Flashback to Cobar’s great golfers of 1981

Pictured above is a youthful looking Jeff Smith who was the Men’s Golf A Grade
Champion in 1981 with the late Tom Fox who was the B Grade Champion. (Fox won the B Grade trophy by an amazing 14 shots!) The photo comes from the Cobar Age newspaper and was taken at the 1981 golf annual presentation night. The Ladies Golf champions that year were Dot Chalker (A Grade) and Fay Hardwick was the 1981 B Grade Champion.

Looking back on our golfing history during 1981 Cobar was in the grip of drought after two drier than normal years.

That year good rain came in May and the outlook improved over the rest of the year and a number of golf competitions got washed out.

Cobar’s top golfers of the era were Dot Chalker and Jeff Smith.

The CD Pretty Cup, the Men’s Open event, after being earlier postponed twice because of the weather, was eventually contested on July 26 that year with 94 players from Dubbo, Ivanhoe, Wilcannia, Nyngan, Tottenham and Albert joining Cobar golfers on the course.

A Grade was won by Mark Fitzallen (Tottenham), the B Grade winner was former  Cobar boy Neville Good (Dubbo) and the C Grade title was won by D James from Bourke.

A report from the event said, an “unfortunate incident occurred on the 7th tee when Ray Yench’s head absorbed the impact of a stray golf ball”. Yench recovered and won the Longest Drive prize in the afternoon, seemingly none the worse for his experience.

Also that year, a new event, a mixed Canadian, sponsored by Imperial Eastman Pty Ltd (a company supplying hydraulic hoses and fittings) was opened to Cobar golfers. It was held on a wet and windy day and was won by Jim and Jenny Gapps, followed by Dot Chalker and Sid Fugar with Robyn Smith and Cliff Pagett coming third.

In the Club Championships tournament Jeff Smith beat Max Phillips by three shots in A Grade and Tom Fox won B Grade by an amazing 14 shots over Neale Stevens. Dick Houghton won C Grade over Ken Hardwick.

The Ladies Open Day was won by Jenny Gapps, just holding off Dot Chalker in second place.

Dot Chalker won the 1981 Ladies Club Championships titles in A Grade with Fay Hardwick the B Grade winner.

The 1981 Mixed Foursomes Championships was won by Jenny Gapps and Max Phillips, by one stroke over Dot Chalker and Sid Fugar.

The Matchplay competition that year was won by Phil Mullane