Goodwood is to join a list of England’s most famous courses and play host to an array of distinguished professionals in an exciting newly-formed tournament circuit.
It is called the TP Tour Series and involves 30 one-day events across the country. It is in its second season having already attracted players from the European Tour as well as a growing number of golf fans who value the chance to watch top-class campaigners in action.
The prestigious venues have been selected personally by former European Order of Merit winner Ronan Rafferty, who played in the 1989 Ryder Cup match against the Americans and holds the position of tour ambassador to the TP Tour Series.
The Northern Ireland tournament star said: “We’re introducing traditional golf courses to pros and many existing tour players are lapping up the opportunity.
“Players like Paul Broadhurst, who competed in the 1991 Ryder Cup, are finding out these one-day tournaments are ideal in between their schedules as they are playing wonderful courses in strict tournament conditions and for a decent prize fund.”
The ultimate bonus for competitors is that the top three finishers to the TP Tour Series Order of Merit will receive paid entry into the European Tour Qualifying School. The circuit is already proving immensely popular among 100 seasoned campaigners and aspiring newcomers who have signed up for what is acknowledged to be the UK’s best and fastest growing golf tour.
The aim of the series is to offer existing European Tour players additional competition to sharpen their game as well as providing young aspiring pros a start in their competitive careers.
The courses for the 2012 TP Tour Series includes several European Tour locations such as Woburn, Walton Heath, Wentworth and well as Royal St Georges, the historic venue for numerous Open Championships.
The series moves to Goodwood as part of a 36-hole event with Hayling Island on May 2 and the general appraisal suggests that Goodwood is a superb challenge for the players.
The spring ladies and seniors’ match was enjoyed by everyone with the format of the day a team event played in fours with two scores to count.
The winners with a magnificent score of 99 points were Sue Brown, Helen Chapman, Derek Smith and Gary Strowbridge. Second were Angela Pike, Marilyn Davis, Rob Doney and John Sexton with 94 while Mary Morling, Pat Hewson, Dave Tilley and David Gaff were a close third with 93.
Nearest the pin on the 11th for ladies was Jane Holden and nearest the pin on the ninth for the gents was Derek Smith.
Golf was followed by a meal and prizegiving.
With the sun on their backs, Cowdray Park seniors flourished in their first home match of the season against Ham Manor, running out 7-1 winners.
Match manager Peter Burton led from the front as he and Derek Smith showed little mercy on their opponents, who they beat 5&4. All Cowdray’s remaining wins were achieved by comfortable margins and in the final match out, home pair Barry Overington and Bill Leath overwhelmed the visitors 7&6.
This fixture is one of the most popular in the Seniors’ fixture list. All look forward to the return fixture in October at Ham Manor.
Results (Cowdray names first): Peter Burton & Derek Smith beat David Gailey & Mike Spooner 5&4; Allen Sibley & Roger Poat beat Alan Orr & Derek Duncanson 2&1; Des White & John Start beat John Barr & John Strange 3&1; Pat Harrison & Clive Strudwick beat David Cathrall & Ron Griffiths 3&2; Alan Godfree & Mike Cardiff lost to John Smith & Bernard Jacobs 3&2; Tony Castley & Dave Tilley beat Geoff Hunt & Ian Bull 4&2; Gordon Kendall & David Laver beat John Green & Dave Souter 4&3; Barry Overington & Bill Leath beat Brian Parncutt & John Dicker 7&6.
This year, because of the terrible weather on the day of the annual captain’s team challenge against Littlehampton, the match was based more on socialising than competition.
At one stage one player stripped down to his shirt and underpants and ran up and down the length of the 18th twice in the pouring rain.
Some photographs were taken on mobile phones and Alistair Murray, the Bognor captain, said if the pictures surfaced he would sue. On behalf of Sport Relief and the captain’s charity, £320 was raised.
Two days later, in glorious summer-like weather, the Bognor veterans opened their new season with a 5½-2½ home win against Waterlooville.
This was a very good start to the year, but there are another 35 matches to be played home and away.
Scores: R Selway & T Till lost 2&1, P Lott & T Wells won 4&3, J Catt & F Hodder won 4&3, A Fitzgerald & R Hedge won 3&2, M Henry & D Turner halved, C Millett & B Vanstone won 4&2, I Simpson & B Wilson won 5&3, J King & D Sheath lost 5&4.
Sixty-six ladies competed in the Memorial Bowl Stableford. The winner was Georgina McCormack with 39 points.
Rest of the results: Chris Puddicombe 37, Penny Entecott 35, Nicki Vincent 34, Wendy Johnson 33. Bronze A: Georgina McCormack 39, Angela Allen 37, Kay Dady 35, Berit Smallcorn 34. Bronze B: Jill Gill 38, Joan Partridge 33, Barbara Evans 29 ocb, Maleta Moore 29.
Jenny Edmonds from St Wilfrid’s Hospice visited Avisford Park to receive a cheque for £,1200, collected from various donations over the past year.
She thanked all the seniors for an important contribution to their much-needed funds and talked about how much her late husband Jack had enjoyed being one of our senior members.
Outoing seniors captain Brian Coughlan thanked everyone for their support during his year in office.