After 33 years, Phil reclaims the cup

Phil Bowden thinks it's pretty special to have his named on the Gloucester Advocate Cup trophy twice. Photo Anne Keen
Phil Bowden thinks it's pretty special to have his named on the Gloucester Advocate Cup trophy twice. Photo Anne Keen

Phil Bowden first won the Gloucester Golf Club Advocate Cup in 1985 and now, his name has again been etched on the trophy.

For Phil, the Gloucester District Amateur Open Champion Gloucester Advocate Cup is one of the club’s most important competitions.

“In my opinion, behind the Club Champion, this is the most prestigious event,” Phil said.

Back when he first won it, at 20 years of age, the one day event was played over 27 holes, but now, 33 years later, it’s over 18.

The earliest name etched on the trophy is Russ Hardy in 1937, a man whose name appears on the cup many times. According to Phil, he was one of the club’s most prominent players, holding the Club Champion title for many years. Last year the title went to Jamie Andrews.

In the past, more than one hundred men from all over the State would come to Gloucester to contest the title, with this year bringing around 70 players to the Gloucester Country Club on the last weekend of October.

Phil was nine years old when he first started playing golf and he remembers playing on the old golf course in Henderson Street.

He took up the sport with his father, Frank.

“He was tossing up between golf and bowls,” Phil said. “So I tagged along with him when he went to the golf course.”

It’s quite challenging, addictive and frustrating.

Phil Bowden

“Not many juniors played when I first started,” he smiled.

Since 1974, Phil has continued to play golf and took part in his first competition when he was finally old enough as a 12-year-old.

He won his first club champion title at 16 years old, winning it 11 times so far.

And he continues to play every two weeks on average, as it is a sport he really enjoys.

“It’s completely different from other sports,” he said. “It’s you against the course. It’s quite challenging, addictive and frustrating. There’s just something about it; striving to do better.”