Bognor's junior golfers reflect on year of success... Willie Thorne pots a great reception
Bognor Golf Club juniors’ prizegiving night showed off the great season the club’s young players had – and gave the youngsters a chance to say thank you to parents and sponsors.
The event is always well supported and this year there were 48 guests. Bognor has always been really proud of its junior section and having the club president, club captain and lady captain in attendance gave the evening a very regal feel.
Junior organiser Andrew Field gave an overview of successes through the year within county and national events which included Katie Field becoming girls’ masters champion, Harry Malin’s England successes and world ranking points earned and Harry Isham’s role in Sussex winning the southern boys’ contest.
Also mentioned was Jake Stoneham ,who has started his adventure in America studying and playing golf after being a junior for six years.
After a carvery dinner, Jonathan, Groves, Bognor’s new club professional, announced activities he would be introducing to grow junior golf and improve the young players.
Harry Isham, the junior captain, thanked everyone for their support over his year, and this was followed by 2020 captain Ben Taylor announcing his vice-captain, Thomas Hendrick.
A total of 18 trophies were presented to the year’s winners by their sponsors. It was great to see so many sponsors this year, their support is vital.
Special mention goes to Nigel Pittam, whose parents started the longest running trophy (now in its 50th year) which he has continued in their memory.
Fittingly the club captain’s cup sponsored by captain Sean Maginnis was won by his son Charlie.
The final presentations were for the Citeog, a three club sand a putter competition played that day over 13 holes and won by Ben Whitney, a new member.
Then came the finale, the Order of Merit and most improved player award.
The Order of Merit is hotly contested over the year with points awarded for performance with each trophy. In third place was Harry Isham, runner-up was Katie Field and the winner for the second year running was Harry Malin. The trophy and voucher was presented by Ron Hendrick, who has sponsored this for a few years and whose sons have been members.
The final presentation was for the most improved player, an award recognising great improvement throughout the year and this year’s winner certainly deserved the accolade as he won three events and reduced his handicap by 15 shots, so well done to Billy Bicknell, worth watching in 2020.
* The annual men’s section dinner was held at the golf club, with more than 90 members attending the dinner and many playing in the Canada Cup the next morning.
The food was superb thanks to ladies’ section members serving. Guest speaker was snooker player Willie Thorne who had played golf in the morning and was very complimentary about the course and club .
Thorne was very entertaining with his stories about his snooker exploits, and he did a trick shot display after the meal that was great fun.
After the club’s annual meeting April, the new club captain will be Andrew Field and he proposed as his vice-captain Stanley Riseborough, an extremely popular choice with members and a name synonomous with the club.
The Canada Cup attracted 56 players and with a magnificent score of 45 points was won by professional Jonathan Groves and Field. Second with 43 points were Dominic Rainey and John Riseborough, with Matt Hansford and Andrew Wallhead third on 42.
The first Cowdray seniors competition of 2020, the January Stableford, had favourable weather for the early starters and heavy rain for the final third of the field. Many resilient golfers battled through the puddles to the bitter end.
There were some very commendable scores among the 72 players. The winner of division one was early starter Steve Lucking with 40 points, with William Hunter second with 39. The winner of division two was Justin Chuter, also with 40, with Alan Jeffs second with 36.
The first seniors captain’s competition under new captain Terry Adsett was a team event. It was played as a Stableford, waltz format, with teams of four.
The weather was reasonable with some relatively light rain for the later section of the field. The winning team with 110 points (par 108) was Richard Mellor, Martin Gilbert, Alan Jeffs and Robert Hastings. Second with 104 points were Arthur Mason, Adrian Poole, Allan Gormley and Robin Phillips; third with 102.6 points were Cliff Davies, John Hall and Andrew Douglas.
A Texas scramble was played in dull, overcast conditions, a rescheduled version of the October 2019 game postponed in wet weather. After a rain free few days, the course was drying out, with no temporary greens and with the smell of newly mown grass.
There were some decent scores from a field of 17. The winners were Mike King, Mel Milburn, Gordon Moffoot and Mark Upton with a great net score of 60. Second with 61.8 were Richard Burden, Wally Mitchell, Michael Colban and Paul Owen.