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Chris Boughton’s golf column: Courses looking good in the snow

The Suffolk
The Suffolk

It has been a grim couple of weeks for golf locally with snow, heavy at times, and sub-zero temperatures with a daytime wind chill of -12C last Thursday.

Consequently, there has been little opportunity for anyone to play golf.

Thetford GC
Thetford GC

As we enter March the weather will hopefully now improve, especially as competition and event schedules start to get into full swing.

The photos included in this round-up are a snapshot of our local golf courses last week (Bury St Edmunds, Flempton, Stowmarket, The Suffolk and Thetford) – no greens, just whites!

Peter Croker & John Ward could afford a poor closing round of just 26pts to still clinch Thetford Golf Club’s Winter League trophy by a comfortable margin.

Stowmarket GC
Stowmarket GC

Croker & Ward had already built up a winning total of 154pts in the best-four-from-six rounds format and they finished seven points clear of Tony Brooks & Dave Fitchett, who did not take part in the final round.

Honours on the day went to Nolan Guthrie & Gareth Mills with 35pts in the foursomes competition, pipping Dean and Gary Scott on countback. Kevin Cooke & Rob Taylor and Ian Farnham & Andrew Horsburgh followed with 33.

More scores on the Results page.

Bury St Edmunds GC

Flempton GC
Flempton GC

Henry Mckeown scored 35 points, from his handicap of 13, on a very cold Sunday at the end of February to win the club’s latest Junior Stableford competition.

Emilie Thomas was runner-up and Benjamin Eadon came third.

Suffolk Winter Alliance

Just before the snow arrived, the Suffolk Winter Alliance held their latest meeting at Diss Golf Club. Although the sun shone it was a bitterly cold day for the 74 players taking part in this four-ball better-ball competition.

The course was in good condition for the time of year and the leading scores reflected this.

The Haverhill pairing of Laurie Hastie and Eamon Bareham took the honours with an impressive 41 points, followed closely by Sam Forgan and Ben Forgan (Stowmarket) with 40.

Sam Forgan still leads the Professional Order of Merit table, but Trevor Warren (Stoke by Nayland) has overtaken him in the main Order of Merit and leads by one point (211 to 210).

The next meeting will be held at Seckford Golf Club.

The Suffolk GC

The club looked beautiful in the snow but was, of course, unplayable for that time.

Stonham Barns Golf Centre

Stonham Barns have just announced their Junior golf schedule which will include nine events for 2018.

The primary aim is to give youngsters the opportunity to experience competitive golf in a relaxed and friendly environment.

These junior competitions are open to girls and boys aged between four and 15 years, whatever their standard or ability.

Most of the events are on the last Sunday of each month from March to November and include the main events, which are the Stonham Junior Flag Tournament in May, the East Anglian Under 12 Junior Golf Championship in June and the Stonham Barns Players Championship in November.

These events will require entry in advance, but for all other events the juniors can just turn up on the day and play anytime between 10am and 1pm.

There is always plenty of prizes for all the different age categories, Under-8, Under-10, Under-12 and Under-15.

Tony Dobson, who runs the Junior Academy at Stonham, said “Our aim is to encourage more juniors to start playing and enjoying golf. Over the years we have worked with the Golf Foundation and Suffolk Golf as a Junior Golf Centre to make golf accessible to more youngsters.

“With the number of juniors starting golf declining over the last few years we have been working on new facilities and initiatives to encourage juniors of all ages to come along and have a go at golf.”

He also announced: “This year we are opening our pirate themed adventure golf putting course, a chip-n-putt course, a Street Golf Driving Rang, and we will be organising a number of free Junior Open Days throughout the year.”

Stonham Barns Golf has achieved the England Golf Range Mark Accreditation and is a Golf Foundation Golf Roots Centre, an ideal place for juniors to experience golf in a safe, friendly environment.

For more information on Stonham Barns Golf, including Junior tournament dates, visit their website or contact Tony Dobson via 01449 711545 or email tony@stonhambarns.co.uk

The golf club saw its fairways and greens covered in a thick layer of snow last week.

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