ONE of the city’s premier golf competitions celebrates its 35th anniversary next weekend.

The York Golf Club’s scratch open day for golfers, which forms part of the Yorkshire Order of Merit, was initially conceived by chairman of matches and leading golfer of his day Alec Rough.

The original name for the competition was to be the York Golf Club Trophy, but a stunning Rose Bowl was purchased by the club so the name of the event was changed to the York Rose Bowl.

A total of 61 players contested the first event in 1976, the winner being I Mackenzie of Hillsborough GC.

He got the event off to a flier by breaking the course record with a first round 66. His winning two-round strokeplay total was135 - equalled three times since, but never surpassed.

The event, which is open to players with a maximum handicap of four, has attracted a host of topcalibre players to tackle the 6,300 yards of the J H Taylor-designed course.

Of the 34 years of competition there are 29 players’ names engraved on the impressive trophy.

Just four players have won the York Rose Bowl more than once.

They are Selby GC’s Les Walker; Mike Kelley representing Scarborough North Cliff and also Ganton; S Coumbe of Pontefract and District, and the lone three-time winner, Stephen East.

East’s trio of triumphs were with separate clubs - Fulford GC, his current club Moortown (Leeds), and host club York, making him the first York GC member to win the event.

Last year’s tournament was won by Pike Hills GC ace Martin Brown, who has dominated amateur golf in the York area for almost a decade.

To mark the York Rose Bowl’s 35th anniversary the event has been advertised to all clubs in the North of England.

Anyone interested in trying to add their name to the illustrious list of winners can phone York GC’s Mike Wells on 01904 491840 or email him at