Bognor Golf Club’s juniors have had a very busy schedule in recent weeks.
Half-term week started with the return of the Redfern Trophy to the schedule. The weather was kind but wet conditions underfoot meant the course was playing relatively long.
The first prize of the day was nearest the pin at the fifth hole, claimed by Harry Isham. The winner was Billy Bicknell with a very impressive 40 points, his third win of the year meaning another reduction in his handicap. Event sponsor Derek Dady handed out the prizes and committied to supporting it again next year.
The Riseborough Jug is sponsored by Stanley Riseborough, whose family have been involved in the club for many decades and whose father was club pro.
Nearest the pin on the fifth was Thomas Hendrick, who has had a long spell out of golf because of a football injury. This has spurred Hendrick on to finish the year well and his 40 points proved too strong for the field as he claimed the jug, winning by an impressive six points.
The Bognor Open is fast becoming a must-play event for players from across the county. This year saw Weston take over as sponsor – their MD is Tom Lea, an ex-Bognor junior member and Sussex junior player.
Some 35 players from more than ten clubs took part and nearly half the field were single-figure golfers from scratch upwards.
There was very little wind and soft greens, and scoring was to prove remarkable, both scratch and handicap.
The handicap prize was won on countback with Bognor’s Charlie Maginnes and Goodwood’s Josh McCartain both scoring nett 63. The winner was McCartain, who off his four handicap, scored a gross 67. Nearest the pins were won by Maginnes, Will Oates (Royal Eastbourne) and Josh Greig (Cottesmore).
The main part of the tournament is a scratch event and this year’s was very competitive, producing incredible scoring with five players breaking the par of 70.
Runner-up, scoring 67, was Greig from Cottesmore, playing off one, but the winner was Bognor’s Harry Malin, whose gross 66 gave him the trophy and moved his handicap to one. His scores included seven birdies after starting his round with triple bogey.
The Overton Salver is an open team event that has been running for more than 30 years, started by prominent member Dr Overton and carried on in his memory by his son-in-law John Sixsmith.
This year six club teams of four entered, with all scores to count. Winners for the second year were Bognor, represented by Isham (captain), Malin, Maginnes and Thomas Hendrick.
The day was completed with a hearty lunch and Malin thanking everyone including starter Mike Wood. John Makin has run this event for three years and has created a fabulous open event.
Bognor has also started an academy. Jonathon Groves, the new head professional, had his first two days of teaching for new players.
The days involved long game, short game, putting, on-course play and lunch. There were 18 participants aged seven and up. The feedback from children and parents has been extremely positive and it is the start of regular opportunity for youngsters to learn and play golf in a fun environment.
The academy is open to all potential stars of the future, so anyone interested in finding out more should contact Groves at the club.
Meanwhile, Bognor junior Katie Field has been announced as the Sussex girls’ captain for the 2019-20 season. Field has been a junior at Bognor for five years and has represented the county girls’ team for four years, including being part of the winning county match team this year, an event played over four days against four other counties.
The role will include representing the county at various events and supporting girls’ golf throughout Sussex as well as acting as an ambassador for girls’ golf.
In her acceptance speech Field wished everyone a great year ahead and offered support to any up-and-coming girls who wanted to be part of the great team ethic in Sussex.
She has played golf for nearly 11 years, playing in the Tigger tour for under-12s, the Wee Wonders finals in Scotland and various England Golf-run tournaments around the country. She is also part of the Girls Golf Rocks team promoting the sport to girls of all ages.
Every November the younger (72 and under) Cowdray seniors play the older (73 and over) seniors in the Unders v Overs match.
The unders play off the more challenging white tees and the overs play off the yellow tees; every hole counts towards the overall result in the four-ball better ball match.
For several years the overs have dominated and last year the match was halved so the overs retained the trophy.
The overs were captained by Dave Hirons and the unders by seniors’ captain Mark Kelly. Nearly 70 players took to the course to vie for bragging rights.
The most convincing winning pair was an eight-hole victory by overs Trevor Edwards and William Hunter but that high margin was not enough overall.
For once, it was the unders who made the most of the conditions with a comfortable victory 31 holes to 13.
The seniors’ November Stableford brought 70 players out in foggy and wet conditions. The player with the best score was Rod Brown and it was great to see Rod returning to winning ways after a long lay-off with a shoulder injury.
In division one the winner with 40 points was Rod Brown and runner-up with 39 points was Frank Cheevers. In Division 2 the winner with 37 points on count back was Phillip Tupper and runner up also on count back was Graham Evans.
The November Stableford is the last competition of the year counting towards two cumulative trophies.
The Carter Trophy recognises the player with the best finishes in the monthly Stablefords for the past 12 months. The Ken Young Eclectic is based on the best score on each hole for all Stablefords and medal competitions during the preceding year.
Paul Owen has had a very good year and was leading in both comps going into the November Stableford but was pipped at the post by Frank Cheevers for the Carter and Chris Hutchings for the Ken Young.