Diamond Jubilee at Ealing Golf Club 2019

Roger, Peter & Phil

Inaugurated shortly after the Queens Diamond Jubilee in 2012 this competition is a triangular between Kent, London and Sussex Golf Captains’ committees.  Each county play a team of 12 with the best 10 scores to count.  It is played as a singles Stableford off full handicap.

Ealing is well renown for its fast greens and fast they are!  Many stories of three and four putts if you were above the hole.  Needless to say the course was in impeccable condition and looked a picture on a fine sunny day.


The winners with 282 points were the London Captains with kent in 2nd place with 277.  Sussex were third with 273.


The trophy was awarded to Peter Cansick of the London Captains by Roger Cruttenden (Kent) and Phil Williamson (Sussex)

Captain’s Day at Haywards Heath 2019

Phil & Mitch

Captain, Phil with Captain’s Day winner, Mitch Clark

Captain, Phil Williamson was delighted to have a dry bright day for his special day kindly hosted by his home club, Haywards Heath.

After many changes in the start sheet just under 80 players competed for the   Algrey Bowl playing singles stableford off full handicap.

The scores were unusually low for such an event but the winner with an outstanding 40 points was Mitch Clark of Haywards Heath.

Second was Trevor Pigram from Cottesmore with 37 points.  Just beating Nigel Wates of The Nevill also with 37 on count back.

Fourth was Terry Vanhinsbergh of Cottesmore with 36 points and fifth, Brian Hooker of Worthing with 35 (17 back 9)

Nearest the pins were

7th Nigel Wates (Nevill)

9th Al Jenks (Haywards Heath)

10th Terry Vanhinsbergh (Cottesmore)

17th Mitch Clark (Haywards Heath)

Captain Phil thanked everybody for their support and special thanks to the ladies who helped at the hospitality stop, The club staff and management of Haywards Heath Golf Club and Hon Sec, Mark Terry.

Sussex v Cornwall at The Dyke 2019


It was a dark sky that greeted the Cornish Captains on their arrival at The Dyke, brightened only by the resplendent yellow and black of their County colours. Both teams were welcomed by Iain Leithead, the home Club Captain who reversed the stereotypical character of a Scot, by generously giving the visitors advice on the nature of the greens. (All Celts together v the English perhaps). He cheered us all by declaring that as the Dyke is 700ft above sea level we would be enveloped by low cloud around 5pm but not to worry as we would use a two-tee start. See later

The lunch of a heavily pickle-orientated ploughman’s was devoured before the Captains announced the pairings amidst lots of hand waving.


And so, it began…


As is tradition, Captain Phil and partner Home Captain Iain set off in the first match. They made a fine start, leading to a two-up situation after eight holes. Possibly overconfident at this stage, they allowed Captain John and Colin to overturn this and lead by one. Undaunted, back came the Sussex men, recording two birdies to run out winners 2up.


At this juncture, it became clear that there were considerably more Club members reaching the 10th tee than had been envisaged. So, after a considerable delay, it was suggested going back to using the 1st tee.


Match 2 saw President Ian (Bob) Wood paired with Ron Adams against John and Chris from Cornwall. At least, that was the outcome after much confusion on the tee as to who was playing with who. Senility rules ok? When it finally got underway, the match proved to be very even, both sides establishing, then losing the lead. Sussex eventually managed to get home, winning 2up – Ron’s trolley could have got there sooner as it parted company with him on the 6th green, heading down a short cut to the Clubhouse!


Another contest that started very even starred the two Richards (Jays and Cowlard)

in the third game. A slender lead at the 9th was increased by the home pair when they learned that their opponents Mike and Beau only paid £595 annual subs! Amazing fuel is envy. It led to Sussex securing a 3&2 victory and a smug expression.


 The fourth encounter produced the greatest comeback since Lazarus – almost!

David Schwartz and Alan Butcher played some exhilarating golf to reach the point of being dormy 5up after the 13th. Undeterred, Cornwall’s Dave and Phil made it dormy 4, dormy 3, dormy 2 until finally Pyecombe’s finest (Dave) holed an 8ft putt to secure the 1up victory. Dodged a bullet there chaps!


Next up produced a runaway triumph, 7&6 for Mick Grimes and Richard Bevan, the only group to actually tee off the 10th tee. Despite the magnitude of the defeat, Laurie and Peter proved to be excellent company, taking it all in good spirit. I wonder if they remembered to adjust their GPS watches……


Andy Lamb and Brian Street’s match was, by contrast, a much closer affair with Sussex recording a narrow 1up lead at the turn. Eventually, the previous night’s drinking caught up with our Cornish tourists, Andy and Eric, as they ran out of energy, allowing the youngster and the veteran to secure victory by 4&3. Interestingly, it also appears Andy was dispensing medical advice to Brian to help remedy his bad back. Something to do with “dry needles” – couldn’t see the point myself.


Match 7 featured Santa and the Vice (sounds like a low budget movie) alias Dave Wilkins and Keith Talbot. Using a pattern of win one, halve one, they built up a 4-hole advantage after 11 holes, dovetailing very well. For some obscure reason, they then adopted a sequence of lose one halve one! Fortunately, Alan and Dave ran out of holes, so the Sussex duo held on to register a 1up success.


The final match saw that Sussex stalwart Norman Milburn paired with debutant Colin Prior. Such was their instant rapport, that Norman wanted to tee off the 10th and Colin the 1st. Eventually they agreed on the same one and the game began. Everything was going well until the 15th when Geoff swallowed a fly. The additional protein led to him and partner John being re-energised but try as they might, they could not stop our heroes getting across the line for a 2&1 win.


Those of you that have been following my words closely may have just realised that the sum total of all this was ……….




Unbelievable! Our statistician (Mark) says this has never been achieved before – well done Captain Phil


The post-match festivities featured a first-class meal from our Host Club, followed by the usual speeches. Well actually not that usual – Phil, in his excitement, all but forgot the toast to our Visitors whilst Cornwall Captain John thanked “Dorset” for our hospitality!!! He prefaced announcing the score by stating that he was calling up a new squad for their match against Hampshire tomorrow. Nevertheless, there were gasps of joy and horror as the result was released.

I suspect they are already planning their revenge for next year …. thanks Phil!



Keith Talbot
















Oxfordshire v Sussex at Kirtlington 2019


The joy of driving anywhere these days was brought home forcefully to some of the Sussex team. An accident on the M40 caused severe delays and several players endured a time of frustration and angst waiting to get through the delay. Miraculously, everyone did turn up eventually and thanks to some imaginative and nifty team rearrangement, everybody managed to start in some order although not the one originally planned. Unfortunately, those starting on the 10th tee were somewhat confused about who was playing whom but even that was resolved and the advantages of a two tee start and a resultant early finish was well received, just in case of further accident on the way home, possibly involving a lost Captain's or President's chain of office!

After a sandwich lunch, five groups were scheduled for the first tee and five for the 10th.

The threat of rain hung in the air but optimism that the matches would be finished before another deluge, was premature and the last few holes of each match suffered in the wet.

Match 1

Captain Phil Williamson and Richard Jays had a very competitive match against the Oxford pairing of Captain Chris Spearing and Immediate Past Captain, Peter Walton and according to Phil, the golf was of such a high standard that a half was the fair result. Ever modest our Captain.

Match 2

This match saw the much holidayed Rod England and Derek May paired together but the delays on the M40 clearly affected both players and they succumbed 3 and 2 to a very good Oxford performance

Match 3

President Ian Wood and Dave Balfour outplayed their opposition, largely according to legend because Woody played like God who's a country member at Copthorne apparently. The real story is that Ian left home on Tuesday evening to get to Oxford on time and made it by 9.45 on the day of the match, mentioning in passing that he saw no delays on the motorway. Result - a win 6 & 4

Match 4

Simon Watts and Nigel Wates brought home an anticipated 3 & 2 victory despite (Nigel's words) the attempt by Oxford police to thwart (correct spelling optional Nigel) the Sussex team's arrival. Nigel is now going to spelling class to learn that thwart is not spelt thawrt (which is a random activity in the brain). An excellent performance but it demonstrated that extensive warm up routines are unnecessary.

Match 5

Andrew Newman and Nigel Powell had a rollercoaster game - first 3 up, then all square to 3 down and finally a good half. Both Sussex players are now being counselled for the traumas of such violent scoring swings.

Match 6

Leading Sussex off the 10th tee, Vice Captain Keith Talbot and Peter Rodger had a great match with good company which finished in a fair half. Keith played well and Peter spent a lot of time in the very wet rough trying to find the many golf balls he lost. He was not too successful.

Match 7

Fresh from Dorset heroics (9 & 7 win) Jags and Shaun White had expectations of an equally early finish but canny use of their many shots saw Oxford pair, Ken and John, hang on for a 1 up win. A game of nearly but not quite. Shaun played well and Jags took on his more normal role of support team without doing too much


Match 8

Ian (Harry) Potter and Mitch Clark proved too strong for their Oxford opponents with big hitting Mitch playing the first 9 holes in level par to go 4 up. The mini fight back from Oxford was quickly extinguished and Sussex ran out 2 & 1 winners. Allegedly, Mitch is not allowed to wear his colourful trousers to Sussex matches so instead treats everybody to a show of his legs - not sure which is more preferable.

Match 9

Frank Edmonds and John Featherstone were lost for words as their opponents who stated the oft used phrase "I don't normally play this well" as they took Frank and John "to the cleaners". At the time of going to press, the actual match score was still a closely guarded secret so it was probably not close. Heavy loss then.

Match 10

Mark Dunn and Bryan Fairbrass suffered from not being able to hole any putts while their opponents sunk everything including the hopes of the Sussex pair. A loss 4 & 3. Mark's highlight was his special dessert of two meringue nests filled with fresh fruit over which he took great pleasure to gloat.

So, the end result was a close 5½ to 4½ win for Oxfordshire which could so easily have gone the other way with 4 matches going to the soggy 18th hole ending in 3 halves and a 1 down loss.

After an excellent dinner - the chef was persuaded not to offer jam roly poly in view of the earlier traffic problems - both Captains were equally praiseworthy of each other and the welcome put on by Kirtlington Golf Club and staff on the day. An earlier than usual departure meant that the Sussex team took part in their very own wacky races down the M40 in terrible weather conditions but no jams.

Nigel Wates should have made his editorial debut with this report but because of the stress caused by the driving, Jags came out of retirement where he has been spending his time writing on lavatory walls to keep his literary skills well honed.


Ian Jaggard

13 June 2019


Members Invitation at East Brighton 2019

Invitation Winners 2019

Kevin Heanen (L) & Karl Nilchibar (R) with Captain, Phil Williamson (C)

A bright day with a sea breeze turn out to be good scoring conditions at East Brighton Golf Club for Sussex Golf Captains Member’s Invitation where Captains invite a guest to play in a Better Ball Stableford.

Over 30 clubs represented and were competing The Arthur Holder Trophy.

The winners with an impressive 47 points were Kevin Heanen from West Hove and his guest Karl Nilchibar from East Sussex National.

Second were the Dale Hill pairing of Richard Bevan and Mick Ray with 46 points.

Third were Gary Halewood and Tony Scofield both from East Brighton with 44 points.  They beat Nigel Powell and Andrew Peate from Cottesmore also with 44 on count back (Back 6)

There were two other pairs with 44 points who just lost out on count back.

Nearest The Pin on the 7th was won by Martin Jones of Haywards Heath, Guest of the SGC Captain.  On the 16th by Glen Williamson from Reigate Hill guest (and son-in-law) of David Tilley from Cowdray Park.

President, Ian Wood manned the registration desk and checked cards allowing Hon Sec, Mark Terry to bring along his own guest and enjoy the day and thanks to Joe (no breakfast) Angella who acted as starter.

The food was excellently presented by Circa Events (East Brighton’s new-to-us caterers) and as always thanks must go to Rebecca Prout, General Manager EBGC, Professional Adrian Milligan and East Brighton’s Peter Baker.

     © Sussex Golf Captains 2019