Golf: Styles does it in style for vets’ title

There was fine weather for the Chichester Golf Club veterans’ championship played over two days using the Tower course on Monday and the Cathedral course on Wednesday.

Monday, 29th June 2015, 8:10 am
Chi vets' champion John Styles flanked by handicap champion Paul Compton and Seniors Cup winner Mike Snuggs

The champion is determined from the aggregate of scratch scores over the two days while there is also a competition for the best handicap score.

On the first day the slightly-easier Tower course was taken apart by the vets as almost half of the 55 competitors met or beat their handicap. For one player there was a new vets’ record as John Styles went round in the scratch score of 71 to establish a nine-stroke lead over the field.

There was some great scoring in the handicap competition with Colin Lindsell and Ken Dowinton recording rounds of nett 64 – seven under par.

Wednesday was on the Cathedral course and Paul Compton had a great start including a birdie on the second and after four holes he had cut the lead to six, putting some pressure on the overnight leader.

From the sixth hole onwards, Styles played with remorseless skill and composure as he had seven pars and a birdie from the next eight holes to regain control and went on the win the competition by 13 strokes with a record aggregate score of 149.

There was some consolation for Compton as he came out top in the much closer handicap competition, winning on countback from David Blythe and Colin Lindsell with a nett score of 136.

The seniors’ cup awarded for the best scratch score by a player aged over 70 was won by Mike Snuggs with 166. This was a wonderful event notable for fine weather and tremendous golf.

Result - Vets’ champion John Styles 149; 2 Nick Hobbs 163; 3 Mike Snuggs 166; 4 Chris Penny 175; 5 Norman Moore 179. Handicap champion Paul Compton 136 nett; 2 David Blythe 136; 3 Colin Lindsell 136; 4 Lawrie Pirie 137; 5 Alan Dynes 140.

Chichester ladies’ division-three team have continued their winning streak by beating East Brighton 5-2, Slinfold 4½-2½ and Ham Manor 6-1 at home. They need only two more points to win their section.

They are fortunate to have a large squad of players with acting captain Fiona Walsh, Heddie Straw, Terry Payne and Sue Bond playing in all three games, Val Swain in two and Erica Ellicott, Marilyn Forward, Vron Bicknelle, Jeannie Blackman, Joan Bramer, Sandi Johnstone and Jane Buckley in one each. A great team spirit prevails.

The club’s division-two ladies secured a win of 4½-2½ at home to Mid Sussex despite two players being out with injury and a royal garden darty taking precedence for another. The team comprised Yvonne Dunkley, Jennifer Sherwood, Val Edwards, Heddie Straw, Erica Ellicott, Fiona Walsh and Sue Ward.

A well-fought match away to Crowborough resulted in a 4½-2½ loss. Yvonne Dunkley, Jennifer Sherwood, Heddie Straw, Erica Ellicott, Terry Payne, Fiona Walsh and Vron Bicknelle all did their best, with some matches decided on the 18th.

Two friendlies have been played against Cottesmore and Selsey, the format being four pairs. Sue Bond, Sue Ward, Pam Hart, Yvonne Leaver, Jane Buckley, Fran Syson, Val Swain and Keeley Poole all fought hard, with two matches going to the 18th, but they suffered a 4-0 loss at Cottesmore.

Against Selsey the team of Sue Bond, Joan Bramer, Val Swain, Jackie Heard, Sue Ward, Pam Hart, Terry Payne and Barbara Hastewell won 3½ - ½ – again, after a couple of very hard-fought games.

In the County Morrice Foursomes, Chichester were drawn away to Bognor, who proved too strong for the team of Helen Ball, Lisa Mitchelmore, Kathy Donohoe, Jennifer Sherwood, Caroline Hawkes and Mary Lou Litton. Helen and Lisa halved their match.

The annual challenge match for the Hunston Salver between the Chichester vets and ladies saw the vets win 4½-2½.

Seven pairs played in the four-ball better-ball matchplay format. The last pair out on the course found the ladies needed a win to halve the match overall, but they lost on the 17th. The teams enjoyed a buffet afterwards.


Cowdray Park seniors went to Hindhead to face the Stags on their championship course, arguably the toughest course they face all season.

The greens were very slick, having been prepared for the club championship the previous day, and left the visitors staring in wonderment.

The home side ran out winners 6½-1½ winners but, with all three matches teeing off at the 17th going to each of the home pairs by one up, there was a lop-sided appearance to the overall result, which did not reflect how well the visitors had played.

Match manager David Laver teamed up with seniors’ captain Sam Howes, but they were undone when the home captain chipped in on two consecutive holes.

Club captain Harvey Terry maintained his recent good form, partnering David Wickham to Cowdray’s only victory. Two heavy defeats followed before Jon Fife and Alan Robinson battled furiously to force a half.

Results (Cowdray Park names first): David Laver & Sam Howes lost to Andy Simms & Douglas Butler 3&2; Harvey Terry & David Wickham beat Mike Abbott & Muir Richmond 1up; Dave Lucking & Brian Carpenter lost to Alan Snowball & Norman Doodson 5&4; David Tilley & Wally Mitchell lost to Ian Christie & Clive Barter 5&4; Jon Fife & Alan Robinson halved with Jack Buchanan & Scott Nelson; Brian Brockhurst & Mark Kelly lost to Graham Cribb & Les Chapman 1dn; Peter Hallt & Clive Brine lost to Terry Garland & Mike Nicholls 1dn; Dave Gaff & Ian Goodall lost to Ron Christie & Steven Padmore 1dn.

More than 80 seniors contested the Cowdray seniors’ monthly Stableford in glorious sunshine accompanied by a stiff breeze.

Many scores were in the mid-30s, reflecting the condition of the course, the weather and the skill of the players, which resulted in the competition standard scratch score being reduced to 68 from 69.

Most of the best scores came towards the end of the day, with new member John Hall carrying on the tradition of section beginners being successful by winning division one with 40 points, on countback from last man out, Cliff Davis. Hall clinched the win by virtue of a magnificent 22 points on the back nine.

Third place in division one was Peter Laws with 38 points – he cruised through the first five holes with an amazing run of five pars and kept up the momentum until the end, including a two on the 11th to share the kitty with winner Hall. This backed up his win in April’s Stableford. Dave Finn has been absent for a year while undergoing intensive treatment for a serious illness, yet managed to come back with 36 points and fifth place.

In division two, the tall figure of John Lee loomed large over the rest of the field, as he has done in most Stablefords this year, and he returned the best score of the day with 42 points to rightly earn a handicap reduction of two shots.

Towards the back of the field, Ian Ward went quietly about his round to return with 41 points for second place, while third on countback with 40 points went to ‘Deadly’ Des White, who also claimed a share of the twos prize money, along with Tony Castley and John Kitchener.

The raffle raised more than £160 for Dreams Come True.

The seniors look forward to a busy week with the main event of the year, the seniors’ open, followed by home matches against Worthing and The Dyke.

Leading scores: Div 1 - 40 John Hall; Cliff Davis; 38 Peter Laws; 37 Richard Histed; 36 Dave Finn; Bill Hummerston; Harvey Terry; Dave Hirons (again); Div 2 - 42 John Lee; 41 Ian Ward; 40 Des White, Brian Carpenter; 39 Jon Fife; John Renwick; 38 Rodney Fisher; 37 Dave Darby; Wally Mitchell.

Cowdray ladies competed for the Diamond Jubilee Cup. Jill Parry played some amazing golf to come in with a winning score of nett 66, reducing her handicap from 12 to 11.

Chris Sommerville was runner-up with a commendable 73. In third place was Judy Stillwell with 74 and Margaret Curwood, back in form after a hip operation, was fourth with a 75.


Bognor held their popular over-50s team event and 176 visitors entered, a magnificent tribute to course and club.

It is a four-man team event split into morning and afternoon sections. All found the course and the greens especially in great condition, and after good-quality golf it was followed by a buffet.

There were excellent scores and the morning round was won by a team from Stoneham & South Winchester – Martin Rudderham, Peter Price, Paul Baxter and Peter Thompson with a score of 122.

The afternoon prize was won by a team from Lee-on-the-Solent, David Purling, Steve Jones, Steve Fox and Steve Buggins with a score of 125. They won the overall event.

A club fundraising competition attracted 84 players, raising money for the Samaritans and the club’s greens drainage project.

The theme was the colour green, with a varying entry fee depending on how much green you wore.

It was a Texas scramble played off all the tees in order and the winners were James MacLean, Kevin Holland, Mark Carter and Wille Dunn. Second were Richard Longhurst, Dominic Rainey, Dave Wood and Steve Reddick. Winners including ladies were Brian and Sue Meloy, Micky Garrigan and Audrey Harmes.

Bognor men and seniors endured a disappointing week, with all three matches lost quite comprehensively.

Bognor’s Birchwood Plate team travelled to Singing Hills but lost 4-1. The solitary victory at Singing Hills was by club captain Simon Watts and his partner Micky Garrigan.

Bognor seniors had tough away fixtures at Cowdray Park and Worthing and again home advantage came through with fine victories for Cowdray 5½-2½, reported in the Observer last week, and Worthing 7-1.

Worthing’s fast and undulating greens proved too difficult for Bognor. Even Bognor’s normal bankers Andy Isitt and Dave Turner did well to come away with a half.

The ladies section at Bognor hosted their annual over-55 mixed charity open. Some 60 golfers from Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent played a four-ball better-ball competition.

Anne and Peter Hannam from Meon Valley GC were eventual winners with 37 points. They were defending champions. Their success looked in jeopardy when Peter’s first tee shot hit the trees and rebounded to just in front of the ladies’ red tee.

Anne and Peter received their prizes from ladies’ captain Lyne Watson.

The Kathleen Rider foursomes, a prestigious county Stableford for ladies, was held at Slinfold Golf Club.

The weather was dry but quite windy, rendering parts of the course rather tricky.

Bognor ladies’ section was ably represented by Lin Harbutt and Nicki Vincent (30 pts) and Lynn Miller and Jane Russell (34pts).

The team finished a creditable fourth out of 51 participating clubs, which is no mean feat.

Results: 1 Boars Head (66pts countback); 2 Cuckfield (66); 3 Haywards Heath (64 cb); 4 Bognor (64).

A total of 45 ladies from Bognor GC played for the Bird Cup, a challenging irons-only competition.

Winner was Sara Stoneham with a fantastic 36 points on countback from Wendy Johnson. Third place went to Bridget Samuels with 35 points and Sian Southerton with 34 on countback.

Those ladies not entering the irons-only competition played an alternative five-clubs-and-putter game.

The winner was Margaret Delves with 34 points on countback from Edwina Beresford. Third was Val Robertson on countback from Brigitte Paul.

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