Our survey says... Cowdray is best golf course in Sussex

Suzanne Taylor, Sian Southerton, Heather Tidy and Wendy Johnson at the Bognor ladies' club championship
Suzanne Taylor, Sian Southerton, Heather Tidy and Wendy Johnson at the Bognor ladies' club championship

The UK’s highly-respected golf review website, Golfshake.com, has named Cowdray Park as Sussex’s No1 course.

Currently ranked six in the south-east, Cowdray Park has scored well at the hands of reviewers who post their opinions based on quality and value for money.

Cowdray Park general manager Phil Stevens said: “It’s always good to get positive feedback.

“We have worked hard to produce the right experience for members and visitors alike.”

The giants of Wentworth and the London Club occupy the top two spots in the south east.

Cowdray seniors, playing their third match in four days, suffered a 4-3 defeat at home to a strong side from Liphook.

The writing was on the wall early on for the hosts as match manager Brian Carpenter and Gordon Kendall were brushed aside by the opening Liphook pair.

Cowdray levelled through David Tilley and Ken Marjoram, who was also successful earlier in the week against Petersfield. Eric Bounton, a last-minute substitute, partnered Mike King but they faced a single figure handicapper and were beaten.

Another victory for the visitors followed before Graham Evans and Mike Cardiff combined well to win 5&3 before the home side levelled courtesy of a win from Rodney Fisher and John Sanderson, who won 4&3.

Sadly the last match went the way of the visitors.

Results: Brian Carpenter & Gordon Kendall lost to Jonny Talbot & Richard Freedman 7&6; David Tilley & Ken Marjoram beat Wyn Davies & John Dunt 3&2; Mike King & Eric Bounton lost to Graeme Fairly & Henry Jones 4&3; Ian Goodall & Wally Mitchell lost to Martin Fox & Chris Thwaites 3&2; Graham Evans & Mike Cardiff beat John Pocock & Brian Smith 5&3; Rodney Fisher & John Sanderson beat Gordon Oethlers & John Read 4&3; Phill Morris & Jan de Vries lost to Richard Archer & Ian Payne 6&5.

Cowdray seniors played their only match of the year under the foursomes formula when they visited West Sussex GC.

This gives the home side a distinct advantage, which they duly accepted, running out 4-3 winners after a close-fought game.

After four matches, Cowdray Park were 3½-½ down and their cause looked hopeless – but a stirring fightback from the middle-order players levelled matters by the end of the penultimate tie. It all went down to the wire, with the home pair clinching victory by 2&1 in the final contest.

Although this was a fourth straight defeat for Cowdray seniors, the losses have all been 4-3 or 4½-3½, showing how narrow the margin of victory or defeat can be.

Results (Cowdray Park names first): David Tilley & Brian Brockhurst lost to Alan Hunt & Stuart Bishop 4&3; Derek Smith & Jan de Vries lost to Lex Willis & Rob Davidson 1 dn; Nick Austin & Bill Hummerston halved with Graeme McDavid & Andy Blumer; Gordon Kendall & David Wickham lost to John Masters & Colin Sharman 2 dn; Peter Hallt & Ian Goodall beat Jack Wigan & Roger Skillin 1 up; Wally Mitchell & John Durrell beat Andrew Dobson & Graham Curtis 2&1; Graham Evans & Mike Holden beat Bob Taylor & Derrick Simpson 2&1; Phill Morris & Bill Brownlee lost to Paul Masters & Jeremy Buckwell 2&1.

Cowdray seniors’ continued their bizarre sequence of results with their fifth successive loss by a point when they were defeated 4½-3½ at Farnham.

Match manager David Wickham, partnering Tony Pike, missed a good chance to tie things for his team in the opening match when he missed a tricky 4ft putt on the final green, going under by one down.

Cowdray stormed into the lead with two excellent victories from David Tilley and John Stone (2&1) and Derek Smith and Mike Holden (3&2) – before Brian Carpenter and John Doran came back from three down with four to play to earn a half.

Two narrow wins by the home team restored their lead before Peter Hallt and Mike Cardiff drew the visitors level with a 3&1 win.

Trevor Edwards and George Crouch, giving shots to the home pair, fought back from three down to level before they missed out on the final green to lose by one down.

Results: David Wickham & Tony Pike lost to Sam Coulter & Jerry Wheatley 1 dn; David Tilley & John Stone beat Terry Phillips & Vince Went 2&1; Derek Smith & Mike Holden beat Alan Stubbs & Roy Benfield 3&2; Brian Carpenter & John Doran halved with Roy Payne & Mike Davall; Jan de Vries & Bernie May lost to Watson Leslie & John Collinson 1 dn; Rodney Fisher & Phill Morris lost to Dave West & Evan Ames 2&1; Peter Hallt & Mike Cardiff beat Jesse James & John Corbyn 3&1; Trevor Edwards & George Crouch lost to Chris Pearson & Tim Green 1dn.

Cowdray ladies’ medal winners competed for the Smail Trophy. Tessa Stockwell won by five shots and had lowest gross score on a course which seemed tricky as the standard scratch went up from 73 to 76.

Results: 1 Tessa Stockwell nett 73, 2 Ann Tyrrell 78, 3 Terry Hughes 79.


A total of 56 ladies played in the autumn meeting four-ball better-ball 18-hole Stableford.

Wonderful weather and excellent course conditions helped enable spome fantastic scores.

The winners were Chloe Court and Wendy Johnson with 43 points.

Chloe also collected the Aggregate Cup, the prize for the best gross aggregate score across both the spring and autumn medals.

Results: 1 Chloe Court and Wendy Johnson 43pts (cb), 2 Lynn Miller and Ann Bushell 43, 3 Sue Redmond and Eileen Morris 42, 4 Sue Crossen and Georgina McCormack 40 (cb), 5 Nicki Vincent and Lyne Watson 40, 6 Maureen Mullenger and Brigitte Paul 38 (cb).

The Millbourne Cup was presented to Chris Puddicombe by the lady captain.

Heather Tidy was crowned ladies’ club champion for a magnificent sixth time at Bognor. The championship is a scratch knockout matchplay competition with the semi finals and final all played on the same day.

Both semi-finals were close with Sian Southerton beating Suzanne Taylor on the 15th hole and Heather defearing Wendy Johnson on the 17th.

The golf was of a high standard, including an eagle by Wendy Johnson on the par-four sixth.

The final, between Sian and Heather, saw Heather winning the contest on the 16th hole.

Matches were played in good spirit with many spectators enjoying the high standard of golf, a course in excellent condition and wall-to-wall sunshine.

Fifty-five ladies played in the medal final. The competition was a qualifying 18-hole medal but with an added incentive, with those who had won previous medal competitions during the season eligible to win the Medal Cup.

Across all divisions it was a close contest with countback from the back six holes needed to hand the title to Jane Russell from Jacqui Humphries. Both scored nett 69.

Results – Silver: 1 Sue Monger 72; 2 Wendy Johnson 74 (cb), 3 Chris Tuke 74 (cb). Bronze A: 1 Jane Russell 69 (cb), 2 Jacqui Humphries 69, 3 Barbara Trenchard 72, 4 Margaret Martin 76. Bronze B: 1 Jane Finch 78, 2 Davina Rumsby 79, 3 Barbara Evans 80. Bronze C: 1 June Smith 72, 2 Jackie Chamberlain 73 (cb).

Bognor held their last men’s ‘major’ of the year, the Autumn Tankard, a 36-hole strokeplay event over two days. There were more than 100 players turning out on both days and the competition was played in glorious weather on an excellent course.

There were prizes for each day’s best gross and best nett scores and for the 36-hole combined total.

The winner of the 36-hole competition was Paul Oliver with fantastic scores of nett 66 and 67 for a total of 133. Second was Bob Wilson, who had a excellent nett 64 on Sunday to finish with a total of 136.

Third on countback was Bill Prior with a total of 138 and fourth was Ian Stoneham .

The 36-hole best gross score was by Andrew Field with two rounds of 76 and 71, for a total of 147, just edging out on countback Andy Brown, with overall tankard winner Paul Oliver coming third in gross section with a total of 149.

Results – divisional Saturday winners: Div 1 Ian Stoneham, Div 2 Adam Badman, Div 3 William Prior. Divisional Sunday Winners – Div 1 Andrew Field, Div 2 Bob Wilson, Div 3 Chris Lovell.

The 2014 Scratch Tankard winner (best gross over four rounds, spring and autumn) was Andrew Field with 295 ahead of Alan Simmonds with 299.

Prizes will be given by club captain Ron Stevens at the presentation awards night later in the year.

Bognor seniors held the Fletcher Final, the culmination of four rounds played over the summer months with points awarded in each round for the top 20 places. The top 40 players after the four rounds are invited to play in the final.

Winner this year with a truly magnificent 45 points was Cliff Willis, who started with an eagle two on the 420-yard first hole, hitting a five-wood from 208 yards straight into the hole.

He went on to birdie holes three, five and six giving him a superb total of 27 points after nine holes. Cliff, normally a shy, reclusive type, was over the moon with his performance.

Second, with a score which would normally be expected to win, was Peter McCormack with 42 – just edging out Barry Ingate on countback.

Bognor seniors played host to Singing Hills in excellent weather. Bognor won 5½-2½, with captain of the day Mike Oates and his partner Richard Kaemena hitting top form in their 7&6 win. Richard’s score alone was nett 65.

Results: Mike Oates & Richard Kaemena won 7&6, Ken Catt & Alan Fitzgerald lost 2&1, Barry Ingate & Gary Steventon halved, David Turner & Steve King won 4&3, Trevor Till & Paul Black won 2 up, John Woodhead & Chris Hickling won 4&2, Richard Hedge & Peter Collins won 5&4, Vic Ward & Clive Millett lost 4&2.