Goodwood GC – 24th March 2014

And now for something very different! Goodwood proved to be a wonderful venue to commence proceedings for The Golf Club Secretary – Open Championship in 2014. The weather was very kind and the course, especially the putting surfaces, was in exceptionally good order for the time of year. The terrain proving to be an early season fitness test for some of the field, as did the colour of tees (with the Yellows proving to be quite long enough!).

Keith Duff, a valued and constant contributor to The Golf Club Secretary, ran out the winner with an excellent 37pts, despite the attentions, on the last green, of ‘house photographer’ Golf Monthly’s Jezz Ellwood. Jezz, out first, had played a very fine back nine, to amass 36pts and eventually finish runner-up. Third came a recent recruit, not to the realms of seretarydom, but to the staff of Teeofftimes, Charlie Swann (2), also scored 36pts. In fourth was another ‘new boy’ to the Championship, Phil Bonsall (0) Piltdown, who sadly will be away on holiday at the time of the Final at St Enodoc in May, but who led the secretary/managers with 34pts. Patrick Dawson (8) Burnham Beeches, also with 34pts and who had previously qualified, came fifth.

The qualifiers for the Final at St Enodoc on Monday, May 19th (and the foursomes of Sunday, May 18th at Trevose) were:

Neil Clayton (6) Chiltern Forest, 33pts, John Holmes (5) Crowborugh Beacon, 33pts, Chris Gotla (2) North Hants, 33pts, Matthew Bowman (14), 33pts, Gaye Sjoberg (15) Epping, 32pts, Michael Morley (20) Hadden Hill, 32pts, Julian Reynolds (17) East Devon, 30pts and host Stuart Gillett (2), also with 30pts. Our congratulations to them all and we look forward to seeing them in May.

Everyone who attended took something away from Goodwood. The many ‘touches’ that were evident, from the named lockers to the individual shepherd’s pie, from the content of the pro’s shop to the dog members’ bowls…

The Kennels (clubhouse) is of course impressive, beautifully converted and appointed, the staff are exceptional, a credit to host Stuart. Our thanks to everyone concerned for a memorable day; we look forward to returning in years to come.

Our Supporters all enjoyed a great day, judging by the activity on Twitter! Kevin and Chris Evans of Jonas and Club View saw to the scoring. Richard Barker of Teeofftimes, Phil McInley of Eagle, Mike Harris of Golf Monthly and Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal all made their mark, whilst thanks are due to Viv for doling out the chocolate, before being beaten by the chill and for presenting the prizes.

We asked if the competitors enjoyed themselves; it was a rhetorical question! It was followed by the question: do you know another secretary/manager who has yet to play in the Championship and would possibly enjoy such a day themselves? If so, please ensure that they enter one of the three remaining Regional Qualifying Tournaments for the 18th Open or the 19th Open, for which details of the Qualifying Tournaments appear on this month’s newsletter envelope.