Stern stars as hacks cut up rough

Football writer Chester Stern was crowned the king of SJA golf when he scooped the winner’s medal in the Association’s spring meeting at Surrey Downs Golf Club.

The former crime correspondent of the Mail on Sunday was also presented with a mounted Schaeffer pen as a result of his Stableford score of 37 points.

But Chester did not have things all his own way as he only finished first after a countback, having tied with snapper Patrick Eagar, another regular SJA winner.

Trailing in third, two points adrift of the leading duo, was former SJA chairman Paul Trow, like Stern and Eagar a former captain of the Press Golfing Society.

The best score of the day from the 20 golfers who teed up on the hilly, Peter Alliss-designed course, came from Peter Nunn, whose 40 points gave him a five-point margin of victory in the guests’ section over Dan Abraham with Chris Wormleighton third on 31 points (Hugh Routledge’s photograph shows Stern, left, and Nunn, right, being presented with their medals by Trow).

The nearest-the-pin prize of half-a-dozen Titleist Pro V1s went to former Mail and Express stalwart Ian Cole, who readily confessed to having lost at least as many balls earlier in Surrey Downs’ punishing rough.

The longest drive — around 280 yards into a crosswind on the par-5 18th — was achieved by the youngest player in the field – Sam Emery, the son of David Emery, editor of the Non-League Paper and Rugby Paper. Sam also received six balls for his effort.

In keeping with the light-hearted spirit of the day, a couple of purple VisitScotland driver head covers were presented to the “tail end Charlies” in the two sections — Express sub Lawrie Hacker and Sean Trivass’s guest Nick Wrathall — on the grounds that a visit to Scotland some time soon would definitely improve their golf.

The SJA’s autumn meeting will be held at Muswell Hill Golf Club on Monday September 7, when the Association’s golf trophy, named after the late Phil Sheldon, will be up for grabs. To book a place in the field, or for more information, please contact Paul Trow on 07973-862747 or

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