Welcome to our Junior Section, please see below a round up of our latest junior activities at CBGC.
If you would like any more information regarding Juniors, please don't hesitate to get in touch with James or Vicki in the Office, or Mark Patten
and Jo Osborn, Junior Organisers.
Hello, my name is Lawrence Patten and I am the junior club captain for 2023. This is an introduction to me and the junior section of Crowborough Beacon golf club.
I have been playing golf for around 10 years. My parents are the junior organisers and have been doing a wonderful job in recruiting for the junior section with many new faces. I have always enjoyed golf and hope that I may be able to help others learn to enjoy the sport and play it to any standard they wish.
The junior section is a great place for anyone under 18 looking for an opportunity to get into golf and develop their skill and knowledge of the sport. A recent rise in popularity of golf has led our junior section to thrive with a variety of age ranges and skills, all the way from 6 to 16.
The junior section offers weekly group lessons with our amazing golf professional Dennis Newnham on Saturdays. These lessons allow for any junior to come along and develop their game and meet other juniors.
I am grateful to our club captains for their support of the juniors. And a final mention to my vice-captain Josh Proctor who I look forward to playing with and seeing him gain experience for when he takes over.
We have a lively and vibrant junior section, ages range from 6 - 18. Our junior academy is held on Saturday afternoons, run by our professional Dennis Newnham delivering group lessons in six weeks blocks. Group sizes are adjusted according to numbers attending. We welcome juniors of all abilities to attend our academy lessons - there can never be enough golf practice.
There are also many junior club cup competitions run throughout the year, a junior AGM and presentation of prizes. We also participate in many county competitions including the Downland League and The Q Tour, as well as other exciting events including ProAms. Juniors are not exempt from participating in adult competitions but must adhere to handicapping rules and golf etiquette, and must play with at least one adult member. Sign up to all club competitions is through the club website and the Ig App.
Participation in Inter-club and county competitions is through Jo Osborn and Mark Patten, junior organisers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Please speak with the club professional for academy lessons.
Downland League 2023
The Nevill 23rd April
Piltdown 7th May
The Dyke 28th May
Royal Eastbourne 25th June
Haywards Heath 9th July
Crowborough Beacon 31st July
Piltdown 29th May
Crowborough Beacon 3rd August
Royal Ashdown 23rd August
Haywards Heath 26th October
Some are a bit bigger, some a lot bigger, most are louder and all seem a lot bolder in confidence and personality now."Blooming Youth”, is what we said after, in the peace and quiet.That was the vibe we had at the CBGC junior annual general meeting.Young people coming together near Christmas with all their verve and excitement to celebrate and reflect on a years golf at Crowborough Beacon Golf Club and more importantly beat the weather and play some fun indoor team golf games together.
Dennis Newnham is the main man at Crowborough for our juniors, he is our PGA certified professional who delivers expert instruction, tuition and golfing advice and supplies all the golfing equipment necessary for our junior cohort and all our members as well as being a welcoming gentleman and good sport.
Jo and Mark, Osborn and Patten help out a bit with the junior activities. Jo has done sterling work this year, keenly supporting the juniors at many events both home and away and has been actively involved in our academy lessons with encouragement and support where needed.
Jo devised the plan for the evening of our AGM and went to considerable lengths to write the yearly review, polish trophies, organise the food , devise the team games ,acquire the equipment and make by hand, the props and pieces that were needed, all whilst continuing her busy career as a deputy principle at a local School. Mark, being a true gentleman, selflessly took on the more arduous and important task of playing loads of golf with his mates, so that he had a good understanding of the science and dynamics of the game, so as to be able to impart his wisdom effectively to the juniors.Jo appreciated his contribution no end.
Thus one blustery evening this December ,hosted in our grand old clubhouse overlooking the marvellous golf course ,the lounge room laid out , buzzing and attendance was good with all the usual suspects and plenty of brave little tykes. Ages ranged from 9-15 with the big names like Freddie Scrivens , Finn Hillman, Frankie Willingale, Dillon Kinsella, Josh Proctor all putting in an appearance.
Years of teaching experience paid off and whilst the audience were still captive Jo, wisely, took the lead at the meeting and delivered an excellent overview of our many events throughout the year, including our team participation in The Q tour, the local inter club matches with Piltdown , Royal Ashdown and Haywards Heath golf clubs.A brilliant trip to Redlibbets golf club to play with professional golfers, that our team won. Many junior and club competitions , weeks of academy practice and tuition and other practice and on course sessions and additional hours and hours of individual practice by the most dedicated players. Following the review it was presentation time.So many sparkling silver trophies ,indicative of our clubs long history of supporting junior golf, many dating back years, such that in preparing them for presentation our member / secretary David Mackellow had a trip down memory lane ,finding his own name engraved on most of them from some 30- 40 years ago when he himself was an aspiring junior at CBGC and his name was not the first on them by a long stretch.Jo steered the ship well with the unwavering support of Max Manning our Junior Captain , trophies were presented, none dropped, all engraved with the winners name as is the tradition, kindly supported by donation from our club membership.Then Mark, handed out a few prizes and droned on a bit with his “words of wisdom”, a subtle ploy that lulled the juniors and kept them docile long enough for Chef Jackie to whip up a splendid tea of sausage chips and beans.That was scoffed in no time and we remarkably had only one minor food throwing incident. But it was evident that the tensions were mounting and so let the games begin…..Teams were quickly selected and a fairway channel between chairs created with the teams opposite and staring each other down.First up was the Velcro Madness.A huge indoor archery style target that receives velcro clad soft tennis size balls.We have a big scoop of a club to beat the balls with.Practice clearly pays off as Tyler and Barney who have taken up squatters rights on the putting green, they practice so much, were generally our top scorers here.It rapidly became evident that plastic club to carpet contact was not the same as metal club to turf and so in hope of getting the velcro balls airborne the order of the day was to “whack it” with all joining in the screams and chants to do so…adult spectators included.Then on to our putting competition.This was using real live ammo…proper golf balls.So I acted as human shield to protect the skirting boards., whilst closely monitoring the well being of our antique bust of Robert Burns that was overseeing proceedings, he had a lot of children himself so was probably okay with it all. The target was a glorious 3 hole affair , brilliantly constructed by Jo ,a la Blue Peter , from a wine box and the previous years recycled wrapping paper.The three portcullis holes were awarded varying points accolade for success.The huge clumsy plastic putter was big but not powerful and certainly not accurate.Like before brute force was the technique that worked . With players realising that if smashed hard enough the golf ball would batter down the frail struts of the box and score big, so soon enough more cries of “whack it”, “whack it”.Results varied wildly, decisions were questioned, judges integrity disputed and nobody really knows or cares who won because everyone was smiling and laughing anyway.
We know the year has been a success for the juniors at CBGC with many new faces appearing at the academy whilst others progress through the academy on to the course and into competitions.Lots of our young players now play proper golf and have a proper handicap and are better at it than their mums and dads.Lots of them practice and play and take it very seriously.All of them smile and laugh.
The winners this year should be commended and as such special mention to Tyler Neal who won the prestigious Junior Club championship Scratch medal competition.The other trophies won were as follows : Tyler Neal won Junior Club Championship , Centenary Cup and Arthur Stone trophy. Max Manning won the Chairman’s Cup.Lawrence Patten won the Junior Survivors trophy, Merle Smart trophy , Macey Cup ,Jackson Rowe trophy and the De La Warr trophy for best nett score in the Club Championship. Barnaby King won the Bob Izzard trophy , Harry Constable Cup and Conan Doyle Blue tee Cup and also represented Sussex County at U12’s.
We expect the competitions to be even more fierce this year.
It must be noted that the Merle Smart trophy was awarded this year. This is a very special trophy indeed as it epitomises the tradition, history and spirit of junior golf at Crowborough Beacon.Merle Smart started the junior section itself way back in another age altogether and her daughter Sue Vernade an honorary member introduced us and in turn our son Lawrence to the golf club , thus encouraging, to this day and beyond, the playing of golf by young people at Crowborough Beacon.Thank you Merle and Sue.
Thanks were also offered to our captain for the year Paul Kemp who included the juniors in his captains weekend and provided very generous prizes for the participants and has been a very vocal supporter of junior golf.In continuation, our club captain for the year 2023, Paul Black has also pledged his support to junior golf and has made a generous personal donation that significantly bolsters the junior fund.
Also big thanks to Gerald Bonner and the board of directors who have approved and implemented improvements to our practice facilities with lots more agreed and to follow soon.Also Angela Fry ,our roving reporter , who helped us at the AGM, and spreads the good news far and wide for us all. The many parents who regularly attend junior events and meetings supporting both their own children and the organising team.The many generous members who have supplied significant amounts of golf balls, equipment and prizes for the juniors ,Mark and Di Higson, Geoff Thomas, Sue and Mike Waters, Richard Hall, David Mackellow, Stephen King , Neal Martin and Geoff Taylor ,amongst many others.
Our personal thanks to Max Manning for stepping up to the plate this year as junior Captain.Max has been solid in his support of us and the club, committed to his golf and a credit to himself and his parents both on and off the course. Max brought a lot of ideas and energy to the role and his enthusiasm and motivation will be beneficial to the club for many years to come.Lawrence Patten takes on the captaincy for 2023 supported by his friend Josh Proctor as Vice Captain.
Of course most importantly thanks must go to our membership who all contribute and financially support junior golf through their subscriptions and through kindness and consideration on the course and around the club.
If your children may be interested in golf…...give it go .Come along and speak to Dennis in the professional shop at the club or contact us via office@cbgc for more information.
Jo Osborn Mark Patten
Being parents of a young lad and junior organisers requires us to escape our usual parochial world view and engage with the contemporary vernacular. The words and phrases may be slightly different now but the sentiment is the same and we should all “Big up the Yoof”, i.e. give praise (big up) to our young golfers (the yoof). That is true as a general statement for all of them and right now we have two young golfing buddies who deserve a special mention. Neither have been playing for very long at all and both have made rapid and distinct progress and now play to a formidable standard .
Tyler Neal, has literally slaughtered his handicap over the last year through his consistent controlled play resulting from his dedication, hard work and regular use of our practice areas. He crops up frequently in Mens' competitions with great scores including 47 points a fortnight ago. Recently he entered the prestigious Rye Junior open. He shot 85 gross off 15 handicap to register a net 70 and win 3rd place, just behind some much more experienced players. Having taken up golf only about a year or so ago and never having seen the Rye course before that round, we think that is a fantastic achievement.
Tyler plays and practices regularly with Barnaby "Barney” King. Barney is also fairly new to golf at 11 years old. He too has ripped his way through the handicap with consistent scoring. He likewise crops up regularly with impressive scores in competitions and subsequently his ability has been rightly recognised and he has been selected to play for Sussex County already. As his dad Stephen King explained to me "Barney played for Sussex U12s - the match was Sussex and Hampshire v Surrey at Shelfield Oaks near Basingstoke. It was 4 ball betterball, with one Sussex and one Hampshire player teaming up against 2 Surrey players. Barney and his partner won their match comprehensively 8&6, playing some very steady golf and overall Sussex and Hampshire won 7-1. He’s also been selected to play in two Sussex U13 matches in August”. We think that is fantastic as well.
Commendation to both these young gentleman for proudly representing CBGC.
Who actually is the Pro here ?
Is your cup half full or half empty, I was thinking when Jonathan Toplis and Tyler Neal were telling me about their day out at Redlibbets playing in a Pro Am team event. Tyler and Jonathan were joined by our Junior club captain Max Manning and were teamed up with a newbie young Pro to play best 2 out of 4 stableford points over 18 holes. Now, by their reckoning the Pro did not have the best of days including back to back double bogeys, for 8 over par, that happens even to the best players, so that would be your half empty. Whereas Tyler played to 11 over at a course he had never seen before, that is definitely on the positive side of half full to us. Further to that Jonathan and Max both also enjoyed their day out, made some new friends, played some good golf at a great course , with a professional golfer and got fed and watered and given some goodies. All for free, gratis. Max also won the longest drive competition and got a swish new driver head cover for a prize. That is heading towards the brim of the cup.
We also entered another team, Frankie Willingale, Josh Proctor and Lawrence Patten. They liked their Pro, a lot. Harry, the tattooed pro golfer is a player and shot 3 under par on the day. That was a definite bonus for the team. The three amigos from Crowborough, were not to be outdone though and unleashed a barrage on the course. Harry was very pleased to have these three with him as he was convinced they all were worthy of a severe handicap cut, and definitely better with him than against him. Due to the mystic magic of the new WHS system Frankie got a whopping 52 shots. Lawrence and Josh were up in the high twenties and all 3 were rubbing their hands together with glee. Harry marshalled his troops well and they followed orders correctly and hit an iron into the fairway when told to, putting their drivers away. As much as the other Crowborough juniors might have been scratching their heads at their pro, I imagine Harry was thinking hang on, this kids a bit good when Frankie played a couple of shots that any professional would be proud of.
On the 8th par 3, Frankie blocked his tee shot right into the tree line and landed in amongst a wood log pile and discarded green keeping debris wedged between two logs, that’s not so good. This left the next shot requiring a very precise and severe downward blow just to get it moving anywhere at all .However Frankie proved to be a cut above and was not content with just getting it out, he chipped it out and over a bunker and onto the green and remarkably even checked the ball up so that it stopped 4 foot away from the flag and then duly sank the putt.
On the following hole the 9th par 5, Frankie, drove the centre of the fairway, laid up just short of the water hazard and then played a sweet chip and run to the front of the green that rolled up into the hole…..and then rather unfortunately popped out again. That would have been 3 for 6 points, which might have been a bit too much for anyone to comprehend.The resulting putt was a little a tricky one and Frankie did not quite manage that but nonetheless parred the hole for 5 points.
As you can imagine Josh and Lawrence were at times outscored by Frankie but nonetheless they both contributed solidly with a steady stream of 2 pointers punctuated with some 3 and four pointers themselves here and there to make their valuable contribution to the team.
Best 2 out of 4 will give you 72 points on an average round. Well , when 92 was announced for 3rd place, Lawrence, Josh and Frankie knew they were still in it. 96 was second and the boys won the whole days event with a humungous 104 points. Also their Pro, Harry won the professional competition for lowest gross. He won £1250. Frankie, Lawrence and Josh, were happy just to win and get the trophy and also get the goodie bag and food and free round, like all the other competitors. But it gets even better , they all also won a brand new Bushnell GPS each. Now that is a cup full of joy, overflowing into the saucer. They grinned and grinned.
Both teams and CBGC are grateful to Redlibbets golf club for hosting a great day out and to Yvonne Brooks the organiser and the golfing charity Get Golfing CIO that promotes and funds the event. What a brilliant way to encourage and further junior golf.
"If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow ,don’t be alarmed now……"
To the wise this is of course a line from one of the most iconic rock songs ever written, by Led Zeppelin. Many online forums discuss the meaning of this lyric….. We have a true Gentleman at Crowborough Beacon who has been playing golf here since he was a very young junior and is now 92 years young and still going strong. He played the course from a very young age and when he was allowed at age 16 he became a member. Thus he has been a member for 76 years now and not only does he play regularly, he still plays very well, When not playing he tirelessly wades through the thicket and vegetation and collects up hundreds of balls that he gives to the juniors. So when you are heading down our grand fairways and "if there is a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now"….it’s not "a spring clean for the may queen”, it is Geoff Taylor swishing and scything a swathe through the undergrowth with his trustee Ram wedge, honed through years of toil, to rescue even the most deeply buried golf ball in order to support and encourage our new young golfers. All the juniors golfers and organisers would very much like acknowledge our respect and to thank Geoff for his valiant endeavours.
Jo Osborn & Mark Patten