Recalling the Bowmaker Tournament of British Golf

The Bowmaker Tournament was a golf tournament in England played from late 1950s to the early 1970s. It was part of the loosely organized British PGA circuit that pre-dated the formation of the European Tour.

First played: 1957

Last played: 1971

The Bowmaker Tournament was only 36 holes in length, but it attracted the top players in European golf at the time thanks to its spot on the schedule: it was usually played the week before the British Open. Its roster of champions includes multiple major winners and GB&I Ryder Cup players.

The tournament did not use playoffs, so several years resulted in ties at the top. Bobby Locke, Kel Nagle and Neil Coles each won twice.

In the 1965 Bowmaker, Nagle began his final round with an albatross and went on to win. ... In the 1958 tournament, Peter Mills' second round included a 28 on his back nine, at the time the record-low, nine-hole score for any British golf tournament.

When Bob Charles won in 1961, he was the first left-hander to win any significant British pro tournament. ... The tournament scoring record of 61 was set by Peter Butler in his 1967 victory. At the time, it tied the record for lowest 18-hole score ever in a British tournament.

(Note that there is also a competition format that goes by the name Bowmaker, but that is unrelated to this tournament.)

Also known as: In its final year it was named the Sunbeam Electric Tournament.

Winners of the Bowmaker Tournament

1957 — Frank Jowle and Bobby Locke (tie), 135
1958 — Bernard Hunt and Peter Mills (tie), 129
1959 — Bobby Locke, 132
1960 — Peter Thomson, 132
1961 — Bob Charles, 132
1962 — Kel Nagle, 133
1963 — Peter Butler, 132
1964 — Neil Coles, 136
1965 — Kel Nagle, 133
1966 — Fred Boobyer, 135
1967 — Peter Butler, 131
1968 — Clive Clark, 136
1969 — Tony Grubb and Brian Huggett (tie), 135
1970 — Neil Coles, 132
1971 — Peter Oosterhuis, 132

Golf courses: Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England, one of the grand, old parkland courses of England, was the home for 12 of the Bowmaker Tournament's 15 years. The first year was played at Berkshire Golf Club; the final two years took place at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club near London.

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