‘Ar­ti­san’ golfer Brian’s still go­ing strong at 88

Ex-brick­layer used to main­tain course in or­der to play

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HE may not be able to tee off as far as he used to, but Brian Brown in still mak­ing waves on the golf course at the grand old age of 88.

Che­sham’s Brown last week ac­com­plished the re­mark­able achieve­ment of com­plet­ing a round at the Hare­wood Downs course in four shots less than his age.

It is a course he knows like the back of his hand, hav­ing spent years help­ing comb ev­ery inch of it to make sure it is in tip top con­di­tion.

He was what was once, in the an­ti­quated days of golf, known as an ar­ti­san golfer – play­ers drawn from the work­ing classes who would be al­lowed to play on the course, but with­out the same rights as the up­per crust.

They would of­ten per­form un­paid main­te­nance of the course but could not en­ter the club­house and would play in sep­a­rate com­pe­ti­tions.

Brown said: “I joined Hare­wood Downs in 1988 when I was still work­ing as a brick­layer, so I joined the club’s ar­ti­san sec­tion. We would do work on the course to get cheaper golf, which usu­ally in­volved go­ing round and rak­ing the bunkers.

“Two teams of us would go round ev­ery week­end, cov­er­ing the whole course. We got on well with the chaps at the top club though and played a cou­ple of rounds with them each year.”

Brown has, in fact, been play­ing for 45 years, hav­ing pre­vi­ously played at the mu­nic­i­pal course at North­wood, and has no plans to stop just yet. He added: “It wasn’t the best round I have ever man­aged – I did bet­ter in my early years when I had a much lower hand­i­cap – but it was the best I have shot in a few years.

“There weren’t any par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable shots or holes, it was just one of those rounds where ev­ery­thing I hit came off. I haven’t got the dis­tance off the tee I used to, I have to rely on a shorter game th­ese days.”

Play­ing part­ner Colin Smith, who is 30 years Brian’s ju­nior, added: “It would have been a re­mark­able achieve­ment on any course, but Hare­wood Downs is a very hilly course, and up un­til a year ago Brian would walk the whole way round.”

Photo by Chris Berry www.buyapho­totms.co.uk

GO­ING STRONG: Brian Brown’s still im­pres­sive on the golf course at the age of 88

SUPPORT: team

Che­sham & Ley Hill Golf Club’s first

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