Chris Boughton’s golf column: Children react positively to Tri-Golf
Stowmarket Golf Club Professional Jon Markham and his assistant, Alex Davey, spent much of the summer planning and delivering Tri-Golf coaching sessions to more than 500 primary school children in and around Stowmarket.
The club is a member of the Golf Foundation, endorsed by the PGA, sponsored by HSBC and an official Golf Roots Centre.
The Golf Roots programme has flourished over the past decade, connecting with thousands of young people each year in schools and communities to facilitate direct links with golf. This initiative will introduce more than 500,000 young people to golf this year, helping to produce around 3,500 new junior golfers at clubs across the country.
The Golf Foundation has developed an easy-to-learn golf format called Tri-Golf, designed for primary schools, which supports all schools looking to get the best results in play for their youngsters.
It has been developed to support the teaching of numeracy and literacy, as well as wider social and moral learning. The sessions were delivered to pupils at Abbots Hall, Chilton, Freemans and Bosmere Primary Schools, by Markham and Davey, using specially designed equipment that is safe and easy to use.
Commenting on the initiative Markham said: “It was brilliant to see the children’s positive reaction to being introduced to a new sport and their ability to quickly master the basic skills.
“I hope a number of the children will have been sufficiently inspired by the experience to persuade them to take up the sport”.
Meanwhile, the sun shone for most of Bill Darling’s well attended and highly successful President’s Weekend,although he did describe the wind as ‘a little gusty’.
Ably assisted by his grandson Tom and his daughter Jane, he positioned himself at the halfway hut, from 8am until late afternoon, on both competition days, serving food and drinks (including a barbecue) as the golfers left the 11th green.
The Stableford was contested by 117 golfers, with Paul Swallow leading the way in the men’s competition and Kim Davies the top lady golfer. Stan and Diane Glasswell came out best from the 44 pairs who entered the mixed competition.
The wind was also gusty for The Suffolk’s Mid-week Stableford held last Wednesday, but it didn’t stop Jeremy Thomas from scoring an impressive 40 points off his 15 handicap (now 14).
Runner-up Ivan Snelling (10hcp) was in the frame again with 37 points followed by Chris Tate (5hcp) with 36. Snelling leads the fourth quarter, mid-week, Order of Merit table with 67 points.
In the Weekend Stableford, Tate cut his handicap to four after winning with 39 points. Thomas also continued his good form with 36 points and third place. Peter Bugg (19hcp) came second with 38.
Former PGA Professional golfer Dan Wilson showed his class in the October Midweek Medal with a superb round of 42 points from his one handicap. Runner-up Ian Brewster (9hcp) also played well scoring 40 points followed by Derek Wilson (13hcp) with 37.
Postman Daryl Breen delivered with a round of two-under-par from his six handicap to win the October Medal on count-back from Dave Bennet (18hcp), Peter Allott (6hcp) and Daniel Franklin (18hcp).
Dawn and Jess Dixon led the way in the Ladies’ Autumn Closed Meeting, with a good 42 points. Sheena Setchel and Sandra Lester were runners-up with 37 followed by Shelley Pleasance and Judy Zannini on 33. Linda Connor served up 27 points from her 36 handicap to win the Audrey Reid Spoon while Vera Squirrell clocked 35 points off her 24 handicap to secure the Churcher Timepiece.
In the RNLI & Breckland Stableford, Division One, Shelley Pleasance’s score of 38 points (2hcp) was three better than runner-up Jane Herrington (16hcp) on count-back from Kath Malvern (7hcp).
In Division Two, Sandra Smith (28hcp) led the way with 36 points, with Vera Squirrell second and Val Cunningham third.
Liz Hodgson beat Judy Whitcombe by three points in Division Three, with Judy Zannini third.
Nineteen-year-old Thetford member Jess Dixon is in superb form, winning the Norfolk County Scratch Salver at Eaton Golf Club with a round of 76 (CSS 74) to cut her handicap from 4 to 3.
Shelley Pleasance played for the Norfolk County first team at Waterlooville in the National County finals.
Norfolk qualified to represent the East Region. The Norfolk team played well to finish a creditable third.
Thetford club manager, Malcolm Grubb, observed: “That makes Norfolk the third best county in the country!”
To add weight to Grubb’s observation, Norfolk Ladies County II won the Inter County II competition with a team that included another Thetford rising star — 15-year-old Abigail O’Riordan, who plays off a handicap of just five.