Chris Boughton’s golf column: Suffolk GC improvements going well

IMPROVEMENT WORK: Golfers crossing the River Lark to reach the first green via the new bridge at The Suffolk GC
IMPROVEMENT WORK: Golfers crossing the River Lark to reach the first green via the new bridge at The Suffolk GC
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The improvements to the golf course, equipment and members’ facilities at The Suffolk Golf Club are ‘progressing well’, reports director of golf, Steve Hall.

“We are especially pleased with progress on the coarse. The Sports Turf Research Institute were commissioned to advise us and we followed their recommended greens programme,” he said.

“They have reported favourably on the progress with a reduction in thatch and compaction in the soil profile. This has improved the putting surface, root growth and drainage on the greens.”

Following the construction of a new greenkeeper’s compound in the lower car park, work is now well under way on the new club house by the first tee box. Also, the showers and toilets in the changing rooms have been replaced.

A new bridge has been installed across the River Lark on the first hole to improve access to the first green.

Hall added: “Despite an unusually dry April, the course is looking really good and playing well. We have a free golf weekend planned for the end of May (27-29) when golfers can experience the improvements we have made.”

To book a tee time call 01284 706777.

Meanwhile, Ivan Snelling and Jim Chapman march on in The Daily Mail Foursomes after a 3&2 win over Chris Springthorpe and Bob Cooper at Flempton GC.

The bunkers are the undoing of many visitors to Flempton, and Snelling found himself in four of them following wayward shots from his partner, but navigated his way out successfully on each occasion.

Snelling also sunk a couple of crucial long putts to help the Suffolk pairing into the third round at Bawburgh GC.

John Dale is the golfer in form at The Suffolk having won the last two mid-week competitions at the club with 40 and 43 Stableford points.

He also won the second quarter Mid-Week Order of Merit table and currently leads the third-quarter table.

Bury St Edmunds

Men’s Club Captain, Nick Bonney, returned a net 71 from his 10 handicap to win Division One of the latest Midweek Medal at Bury GC, but was just beaten by Hambro Captain Phil Smailes, who scored a net 70 off his six handicap.

Steven Flint topped Division Two with 89-20-69.

Steve Clements was the winner of the O’Meara Trophy (for golfers aged 50 and over).

Using a Stableford playing format, off the yellow tees, he scored 41 points from his 16 handicap.

Clements hits the golf ball a long way and with the fairways also quite firm after a dry April, he had a big advantage which he used favourably to return an excellent score.

Runner-up David Ives also carded an impressive score with 40pts for second place, followed by three golfers on 39pts – Graham Smith, Ian Malyon and Mike Brooks.

The Club’s Juniors’ Jubilee Shield was won recently by Eamon Balaam with a score of 83-9-74. Two handicapper Max Adams was runner-up 79-2-77.

The Jubilee Plate for Division Two Juniors went to Danny Howe with Rio Everett the runner-up.

Clare Sykes carded a 
superb 42pts in winning the qualifier for the Pat Boult Salver.

There were also impressive scores from Jane Snow and Kathryn Colsell (41pts each) and Dorothy Clarke (40pts).

Suffolk County Team Matches

On Sunday, it is the first round of this year’s prestigious Hambro (under 10 handicap) and Tolly Cobbold (10-18 handicap) team knockout cups with local golf clubs involved in both competitions.

Stowmaket have home games against Southwold in the Hambro and Aldeburgh in the Tolly this Sunday. The Suffolk face a very tough away match in the Tolly at 
Felixstowe Ferry (last year’s Tolly runners-up) and Flempton have an equally challenging Tolly encounter at Diss (last year’s Hambro runners-up). Bury play St Clements in the Tolly at home.

The Suffolk and Bury Golf Clubs both have byes into round two of the Hambro Cup and will play each other at Bury Golf Club on Sunday, June 18.

As reigning champions, Bury will be hot favourites in this eagerly awaited contest which has attracted much local interest and should be well supported on the day.

Bury team Captain Phil Smailes has a very strong squad again to select his team from with a mix of youth and experience.

The Suffolk made an early exit last year, but Director of Golf Steve Hall says they will field a much stronger team this year.

Flempton also have a bye into round two of the Hambro and will play the winners of the round-one match between Woodbridge and Rushmere.

In the Stenson Shield (played off scratch) 
Stowmarket have a bye in the first round whilst Flempton travel to Aldeburgh and Bury are at Southwold.

Both seaside encounters will be played on Saturday, May 20.

The Suffolk have not entered a team in the Stenson this year.