Chris Boughton’s golf column: Drive-in a success for captains
Sunshine, fireworks, bunny girls and two great tee shots (no mean task with Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ playing in the background) highlighted the new Captains’ Drive-In at Bury St Edmunds golf Club on Sunday.
Nick ‘Hugh Heffner’ Bonney and Joan ‘Glitsy’ Warnett are the new Men’s and Ladies’ captains at the Bury club along with Junior captain Charles Wilkens and Seniors’ captain Peter Morrissey.
More than 120 members came to support their drive-ins and the official start of their year of office, with most taking part in the competition that followed.
General Manager Mike Verhelst said “The weather was glorious and the course in great condition, as can be seen from the scores.
“A big thank you to our catering staff for providing 60 breakfasts at 8am and an excellent hot carved buffet for all after the golf.”
The results of the Texas Scramble were dominated by family grouping: First place was Phil Smailes, Linda Smailes, Dan Smailes, Malcolm Wyer and Elaine Bonney nett 51.8, second Ben Coleman, Graham Sykes, Molly Sykes, Clare Sykes and Jack Dealnett 54.2 and third Steven Gee, Michael Gee, Andrew Gee, David Snow and Jane Snow nett 55.2.
The skippers’ charities this year are My Wish Rainbow Ward WSH and MacMillan Support.
Three pairs scored 39 points in round two of the Winter Goblets Foursomes series at Bury GC and the leading places were decided on count back.
Steve Lankester (5hcp) and Mike Greener (6hcp), who have both played this format in Hambro teams, won.
Runners-up were Nick Bonney (10hcp) and Colin Gray (13hcp). Dave Tingey (20hcp) and Dave Ives (15hcp) were third. After two rounds Lankester and Greener lead the way with 78 points followed by Tingey and Ives with 76.
Phil Graham (5hcp), a member of Bury’s Hambro Cup winning team this year, scored an impressive 43 points to easily take top spot in the club’s December mid-week Stableford competition.
Simon Howe (8hcp) came second with 39 points, followed by Gary Woodland, Ian Malyon and Richard Rawlings on 37 (in countback order).
Another 2016 Hambro star, Ben Aves (6hcp), was runner-up in the club’s December Juniors’ Stableford with 35 points. First place was taken by rising star Andrew Gee (9hcp) with 36.
At a recent meeting between Flempton, Gog Magog, John O’Gaunt and Peterborough Milton Golf Clubs, it was agreed to launch an Informal Inter County Intermediate Scratch League.
The aim of the league is to give opportunities to members with golf handicaps from three to nine to play competitive match-play for their respective clubs. All the matches will be played off scratch.
The 10-a-side team members in the six singles will have a handicap of three or above.
The two foursomes pairings must have a combined handicap of six and above.
This will allow clubs to choose players with a lower handicap, providing the combined handicap of the pair is more than six.
This new league starts in 2017 and the matches will be played, three at home and three away, monthly, from April to September.
Flempton GC official Mike Moran said: “This is an exciting new venture to offer competitive golf to members who would otherwise be overlooked.”
Course Marshal, Brian Wiltorn (18hcp), returned to form in the club’s mid-week Stableford with 36 points, just ahead of Craig Smart (19hcp) on countback. Mick Davey was third with 35.
Jim Chapman’s deadly putting deserted him after an impressive run of competition results over the past couple of months, but he retains the lead in the mid-week Order of Merit table with 61 points. John Dale (51pts) lies second and Craig Smart (50pts) third.
Director of Golf at The Suffolk, Steve Hall, reports that the new greenkeepers’ building is on schedule to be completed and occupied before Christmas and the groundwork is underway on the new club house.
It was a foggy start for the Stowmarket Ladies’ mid-week Stableford last week and the poor visibility was reflected in the scores.
Sylvia Pearce (19hcp) came out on top in Division One with 32 points pushing Liz Laflin (5hcp) into second place on count back.
Anna Suggett (28hcp) also carded 32 in winning Division Two just ahead of Sue Jackson (27hcp) on 31.
In Division Three, Val Rogerson’s 35 points was the best score of the competition, followed by Rosemary Stutuely, who was runner-up in the division and overall with 34.
n In last week’s Golf Round-Up, I reported that Woodbridge were the winners of this year’s Beaumont Trophy.
My apologies to the Stowmarket Beaumont team, who were in fact the trophy winners for 2016, beating Crettingham in the final.