Cowdray golfers catch a Winter League chill

Cowdray Park's Winter League team
Cowdray Park's Winter League team

Cowdray Park’s Winter League side suffered their first home defeat of the season at the hands of table-toppers Hankley Common in the Surrey and West Sussex Winter League, losing 2½-1 ½.

They were beaten by two inspired performances from visiting players, Philip Payne and Michael Kfouri.

In the lead match, Cowdray captain Phil Harrison and partner Ken Marjoram looked to be edging their way to a narrow victory before Payne scored three birdies to give his side a 2&1 win.

In the following match, Harvey Terry and Roger Poat found it difficult to cope with Kfouri, who went round the course in gross par.

Brian Street and Dave Gaff looked to be on their way to victory when they approached the 18th tee before they were denied by the visitors and had to settle for a half.

Cowdray’s only success came in the final match, thanks to Dave Lucking and the in-form Rob Doney, who won by one up to gain a useful point for their side. Next up, Cowdray are due to visit second-placed Guildford.

Results (Cowdray names first): Phil Harrison & Ken Marjoram lost to Philip Payne & David Anderson 2&1; Harvey Terry & Rob Doney lost to Michael Kfouri & Alasdair Cockburn 3&2; Brian Street & Dave Gaff halved with Lee Beckett & Terry Refausse; Dave Lucking & Roger Poat beat Phil Raybone & Colin Osborn 1 up.

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Cowdray Park Seniors held the third of four rounds of the Captain’s Prize on a cold day with sodden fairways, necessitating the use of three temporary greens - one of which, the fourth, was shortened by more than 50 yards.

That went some way to explaining the superb level of scoring, with 23 players scoring par or better.

The format of the competition is Stableford over four rounds but a player is able to drop his lowest-scoring round.

Another new player has joined the ever-burgeoning seniors’ section, Bernie May, and, as is tradition with newcomers, he is doing well. May was one of four players to score 42 points but lost out on countback. He also scored a two on the third hole and had his handicap cut on his debut.

The other three players to score 42 were, in order of countback, Dave Gaff, Nick Austin, who won round one, and captain Brian Brockhurst.

In the pairs competition on the day, captain Brian Brockhurst came in with 42 points, the same as his partner Dave Gaff, giving them a winning total of 84 points, six points clear of second-placed pair of Dave Hirons and David Manning with a total of 78 points.

At the end of his first month as captain, Brian Brockhurst thanked the seniors for their support, which had enabled him to raise £445 for his charity, Prostate Cancer UK.

Leading scores on the day: Dave Gaff 42, Nick Austin, Brian Brockhurst, Bernie May all 42 on countback; Frank Cheevers 40, Dave Hirons, Gary Strowbridge, Steve Tkaczynski all 40 on cb; Mick Colban 39, Brian Carpenter, David Laver, 39 cb.

Leading scores after three rounds: 112 John Lee; 111 Phil Harrison; 110 Mick King, Mick Colban; 108 Brian Brockhurst, Ken Marjoram; 107 Terry Jasper.

Nick Austin has finished with the top score in both rounds in which he has played, so must be feared with a good score in round four.


Goodwood continues to set exciting new standards in junior golf with its latest young star - nine-year-old Ethan Strider - recently beating more than 100 adults in a club event.

Ethan scored an impressive 42 points in the Stableford roll-up event for his first senior win. The Kirdford-based youngster first picked up a club at the age of four while at school and completed his first full 18 holes over the Downs course at the grand age of six.

Over the past four years Ethan has been coached by Goodwood head professional Ryan Fenwick and he is part of the Train Like a Pro squad who aim to emulate the practice regimes, training and motivation of the world’s best golfers.

Ethan’s favourite player is Golf At Goodwood’s ambassador and US Open champion Justin Rose, who has inspired a new generation of young golfers at Goodwood who enjoy an annual master class with the Ryder Cup star.

This season, Ethan will be playing in Golf At Goodwood’s full calendar of junior events and will also challenge for more senior trophies and he is looking forward to meeting up with Rose at Goodwood later this year.

A renowned international greenkeeping expert has been appointed to take charge of Golf At Goodwood’s two courses as the venue celebrates 100 years of golf.

Phil Helmn, who has worldwide experience having worked in the United States, the Middle East as well as key resorts in the UK, has the rare distinction of being one of only 60 recipients worldwide to hold the Master Greenkeeper qualification.

In his new role, he will take charge of 20 greenkeepers who constantly maintain both the Downs and Park courses as well as carrying out design improvements and alterations where appropriate.

Helmn’s extensive experience in all aspects of golf-course activity includes the construction of two golf courses in Florida under the direction of distinguished golf architect Tom Fazio’s design team, as well as establishing a resort course in Cyprus.

Closer to home, he was golf course and estate manager for the Heythrop Park resort in Oxfordshire and previously served at Beadlow Manor and Camberley Heath in greenkeeping roles. His expertise was in such demand he became a part-time college lecturer on his subject.

Helmn said: “I have been a greenkeeper all my adult life. I love my career choice. Goodwood is a quality brand and specifically the golf courses are highly ranked and revered. It will be a fantastic challenge to help Goodwood improve even further on its recent successes and ranking.”

He joins Goodwood as the Downs course celebrates 100 years of golf.


Dismal winter weather did not dampen the spirits of the ladies at Chichester Golf Club for their qualifying Stableford.

The winner was Angela Perkins with 33 points, second was Caroline Hawkes with 29 and third with 26 was Jean Davies.

The Saturday ladies enjoyed slightly better weather for their qualifying Stableford. The winner was Kathy Donohoe with 36 points, second was Helen Ball with 35 and Lisa Mitchelmore was third with 34.

Fog and wet conditions reduced the five-clubs-and-a-putter competition to 12 holes. For those who braved the weather, results were very mixed. The eventual winner was Lynn Plowman with 20 points, second and third were Jean Davies and Sandi Johnstone with 18, Jean just managing to secure second place on countback.