Chris Boughton’s golf column: GolfSixes Academy hits the right note

ECHOES OF T20: GolfSixes  a new short form of the game  is proving every bit as popular as the short form of cricket as five Suffolk clubs offer youngsters a chance to emulate their golfing heroes
ECHOES OF T20: GolfSixes  a new short form of the game  is proving every bit as popular as the short form of cricket as five Suffolk clubs offer youngsters a chance to emulate their golfing heroes
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GolfSixes is a new short form of golf from the European Tour as trialled at The Centurion Golf Club and broadcast on TV in May this year.

Following the launch of GolfSixes by the Tour, the Golf Foundation is helping youngsters emulate their European Tour heroes by piloting Academy events in 32 golf clubs around England over the summer, employing the European Tour branding.

Five clubs are involved in Suffolk — Bury, The Suffolk, Stonham Barns, Bramford and Ipswich — and they are coaching juniors who are new or relatively new to golf, with no official golf handicap.

As part of this initiative competitions between these Juniors were hosted last week at The Suffolk (PGA Pro’s Steve Hall and Adam Trett) and Stonham Barns (PGA Pro Tony Dobson) with more to follow.

Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “The aim of the GolfSixes Academy is to encourage more young people, supported by their parents, to enjoy the fun and competitive team atmosphere of golf, like other team sports such as football or netball, so that they want to play golf on a more regular basis,

“GolfSixes, with its team formats and kit and family involvement, is a fantastic addition to our support for clubs and we are hugely grateful to the European Tour for allowing us to embrace the GolfSixes brand in this way.”

The Golf Foundation received funding from Sport England to test out this new format over fewer holes as a means of encouraging more young people to Stay in the sport.

All the clubs involved operate the Golf Foundation’s successful HSBC Golf Roots program that helps young people to Start, Learn & Stay in the sport.

Stowmarket

Stowmarket’s Curry Cup squad entered their final league match against Fynn Valley, knowing that no worse than a nine-point haul would be good enough to see them qualify for the semi-final.

The morning foursomes resulted in a fantastic 6-0 score with all players performing well to give Stowmarket a commanding lead.

The team set off in the afternoon in good spirits, knowing that three points was still required to progress through but aware that Fynn Valley were a strong team and could still stage a fightback.

However, not for the first time in this campaign Ryan Turnbull led from the front and secured the first point, backed up by some of the more experienced campaigners.

While the scoring was much more even in the singles matches, Stowmarket had done the damage in the morning and never looked like losing having had such an advantage.

Stowmarket took the singles by 6.5 to 5.5. The final team result was a Stowmarket win by 12.5 to Fynn Valley’s 5.5.

Appalling weather conditions for the Stowmarket Ladies’ Club Championship resulted in the event being abandoned.

The ladies retreated to the clubhouse where general manager Trevor Golton donned the chef’s apron and served up a breakfast feast of bacon sandwiches as a consolation — nice one Trevor!

A week later conditions were better for the rescheduled 36-hole main event and in the morning round, Yvonne Hollis shot a gross 79 with Fiona Ferrie and Liz Laflin hot on her heels with gross 80s.

However, in the afternoon Laflin returned a gross 75, which Ferrie and Hollis could not match, and is club champion again. In the Senior Club Championship, Margaret Morrison was the winner with a gross 87.

Suffolk County

Suffolk County Seniors’ Golf Championship (The Geoffrey Barnard Bowl) was held at Bungay and Waveney Valley Golf Club last week with 64 competitors taking part.

Last year’s winner Trevor Golton, the manager of Stowmarket GC, did not retain his title but another local golfer almost took the championship.

Bury golfer Stephen Duffety, a member of the current Suffolk County Seniors team, was runner-up just one shot behind the winner with his superb round of one over par 70.

Home club player Paul Whiting is the champion for 2017 with a level par round of 69.

Bury St Edmunds

Bury junior golfer Benjamin Eaden had a good week winning the Junior President’s Day with 41 Stableford points and the Junior August Medal with a score of 88-26=62.

He will play off a handicap of 22 in his next competition. In the Medal, Charley Wilkin’s second-place score of 83-12=71 resulted in his handicap dropping to 11.

Local IT Services company, Green Duck are holding their annual charity day, at Bury GC, on Friday, September 15, to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care. To enter a team or sponsor a hole email emma.crawford@greenduck.co.uk

The Suffolk

Lee Reynolds and Stephen Wood will represent The Suffolk in the Daily Mail Foursomes knockout competition next year after winning the club’s qualifier with a score of 94-21=73.

Bob Stevens and Gordon Markham were runners-up with 91-16.5=74.5 and this year’s representatives, Jim Chapman and Ivan Snelling, came third.