Chris Boughton golf column: Convincing win for Stow Ladies
The Stowmarket Golf Club Ladies’ Senior Jubilee Shield team had a convincing win in the preliminary round of the competition at home against Haverhill — a great start to new Ladies’ captain, Clare Peck’s, tenure.
Stowmarket won by an impressive 16 holes in this Suffolk County Four Ball Betterball Matchplay knockout competition.
All of the pairs were on excellent form, winning all their matches. Their next match is the first round, away at Gorleston, in May.
The Suffolk held the first of their 2017 Open competitions (Major Mayhem), which are played on the same weekend as golf’s four Major Championships.
On a fine spring day, course marshall, Brian Wiltorn, returned to form after a quiet spell, to win the first round with 38 Stableford points.
Wiltorn also won the Suffolk’s red Masters Jacket.
With just one round remaining it is close at the top of the Weekend Order of Merit table.
After five rounds, Chris Tate, with 29 points, leads Ivan Snelling by just two points.
Lark Valley Golf Society
Sprowston Manor was the venue for the Lark Valley Golf Society’s first match of 2017 on a glorious spring Sunday.
The society, in its 24th year, was competing for the Delaney Trophies and the day also featured the new Captain’s Drive-in.
The 6,000-yard course was in excellent condition according to new captain, Adrian Simmons, who said: “With the tricky greens more than making up for the lack of length.”
Drive-ins are notoriously nervy events, so Simmons’ first tee effort of 286 yards was very impressive, especially as it finished on the fairway.
He also took the second shot Nearest the Pin prize, on the seventh hole, but confessed to a three putt from four feet to follow the achievement. Nigel Burton took the Nearest the Pin prize on the 14th.
The overall Delaney Trophy winners were: Harold Ham (Men’s) with 35 points and Joan Keil (Ladies’) 34.
The runners-up were Colin Sillett and Julie Middleton.
Stephen Linton had the Nearest Guess on the length of the Captain’s Drive-in and generously donated the prize to the new captain’s charity (Sextons Manor School).
The Society’s next event is at Cambridge Menzies, Bar Hill, on May 15.
The John Fison Cup is one of Thetford Golf Club’s oldest and most prestigious trophies and it traditionally hails the start of the competitive season at the club.
This year’s winner was Neil Elers (85-15-70) followed by Robert Bentley (89-16-73) with Robert Taylor (79-5-74) third.
The Thetford Ladies’ Closed Spring Meeting, the first major event of the year for the section, was held recently in perfectly spring weather.
A total of 38 players took part, with several more joining them for the meal following the golf.
Some great scores were recorded with Shelly Pleasance winning the Woodland Trophy for the Best Gross score of 76 and Liz Wigg taking the Highfield Trophy for the Best Nett (83-15-68).
Trevor Cave and James Ong of Eaton Golf Club ran away with Thetford Men’s Spring Open with a fine pairs score of 44 points.
Cave, playing off eight, and his four-handicap partner James, had four birdies between them, plus an eagle from Ong at the ninth hole.
They ended up four points clear of four pairs on 40 points, who had to be separated by countback.
Richard Walters (Diss) and Ian Wheeldon (Woodbridge) took the runners-up prizes thanks to their final six holes, pipping Gary Simmons and David Ransley from the Warren, James Greenfield and Matt Evans from King’s Lynn and Mike Palmer and Bruce Canham.
Weather and course conditions were excellent for the field of 92 representing clubs from all over East Anglia.
Suffolk Golf Union
The Suffolk Golf Union held their annual team match between the amateurs of the current Suffolk County team and a team of Suffolk-based Professionals.
Two local Pros took part, Lawrence Dodd (Culford Golf Academy) and Sam Forgan (Stowmarket), with both winning their matches.
Held at Rushmere GC, the match was played as a Foursomes with Hambro scoring so the players could complete 18 holes.
Overall the County Amateur team won by one hole, although they lost three, halved one and won only one of the matches.
The game was effectively won for the County team by Gregor Tait and James Biggs, who were 12 up on the day.
Two local golfers also played for Suffolk Seniors in their friendly match against Kent at Woodbridge Golf Club.
Suffolk Senior Champion, Trevor Golton (Stowmarket) won his match 4 and 3 and debutant Stephen Duffety (Bury St Edmunds) beat his Kent opponent 2up. The Suffolk team lost overall by 6.5-3.5 although there were some very close matches.