Bence, Rob Redmond and Peter Lott.

Bognor’s men participated in the Sunday Medal, with a good turnout of 76 players. Mark Watson won the medal competition with gross 79, nett 66, good enough to win by three shots from a whole host of players with nett 69. Second was Roy Tidy with gross 78/nett 69, third Richard Perry with 80/69.

Twenty-four Bognor seniors thoroughly enjoyed their bi-annual pilgrimage to Meon Valley Golf Club for their two golf games and overnight stay.

The event was managed by Cliff Wills, the weather gorgeous and the theme the Ryder Cup with 12 players representing each side. The USA defeated GB.

Winner of the singles competition with a combined score of 72 points was Willis himself.

COWDRAY PARK

The cunning plan of Farnham seniors, who won this year’s Winter League, to ask Cowdray Park to arrive at the unusually early hour of 7.30pm on a Monday morning, clearly worked a treat.

On a beautiful morning for golf, many of the Farnham players excelled and overwhelmed the Cowdray team before they had chance to wake up. This was typified in the opening match, where the Farnham pair, playing off ten and 18, had a better-ball score of three over gross including four birdies.

This was unfortunately beyond Mark Kelly, in his first outing as match manager, and Gordon Kendall.

In the next two pairings Farnham continued the momentum with good winning margins. The fourth Cowdray pairing of John Newman and Barry Overington were all-square coming down the 15th, but again eventually succumbed to the home side.

Further unfortunate losses followed, but mention should be made of John Fife, who, even though he lost his partner Ian Gunn through injury after nine holes, ended up losing 3&1, the closest result of the day.

The final result was a resounding 8-0 win to Farnham.

* Cowdray seniors welcomed Bramley Bobs with the course in exceptional condition.

This fixture is always tight and this year was no exception, with a number of tight and very well-fought matches.

Match manager Roger Poat and Chris Hoare set the pace for Cowdray against Bramley’s Paul Tanner and Barry Elliott. The match was tight with Cowdray’s pair prevailing on the very last hole to win by one.

Cowdray seniors’ captain Mike Hughes and Mike Holden faced John Medhurst and Mike Sheridan. The Bramley pair led by one or two holes all the way around until the Cowdray pair pulled them back to halve the match on the last hole.

Mike Cardiff and Dave Fowler won on the last hole before Peter Hallt and George Crouch had a great 6&5 win. Alan Bradley and Barry Overington lost two down, asnd did Rob Doney and John Wheelhouse went down 2&1.

A good 4&3 win by Alan Gormley and Alan Robinson came before Dave Coombes and Alistair Proctor finished with a creditable half, brought the overall score to 5-3 to Cowdray.

Cowdray Ladies competed in the 2017 R&A/LGU Coronation Foursomes Stableford. It is open to all members of affiliated golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

Winners were Vicky Lush and Catherine Staples with 35 points – they will be eligible to compete in the area finals.

Runners-up on countback were Margaret Curwood and Sue Brown.

CHRIS McDONNELL COLUMN

April was certainly an inspiring month for golf, with The Masters – the first major of the year – taking place in America.

Those who tuned in witnessed an inspiring winner, too, in Sergio Garcia.

Over the past 20 years Garcia has consistently knocked on the major championship door but a win eluded him, despite coming agonisingly close on a number of occasions. Finally this year, in his 74th major tournament, he got the monkey off his back with an impressive performance around the Augusta National course.

Sadly for British fans, Garcia’s victory came at the expense of Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose in a tense play-off. While Rose was clearly devastated to just miss out, it was interesting listening to Garcia’s post-tournament comments, with him stating he had accepted he was never going to win a major.

This mind -et must have totally taken the pressure off him and allowed him to play freely and enjoy the game.

I think that finding love in his life no doubt had a positive influence on his golf too. It really wasn’t that long ago that he was ready to quit golf and he said he found it unbearable to play. But his is a really good example of how the power of a positive mindset and meeting someone to love can have an effect on one’s performance. Well done Sergio, now it’s Lee Westwood’s turn!

While we can’t help our players find love off the course at Goodwood, the positive mental approach is something we do focus on at the academy. This, as well as the environment one learns in, can help lead down the pathway to success.

In May and June we have some junior camps, women’s get-into-golf sessions and Masterclasses. No matter what stage of playing you are at, whether a junior, beginner or a frequent golfer, we have a variety of affordable packages available to help you.

* Chris McDonnell is the manager of the Golf At Goodwood Academy and a PGA professional. To get in touch with him and the team, please email golfacademy@goodwood.com or call 01243 520162. Alternatively, tweet @goodwood_golf

GOODWOOD

Goodwood’s Marco Penge helped defending champions England produced a commanding performance to beat Spain 17-13 in a two-day mixed international and keep a firm grip on the Seve Ballesteros Trophy.

The win, at El Saler Golf Club, Valencia, is England’s 15th in the biennial series, while Spain have taken the trophy on just two occasions, most recently in 2013.

They made their intentions clear from the start when they won Saturday’s opening foursomes 4-1, with Dan Brown and Penge teaming up for one of the victories.

The next day, Penge halved his match.

LITTLEHAMPTON

The club’s annual captain’s drive-in had a seaside theme. Lying besides the dunes on the West Beach, Littlehampton Golf Club was the perfect setting for the new club captain Bill Hoal to wear a typical 1920s beach outfit to reflect the occasion. Despite his un-golf like attire, he drove the ball to commemorate the start of his captaincy a very creditable 195 yards into a stiff southerly breeze.

The traditional drive-in, watched by dozens of members from the clubhouse balcony, followed a lunch enjoyed by all and accompanied by a musical backdrop of “Good ol’ Sussex by the Sea!”

Hoal has been a member of LGC for more than 11 years since retiring from the military in 2005. He has continued an active life post-Army; qualifying as a mountain leader and training young people in expedition skills for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

His captain’s charity for the year is the Snowdrop Trust.

Littlehampton Golf Club has recently been rated in the top 18 courses in the South of England by National Club Golfer Magazine and Hoal is very proud and honoured to have been elected club captain for the coming 12 months.

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