Golf: Tree puts down roots at Goodwood

Toby Tree is the latest young prospect to become linked with Goodwood
Toby Tree is the latest young prospect to become linked with Goodwood

Golf At Goodwood continues to extend its reputation as a major centre of excellence for the development of young golfers and is attracting some of the most exciting new talents in the country.

The latest recruit to take full advantage of the comprehensive training and playing facilities on offer at the venue is England prodigy Toby Tree, who became a full amateur international at the age of 19.

He is already a client of the International Management Group which handled the business affairs of Arnold Palmer and Gary Player among other prominent stars.

Tree has established an international reputation with several wins in South Africa and a verdict on his playing potential has been summed up by a senior English Golf Union official, who said: “Toby is very serious about his golf and is going to be a star of the future.”

He joins a stable of talented players including Marco Penge who, at just 15, plays off a plus-three handicap, won the national championship for the Macgregor Trophy last year and was picked to caddie for US Open champion Justin Rose on a visit to Goodwood.

The Goodwood youth development programme is not focused solely on the elite players but aims to encourage all young golfers under the supervision of head professional Ryan Fenwick, who is the official coach for Sussex boys and girls.

The long-term plan is to expand the coaching staff at Goodwood and develop a full college programme for young players covering technical, playing, physical and lifetime skills while ensuring the game is always to be enjoyed.

COWDRAY PARK

Reigning Surrey and West Sussex Winter League champions Cowdray Park travelled to Bramley for their first match since the Christmas break, with neither side having been able to play much golf recently in the bad weather.

In the past Bramley have proved a difficult side for Cowdray to beat , but on this occasion, the visitors showed their best form of the season to secure a 4-0 win and complete the double.

This was a stunning result which boosts Cowdray’s hopes of retaining the title.

Results (Cowdray names first): David Balfour & Roger Rose beat Paul Tanner & Tony Lake 3&2; Mike Purdie & Brian Carpenter beat Dick Humphrey & Mike Burnham 3&1; Peter Hallt & Ken Marjoram beat Tim Parker & Martin Cryer 5&4; Mark Upton & Graham Thompson beat Mike Sheridan & Geoff Isaeman 5&3.

The first competition of 2014 for the ladies at Cowdray Park was best-two-scores on nine holes.

The winners with an amazing 48 points were Sue Morris, Suzy Brockhurst and Myrna Heustice. Second with 44 were Debbie Cheasley, Wendy Street and Ann Tyrrell. Barbara Parker, Pam Leach and Angela Pike came third, also with 44, but losing out on countback.

Cowdray Park seniors held the second of four rounds of the Captain’s Prize on a dry day, although conditions were heavy underfoot following rain.

More than 60 players took up the challenge, including a number of new members.

Bizarrely, as conditions have deteriorated each week recently, the scores have improved, with more than two thirds of the field scoring 32 or better. Early individual leader in the clubhouse was Bruce Spooner with 38 points, finding his game suited to conditions and earning himself a handicap reduction. He held the lead for some time before Mike King came in with the day’s top score of 41 points, also earning himself a handicap reduction.

Next into the clubhouse came Barry Overington, who returned to his best form after a quiet spell with 40 points and became the third person to have his handicap cut.

Strangely, the majority of the top ten scores were achieved by players who had played without a partner on the day, although their scores were linked up with other single players for the purpose of the prizes.

Third place went to Steve Tkaczynski on 38 points, pipping Bruce Spooner on countback. Dave Hirons continued his comeback with 35 points while Jim Booth wracked up another solid score of 36.

The player who seems to have moved his game to another level, with top ten finishes in all recent competitions, is John Lee, for whom growing a beard seems to have proved the key to success. His scores of 38 and 37 have put him in joint first place with Phil Harrison after two rounds on 75 points.

Third are the day’s winner Mike King and John Newman with 73 followed on 72 by another consistent player, Jan de Vries. On 71 are Harvey Terry, Mick Colban and Terry Jasper.

Winning doubles scores featured four players who played alone and were paired afterwards: Harvey Terry and John Lee with 74 combined, followed by Mike Kind and Dave Darby, also with 74.

Individual second-round leading scores: 1 Mike King 41; 2 Barry Overington 40; 3 Steve Tkaczynski 38 (cb); 4 Bruce Spooner 38; 5 John Lee 37 (cb), 6 Mick Morling 37 (cb), 7 Harvey Terry 37.