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Chris Boughton’s golf column: County juniors begin winter training

RISING STARS: Suffolk County Junior Under 12 coaching squad for 2018
RISING STARS: Suffolk County Junior Under 12 coaching squad for 2018

Suffolk County Golf Union juniors have started their winter coaching programme in preparation for the 2018 season.

Local clubs are well represented this year with the following selected to take part: Flempton juniors Alfie Halil, Ben Mason, Henry Meadows and Jack Rust – Bury St Edmunds juniors Max Adams, Max Weaver, Tyler Weaver, Teddy Hall, Charley Goodridge, Sebastian Kubitzek, Daniel Howes and Aidan Skinner – Stowmarket junior Ryan Turnbull.

The Under-18s team manager is Europro Tour member Patrick Spraggs, Jim Harrison looks after the Under-16s and Ashley Hughes manages the Under-14s and Under-12s.

Head coach is Keith Preston (Aldeburgh GC) and chairman of Suffolk County Junior golf is Trevor Mason (Felixstowe GC).

More information can be found on the Suffolk County Golf Union website.

As reported here recently, Culford School have agreed to support Suffolk County Junior Golf by way of a four-year sponsorship deal starting this year.

Culford are providing financial support for junior golf in the county in exchange for the Suffolk County Juniors sporting the Culford name on their clothing.

In addition, there will be web links and promotional displays at all County Junior events. Trevor Mason, chairman of Suffolk County Junior’s committee, said: “Both parties are excited by the prospect of the new arrangement.” The 2018 Junior County matches get under way in early May.

The Suffolk GC

Peter Sharpe returned a commendable 37 points to win the latest seniors’ Stableford competition from his handicap of 16. Ray Keil (20hcp) needed just 35pts to take second place with Anthony Lawes (15hcp) third on 33.

Blizzard conditions, with near gale force winds and hail, delayed the start of the men’s midweek medal last week and the prospect of the competition going ahead initially looked grim.

The ladies’ section who were already playing in their midweek event, had to abandon the course and swiftly retreat to the clubhouse. However, the course recovered quickly when the hail abated, and the men’s competition was completed without further weather disruption.

Bob Stevens returned the best score, a nett 74, followed by Simon Bilton with nett 75.

Graham Chapman took third place on countback from Brian Wiltorn.

Club captain Alf Jackson and his predecessor Paul Dufosee teamed up well to win the fourth round of Winter League last Sunday.

An impressive greensome score of 40 points took them up to third place overall with 142 points, just one point behind joint leaders Billy & Danny Hawkins and Perry Garrod & Alf Sandford.

Runners-up on the day with 37 points were Luke Hayden & Lee Reynolds and Brian Hay & Steve Wilks.

With two rounds remaining, the trophy will go to the pair with the best four scores out of the six rounds.

Thetford GC

The leading contenders for the overall title were out of the running in last Sunday’s fourth round of the Winter League (best four scores from six rounds counting for the trophy).

Kevin Cooke & Rob Taylor led the way on Sunday with 37 points, but they have only played two of the four rounds required so will need to take part on February 18 and 25 to qualify for a chance at the overall title. They have a two-round total of 77 points.

Matt Harben & Robbie O’Brien were second on the day with 36pts, followed by Pat Gould & Peter Webster on 35.

The overall leaders, Peter Croker & John Ward, could only add 32pts and take their tally to 147.

With four of the six rounds counting they still have two rounds to improve on that score.

In second place overall Tony Brooks & Dave Fitchett scored 32 on Sunday to place them second overall on 141pts.

Arron Gaskell & Nolan Guthrie lie third also with 141.

Bury GC

Junior golfers braved unpleasant winter conditions to take part in the club’s first junior competition of the year last week.

Henry McKeown came out on top with 33pts Stableford points followed by Sebastian Kubitzek with 31.

Sophie Kubitzek took third place with 30.

Suffolk Winter Alliance

Fifty-six golfers braved a bitterly cold day at Southwold last Sunday, in the latest Winter League event.

Despite the weather they enjoyed a course in fine condition for the time of year. Glen Davis & Gary Howard (Felixstowe Ferry) made good use of their east coast playing experience to take top spot with a better ball score of 44 points.

Trevor Warren & Ian Benson (Stoke-by-Nayland) were second with 43 followed by Stowmarket pairing Lee Gregory & Ady Gipson.

Sam Forgan did not play on the day, but still leads both order of merit tables.

The next meeting is a four ball better ball competition at Hintlesham, on Wednesday (February 14).

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