Chris Boughton’s golf column: Another county title for Bury GC

CHAMPIONS: Bury GC's winners

Bury Golf Club have another Suffolk County Championship winning team to celebrate for 2017 following on from their recent success in the Hambro Cup.

At Stowmarket Golf Club last week, they won the Seniors’ Beaumont Trophy (for 10-20 handicap) beating Brett Vale in the final by eight holes.

After a slow start the Bury team rallied with the pairings of Barry Story & Colin Gray and Graham Smith & Stephen Beahan both winning their matches by five holes.

Garry Clark & Steve McClelan and Steve Finch & Jonathan Mecham were only beaten by the narrowest of margins (one hole) and the team amassed more than enough holes for a superb win.

Bury have a good recent record in this competition, winning it in 2015 and losing in the semis last year.

Club captains Nick Bonney and Joan Warnett were at Stowmarket supporting the team and congratulated team captain Paul Hadley and his winning squad on their outstanding success in this year’s competition.

Bonney commented: “2017 has been a magical year for all Bury GC’s County competition teams (both ladies’ and Men’s), with one ladies’ team in a semi-final and all five men’s teams reaching their respective semis.

“This must be an unprecedented achievement. To then manage two county competition wins is beyond all expectations, but shows there is a healthy team spirit running throughout the club.

“All the team captains have put in an exceptional shift this year which has reflected in the teams’ performances. Long may it continue.”

Stowmarket GC

Stowmarket have also had a recent team knockout competition success. On Sunday, September 17, they beat Colne Valley in the final of the Curry Cup, which they last won in 2011.

The morning Foursome matches gave Stow a slender 3.5 to 2.5 lead at lunchtime, but they went on to dominate the afternoon singles, losing just one match.

Team captain Adrian Gipson said: “On behalf of all the players in the squad I would like to thank all the supporters who gave up their time and especially the caddies, as their support was invaluable.

“Whilst we could only play 12 in the final this was very much a squad victory as 21 members have played their part in winning the trophy.”

Club manager, Trevor Golton, concurred with Gipson’s comments and added a special mention for young Ryan Turnbull (6hcp): “He is only 15 and played in every match with a 100 per cent record.”

Thetford GC

Thetford Golf Club members have completed the purchase of the club from the Crown Estate with contracts being exchanged on September 19.

Club manager Malcolm Grubb said: “It has taken a lot longer than expected but I am delighted.

“We have been able to finance the purchase thanks to our own members taking out debentures and it may take another 10 years or so to complete the repayments but after that we will have no debts to pay.

“We have had quite an influx of new members lately, including a lot of colt and intermediate members, and they are likely to benefit more than anybody as they will eventually inherit one of the finest golf courses in East Anglia.”

Plans to celebrate the purchase of the club had been put to one side until the final exchange and because of the delays it has been decided to wait until next year when Thetford will host a Festival of Golf.

This will be held from June 16-4 and will involve a series of events on and off the course for members and visitors alike.

A highlight will be a sponsored ProAm on Thursday, June 21, when there will be a big cash prize for the winning Pro as well as many other prizes for the amateur players and ProAm and AmAm teams.

This will be a wonderful opportunity for the top players in the region to have a crack at the course records currently held by Paul Curry (Pro) with a 67 in 1999 and Mark Williamson’s amateur record of 66, set in 1995.

The Suffolk GC 

Graham Chapman is a much better golfer than his handicap suggests and it was no surprise to his fellow Midweek Stableford competitors to see him dominate the latest qualifier.

Despite a triple-bogey eight on the first hole, Chapman went on to score 44 points to win by a considerable margin and receive a three-shot handicap cut.

A long way back in second place was James Laflin with 37 points, followed by James Edgar with 35.

Ivan Snelling missed last week’s competition but still leads the Midweek Order of Merit table with 44 points, followed by Jim Chapman on 37 and Peter Plumb & Alf Jackson both on 36.

In the Ladies’ Midweek Stableford Joan Plumb carded 37 points to take top spot, followed by recently-crowned Ladies’ club champion Angie Lewis with 33. June Smart took third place with 31.

English Women’s County Finals

Having made it to the English Women’s County Finals for the first time in 23 years, Suffolk Ladies will be very pleased with their performance at Felixstowe Ferry.

Wins against Nottinghamshire, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire gave them a 19-point total over the five days for third place overall.

Yorkshire are this year’s champions, with Gloucestershire runners-up.

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