A tropical start to Peck’s captaincy

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Stowmarket Golf Club celebrated the arrival of their newly elected Ladies’ Captain, Clare Peck, last Wednesday with the event’s theme being ‘Tropical Sunny Holidays’.

The tradition of driving the ball off the first tee demands some creative planning and the Stowmarket Ladies rose to the challenge. Clare is known for her love of tropical holidays.

Outgoing captain, Sue Knights, supported the new captain at her drive-in but reported that the weather did not play ball: “Sadly the only sun we saw was a paper one,” she commented.

Despite the rain, a stiff head breeze and Wham’s Hotel Tropicana playing in the background, Clare drove the ball a commendable 125 yards on the first tee.

Her chosen charity for the next 12 months in office is the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Thetford

The new season is getting into full swing and the March 
Stableford is always one of the most popular of the year at Thetford.

This is because it raises funds for England Blind Golf and a cheque for £196 has been sent off after 80 players took part on Sunday.

Paul Waters had a day to remember with 40 points off his handicap of 11 to win by two from Matt West (5hcp).

Third place went to 15-handicapper Tom Green, who has been steadily improving his handicap as he completes his first full year at the club.

In early February, Thetford Golf Club Manager, Malcolm Grubb, announced they had agreed to buy the club from their landlord, The Crown Estate.

Last week he released an update from the club with very good news on the progress so far: “It is still all systems go for the members’ purchase of Thetford Golf Club. The whole sum has been covered by offers of loans from members combined with existing club funds.

“This means the purchase is set to go ahead on April 6.”

This timescale is in line with what was announced when the club members gave overwhelming support for the move at the EGM to discuss the proposed purchase.

This marks a very impressive turnaround for a club that, only five years ago, was on the verge of going under.

April 6 is also the date for the Spring Open, the first of the club’s superbly run open events of the year. There are still a few places available for this event, which is a Better-Ball Pairs competition.

The entry fee of £70 per pair, includes coffee on arrival, 18 holes of golf, a two-course meal and competition prizes. Entry forms are available at www.thetfordgolfclub.co.uk or by calling 01842 7752169.

Bury St Edmunds

The club’s final round of The Winter Goblets was held on Sunday in extremely windy conditions. 

The tough Foursomes format meant that scoring was difficult, and it was a new pairing of Peter Markey (13hcp) and David Matter (7hcp) who came through with an excellent 36 points, pipping Philip Ayres and Barry Storey, and Roger Nicholson and Max Adams on countback.

Glen Knot and James Hewitt took fourth place with 35pts on countback from Phil Smailes and Malcolm Wyer.

The Goblets overall winners were Steve Lankester (5hcp) and Mike Greener (5hcp), who scored a phenomenal 115 points in this best three from four Stableford format. 

The Hambro Cup veterans led from their first-round 39 points and never looked back.

In second place overall were Gary Ward and Steve Duffety with 112pts and third were two more Hambro stars, Roger 
Nicholson and Max Adams with 111.

The Suffolk

Despite the glorious spring sunshine there was a tricky blustery breeze for the golfers to manage in the latest weekend competition at The Suffolk Golf Club.

Chris Tate, however, is playing some superb golf currently and mastered the conditions well.

The reigning club champion followed his one-under-par gross Stableford win in early March with a level par Medal win last Saturday.

Tate’s latest score of nett 68, from his handicap of four, was one shot ahead of runner-up Steve Wilks, who returned a nett 69 from his handicap of 22. Steward Kerr finished third with 85-13-72.

Tate now leads the club’s Weekend 
Order of Merit table with 29 points after five qualifying matches, pushing Ivan 
Snelling into second place on 27pts.

Snelling also lost his lead in the Mid-Week Order of Merit table on Wednesday.

Mick Davey’s fourth place in the club’s Stableford was good enough to take him to top spot with 56pts after nine matches.

Snelling now lies joint second on 54pts with John Dale.

Graham Chapman played well in difficult conditions to win on the day with 36pts followed by Dave King with 35.

Steve Wilks framed again, this time in third place.