Hawksworth Trophy set for golden anniversary

The Bradford Golf Club will proudly celebrate the 50th playing of the prestigious Hawksworth Trophy later this year with a new September date.

Past champions include Stuart Cage (1992), Simon Hurd (1993) and Iain Pyman (1994), all of whom all went on to play on the European Tour. There have also been notable winners from the amateur ranks. Jonathan Plaxton (1985) is a former president and the current Honorary Secretary of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs, while Rodney Foster (1977, 1979), was a Hawksworth member and one of England’s finest-ever amateur golfers. He played in the Walker Cup five times before captaining GB&I on a further two occasions.

All past champions who are still alive are invited to a special luncheon at the club on the day, with the new date meaning the Hawksworth Trophy will be the fitting finale of this year’s Yorkshire Order of Merit.

The Hawksworth Trophy was the first open event in Yorkshire designed specifically for the best amateurs.
A 36-hole scratch competition played over one day, the field is limited to a maximum of 64 players. Demand for places is high, often requiring a ballot.

The inaugural Hawksworth Trophy took place on May 22, 1971. The winner was Bernard Cawthray with a 36-hole score of 140 (2 under par).
The trophy he received, which cost £400, is the same one the 2020 winner will be presented with in September.

Over the years, home advantage has counted for relatively little, with the trophy won on only five occasions by members of The Bradford Golf Club. After Foster’s two successes in the 1970s, the next home winner was Hurd in 1993, followed by Chris Goodison in 1997. There then followed a 20-year wait until Richard Wheatley emerged triumphant following a sudden death play-off in 2017.

The Bradford Golf Club’s subtle, undulating and swift greens, together with the overall strategic challenge, have always posed a thorough test for the elite amateurs. The course measures a shade over 6,300 yards from the back tees and plays to a par of 71.

Despite factors such as the advances of golf equipment and player fitness, winning scores have remained fairly static. A 36-hole aggregate score of around 140, or two under par, is usually the winning total although the current holder, Phil Tomkinson, posted a winning total of 136. The competition record is 133 and was recorded in 2004 by James Mason. It was a full 11 shots lower than his winning mark in 2001.

This year’s Hawksworth Trophy will take place on the 26th September, 2020.