Goodwood may pick up golf award as Lawrenson and Stubbs hand out gongs

Goodwood's work with young golfers has put in line for more awards success
Goodwood's work with young golfers has put in line for more awards success

Golf At Goodwood has been nominated for awards in two prestigious categories at the Club Mirror Awards 2018 – golf club of the year and business initiative of the year.

The ceremony, held at Doncaster racecourse, will be hosted by football broadcaster Ray Stubbs and pundit and ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson tomorrow (November 29).

The annual Club Mirror Awards sees the UK’s top clubs from all industries come together to celebrate the best in the business.

Golf At Goodwood, having also won most welcoming club at the England Golf Awards earlier this year, is being recognised for its initiatives into promoting both women and juniors in the sport, helping to secure future players and members.

Golf At Goodwood has encouraged juniors into golf in a multitude of ways.

The club hosts well subscribed junior camps during the school holidays as well as free demos for those new to the sport. During term time children over five can take part in an after-school ‘level up’ junior golf coaching programme, motivating children by rewarding them for progression through ten levels with a prize at the end.

All these initiatives have resulted in 60 per cent of the Sussex Junior Union being members at Goodwood.

Stuart Gillett, general manager of Golf At Goodwood, said: “When we did a focus group with parents, they said a barrier to golf for kids was the rules and dress codes. We don’t have any of those – they have fun!

“Golf as a sport has changed its image in the past ten years. You have to give people easier access to golf. We are delighted that the work we have done to encourage more young people to take up the game has been recognised by these nominations, especially as the Club Mirror Awards transcend golf.”

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COWDRAY PARK

Cowdray Park seniors are starting to focus on club competitions. These include the Unders versus Overs match and the age cut-off point this year was 72, with anyone 73 or older playing for the overs.

The Overs have been the winners or have retained the trophy for many years. Heavy rain meant the contest being reduced to nine holes.

The Unders were captained by Alistair Proctor and the Overs by Dave Hirons and there were 15 matches, so 60 seniors took part.

It was another close contest before the match resulted in a 12-12 draw and the Overs retaining the trophy.

The final match was won by the Overs on the last hole. The Overs offered a half before playing the ninth and if the Unders had accepted they would have won the trophy for the first time in more than a decade. But Overs John Smith and Derek Bastiani won their final hole.

* The November stableford was sandwiched between two very wet days and the 75 players experienced soft greens, sunny conditions and a stiff breeze.

The scoring was relatively high across the board.

In the first division the winner was Steve Henley with 39 points on countback from Mick Fillary.

In the second division Bernie May won with 40 points and chimney sweep Gary Strowbridge brushed aside the rest of field to secure second place with 38.

* The second ‘marathon’ fixture of the year was played between Cowdray and Goodwood. It’s a unique match, and one that may claim to being the largest in England, in which 224 golfers play at each venue on the same day and was revived in 2016 after many years of dormancy.

The first fixture is historically in early spring, the second in late autumn and the match is played as a greensomes pairs match play over all 18 holes.

This year after the first fixture, Goodwood were ahead by just eight points. The second fixture proved very exciting with the score ebbing and flowing throughout.

The whole event hinged on the final match and it was Cowdray who prevailed with total scores of 198-193. This was the first time Cowdray wrestled the title from Goodwood since its reintroduction.