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Chris Boughton’s golf column: Ladies get into festive spirit

CHAMPIONS: Winning Bury GC Ladies' Christmas Competition team Pam Madams, Kathryn Colsell & Jill Cook with new Ladies' Captain Hannah Clark. Picture: Mike Verhelst
CHAMPIONS: Winning Bury GC Ladies' Christmas Competition team Pam Madams, Kathryn Colsell & Jill Cook with new Ladies' Captain Hannah Clark. Picture: Mike Verhelst

The Ladies’ section at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club enjoyed their annual Christmas competition last week.

Benefiting from fair December weather, a total of 66 ladies enjoyed a 10-hole Stableford competition in teams of three, followed by lunch. The winning team was Pam Madams, Kathryn Colsell and Jill Cook.

The ladies also lit up the course with festive decorated trolleys.

There were Christmas trees, crackers, snowmen and even Father Christmas, but the talk of the course was a sleigh trolley.

Decorated by Sue Russell, her sleigh featured wrapped presents, baubles, lights and Christmas music.

The event was the first competition with the 2018 ladies’ captain, Hannah Clark, who was delighted with the effort the ladies took in decorating their trolleys, it put everyone in the festive spirit.

After lunch there was a raffle where £120 was raised for the captain’s charity, My Wish Every Heart Matters.

The second round of the Winter Goblets series of competitions was cancelled last Sunday due to the sleet and snow. There was no golf played at any of our local clubs on Sunday.

Thetford GC

At Thetford Golf Club’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Bob Pearson was elected club captain for 2018 with Mike Horley as his vice-captain.

The ladies’ captain will be Margaret Hayward and they will all drive into office on January 1.

President Anne McHarg will serve a third year of office and Chris White was re-elected as treasurer.

The meeting was the first as Thetford GC Ltd after 104 years as Thetford GC, following the club’s purchase from Crown Estate earlier this year.

Tom Green’s solid back nine of 39, with two bogies and seven pars, gave him a nett 70 and a one-stroke win in Division One of the latest Medal competition at Thetford.

The 10-handicapper was just ahead of Paul Garnham, Daniel Franklin and Neil Elders who all carded nett 71.

The Division Two winner was Alan Hodginson who finished three shots ahead of Paul Macrow with Martin Lash in third spot.

Five golfers scored 37 points in the latest seniors’ Stableford at the club with Ian Brown (13hcp) taking the honours, on countback, from Ron McMullin, Steve Mcllroy, Brian Maiden and Martin Jackson.

The Suffolk GC

The Suffolk golf course is standing up to the early winter weather well this year, following the extensive course improvements over the past two years.

Dave King certainly found the conditions to his liking in last week’s midweek Stableford competition at the club, and saw another shot come off his handicap.

In early autumn he won the club’s knock-out matchplay final and on this occasion won the latest qualifier with an impressive 40 Stableford points.

King was two points ahead of big hitting Lee Reynolds who made a rare appearance in long trousers (it must be getting cold).

Reynolds hits the ball a very long way and I predict it will not be long before his handicap starts to tumble.

Mick Davey, just back from a winter break in Spain, adjusted well to the drop in air temperature.

Despite sending his tee shot from the 1st onto the 10th fairway, he recovered to score 37 points and take 3rd place.

Mark Rothon’s 4th place on the day, enabled him to overtake Jim Chapman in 2nd place in the 13-week Order of Merit series.

However, Ivan Snelling still has a big lead at the top of the league after seven rounds.

There was another good turnout for these mid-week qualifiers, with the camaraderie attracting the golfers each week whatever the weather.

Much credit goes to course marshal Brian Wiltorn who organises the swindle that accompanies these qualifying competitions.

Most of those taking part are in the new clubhouse well before the 10am start.

Wiltorn has now organised these events for more than 15 years at the club.

Seniors’ captain Mike Downs must also be pleased with the turnout for the seniors matches at the club so far, this Winter.

However, there are enough tee times to accommodate additional golfers on their Monday and Thursday mornings and new section members would be very welcome.

In last week’s medal competition, Richard Grove was the overall nett and gross winner with 88-15=73. Ray Keil came in second with Stephen Christopher third.

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