Judging from a recently published feature, Suffolk golfers who play west of the A12 can hardly be blamed for developing an inferiority complex against their neighbouring swingers from the east of the county.
The January issue of Today’s Golfer runs a four-page regional guide on Suffolk golf in which four experts offer their opinions on the county’s leading courses.
They discuss what they consider the best over a number of categories such as challenge, value, tees and greens, good time, hidden gems, clubhouse facilities, signature holes, practice and, of course, the best course.
Over all sections, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge, Thorpeness and Ufford Park have five references each, Purdis Heath three and Southwold two.
Others such as Felixstowe Ferry, St Clements, Leveringham, Rushmere, Seckford Hall, Bungay & Waveney and Halesworth all get a single mention.
Over in the west we squeeze into this assessment with historic Royal Worlington for its tricky greens and The Links at Newmarket where you are ‘guaranteed a good time weaving around the horses’ training track with the chance of seeing top jockeys tee it up.’
The outstanding quality of the heather and gorse heathland gems around Ipswich and the east coast is acknowledged by all.
But, there is golfing life in the west too. And if balance was ever a consideration, the lovely parkland quality of Bury St Edmunds surely warranted a mention as well as the undulated challenges at Stowmarket and Haverhill.
And, apart from Worlington, where is there a more attractive nine holes than those at Flempton?
The panel included former England seniors captain, Jon Marks from Woodbridge, Colin Aldous, Ufford Park proprietor and Ufford’s captain Martin Ashburn.
A closing birdie four was a neat finish for Garry Clarke when he secured first prize in Division One of Bury St Edmunds men’s December Midweek Stableford.
Playing from a handicap of 12, he always looked in good form as he went to the turn in just one over par gross.
Coming home, his only real blemish was a double bogey six at the 16th. This all added up to a formidable 42 points.
Division Two was led by Winston Stoute and David Jansons, who both returned 37 points, Stoute getting the prize on countback.
Two birides in his first three holes boosted Colin Hawes to play to his seven handicap and return a winning 36 points in Flempton men’s weekend Stableford.
Leading classified scores
BURY ST EDMUNDS
Men’s Midweek December Stableford Division One: G Clarke 42pts, M Carter 40, R Gordon 39, K Froud 38.
Division Two: W Stoute 37 ocb from D Jansons 37, R Hall 35, C Waters 34, A Swann 34.
Men’s Weekend Stableford: C Hawes 36pts, M O’Donoghue 35, O James Johnson 35, S Parkhouse 33, T Barker 33.
Women’s December Nine-hole competition: J Long 16pts, ocb from A Nunn 16, F Ritchings 12.