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Chris Boughton’s golf column: New captain at Stowmarket

The day after spring officially arrived, the ladies’ section at Stowmarket Golf Club held their new captain’s drive-in.

Thankfully the Beast from the East had departed, the air temperature was at the seasonal norm, the wind was light, and the sun shone. A perfect day for their annual event, where the theme this year was appropriately medical.

Newly-elected Ladies’ captain, retired GP Dr Anne Fenning, arrived on the 1st tee, chauffeured by ‘matron’ Clare Peck, the departing ladies’ captain, in a buggy complete with flashing blue lights.

Anne was greeted by scrub nurse Teresa Wardlaw and 60 onlookers. Anne and Clare carried out the ward round of her patients (her committee).

Ably assisted by a lady member’s son — junior doctor Edward Ransome aged four — temperatures were taken and injections administered. Anne, having earlier self-medicated with a dose of Sauvignon Blanc, made her way to the tee and after one practice swing whacked the ball 150 yards down the middle of the fairway.

For the first time in the history of the ladies’ section, a GPS device was used, by general manager Trevor Golton, to measure the distance of the drive instead of the traditional trundle wheel.

Media officer Annie Tyler said: “The prognosis? A wonderful year ahead for Anne and hopefully a healthy sum of money raised for Anne’s chosen charity EACH (East Anglian Children’s Hospice). Have a wonderful year Anne!”

This is also the chosen charity for Stow’s new men’s and senior men’s captains.

Bury St Edmunds GC

As part of their continuing support for junior golf, Bury St Edmunds Golf Club will be holding an Easter Golf Camp on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10 and 11.

Organised and run by the club’s professional staff, the first day will begin with coaching on the basics of the golf swing and continue with coaching in the short game and putting.

On day two, participants will have the opportunity to play golf on the excellent 9-hole course under the supervision of one of the professional golfers. The two-day programme will cost £50 per person and includes refreshments.

Colin Gray and Nick Bonney (40pts) were the final-round winners of the four-match Winter Goblets series, at Bury, but fell just short overall by one point.

The champions are Colin and Ben Aves, who came second on the day with 39 points. Their overall score was 109. See results page for more placings.

The Suffolk GC

Golfers at the Suffolk enjoyed much better weather for their latest midweek competition and the scores reflected this.

Five handicapper, Chris Tate, had birdies on the 1st, 4th and 17th holes in his impressive round of 39 Stableford points to take top spot.

Graham Chapman continued his good form, coming second, also with 39 points, but just missed out on countback. He was on course for a fine win but stumbled at the 18th where he failed to score any points. He did, however, see another shot shaved off his handicap.

Bob Stevens’ third-place finish with 37 points took him to the top of the order of merit table, with 44 points after eight rounds. Former joint leader Tony Hurst lies second on 37, with Ivan Snelling in third place on 35.

The next midweek competition is a medal.

The ladies’ section Stableford competition was won by June Smart, with Joan Keil runner-up and Karen Absolon third. This was the first event of their order of merit, so June takes an early lead.

James Laflin scored a horrible eight on the par four 11th hole, in last Sunday’s medal, but still returned a nett 70 off his 11 handicap to win the competition.

Runner-up Mark Henfield lost on countback but his two-under-par 70 was the lowest gross of the day and his handicap is now down to 4.

Birdies on the 7th, 8th, 10th and 14th holes were partly offset by a double bogey on the long par 4 16th. Daniel Kaye (10hcp) and Brian Wiltorn (22hcp) also carded nett 70s. After five rounds of the weekend order of merit, Chris Tate leads with 29 points followed by Stephen Woods on 25.

Suffolk Winter Alliance

The final round of the 2017/18 league was due to be played at Haverhill GC, but it coincided with the mini Beast from the East weather and had to be cancelled. The overall positions were therefore as they stood after the last meeting at Diss.

Sam Forgan (Stowmarket) is the professional order of merit champion for the third year running with 26 points, followed by fellow Stow golfer Alex Davey.

In the sweep order of merit, Trevor Warren (Stoke-by-Nayland) is the champion with 211 points just pushing Forgan into second place with 210.

The 2016/17 champion, Stoke’s Ian Benson, took third with 207 and fellow Stoke golfer Richard Bland came 4th.

Stow golfers Ady Gibson and Keith Rooney finished in 5th and 6th.

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