Essex Golf Union

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County News

Lionel Platts (1934 - 2021) 

The Essex Golf Union is saddened to report that Lionel Platts, an Honorary Member and Ryder Cup player, has passed away at the age of 86. Lionel had won the PGA Assistants’ Championship at Hartsbourne four years prior to making his solitary appearance in the biennial contest at Royal Birkdale, the venue where three months earlier he had finished tied 12th in the Open Championship. He made the cut at the US Masters in the following year and two of his five tournament victories were achieved at the start of the next decade. He won the Portuguese Open in 1971 and the Uniroyal £2,000 72-hole strokeplay tournament a year later. Lionel went on to compete on the European Seniors Tour and served Three Rivers Golf and Country Club, near Chelmsford, Essex, as head professional from 1975 until 1993. He was granted Honorary PGA membership the following year and continued to play in Association events well into his 70s, most recently in 2014 when he competed in the PGA Super 60s Championship at Thorpeness. We offer our condolences to Diana, his partner, daughter Julie, and sons Bobby and Chris. 

2021 Walker Cup Selection for Jack Dyer of Boyce Hill Golf Club is fantastic news for the County, we congratulate Jack on an incredible achievement and wish him all the very best for the season. See the full report Here!

The 90th Annual General Meeting of the Essex Golf Union took place on the 25th March 2021. The change in its usual proceedings was due to COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was forced to be held over the 'Microsoft Teams Meeting' platform which was the first time in history that the AGM was hosted online. The AGM saw 13 affiliated clubs represented by 21 people who joined the meeting. 90th AGM Minutes Here 

South African sun shines on Jack Dyer as he makes the headlines again.  He wins the Strokeplay Qualifier in South Africa for theProudfoot Trophy, which is the South African amateur Championship. The 22-year-old from Boyce Hill Golf Club graduated from California State Fullerton University last year and has spent the last month in South Africa honing his game, finishing tied 12th in the SA Stroke Play Championship and sixth in the African Amateur Championship. The strong form continued as Dyer followed up his opening round of 67 on the West Course with a stunning round of 66 on the East, including a late stretch of holes where he went five under par through four holes. As the Proudfoot Trophy winner, Dyer will head into the match play part of the 119th SA Amateur as the top seed and the man to beat. We wish Jack all the best for the match play stages. Read the report here.

Two more of Essex's finest selected fro England 'A' Team  Jack Dyer & Arron Edwards-Hill are the latest two Essex players to be called upon to represent their Nation. We are delighted to announce that England Golf published this news late last year (22nd December) and we are thrilled for both Jack & Arron, whom have both consistently performed in strokeplay and matchplay events, as well as for county when they have been called upon. We congratulate them and wish them all the very best for the 2021 season. For the full report please click here  

Two of Essex's finest set to represent England England Golf recently reported that 'eight of the country’s brightest young  talents have been selected to form the new-look England Golf boys’ squad. There is a fresh look to this year’s squad with Home Internationals and European team events on the horizon in 2021. Derbyshire’s Henry Hayward, Will Horne and Harley Smith from Essex, Cheshire’s Frank Kennedy, Yorkshire’s Josh Berry and BB&O golfer Ben Loveard step up for the new season.' Essex are proud of both young men who have shown over the past two seasons why they have been deservedly selected for the England Squad. Congratulations to both Will & Harley on your selection.

The 89th Annual General Meeting of the Essex Golf Union took place at Upminster Golf Club on

Thursday 30st January 2020. The President of the Essex Golf Union, Brian Collins (Pictured in the center) congratulating (to his left) James Irving (Orsett Golf Club) on his election to his newly appointed role as a Director of the Esssex Golf Union. Also pictured to Brians right hand side is Ricky Lee, newly selected County Team Captain.

The AGM saw 60 people sign the register whom represented a total of 22 clubs. The meeting was followed by the traditional ‘AGM Supper’ meal, which gave all those attending an opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new contacts whilst discussing some of the issues facing golf today over a most enjoyable meal. During the meal Thorndon Park Golf Club were presented by E.G.U. President Brian Collins with a memento gifted by England Golf to celebrate their Centenary Year in 2020.

AGM Minutes Here  Pictured Left to right:

Ricky Lee/ The Rayleigh Club (County Captain)
Brian Collins (Essex Golf Union President)
James Irving/Orsett Golf Club (Newly appointed E.G.U. Director)

2019 Annual County Dinner - 

The Essex Golf Union Annual Dinner took place on the 22nd November and was hosted by Three Rivers Golf Club. It was represented by 16 Golf Clubs from around the county. Guests for the evening included, Mike Rees (President of England Golf SE Group), County President & Secretary from Bedfordshire Golf Union, Alan Walker - Norman Garon Trust and the Guest Speaker for the evening was Andrew Murray, Ex-European Tour Member & BBC 5Live Presenter.  

Delegates Meeting - November 2019

On 13th November Chelmsford Golf Club hosted the Delegates Meeting on behalf of the Essex Golf Union.  Click here for the minutes of the meeting.

Club Competition Draws - November 2019

On the 7th November we carried out the draws for the County Club Competitions which included the Thornton Cup, Leslie F Wood, Seniors Team Championship, Norman Plum and John Day Trophy. We invited anyone along who wished to witness the draws take place. We were joined by two golf club members who helped us in what tends to be a long process. Our thanks go to those individuals, it was much appreciated.
Please Click Here to be directed to the Club Team Competition Page.

Bedfordshire Golf Union Dinner – November 2019

On 1st November Essex Golf Union President, Brian Collins, and County Secretary, Nick McEvoy, were guests of the Bedfordshire Golf Union at Bedfordshire Golf Club for their 2019 Annual Dinner. Over 120 people attended the dinner, and following a superb four  course meal they were treated to a great insight into the world of golf by John Hawksworth, former Walker Cup player and European Tour Professional, and more recently golf commentator with the BBC and Sky sports. Brian is pictured in the foreground.

Junior Organisers Meeting - October 2019

On 2nd October, Chelmsford Golf Club hosted the Junior Organisers meeting on behalf of the Essex Golf Union. Notes from the meeting are attached  here. 

Curtis Knipes Plays in the 148th Open at Royal Portrush

When Curtis Knipes played at Burhill in Surrey in the hope that he would Qualify for Final Qualifying, he probably didn’t imagine that in a few weeks’ time he would be stood on the range next to Tiger Woods. 

But after squeezing in to Finals with a 69 (-3) at Burhill GC, followed by his excellent 67 & 68 at Princes in Final Qualifying, beating the likes of David Howell to win one of only three available places, Curtis had booked his spot in the biggest Championship in golf.

The build-up to the Thursday must have been hectic, last minute organising of accommodation, travel and everything else that is required to prepare for such a monumental occasion as the 18-year-old from Chelmsford Golf Club prepared for his Thursday morning tee time of 8:47am, with Mikko Korhonen & 2008 Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson. Curtis made use of his practice days, when he spotted a space on Monday’s practice sheet next to Tommy Fleetwood & Sergio Garcia he couldn’t resist. There he was playing with two of the world’s best. The Essex Golf Union’s Twitter account had never been so interesting! 

Unfortunately for Curtis, even after a very respectable 72 (+1) on the Thursday with a front nine that put Curtis in tied 13thplace, a tough Friday meant he would not make the Cut and play at the weekend. His experience will be a huge help for his future and we can only pat Curtis on the back for a tremendous achievement despite not quite making it to Sunday. Curtis’ goal must have been to make the Cut and earn the Silver medal, but with none of the amateurs in the 148thOpen making the Cut, it proved that the conditions and competition was fierce, as you would expect it to be in the fourth and final major of the year. 

From everyone at The Essex Golf Union, Congratulations Curtis to You and Your Team! 

Arron Edwards-Hill Wins the Northern Irish Amateur Championship at Castlerock / Portstewart Golf Club

Arron Edwards-Hill has won the North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Portstewart with a 2&1 victory against Ireland international Peter O’Keeffe in the final having qualified for the Matchplay stages after rounds of 73, 69 (-3) finishing 9th.

The 19 year old from Chelmsford never trailed in the final. He won the first hole to take the initiative and had gone three clear by the seventh. Douglas O’Keeffe claimed the 16th to keep the match alive but his birdie attempt missed at 17 which confirmed Arron as the champion. Full Report Here

Junior Organisers Meeting - March 2019

On 13th March, Chelmsford Golf Club hosted the Junior Organisers meeting on behalf of the Essex Golf Union. Notes from the meeting are attached  here. 

The 88th Annual General Meeting of the Essex Golf Union took place at Upminster Golf Club on Thursday 31st January 2019. The outgoing President of the Golf Union, Roger Walmsley (Pictured in the center on the right hand side picture)chaired the meeting at which 22 affiliated Clubs were represented. 

The AGM approved the appointment of incomming President Brian Collins (Three Rivers) & President Elect Lawrence Kingsnorth (Romford) who can be seen in the image on the left. The meeting was followed by the traditional ‘AGM Supper’ meal, which gave all those attending an opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new contacts whilst discussing some of the issues facing golf today over a most enjoyable meal.  AGM Minutes Here

2018 Annual County Dinner

The Essex Golf Union Annual Dinner took place on the 23rd November and was hosted by Three Rivers Golf Club. It was represented by 18 Golf Clubs from around the county. Guests for the evening included, Mike Rees (President of England Golf SE Group), County Presidents from Bedfordshire & Kent Golf Unions and the Guest Speaker for the evening was Ian Richards.  Click here for a selection of images from the evening.

New Rules of Golf Workshops 2019

As announced at the delegates meeting, there are now 6 New Rules Workshops arranged for 2019. Click here for a list of venues and the clubs that have been invited to each workshop. 

Delegates Meeting - November 2018

On 14th November Chelmsford Golf Club hosted the Delegates Meeting on behalf of the Essex Golf Union. Click here for the minutes of the meeting.

Junior Organisers Meeting - September 2018

On 26th September, Chelmsford Golf Club hosted the Junior Organisers meeting on behalf of the Essex Golf Union. Notes from the meeting are attached  here. 

Champion of Champions 2018 - Curtis Wins in a Play Off - September 2018

On 15th & 16th of September at Woodhall Spa Golf Club, Lincolnshire Curtis Knipes, Essex County Amateur Champion attempted to Win the presigeous Champion of Champions Tournament. With names on the trophy such as Faldo, Lyle and more recently Fleetwood, Curtis' victory stands him in good stead for the future. Congratulations Curtis on a fabulous year. Selected to represent by your country along side some magnificent results. Read the Full report by England Golf by clicking this Link 

Essex Amateur Champion 2018 – Curtis Knipes - June 2018

The Essex Amateur Championship was played at Upminster Golf Club on 9th& 10thJune on a well-presented course with fast running greens. The 72-hole championship attracted a field of 78 of the top amateur golfers in the county, with 42 playersmaking the cut to play on the second day. 

The Amateur course record at Upminster fell on the first morning when 17-year-old Curtis Knipes, of Abridge Golf Club, shot a 6 under par 63. Curtis, who was defending the title he won in 2017 at Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club, went on to secure the 2018 title with a four round total of 271, five under par, three shots ahead of his nearest challenger, Harry Butler from Chigwell Golf Club.

Eastern Counties Foursomes - May 2018

Essex succesfully defend the Eastern Counties Foursomes at Seacroft Golf Club. This is the fourth time Essex have lifted the trophy. Two of those four comming in succession winning in 2017 & 2018. Congratulations to Phil Hulse and his team on a
fantastic achievement and manintaining the formidable foursomes record.



Junior Organisers Meeting - March 2018

On 14th March, Chelmsford Golf Club hosted the Junior Organisers meeting on behalf of the Essex Golf Union. Notes from the meeting are attached here. 

Middlesex Golf Dinner - February 2018

On 17th February Essex Golf Union President, Roger Walmsley, and County Secretary, Nick McEvoy, were guests of Middlesex Golf at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in London for their 2018 Annual Dinner and Awards evening. Over 250 people attended the first Dinner of the newly merged Middlesex Golf, the evening was compered by comedian Ian Irving. Roger and Nick are pictured in the foreground in conversation with Desmond Duffy, President Elect of England Golf.

The 87th Annual General Meeting of the Essex Golf Union took place at  Upminster Golf Club on Thursday 1st February 2018. The President of the Golf Union, Roger Walmsley chaired the meeting at which 24 affiliated Clubs were represented.  Roger highlighted the challenge facing the County Union and Clubs in the next few years with changes to the Rules of Golf coming into effect in January 2019 and changes being introduced by CONGU to the handicapping system in preparation for the new Worldwide handicapping system which is due for implementation in 2020. 
Roger also took this opportunity to introduce the new County Captain for 2018, Andy May 
from Boyce Hill Golf Club. Andy has been a consistent member of the County Team squad in recent years and was pleased to be taking on the role of County Captain. It is going to be a busy year for Andy as well as his golfing commitments he is due to get married in May.

The AGM was followed by the traditional ‘AGM Supper’ meal, which gave all those attending an opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new contacts whilst discussing some of the issues facing golf today over a most enjoyable meal.

Draft AGM minutes

Todd Clements – English Amateur Champion

In August this year Todd Clements became only the third Essex golfer to win the English Men’s Amateur Championship, joining Sir Michael Bonallack and Craig Lawrence as the only other two previous winners.  Todd, who lives in Ongar, started playing golf at the age of 12 at Colne Valley GC.  By the time he was 17 he had moved to Braintree Golf Club and was playing off a scratch handicap, and having played for the Essex U16 and U18 teams, he made his debut for the Essex men’s team.  He is now 21 and playing off a handicap of plus 4. This improvement in his golf Todd attributes to many factors, hard work on his game and general fitness, along with a new coach, Zane Scotland of Reigate Hill GC in Surrey, whom he met in the middle east a few years ago whilst playing golf there. 

Prior to his win in August Todd claims the highlights of his playing career have been winning the Essex foursomes twice with two different partners, and Captaining his Braintree Youth Shield team to victory in 2014.

The English Amateur Championship was played at The Berkshire GC near Ascot, and started with a 36 hole stroke play competition; the top 64 players going into a Knockout phase. Todd qualified in 3rd place on 9 under par.  He then played 6 rounds of match play over the next 3 days, winning 3 of the first 5 rounds by the narrowest of margins, 1 up.  In the final, Todd played against Jack Gaunt from Staffordshire and after a “rollercoaster affair” finished the winner by 2 & 1, and became the 2017 English Amateur Champion.

Since then Todd has played for the England men’s team in the home international matches.  Of the 6 matches played, Todd won 2, halved 3 and lost 1 helping the team to second place, narrowly losing out to the Irish team by half a point.

He hopes to turn professional in the next couple of years and we wish him every success in his future ventures. He is pictured with the English Amateur Championship Trophy after it was again presented to him at the EGU annual dinner by the president of the Essex Golf Union, Roger Walmsley.

An insight into the thoughts of the English Amateur Champion:

Q. What are your three favourite courses?

A. Old Course at St Andrews, West Course at Wentworth, and Hindhead.

Q. Who were your inspirations in golf?

A. Tiger Woods and Luke Donald. Tiger being the best golfer I believe has ever lived and Luke Donald for his amazing short game.

Q. If you turned Pro and made it into the Ryder Cup team, who would you most like to partner in the Foursomes?

A. From current tour Pro’s, Henrik Stenson, because I’d always be on a fairway or green. From my own peer group, I’d say Dan Brown, a good friend and Home Internationals partner from Yorkshire.

Q. What are your plans for 2018?

A. I am remaining Amateur for 2018, playing 50% Pro 50% amateur events. Off the back of my Mena Tour results, winning the amateur ranks again in 2017, Dubai World have invited me to play in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2018. Due to my OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) I should get a start at Final Qualifying for The Open, it would be nice to make it to Carnoustie.

Q. What other sports do you enjoy?

I played football competitively until the age of 17 when I decided to take my golf a little more seriously. I have taken a recent interest in Long distance running and hope to run marathons in the future. Endurance running and Triathlons are also on my list, this will inevitably help me with my fitness and as a result my golf. Favourite Football Team is Arsenal. I also enjoy watching Tennis and F1.

Q. If you could choose three others to make a fourball who would you choose and why?

A. Tiger Woods for a start, the greatest golfer that ever lived, I’m sure I could learn a lot from him in just one round of golf. Roger Federer next as I look up to him as an outstanding sportsman that has lasted the test of time in a sport that has a relatively low career span compared to golf. Finally, Jimmy Bullard, purely for the Comedy factor, he would ensure we would all enjoy the round, what a character!

2017 Essex Golf Union Annual Dinner

The 2017 Dinner was held on Saturday 18th November at Three Rivers Golf & Country Club. Essex Golf Union President, Roger Walmsley, welcomed 140 guests and members of Clubs from around the County to a four course dinner, followed by presentations to Clubs that won the major team knockout trophies during the year, and a couple of special individual presentations. Those attending were then cordially entertained by Ian Irving, guest speaker for the evening.

Roger was joined on the top table by Mike Rees, President of England Golf South East Group, and a number of fellow Presidents from counties bordering Essex and from around the south east of England. During Roger’s speech he announced the 2017 Essex player of the year award, which this year was presented to Mark Stones (Boyce Hill). Mark has been a key member of the Essex Seniors team for the last few years, the team being undefeated in their 2017 league fixtures, retaining their South-East Foursomes title, and Mark also represented England Seniors in the 2017 home internationals and Seniors European Championships.

The dinner also provided the opportunity for the County to acknowledge the achievement of Todd Clements (Braintree), who in August won the English Amateur Championship at The Berkshire Club. Todd received a standing ovation from all those attending as he was re-presented with the English Amateur Trophy by Roger Walmsley.

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