Essex Golf Union

Woodford GC Brentwood GC - The Essex Foursomes Championship - 23 September 2018 Thorndon Park GC Colne Valley - Herbert Bishop Vase - 27 June 2018 Frinton GC - Keating Trophy - 14 April 2018 Rochford Hundred - Essex Boys Championship 1 August 2018

Championship Results

Essex Amateur Championship
9th & 10th June 2018 at Upminster Golf Club

This year the competition took place at Upminster Golf Club. The first day’s play brought some great golf as well as fantastic weather. A strong field of 78 players with the highest handicapper in the field at just 4.5. Despite the weather and the strength of the field, the scores suggested the course was not playing as easy as first suspected. This was attributable to the speed of the greens, they were running smoothly at 11 on the stimp-meter. The strategically positioned pin locations made it essential to plan your approach shots, with the better scorers on the day leaving their ball on the low side of the hole.

One player that didn’t appear to have any difficulty navigating his way round the course was defending champion Curtis Knipes (Abridge) who managed 7 birdies and just one dropped shot for a new amateur course record of 63. Curtis, who missed a few other birdie opportunities on his way to completing his opening round finished 4 shots clear of the field, with Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred) who managed a very good 2 under par 67, and Callum Pipe (Braintree) & Joe Tatam (Brentwood) who both had one under par 68s leading the chasing pack.

The players headed out for the afternoon rounds all competing to be placed in the top 42 by the end of the day to qualify for the final day on the Sunday. Curtis Knipes’ lead fell to a margin of just one shot after Harry Butler managed a 2 under par round of 67 whilst the best Curtis could manage was a 3 over par 72. Joe Tatam’s afternoon round of 71 saw him remain towards the top of the leaderboard, and Callum Pipe was tied in 3rd position with Jack Dyer on a total of 137, just two shots off the lead.

The top 42 and ties qualified for the Sunday, but early morning phone calls informing the Essex Golf Union of injuries and withdrawals meant a few of the field were missing, including one of the leading contenders, Jack Dyer, who had been hit with a bout of food poisoning overnight.

With the pin positions in slightly more accessible locations on the Sunday it was expected that it would be a low day for scoring. Only four of the field managed to break par in the morning, Ben Tobin (Basildon) and Oscar Yeomans (Chelmsford) with the low score of the day, a 4 under par 65, and two of the final group, 2nd place Harry Butler and leader Curtis Knipes. This meant that Curtis now held a 2-shot cushion going into the final round over Harry Butler, closely followed by Callum Pipe.

The competition heated up as a number of players felt they could close in on Curtis in the afternoon. Arron Edwards-Hill being one of them, a round of 68, 1 under par saw Arron climb to tied 3rd by the end of the tournament. This tied with Callum Pipe who returned a  71, 2 over par, his highest round of the competition. So, the stage was set for the battle between Curtis and Harry as they approached the 72nd hole. The difference was still just two shots, Curtis on -5 and Harry on -3 for the Championship. Harry, in attempting to attack the pin bunkered his tee shot, so could only manage to bogey the par 3, leaving the stage for Curtis to make a regulation par to become Essex Champion golfer again. A large gallery had surrounded the 18th to watch Curtis hole the putt to successfully defend his title. After Curtis holed out there were some warm embraces between the three-ball of Callum, Harry and Curtis which showed the spirit in which the tournament was played. The applause continued as the trio walked from the 18th green to record their scores.

Another solid performance over the weekend from Jordan Slater saw him record another top ten finish, which has propelled him up to the top of the 2018 Order of Merit standings as the players head for the next Order of Merit event, The Cliffords Trophy, at Stock Brook Manor in July.

Upminster Golf Club were excellent hosts of this year’s championship with fantastic food and impeccable greens, reports from the players suggested they were very impressed with the condition of the course and many said they were looking forward to returning in September to play in the Upminster Trophies.

Our thanks go to Upminster Golf Club and their members, staff and volunteers that made the day such a success. We also congratulate Curtis on a fantastic victory.

Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy & The Colts Championship
Thorpe Hall Golf Club, Friday 25th May 2018

The Thorpe Hall Golf Course was in exceptional condition and was a much talked about topic throughout the day, as players were impressed with the fast running greens, with the rough left relatively long to punish any wayward shot. The morning’s play was impressive with six of the field breaking par. Three players were tied on rounds of 69, -2. Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred), Joshua Cardy (The Warren) & Harry Robson (Orsett) all enjoyed a one-shot lead over lunch. The three players that had posted scores of 70, -1, were Estuary Trophy Winner Jay Beisser (Basildon), Keating Trophy Winner (Jordan Slater) & Luke King (Thorpe Hall), making a great start by shooting 6 under his handicap.

The Colts Championship for Under 21’s is run in conjunction with The Sir Michael Bonallack and this year the halfway lead was held by two of the three on morning rounds of 69, Harry Robson and Jack Dyer.

In the afternoon, Luke King struggled to match his morning form but still carded a respectable 78 for a 148 finish, well done Luke, great effort. Jay Beisser matched his morning round by managing another round of 70, -1, finishing on 140 (-2) for the championship. Joshua Cardy also had a 70, making a total of 139. Thanks to his 69 in the morning round the 3 under par total was sufficient to ensure 3rd place on his own. Jordan Slater only managed 1 birdie in the afternoon, however a pair of eagles on the back nine meant he finished on an improved round of 68 and lowest round of the day. I’m sure he will be disappointed with two blemishes on his card which meant he would miss out on the trophy this year but a valiant effort all the same. So, the stage was clear for Jack Dyer, recently returned from college in Florida, Jack managed a 68, 3 under par round to win the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy by one shot from Jordan Slater. Not only that, Jack also picked up the Colts Championship Trophy over his nearest competitor in the field Harry Robson on 144 (+2).

In his winner’s speech Jack showed his maturity and class when referring to Will Turner, a keen junior golfer and former Cadet Captain at Thorpe Hall Golf Club who was also involved with the Junior county teams. Will was a great character who sadly died in a car accident in 2015. Jack made reference to ‘everyone being lucky to be there, playing golf, on such a lovely day, on such a lovely course, not everyone still has that privilege.’ He received a warm round of applause and afterwards after congratulating him on not only a fine day’s golf, but also a very fitting speech, he replied, ‘He has been on my mind all day, I had to say something’.

Congratulations Jack on a fine performance in every way!

Thank you to Thorpe Hall Golf Club, their staff and the members for giving up their course for the day, and for their impeccable hospitality.

Orsett Golf Club 4th May & Boyce Hill Golf Club 10th May

The Inaugural playing of the Estuary Trophy competition took place in early May, 36 holes at Orsett on 4thMay followed by 36 holes at Boyce Hill on 10thMay. This 72 hole event is a Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking event, one of only three events in Essex which hold that status.

The first 36 holes at Orsett were played in conjunction with the Threadgill Trophy, and the high standard of golf was set in the morning round with six players breaking par. The most notable being former County Captain, Jay Beisser (Basildon), who shot a remarkable 7 under par 65. His closest challenger was Shay McQueen (Chelmsford) with a three under par 69. 

In the afternoon the high standard was maintained with Jamie Richards (Abridge) recording the best return, a five under par 67. At the halfway point Jay Beisser was leading with a 135 total, followed by Shay McQueen on 142 and then Ben Humphrey (Chelmsford), Keating Trophy winner Jordan Slater (Harwich & Dovercourt), and Jamie Richards all on a one under par total of 143.

The competition then moved on to Boyce Hill, where the second two rounds were played along side the Boyce Hill challenge Bowl. Our halfway leader struggled to a 75 in the morning round, leaving the door open for the rest of the field to close the gap. Shay McQueen produced another steady round with a 69 to close in one shot behind Jay, with Jamie Richards and Jordan Slater also gaining ground with scores of 70. The best score in the third round was recorded by Jack Brown (Chelmsford) with a 66, closely followed by Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill) with a 67. 

In the final round Shay McQueen recorded his third round of 69 in the competition to set the target of 280. He was not in the Clubhouse long before being joined on 280 by Jamie Richards who returned the best final round score of 67. In the final group to finish Jay Beisser carded a score of 70 to also finish on 280. A three way play-off would be required to establish the first name to go on the Estuary Trophy.

​So the three players headed to the 18thtee, a 160 yard par 3, with a large gathering of onlookers waiting around the green and Clubhouse area creating a great atmosphere. 

All three players hit the green, but with a difficult pin position no-one could feel a safe two putt was in hand. The tension increased as all three players faced lengthy putts for their 3, Shay and Jay holed their attempts, but unfortunately Jamie wasunable to follow them in and so dropped out of the play-off. Having returned to the 18thtee Shay hit his tee shot to within 10 feet of the hole, with Jay’s reply finishing 3 foot from the pin. 

Shay missed his tricky putt and had to settle for a 3 and watch Jay hole his birdie putt to win the play-off. A great finish to the event.​

Our thanks to both Orsett GC and Boyce Hill GC for the joint hosting of this event, and to Jay Beisser our first winner of the Trophy.


kindly Supported by D.K. Cleaning
Frinton Golf Club, 14th, 21st & 22nd April

The Essex Golf Union’s first Championship of the season saw 78 competitors play 36 holes of golf over a very challenging and well-presented Frinton Golf Course, despite the wet weather of recent weeks. Only 16 places were on offer for the Matchplay Finals that took place on the 21st& 22ndApril also hosted by Frinton. The 78 competitors were fortunate to find Frinton in an unusually calm state for the Qualifying stage of the competition. The flag sticks remained relatively still for most of the day, with the wind lifting a little in the afternoon which made for some tricky club choices after the morning’s play.

The morning of qualifying saw 6 players break par, Barry Medcalf (The Rayleigh Club) was lowest and led at the half way stage with a three under par 68. Just one back on 69 were William Percival (Orsett), Joe Tatam (Brentwood) and last year’s winner, Jay Beisser (Basildon). On one under par 70 at lunch were Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill) & Brandon Meads (Chelmsford).

The afternoon was reported to be slightly tougher as the wind showed signs of increasing but certainly not to Frinton’s usual standards. Despite the stiff breeze, there were another six scores under par. The three players that made back to back par breaking rounds finished 1st2nd and 3rdoverall respectively, Jay Beisser, Ricky Lee & Joe Tatam. A great display of golf so early in the season. The top 16 places were filled with players 3 over par or better for the 36 holes. Nick Tedder-Ward (Clacton) managed a 70 (-1) in the afternoon to finish 8thoverall on 144 (+2). Also breaking par in the afternoon was Jordan Slater (Harwich & Dovercourt), Jordan was 4 over in the morning but managed to shoot a 70 (-1) in the afternoon to grab the 11thspot in the finals.

On the weekend of 21stand 22ndApril the qualifiers were set to take part in the knockout phase of the competition, with the feeling that Summer had come at last after a long cold and wet few weeks. Following the mornings play the Quarter finals again had displays of top quality golf. Michael Gilbert (Chelmsford) had a great 5 & 3 victory over Ricky Lee, and Jordan Slater beat Joe Tatam 3 & 2 in the top half of the draw. Then William Percival managed a 1 Up victory over Callum Pipe (Braintree) in a close match, which left Jay Beisser’s 4 & 3 victory over Nick Tedder-Ward to conclude the semi-final line up. 

In the Sunday morning semi-finals Jordan Slater managed a win over Michael Gilbert 2 & 1 to book his place in the final. Meanwhile Jay Beisser was several under par when he closed out his match against William Percival 6 & 4. 

The two finalists took to the first tee on the Sunday afternoon both with a great chance to win the title, Jay attempting to defend the Keating Trophy and Jordan trying to win his first. Jordan made a good start and went 2 Up through 3 holes. Jay won the 6thwith a par but Jordan immediately hit back with a birdie at the 7th. Jay birdied the 9thto get it back to just 1 hole at the turn and then also won the 11thto take the match back to all square with just 7 holes left to play. A trio of threes from Jordan through holes 12, 13 and 14 saw Jordan gain a two-up lead, as Jay failed to hole his birdie attempts at each hole. Jordan then closed out the match with a birdie on the 17thto win 3 & 1. Jordan looked thrilled to win The Keating Trophy, congratulations Jordan on a fantastic performance and well done Jay, having made a valiant attempt to defend the title he won last year. 

Our thanks go to Frinton Golf Club for hosting a fantastic championship at a time when a lot of courses would have struggled to allow play to take place on the first weekend. Well done to your green keeping staff for making the course available and presenting the course in such a great way.

We next head to Thorpe Hall Golf Club on the 25thMay for the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and Colts Championship. 

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