Bognor Golf Club’s Flowerpot Man has put down his roots for the year.
At the club’s annual meeting, attended by well over 120 people, president Peter Mitchell presided over proceedings and special mention was made of the excellent news that 91 new members had joined the club in 2016.
Outgoing club captain Chris Hickling gave his yearly report in his usual amusing style and welcomed 2017 captain Norman Lee and wished him good wishes for the forthcoming year.
There was also praise for the retiring committee members. Thanks was given to the house committee and bar and kitchen staff.
Special mention was made by the club captain and ladies, seniors and juniors’ captains of comments they had received all year on the magnificent state of the course.
New skipper Lee introduced Robert Holland as his vice-captain for the year and said that as the club celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017, the week of July 3 to 9 would be set aside for special competitions and social occasions.
The captain’s drive-in took place the following morning. It began at 7am when Holland and Hickling turned up in a limo to take him to the club.
A hearty breakfast followed for more than 150 people and Lee was delighte so many of his family were present.
He was the owner of a plant nursery and was dressed up as a flower in a pot, along with most of his committee and friends.
All were paraded on to the first tee, where he was presented with his captain’s jumper by club professional Matt Kirby before he hit his drive down the first. He hit the ball 197 yards and junior Jake Stoneham won the prize for guessing in distance.
The adult winners of the captain’s drive-in distance all donated their winnings to Lee’s charity, which netted more than £100.
A four-ball better-ball Stableford followed the drive-in with a whopping 132 entrants. Lee’s wife Trish joined him in presenting the prizes.
Nearest-the-pin winners were John Riseborough, Sue Sidebotham, Dave Chalmers, Peter Stoneham and Roland Heath. Ladies’ winners were Teresa Byrne and Suzanne Taylor with 40 points, ahead of lady captain Wendy Johnson and ladies’ vice-captain Jane Russell with 38.
The men’s winners were Paul Cooper and Roy Kempson with 46 points, ahead of runners-up Trevor Rich and Willie Dunn, who finished in front of Richard Longhurst and Andy Wiggins on countback.
Lee thanked all those who helped arrange the day and make it enjoyable and memorable.
Chichester ladies’ charity bridge afternoon, organised by Pam Hart and Liz Fraser, was well supported with 20 ladies enjoying a different kind of competition while the weather outside was awful.
The winner was Ann Harris with Maureen Selway as runner-up. A total of £110 was raised for the lady captain’s charity, the Cinnamon Trust.
Results: Team handicap divided by three - 1 Kathy Donohoe, Val Swain, Wendy Jeffery 117; 2 Caroline Hawkes,Marie Conner + secret partner 116; 3.Jennifer Sherwood, Yvonne Dunckley, Fiona Walsh 107. Pink Lady - 1 Kathy Donohoe, Val Swain, Jane Buckley 118; 2 Caroline Hawkes, Pam Hart, Maria Mills 107; 3 Jennifer Sherwood, Linda Wood, Bev Seymour 104. Nearest the pin, 4th hole - Fiona Walsh, 6th - Lesly Hance, 13th - Jackie Heard. Flag competition - 1 Lisa Mitchelmore
Jt 2 Yvonne Dunckley , Helen Ball. Stableford teams of three - 1 Bev Seymour, Wendy Jeffery, Margaret Leigh 86; 2 Kathy Donohoe, Marilyn Forward, Judith Whittaker 79. 3 Val Swain, Jean Davies, Heddie Straw 74.
Cowdray Park seniors played the first round of four in the Captain’s Prize, with conditions deteriorating from dry and cold to wet and windy, with many players calling time early to seek the comfort and warmth of the clubhouse.
By the end of the day a couple of greens had become flooded.
Winner with 43 points was Brian Heath, who worked for the Cowdray Estate for the whole of his career before his retirement last year when he joined the seniors’ section.
He produced some creditable rounds last year but nothing of the magnitude of this performance, which earned him a three-shot handicap reduction.
Considering the overall conditions, the general level of scoring was very good.
Tying for second place, on 39, were recent high-flyer John Renwick and ever-consistent Mike King.
Close behind came Roger Poat on 38 from Chris Hutchings and Phil Harrison on 37. Jim Booth and Philip Singer, whose handicaps were reviewed at the year’s end, produced good scores of 36 points from their lower handicaps.
The remaining three rounds will end with each player discarding his lowest score, with the winner the player with the highest three-round score.
Leading first-round scores: 43 Brian Heath; 39 John Renwick, Mike King; 38 Roger Poat; 37 Chris Hutchings, Phil Harrison; 36 William Hunter, Philip Singer, Jim Booth, Mike Hughes; 35 Colin West, Alan Bradley, Peter Hallt, Dave Fowler
Cowdray ladies held a ‘best nine hole’ fun competition.
The ladies played 18 holes then selected their best nine. Some very good golf was played as the scores were high.
Results: 1 Georgie Miller 25pts; 2 Carolyn Scott 25; 3 Sandra Barber 23; 4 Tessa Stockwell 23; 5 Judy Stillwell 23.
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