Bognor Golf Club have been awarded GolfMark status by England Golf.
It’s a national scheme that identifies and recognises in particular junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities.
Ian Stoneham, the club’s junior organiser, is winning high praise and gratitude for the manner in which, over the past 12 months, he has guided the club towards the status.
Golfers choosing to join Bognor can be assured of a structured environment and an enjoyable, fun and welcoming atmosphere, with appropriate levels of coaching and competition.
The junior academy is led by Robbie Hughes and, during the winter, coaching is available every Saturday morning.
All new members, of whatever ability, are made welcome. The main purpose of the academy is to instruct children under eight to develop skills and etiquette before progressing to stage two juniors.
Matthew Kirby is the resident PGA professional. Whether it is golf basics, tweaking a swing or advice on equipment, he is always available.
At the pro shop there is an indoor teaching room where he uses the latest equipment and technology.
To achieve the GolfMark award, the club have been assessed to a high standard of coaching and playing, with the environment and the safety and protection of children also being checked.
The club feel honoured to have received the award, which means they are now recognised by Sport England as a Club Mark facility.
Cowdray Park continued their excellent start in the Surrey & West Sussex Winter League, with a 3½-½ win over current champions and previously-unbeaten Puttenham.
This followed a 3-1 win over the champions for the previous two years, Bramley, and an initial 2-2 draw with Hankley Common.
Although all three matches were at home, Cowdray lie in third place with 8.5 points while Puttenham (14.5pts) and Hankley Common (9) lead the way having played six and five matches.
All matches against Puttenham were closely contested, with home advantage proving crucial.
Captain Dave Balfour and partner Phil Cummins were pressed all the way by their opponents but hung on to win 2&1.
In the second match, past club captain Harvey Terry and Jan de Vries were made to battle all the way to the 18th before securing a win by one up.
The third match was just as exciting, with Phil Harrison, standing in for his namesake Pat, partnering Paul Owen to a 2&1 win.
The fourth match prevented a whitewash by Cowdray, with the opposition forcing a draw against Roger Poat and John Doran.
Cowdray Park have now begun a run five successive away matches, although the predicted bad weather may play an important role.
Results (Cowdray names first): Dave Balfour & Phil Cummins beat A Marshall & D Deacon 2&1; Harvey Terry & Jan de Vries beat D Taylor & R Wyeth 1 up; Phil Harrison & Paul Owen beat P Bugdale & M Holland 2&1; Roger Poat & John Doran drew with T Wyatt & M Seignot Brown.
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Cowdray Park seniors got their first taste of winter when they competed in the monthly Stableford.
Sub-zero temperatures overnight gave the course a picture-postcard look with frost-covered fairways allied to frozen greens, giving half the field an extra challenge.
The later starters had the benefit of brighter weather, as the frost lifted, but ran into some squally showers, the only redeeming feature the lack of a north-easterly wind.
Division-one winner was last year’s captain Peter Burton, who made light of the icy conditions, scoring 37 points. The highlights of his round were birdies on the 11th and 12th holes.
On the 11th hole his tee shot hit the pin but failed to find the bottom of the hole - however an unerring putt secured the birdie. His consistent scoring through the round proved too much for the other competitors.
Rob Doney, having scored 45 points in August and come secnd, needed only 34 points to secure the same position, on countback from recent Triple Six winner Derek Smith and Gordon Kendall.
In division two, 28-handicapper Dereck Cooper belied his handicap and showed good form to score 37 points and claim first place.
Then came the most heart-warming moment of the day as, Ken (not so) Young, at the age of 86, scored 36 points to claim second place, following on his third place in June with 37 points, a remarkable feat.
Ken has been a long-time member of the club and, until this month, was custodian of the Eclectic Trophy for the past 12 years, coping well with an ever-increasing number of scorecards as the section expanded.
Only three twos were scored, proving the difficulty of the conditions. Two were in division one from Paul Owen (third) and Peter Burton (11th), who did not enter, to allow Owen to sweep the pot.
In division two Dereck Cooper completed an excellent day being the the only scorer to claim the whole pot with a birdie on 11th.
The raffle raised £138 for the captain’s charity, boosted by another £20 from the latest captain/vice-captain challenges.
A very successful Christmas mixed competition was held at Cowdray Park when the ladies invited the gentlemen to play a greensomes Stableford.
After a little cajoling, 40 gents joined the ladies on a dry but chilly day. Mulled wine, soup and mince pies were available as players returned to the clubhouse.
The winners were Frances Marjoram and Russell Stagg with a magnificent 40 points. Second were Pat Wallace and Roger Rose with 39, on countback from Marilyn Davis and Andy Morgan.
Nearest the pin in two shots on the par-four 12th were Solveig Burton and Phil Cummins and on the 15th hole it was Sandra Barber and Colin West.
A total of £275 was raised for the ladies’ captain’s charity, Canine Partners.
Ignoring the cold and ice, the veterans’ section of Selsey GC played their Christmas competition.
This year’s winner was Denny Terry with a total of 41 Stableford points. In second place was his brother Tony Terry with 38, on countback from Terry Chapman in third.
The competition was followed by an excellent Christmas lunch provided by the Club’s caterer Julie Conebar.
Pictured is veterans’ captain, David Tindale with the players who competed.