‘Artisan’ golfer Brian’s still going strong at 88
Ex-bricklayer used to maintain course in order to play
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.”
GOING STRONG: Brian Brown’s still impressive on the golf course at the age of 88
Chesham & Ley Hill Golf Club’s first