Briggs puts down a marker for golfers everywhere

Clive Briggs with his new golf markers / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Clive Briggs with his new golf markers / Picture by Kate Shemilt
  • Invention makes life easier in nearest-the-pin contests
  • Spring still in air for Bognor ladies
  • Success for Goodwood duo Penge and Aitchison

Avid golfer Clive Briggs is getting into the swing of things after developing a revolutionary golf accessory.

He has designed a unique golf marker system to help players record their longest drive and nearest-the-pin shot during competitions.

Briggs came up with the idea when playing with friends in miserable weather conditions on various local courses.

Now his business has been buoyed by interest from club officials at the prestigious Royal Birkdale and Royal St George’s.

He explained: “The old-fashioned way meant you had to try to write your name on a piece of damp, disintegrating paper – and it occurred to me that there must be a simple solution.

“The system is perfect for all weather conditions and allows players to mark the position of their ball on a board beside the green. The top has a useful hole to store your pencil. And can even be customised to suit individuals, golf societies and golf clubs.

“Discussions with Royal Birkdale and Royal St George’s are very productive and ongoing and we are hopeful that both clubs will embrace the idea.”

Briggs says orders for the system have increased over the past few months and he is now stepping up production ahead of what he hopes will a busy summer. And he is heading for the London Golf Show in November to showcase the product.

He added: “We remain very upbeat about the system and by the time we exhibit at London we hope to have taken the next step in terms of building the business.”

For more details go to www.golfmarkersystems.com

BOGNOR

The ladies of Bognor GC played for the Thorpe Cup in a spring meeting medal competition.

The day started off extremely windy with heavy showers but the 66 ladies battled on. The weather improved later in the day and helped some excellent results.

The spring meeting winner was Chloe Court with a gross score of 72. She plays off two so that was fantastic golf on her part.

Other nett scores: Silver division - 2 Gill Twyford 71, 3 Lynn Miller 73, 4 Janet Carter 74, 5th Suzanne Taylor 75. Bronze A - 1 Berit Smallcorn 74; 2 Debbie Fenton 75 (cb), 3 Sally Cameron 75; 4 Denise Duquemin 76 (cb). Bronze B - 1 Sara Stoneham 80, 2 Davina Rumsby 82. Bronze C - 1 June Smith 76 (cb), 2 Jackie Chamberlain 76.

On a glorious day, the second part of the spring meeting took place, a foursomes 32-hole Stableford.

Results: 1 Caroline Pilbeam & Jackie Humphries 69, 2 Marge Fenwick & Lin Harbutt 66, 3 Bridget Samuels & Teresa Byrne 60.

Incorporated into the 32-hole competition was an an 18-hole contest.

Results: 1 Jackie Chamberlain & Sue Sidebotham 37pts, 2 Janet Weeks & Liz Quentin 34, 3 Gill Harries & Janet Carter 33 (cb), 4 Lynn Miller & Ann Bushell 33 (cb).

The Whitsun Cup was played on a beautiful morning and the scores reflected the conditions.

An excellent field of more than 90 players turned out for the medal competition and the overall winner was new member Stuart Poyser with gross 79 (nett 66).

Results: Div 1 - Craig Johnson 76 (69), 2 Olly Longlands 74 (69), 3 Kevin Holton 79 (69). Div 2 - Stuart Poyser 79 (66), 2 Dave Orton 83 (68), 3 Paul Elliott 81 (69). Div 3 - Chris Hickling 86 (67), 2 Richard Doherty 90 (67), 3 Matthew Gleave 89 (68).

The Wednesday Evening League team visited Ham Manor but probably wished they hadn’t as they were beaten 4½-½. Captain John Cable has issued a rallying call to the players to step up a gear to avoid the wooden spoon.

Results: John Cable & Richard Beresford lost 1 down, Simon Watts & James MacLean lost 2&1, Ian Paine & Bob Miller lost 7&6, Mark Watson & Steve Reddick halved, Ian Hendry & Dave Chalmers lost 3&2.

Bognor’s mixed seniors visited Blackmoor and narrowly lost 5-3 in a very entertaining match.

The weather stayed fine and a great time was had by all. The course was in great condition and Blackmoor were excellent hosts as normal.

Results: Sue & Rob Redmond won 1 up, Eileen & Jim Morris lost 2 down, Penny Entricott & Derek Dady halved, Angela Chandler & Chris Hickling lost 7&6, Kay & Robin Walker won 5&4, Margaret & Allan Delves lost 2&1, Sally Cameron & Alan Rumsby lost 8&7, Paula Littlejohn & Brian Poston halved

Bognor seniors travelled to Corhampton with trepidation following their humiliating whitewash last year, but there was an great improvement by the team and they only narrowly lost 4½-3½.

Bognor pair Mike Oates and John Owen had the win of the day 5&4 after being two down after seven holes. They put together a run of pars and birdies over six holes and won on the 14th. Both teams look forward to the return at Bognor in early July.

Results: Allan Delves & Ken Catt lost 2 down, Joe Flanagan & Tony Wells lost 3&2, Mike Oates & John Owen won 5&4, Roger Selway & Andy Isitt won 3&1, Jim Catt & Richard Kaemena lost 3&2, David Turner & Ian Bright lost 2 down, Frank Hodder & Clive Millett halved, Russell Braham & Alastair MacDonald won 3&2.

COWDRAY PARK

Cowdray Park seniors retained their 100 per cent home record with a convincing 6-2 win over Littlehampton.

Conditions were akin to a links course with strong winds and firm fairways.

Cowdray’s stand-in match manager Derek Smith and Peter Laws knew they had a tough contest against former Cowdray member Jan de Vries and Nigel Smith. So it proved, with the Flying Dutchman using his extensive course knowledge to rattle off three birdies and an eagle before clinching the tie with an outrageous putt on the 18th green.

The Cowdray pair of Alan Robinson and Richard Histed ran out 5&4 winners, a margin replicated by Ian Goodall and Mick Folkes, and John Durrell and John Smith.

Largest-margin win came from David Wickham and Roger Poat, who were merciless, winning 7&6. Dave Lucking and Frank Cheevers let a four-hole lead slip before Cheevers showed steely reserve on the final green to hole the match-winning putt.

The final win came courtesy of Roy Penrose and John Newman by 3&1.

Results (Cowdray names first): Derek Smith & Peter Laws lost to Nigel Smith & Jan de Vries 1dn; Richard Histed & Alan Robinson beat Malcolm Porter 5&4; Dave Lucking & Frank Cheevers beat Malcolm Miller & Ian Gough 1up: Ralph Fanshaw & Alistair Proctor lost to Andy Brayford & Mike Phelps 1dn; David Wickham & Roger Poat beat Roger Johnson & Richard James 7&6; Ian Goodall & Mick Folkes beat John Edwards & Tony Tiernan 5&4; John Durrell & John Smith beat Tony Falkingham & Roly Steele 5&4; Roy Penrose & John Newman beat Dennis Osbourne & Peter Harris 3&1.

Cowdray seniors played their second home match on successive days, when they hosted Farnham seniors. They secured another home win, this time 6½-1½.

Play was affected by some heavy rain.

Match manager David Wickham, showing no signs of fatigue from the previous day’s exertions, teamed up with Ian Heustice to win 5&4.

Derek Smith and Mike Holden faced two well-handicapped players, but superb long-distance putting from Mike Holden gave the home pair a cosy 4&3 win.

Farnham’s Dick Turpin and his partnern robbed Cowdray of a clean sheet with Farnham’s only win.

The day’s biggest win, 7&6, came thanks to with Tony Pike being in scintillating form and Wally Mitchell using his shot allowance to good effect.

Their match was over at the 12th but all four decided to play on, until they found themselves at the furthest point from the clubhouse when the monsoon conditions arrived. They trudged back quickly to the clubhouse looking like drowned rats.

Most pairings were equally balanced and the closest result came when Brian Carpenter and Eric Bounton came back from three down to win by one up.

The three matches starting at the 17th caught the worst of the conditions, but provided further success for the home side. Recent new member Mark Kelly and Colin Tebbutt had a comfortable 5&4 win; George Crouch and Barry Overington battled away for a half, while Cowdray’s two elder statesmen, David Manning and Richard Histed, made light of conditions and registered their side’s final win, by 3&2.

Results: David Wickham & Ian Heustice beat Mark Forrester & Philip Robinson 5&4; Derek Smith & Mike Holden beat John Humphreys & Ian Aiken 4&3; Roger Poat & Alan Godfree lost to Dick Turpin & Graham Luscombe 2dn; Tony Pike & Wally Mitchell beat Colin Smith & Barry Powell 7&6; Brian Carpenter & Eric Bounton beat Geoffrey Bradshaw & Mike Davell 1up; Mark Kelly & Colin Tebbutt beat Greg Faulkner & Roy Benfield 5&4; George Crouch & Barry Overington halved with Trevor Coombes & John Marns; David Manning & Richard Histed beat Peter Lawrence & John Suirdale 3&2.

A total of 39 Cowdray ladies played in the May Stableford on a beautiful sunny day and the scores reflected how well the course was playing.

Results - Div 1 - 1 Sue Brown 37pts; 2 Terry Hughes 35; 3 Judy Stillwell 34. Div 2 - 1 Jo Fife 34; 2 Pauline Alexander 33; 3 Georgie Miller 30. Div 3 - 1 Jenny Nicholls 38; 2 Anne Laver 35; 3 Chris Sommerville 31.

SELSEY

The veterans attracted a good field for their ‘veterans and friends’ competition in ideal weather.

The result was very close with second and third-placed pairs on 38 points and winners with 39 points. Those winners were Rob Bridges and Graham Watson, who each received a bottle of Scotch and an engraved glass.

A buffet followed to round off a very enjoyable day.

Captain’s Day also brought excellent weather, with numerous prizes up for grabs.

The winner was Frank Fewster with 44 points and he was presented with the Captain’s Putter by veterans’ captain David Winter. Fewster also won a trolley for his clubs.

The day finished with a buffet and a raffle, the proceeds of which will go to the Captain’s Charity.

The course was in great shape and thanks go to the green staff for their sterling work in helping put on two excellent competitions.

GOODWOOD

On a blustery final afternoon, Goodwood’s Marco Penge refused to be blown off course and claimed his biggest title in the game – the Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship.

The 17-year-old won by a shot over the Lossiemouth links at Moray and said: “It’s my first win in a national men’s event and it’s a bit of a different feeling walking down the last. I was a bit nervous on the last green – but now I feel good!”

The win has also boosted his Walker Cup hopes and Penge said: “I’ve put my name forward, I’m giving it a good chance.”

Penge, an England boy international and member of the England Golf boys’ squad, was in contention throughout. After a first-round 69 – two-under – he was two behind the leaders and after a second-round 69 he shared the lead at the halfway stage. But he wasn’t happy – he headed to the range for a practice session and came away feeling good for the final 36 holes.

He had a bogey-free round of four-under 67 to get to eight-under and take a one-shot lead into the final round. Then, he had to battle as the wind whipped across the renowned Old Course: “Conditions were really tough,” said Penge.

There were a host of leading names in the hunt for the title on a classy leaderboard, but Penge showed great tenacity to keep them at bay, helped by a decisive eagle at the par-five 17th. He closed with a two-over-par 73 for a six-under par winning total.

Penge – who won the Peter McEvoy Trophy earlier this season and will rise from his world amateur ranking of 280 – joins an impressive list of past champions. They include victorious Ryder Cup captains Bernard Gallacher and Colin Montgomerie, as well as current European Tour stars Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay, Tommy Fleetwood and Andrew Sullivan.

Golf at Goodwood ambassador Holly Aitchison has qualified for this year’s US Women’s Open.

The 28-year-old booked her place in her maiden US Women’s Open at a qualifying event at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

Following a thrilling finish with three birdies on the final three holes, Aitchison finished as joint winner alongside Maria Balikoeva and Heather MacRae on four under par thanks to rounds of 72 and 68 to claim one of five spots up for grabs.

She said: “It’s definitely a career highlight to play in the Women’s US Open. It’s an amazing opportunity and something which I have worked hard to be a part of. It is a dream come true! It will be my first event in the USA and it’s one of the biggest majors.”

With July’s tournament being her first competition on US soil, Aitchison knows she will have to adapt her game when practising.

“Qualifying for the US Open is very different from qualifying for the British Open. I now have seven weeks to prepare and I will be able to do research on the kind of shots I will be needing.

“I know the course will be long so I think I will be having a few games on the Downs Course at Goodwood to get in some good practice!

“Having this opportunity is a massive achievement and I will be trying to learn as much as possible and gain experience to help me during the rest of my career.”

This year’s US Women’s Open takes place between from July 9 to 12 at the Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. The event is the oldest of the LPGA Tour’s five major championships and was last won by an English golfer in 1997, when Alison Nicholas triumphed.

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