Chris Boughton’s golf column: Dodd wins Pro Challenge

PROFESSIONAL TURN: Flempton GC Captain Andrew Long (left) presents coaching professional Lawrence Dodd with the Pro Challenge Trophy
PROFESSIONAL TURN: Flempton GC Captain Andrew Long (left) presents coaching professional Lawrence Dodd with the Pro Challenge Trophy

The recent appointment of two resident teaching professionals at Flempton Golf Club led to an interesting Pro Challenge last week when Lawrence Dodd (former Suffolk Open Champion and England International) and Paul Kent (former East Anglian Open Champion) went into friendly battle in a foursomes and better ball challenge.

Members enjoyed a coaching session at Culford School, before two randomly drawn teams played nine holes of foursomes and better ball on Sunday morning at the club’s course.

Club official Mike Moran commented: “Although Lawrence might like to attribute his team’s success to the quality of his coaching, the general consensus was that the camaraderie and banter ensured the real winner was the event itself.

“It’s sometimes good to remember that golf is played for fun.”

Thetford

There was a maximum field of 112, including 18 professionals, in the club’s recent ProAm.

Gog Magog’s Paul Maddy showed no signs of jet lag on returning to England from his Challenge Tour schedule in the Far East.

His one-under-par round of 71, on a showery autumn day, was good enough to win the Professionals’ medal prize by two strokes.

Brampton professional, George Howard, teamed up with Ed Dimambro (Newmarket) to win the ProAm with 68 on countback from Maddy and his Gog Magog partner Mick Heron and Stuart Brown (Thorpe Wood) and Jody Greenall.

In the AmAm, the Ely City pair of Luke Ryan and Dale Isaacson won with a nett 64 after a spectacular run from the 12th.

Three-handicap Isaacson birdied the 12th, made a nett birdie on the 14th and then eagled the 17th while Ryan chipped in with birdies on 13 and 16.

Two pairs were two shots further back with 66 — Peter and Chris Rains of Ely and Ian Foster and Mike Ready of Bishop’s Stortford.

Honours were shared in the annual match between Janice Fossey’s Ladies’ captain’s team and vice-captain Gill Welham’s team, with three wins and a half for both teams.

Bury St Edmunds

Young Jack Lankester took time off from his training with Ipswich Town Football Club to enter and win the latest Junior Stableford held at Bury Golf Club.

Lankester (11hcp) won on countback from Harry Mckeown (17hcp) with 35 points. Eamon Balaam came third with 31.

Bury held the play-off for the Captain’s/Pro series (Watson Quaich) recently.

The winning pair was Norman Salmon and Chris Gwinnett with 43 points, playing a four-ball better ball format.

Runners-up were Simon Howe and Rob Bonney on 42 with the club’s general manager Mike Verhelst, partnered with Gerry Day, in third place on 41.

Steve Beahan and Phil Castle took the prize for beating the captain and pro by the most holes during the series of challenge matches.

The Suffolk

On a day when scoring was relatively high, in difficult conditions, James Laflin carded an impressive nett 68 off his 12 handicap in the latest weekend medal at The Suffolk.

Runner-up Andrew Kemp was also under par with nett 69 from an handicap of eight and will play off seven next time out.

The competition was also used to find this year’s Masters Champion (for winners of competitions at the club this year).

Terry Manning (27hcp) took the title with a nett 72 pushing club champion Chris Tate (4hcp) into second place on countback.

Tate did more than enough to win the weekend Order of Merit table for this quarter, with 31 points.

Recently appointed men’s captain, Alf Jackson, and Andrew Kemp were joint second with 19 while Peter Bugg won the club’s latest midweek medal with a nett 68 from his 19 handicap.

John Dale was runner-up with nett 71, Craig Smart came third.

n The Suffolk Winter Alliance League will resume at Stowmarket Golf Club on Sunday, November 6.

It is the fourth round of the event following previous meetings Halesworth, Bury St Edmunds and Newton Green.

Stowmarket’s Sam Forgan won the last event at Newton Green.