Goodwood golf bosses have more ups than Downs

The seventh green on Goodwood's Downs course  Picture by Mike Caldwell
The seventh green on Goodwood's Downs course Picture by Mike Caldwell

The Downs Course at Goodwood, widely regarded as the best downland course in the UK, has been ranked 59th in England’s top 100 courses for 2012.

The new accolade comes on the Top 100 Golf Courses website – www.top100golfcourses.co.uk – and is the latest feather in the cap for the venue after a series of similar plaudits.

The 7,104-yard course has moved 42 places up since the countrywide rankings were launched in 2006.

The judges examined the course’s overall challenge, visual appeal, presentation, quality and condition in their evaluation of the James Braid-designed course which surpassed many of its competitors, including some of the best-known names in corporate and tournament golf.

What makes the website so authoritative is its judgements are based on the personal experiences of knowledgeable club golfers.

This is the fourth time the rankings have been posted online and complete independence is paramount. Hundreds of courses are surveyed each year.

Stuart Gillett, general manager at Golf At Goodwood, said: “We’re delighted with the acknowledgment the Downs is one of the best and most highly-conditioned courses in England. We’re continuing to invest in both our courses.”

Goodwoods bosses believe the all-important 19th hole is as impressive as the on-course facilities.

The 18th-century Kennels is the elegant grade-one listed clubhouse with locker rooms, a full attendant service, a drawing room, bar and dining room. Woody buggies and Ralph Lauren’s first flagship golf store in Europe complete the facilities.

Since relaunching in 2006 Goodwood has pioneered a new form of ‘credit membership’ which has proved popular and created pay-as-you-go golf.

There is no joining fee, just a nominal annual charge plus club credits for rounds played, with the option of purchasing more. A member pays only for the amount of golf played and can top up accordingly.

CHICHESTER

A very cold day did not stop Chichester ladies holding a yellow ball competition. Each team member rotated the use of the double-points yellow ball on each hole. Desperate not to lose it, tension mounted as each hole was completed.

The prize for returning to the clubhouse with the ball was three extra points. The winning team with 105 points was Terry Payne, Sue Bond and a secret partner drawn to make up a three-ball.

Close runners up with 99 were Kathy Donohoe, Mo Davison and Lyn Santer.

COWDRAY PARK

Even the hardy seniors of Cowdray Park had to defer to the weather when sub-zero temperatures and a rock-hard course led to the postponement of Thursday’s third round of the Captain’s Prize. They have re-arranged it for March 8.

Following the completion of the year’s two Stablefords, Cowdray Park seniors’ Carter Trophy positions mirror those of the Eclectic. The top three are the same for both thanks to consistent scoring in both months. The leader is Dave Lucking from Dave Gaff and Gordon Kendall.

AVISFORD PARK

A charity competition in memory or Mick Finneran raised money for the captain’s charity, Chestnut Tree House hospice.

The winner of the Mick Finneran Claret Jug was Adam Kracke with 38 points, the runner-up Brian Ford, also with 38.

Winning lady was Jayne Hardwell with 33 points. The nearest-the-pins were won by Nathan Warren on the 13th, Hugh Hooper on the 14th and Richard Burtenshaw on the 15th.

The midweek Stableford was won by Andrew Kille with 31 points, Saturday’s Stableford was won by David Worledge with 40 and the senior Stableford was won in division one by Gerry Tarrant with 42 and in division two by Graham Williams, also with 42.