Chris Boughton’s golf column: Great weather for annual charity day

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Sunshine plus a cooling breeze provided a perfect weather combination for the annual Captains’ Charity Day at The Suffolk Golf Club last week. Set in a water meadow, the course always holds up well in the summer even after a mini heatwave and the fairway conditions were ideal for the golfers taking part.

As usual, the competition format was Four-Ball with the best two Stableford scores counting on each hole. The top placed golfers were all club members — the winning team was Dave King, Lee Reynolds, James Edgar and Colin Holder and the runners-up Peter Plumb, Joan Plumb, Bob Stevens and Malcolm Johnson.

Director of Golf, Steve Hall, recorded the longest drive on the par four 16th hole and club champion, Chris Tate, had an impressive eagle on the par five first hole.

The shot-gun start at 9.30am enabled all the participants to finish together for the barbecue, presentation and auction that followed.

More than £4,000 was raised on the day for captains’ Alf Jackson (East Anglian Air Ambulance) and Angie Lewis’ (Willow) nominated charities.

Bob Stevens also won the mid-week Stableford at The Suffolk last week with 39 points from his 15 handicap (now 14). Stevens is fourth in the Midweek Order of Merit with 36 points after nine of the 13 rounds. Mick Davey and Ivan Snelling are joint leaders with 41 points followed by Jim Chapman on 37 in third place.

Chris Tate now leads the weekend Order of Merit with 33 points following his latest win in last Sunday’s July Stableford competition at The Suffolk.

In a high-scoring event Tate (42 points), whose handicap is down to four, beat Jamie Cooper and Colin Debenham on countback. John Pritchard and Perry Garrod were fourth and fifth with 40 points. Debenham is three points behind Tate in second place .

Stowmarket

Two handicapper James O’Doherty won the Stowmarket Club Championship with a gross score of 74+70=144 recently. Paul Buckle was runner-up and former pro Kevin Earp came third.

Adrian Gipson came out on top in the Ken Brand Trophy for the best nett score with 71+67=138. Scott Bennnett was second with 139 on countback from Glyn Clouting.

Ken McCredie is this year’s Seniors’ Gross champion after he beat Tom Collett on the third extra hole after they tied on 73 for 18 holes.

The Seniors’ Nett champion this year is Martin Anderson, who returned an impressive score of 64 to beat Tom Collett by two shots.

Jan Sheridan is this year’s Stowmarket Golf Club Supergran. She recently scored a superb nett 63 (9 under par) to win the club’s annual Grandmother’s Trophy. Fiona Ferrie was runner-up with a nett 68.

Stonham Barns Golf Centre

Henry Meadows, an 11-year-old from Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, won the 2017 East Anglian Under-12 Junior Golf Championship held at Stonham Barns recently. His score of 62 (+4 over par) was good enough for a three-shot win over last year’s champion Charlie Goodridge.

The pair played together and reversed the positions from the 2016 Championship. This was Henry’s second win in the last two years.

The Under-10 age category was won by Ryan Daley from Stonham Barns and the Under-8 age category was won by seven-year-old Isaac Vesey.

General manager Tony Dobson said: “It was great to have five juniors in the Under-8 category.

“Well done to all the participants, some of whom had not played any competitive golf before and it was good to see them complete 18 holes of golf.”

This event was held using the Big HOLE Golf concept where the holes are 8” instead of the regular holes of 4.25”. Stonham Barns was the first course in the UK to convert to this new size. This idea is to make golf more fun, with fewer putts making golf quicker.

Dobson added: “There were some chip-ins, some great long putts holed and the juniors really enjoyed the larger hole format.”

For more info visit the Stonham Barns website.

Patrick Spraggs, who is a PGA trainee based at Stonham Barns, scored a rarely achieved Albatross (3 under par for the hole) in a PGA Order of Merit event held at Bentley.

Spraggs made a two at the 488-yard par 5 holing out from 160 yards with a wedge having eagled the same hole 24 hours earlier.

Suffolk Stearn Trophy

Three local teams took part in the third round of the Suffolk Ladies Golf Association Stearn Trophy with two of them progressing to the quarter finals.

This inter-club knockout competition is for lady golfers with handicaps from 12 to 20. Bury had a superb away win at Southwold by 2.5 to 0.5 and will host Ufford Park in the next round.

The Suffolk won all their games, at home, in their match against a strong Rookery Park and captain Angie Lewis proclaimed after the victory: “We may be small but we are mighty.”

They have another mighty home challenge in the quarter-finals when they face Felixstowe Ferry on August 7. Stowmarket lost a closely-fought match away at 
Cretingham.