Chris Boughton’s Golf Column: Fern and George scoop junior awards

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Suffolk County 
Ladies Golf 
Association held its annual meeting recently at which trophies, cups and medals for 2016 were presented to the successful teams and individuals.

Local junior golfers featured strongly, collecting two of the major awards.

Fern McCarthy (Flempton GC) received the Bronze Coronation Medal and Georgia Parker (Bury GC) picked up the Junior Improver of the Year award.

The Medal is awarded to the Bronze Division player with the lowest score in the county in any given year.

McCarthy scored a nett 67 in the morning and a superb nett 59 after lunch in Flempton’s Club Championships in 2016.

She was just 12 years old at the time.

Parker’s Improver award followed a runner-up placing in the 2016 County Junior Match-play Cup to 18-year-old Alice Barlow and a golfing year that saw her handicap drop from 19 to 11.

Barlow (2hcp), who plays at Newton Green, near Sudbury, had an amazing year also winning the County Championship, The Junior Championship, The Joy Winn Salver, The Berendt Handicap Jug and she was also The Churchman Challenge Match-Play champion.

Local golfers also did well in the Ladies’ County Division Four matches with Joan Keil (The Suffolk GC) winning The Olive Carruthers Cup and Jackie Whiting, Kathryn Colsell and Judith Atkinson (Bury GC) taking the Division Four Shield.

In the Ladies’ team events Newton Green were the 2016 winners of the Haskell Trophy for scratch golfers.

Haverhill were The Stearn Trophy (12-20hcp) champions while The Cranworth Trophy (21-30hcp) went to Halesworth.

The Weston competition is split into three divisions and teams of five play singles match-play off scratch.

The 2016 winners were: Division One (Trophy): Ipswich; Division Two (Plate): Woodbridge; Division Three (Bowl): Rookery Park. The Seniors’ 2016 Jubilee Shield champions were Felixstowe Ferry.

SUFFOLK WINTER ALLIANCE

Sam Forgan (Stowmarket) won the Professional prize at the latest Alliance meeting held at Waldringfield GC with a score of 76, which reflected the bitterly cold and difficult playing conditions after a heavy overnight frost.

That’s five wins for Forgan in the current Winter Alliance series with his previous victories coming at Bury, Newton Green, Stowmarket and Bungay.

Despite the weather, more than 100 golfers took part in the main team event (best two scores from four) with home advantage helping Glen Davis, Bernie Aldous, Chris Ward and Sean Whelan to 83 Stableford points and first place.

Ian Benson (Stoke-by-Nayland) still leads the Order of Merit table with 209 points, with the next six places also held by Nayland golfers.

The next Alliance meeting is a Fourball Betterball event to be held on Sunday, February 5, at Southwold.

THE SUFFOLK

After 10 days of overnight frosts, the golfers taking part in the Mid-Week Medal at The Suffolk were faced with very difficult playing conditions last week.

The ground was rock hard and holding the greens with approach shots was a real challenge.

Jim Chapman, however, had an outstanding round of golf with five birdies included in his score of 75-10=65 and will play off a handicap of nine next time out.

John Dale was way back in second place with a nett 71.

Dale played a friendly round with Jim Chapman and Bob Stevens the day before but had an unfriendly encounter with some bees, who were unusually active for the time of year. The bees were nested at the foot of a tree by the fourth green and took exception to his unwanted intrusion.

Chapman said: “John took flight across the green pursued by several very angry bees, but sadly we were unable to locate a Smart phone quickly enough to record the event!”

Fortunately, he only suffered one sting before the bees retreated, but had to remove the sting from the side of his face, next to his right eye, before teeing off on the fifth.

Obviously, his playing partners were very sympathetic and concerned (once they managed to stop crying with laughter).

Director of Golf, Steve Hall, said: “Golfers should currently be very, very careful not to linger by the first tree, to the right of the fourth green!”

n Got an amusing golf tale for Chris? Email him at chrisboughton@outlook.com