British Deaf Sports Council (BDSC) Golf (1982-1994) - By Kevin Whalley
In October 1981 Kevin Whalley, under the 66 Club for the Deaf, organised an 18-hole Stableford Scoring System tournament at Brent Valley Golf Club, West London, where golfers from London participated.Martin Bogard from Ilford won. This prompted the British Deaf Sports Council (BDSC) to ask Kevin to organise a 36 holes Medal and 18 holes Stableford every year from 1982. Kevin held this post until 1994 and attended BDSC meetings all over England. This was the first time since 1914 that a golf tournament was staged for Deaf golfers from all over England. At that time it was not known about the events of 1914. The first 36 holes Medal was held at Stanmore on Friday 4th June 1982. David Whiston from Sheffield won the gross with scores of two rounds of 87 making a total of 174. The BDSC Golf held tournaments every year from 1982 to its demise in 1994 just before the first World Deaf Golf Championships in 1995. The reason for the demise was that English and Scottish Deaf golfers had preferred their own Associations’ golf tournaments and it was not attracting enough interest to be entered in the BDSC’s. Over a twelve year period, over one hundred Deaf golfers from England, Scotland and Wales have taken part at different times in their 25 tournaments. The golfers enjoyed playing at different venues including sea links in England and Scotland and more notably, the famous Royal Liverpool GC, the host of many British Opens and the Brabazon course at the Belfry where the Ryder Cup was staged in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002.
from left to right:- L.Goodall, R.Blake, D.Whiston, B.Wozemcoft (Chair EDGA), C.Herd ,K.Whalley
BDSC Winners:- Stan Laight and Neil Musslewhite
British Deaf Sports Council
36 holes Medal Winners
Year Golf Course Area Entries Champion 1st Round 2nd Round
1994 Brampton GC Cumbria 20 Mark Lothian 80,78 1993 Shrewsbury GC Shropshire 27 Nigel Osborn-Clarke71,72 1992 Southerness GC Dumfries 27 Mark Lothian 81,80 1991 Shrigley Hall G & CC Cheshire 22 Ross Spiers 89,86 1990 Peebles GC Peeblesshire 27 Roger Sidebotham 80,82 1989 Belfry's Derby course Warwickshire 24 Ian Kennedy 76,78 1988 Hunstanton GC Norfolk 14 Roger Sidebotham 89,83 1987 Penrith GC Cumbria 19 Ian Goodall 82.82 1986 Windermere GC Cumbria 19 Ian Lawson 77.78 1985 Woodlands GC Northants 15 Neil Musslewhite 89.83 1984 Woodlands GC Northants 14 Nigel Osborn-Clarke 76.71 1983 Royal Liverpool GC Merseyside 13 Ken Tipping 85.82 1982 Stanmore GC Middlesex 17 David Whitson 87.87
18 Holes Stableford Points
1994 Windmill Hill GC Bucks 21 Jonathan Cole 38 1993 Thorpe Wood GC Cambs 16 Alan West 38 1992 Windmill Hill GC Bucks 21 Roger Sidebotham 33 1991 Forest of Arden Warwickshire 16 Ian Sadler 1990 Oxton GC Notts 22 Kevin Whalley 40 1989 Woodlands GC Northants 12 Steve Earle 36 1988 Minehead GC Somerset 10 Michael Seymour 38 1987 Beadlow Manor GC Bedfordshire 10 Martin Broomfield 37 1986 Oxton GC Notts 14 Stan Laight 39 1985 Priors Hall GC Northants 11 Stan Laight 42 1984 Belfry's Brabazon Warwickshire 21 Kevin Whalley 35 1983 Belfry's Brabazon Warwickshire 25 Ian Sadler 34
English Deaf Golf, EDG (previously English Deaf Golf Association, EDGA)
In 1983, the English golfers felt they wanted more than just two BDSC tournaments a year and wanted to have more control over their own events, so the English Deaf Golf Association was formed. They hosted their first Golf tournament at Lark Valley GC, Suffolk on 11 August 1984. In those days, it was difficult to book a golf course for the Association during the weekend as most clubs reserved them for their own members and there were not many hotels with golf courses. Although playing on weekdays would have been easier to organise, with plenty of choices of golf clubs, most golfers were not in a position to take time off work during the week. This meant that they mostly ended up having to play at golf clubs on Saturdays in remote areas. Over the years the EDGA regularly held three tournaments a year in the North, Midlands and South of England alongside the BDSC’s golf tournaments and other tournaments like the 66 Club and Yorkshire and Humberside for the golfers to enjoy. The EDGA grew stronger with many new golfers joining and some leaving. In 1985 the EDGA had their first bi-annual match against Scotland at Silloth GC, Cumbria that continued almost every two years until the last one in 2009 that was held at Forest Pines, Lincolnshire. The BDSC and EDGA were involved in the first World Deaf Golf Championship held at Forest Arden in the Midlands in 1995. In 2020, the EDG will be hosting the World Deaf Golf Championships, marking the 25-year anniversary celebration since it began in 1995. Many EDGA golfers have served on the board for many years including Bill Wozencroft, Stan Laight, Ken Tipping, Charles Herd, Kevin Whalley, Steve Earle, Stuart Harrison, Simeon Hart, Mark Forrest, Martin Anderson and Ben Stephens.It has been the last three years that has seen the fruits of the development work put into place by the hard-working Ben Stephens. For a few years, the team coach was Andrew Etherington, (a hearing professional who can use BSL), and he went with the team to WDGC 2004 Sweden and WDGC 2008 Australia. Whenever possible the coaching during the day was done at The Belfry, Birmingham.
Kevin Whalley was awarded Golf Volunteer of the Year in 2013 by England Golf for his lifetime achievement in Deaf Golf over thirty years. Tony Jacklin, the EDG’s Patron, visited the National Championship in 2014 to get better acquainted with everyone and give lessons too. Other regional Deaf Golf Associations have been set up over the years like the South Deaf Golf Association and Teeside Deaf Golf Association while a few others have been formed and then disbanded. There are some 400 Deaf Golfers now in England that play golf either occasionally or regularly. Some belong to Golf Clubs and have a CONGU golf handicap.Most Deaf golfers are not members of a golf club, mainly because of the cost or due to feeling excluded, preferring instead to play with their own Deaf friends and participate in their own local Deaf Golf region.English Deaf Golf now has now become involved in the coaching and grass roots side of the game that will help to attract newcomers to the sport and develop future elite Deaf golfers for the World Deaf Golf Championships in years to come.
EDGA Committee 1984 L to R , Kevin Whalley (BDSC), Ken Tipping (Treasurer), Stan Laight (Secretary)