This is the transcription of a conversation Sid had with Graham Lawrence on 16 December 2005.
I joined Corhampton in 1978, just after the eighteen holes had been opened and the new club house had been built.
When I was on the Bar and Social committee for three years I used to ring around a minimum of forty people and chivvy them into coming to the events we put on, thus we’d get at least eighty people attending the events. We had Jim Bowen, the comedian, to one of the social events. We had many top acts supplied by a theatrical agent in Portsmouth.
I was made captain in 1984. On my captain’s day I introduced a bar by the tenth tee for the first time. The ladies weren’t allowed to play unless they’d had a brandy and Benedictine.
In 1984 I played in the Dupree Cup at Rowlands Castle. 160 people played in it from all around the country. I cancelled a holiday to play in it. It took place over three days and was a knock-out medal competition. I played 18 holes on the first, second and third days and on the fourth day I played 36 final holes. Only 8 players qualified for the final round. By the end of it my feet were pretty sore but I won the competition. It was the first time anyone from Corhampton had won it. They couldn’t put the cup in the bar at Corhampton as it was too large. Sir William Dupree gave the cup in 1900 to be played for perpetually.
When I was captain I went down to the Barclays Bank to look at the deeds. I sat there for two half days and found many fascinating things about the club. Many years before when the club was in financial problems in 1975, George Davis, the captain at the time, and his partner Norman Francis of Meon Valley Metals transferred the clubs bank accounts to Barclays (the bank they used) and they guaranteed the overdraft.When I was captain I started the Am-Am. We didn’t have any computers so everything was done by hand. The first time it was played the winning score was 122. It was checked forwards and backwards by myself, Gordon Jackson and two other people. We awarded the television sets to the four winning players – Abby Moore, the Pratt brothers and one other. The scores were left on display in the clubhouse. The next day Sue Harris, the wife of the golf professional, checked the scores and claimed that they had the winning score of 112 which it turned out to be true. I phoned all the winners and discovered they’d given their television sets away so I had to buy another four television sets.
The Am-Am winners on the day:
Abi Moore, Frank Smithers, Graeme Pratt
with Sid and Mary
There was another winner but they weren’t there for the photo.
Prizes for the first Am-Am – 1984
Third in the AM-AM:
Mr ??, John and Peter Taylor, Stan Shaw
flanked by Mary and Sid
The people that should have won the Am-Am:
Derek Askew, Sue Harris, Paul O’Donaghue, Mr ??
flanked by Mary and Sid
In 1987 we were asked to form the centenary committee – Clive Williams, Bob Harvey, Barry Searle (the brother of the President) and myself. We had our first meeting in the Crown at Bishops Waltham and then met once a month after that. We were responsible for raising the money to support the activities of the centenary year. I raised £18,000 from advertising revenue in the brochure. We formed the 200 club. At the end of the day we raised £84,000 in four years but it actually cost the club £10,000 for the centenary celebrations. The marquee alone cost £22,000. During the centenary week we had the trick golfer, Noel Hunt and the cricket match with the Lord’s Taverners on the Sunday. Leslie Crowther was chairman of the Lord’s Taverners. Everything was free to the participants. Southern Television was there. That was organised by Penny Sylvester, David’s daughter. We gave the Lord’s Taverners £8,500 towards a minibus. We had about 600 to the dinner on the Saturday. There was a cartoonist present during the week who made a lot of drawings. A lot of celebrities played in the pro-am during the week such as Kenny Lynch. We had special neck-ties for the ladies made. From the centenary income we gave the club £350 for a display cabinet for historical items. During the week we closed the club house and had the bar in the marquee.
Centenary Committee – 1988
Barry Searle, Clive Williams, Bob Harvey, Sid Griffiths
I used to own part of Preshaw Farm on the Preshaw estate. Austin Molden, who was a tenant on the farm, had sown the crops. Unfortunately he died before the crops could be harvested and Peter Rowsell had the rights to enter my farm and take away the crops. A few years later Gerald Horn and Peter Rowsell bought Hazleholt Farm which is where the new holes now are. Gerald Horn’s sons used to cut the hedges around my riding school at Soberton. I spoke to Peter Rowsell and asked him if he would sell the land to the club. He said he would sell it at the price he had bought it – £105,000. I introduced Peter to Gordon Jackson and the deal went through. Peter allowed cars to be parked on his land across the road from the club house during centenary week. The club later bought the land to the east of the new holes from Mr Chappell to protect its boundary. If you look to the left of the fifteenth tee behind the hedge there is a magnificent house. It was owned by a gentleman. I asked him if we could use his drive to get to the new holes so that we did not need to drive over the existing part of the course with all the construction equipment, lorries, machinery, materials etc.. He agreed on condition that we gave him half an acre back in the corner and planted some trees The only disruption to the old course during the creation of the new holes was a small trench for the sprinklers to the new holes.
May, 1983 – Bob Harvey and Nick Holmes
flanked by a couple of his friends
The old seventeenth green in 1985
The old fifth green in 1985
Another view of the fifth green in 1985
Captain’s Day – 1984
John Travers, Frank Smithers, Aby Moore, Geoff Pratt
Sid, second from left, with his playing partners
A collection of autographs from the Nick Holmes Pro-Am 1983
Glen Hoddle and Lawrie McMenemy
Nick Holmes and Jimmy Tarbuck
Back: Andy Andrews, Sid Griffiths, Bill Jasper, Gordon Jackson,
Bob Linnell, George Smith, Bob Goble
Front: Tom Edmond, Dave Searle, Dennis Crutchley
Winners of the Waterlooville Cup, 1983 Back: John Wright, Peter Reeves, Dave Searle
Front: John Manson, Keith Collins (Capt), Sid Griffiths
We won it by a record margin of 17 shots (still a record in 2006)