I possibly could have won more but work was taking its toll on the competitive golf I’m afraid and I was not always home when these competitions were taking place.
.I played in the “Brabazon “, which is the English Open Amateur strokeplay in 1970 at Little Aston Golf Club where the entry is restricted to those with a handicap no higher than 1.This was a tournament played over 72 holes, with a cut made for the leading 25 players after two rounds. I scraped into this and was happy to complete the four rounds and even though I did not disgrace myself I felt that I did not play of my best. This was a learning curve that was to take some time to get used to and it was not until I finished in front of Gordon Brand (Gordon Brand Jnr’s father) in a tournament that I discovered that, on my day, I had the ability to win. My approach to the game after that was completely different, as I knew that I had the game necessary for victory in this class of competition.
I also managed to get into the ballot one year for the Golf Illustrated Gold Vase which was a prestigious amateur tournament at that time held at “Sunningdale Golf Club”.
Other well known and top rated amateur tournaments that I played in included The “Lytham Trophy” held at Royal Lytham Golf Club, The “West of England” Open amateur strokeplay over 72 holes held alternately at Royal North Devon (Westward Ho) and Saunton. I played this tournament at least four times, as it was expected of me to enter, being a county player for Somerset. It was always held end of March beginning of April and usually the weather was foul and after playing it in those conditions one ended up with a stance three foot wide and a backswing of about two feet, just in an effort to keep oneself on the ground and the ball under the wind. Not happy memories I’m afraid, but had to be done. Playing the majors when compared to other 36 hole scratch events meant of course a lot of time and expense and as I had to work it was not always possible to get to play when one wanted to. The bread and butter amateur circuit was well alive and kicking in the West Country. Every club held its own 36 hole scratch open and I usually played in as many as I could each year if I was not driving the truck to Baghdad.