Chris Boughton’s golf column: Suffolk County juniors get sponsorship boost
There was more good news for local Junior golf last week with Culford School announcing the launch of a four-year partnership with the Suffolk Junior Golf Squad.
Tom Huggins, the assistant marketing director at Culford, said: “The sponsorship, which sees the boarding school support the Suffolk Golf Union’s youth teams, demonstrates its commitment to growing the sport in the region.”
Culford’s head of golf, Lawrence Dodd, said: “I am delighted that we have formed a partnership with the Suffolk Golf Union. I have already had the privilege to work with their U16 and U18 squads and this agreement underlines our pledge to develop the game from grass roots level and beyond.”
He added: “The Suffolk Golf Union shares our commitment to enhancing the sport of golf across the region and increasing accessibility to all. We are excited by this new agreement.”
Culford has invested heavily in its golf programme. Delivered by a team of PGA and specialist strength and conditioning professionals, players benefit from access to the indoor golf studio boasting TrackMan technology and the Titleist Performance Institute Plan that measures and refines individual conditioning plans.
The school will continue to develop its facilities, including the introduction of an artificial short-game area, which will help realise its ambition to be the best co-educational school for golf in the UK.
Trevor Mason, chair of Suffolk Junior Golf, said: “Culford School has an excellent reputation in developing junior golfers and I am delighted that they will be offering their support to the children who represent the county in all age groups.
“Suffolk is a small county in terms of the number of clubs we have and the resources available to us, so the assistance we will receive is very welcome and will help us to build on the work that has been done in recent years to produce junior golfers able to compete at a high level.”
Thetford Golf Club’s captains for 2018 drove in to office on New Year’s Day in front of an enthusiastic group of supporters.
Club captain Bob Pearson, ladies’ captain Margaret Hayward and seniors’ captain John Drinkhill all began their year in office with successful drives.
Earlier in the day the traditional opening competition of the year, the Captain’s Mashie, was won by Ian Ramsay.
Ian, playing off nine, came in with 23pts over 13 holes using only one club.
Jason Huggins (5hcp), Dave Bennett (14hcp) and Glenn Beardsall (15hcp) were the next best with 21pts each.
The last event of 2017 was the Final Fling, a shotgun start for teams of four with two scores counting at each hole.
The winning score was 85pts from John Barton, Andy Beard, Dave Bennett and Dave Sutton.
The second prize went to Peter Croker, Mike Horley, Paul Pearce and John Ward with 83 and Matt Harben, Dean Scott, Ian Farnham and Kevin Cooke were third with 79.
Thetford general manager Malcolm Grubb reported that the club’s teaching professional, Stuart Smith, has been accredited as an Advanced Professional of the PGA.
The Suffolk GC
Two five handicap members battled it out for top spot in The Suffolk Golf Club’s last qualifier of 2017.
Chris Tate teed off on the 18th two shots down on Gary Last but proceeded to score an eagle on the hole, to Last’s par, to level the scores at 77-5=72.
It was a spectacular finish by Tate but not quite enough as Last won the day on countback.
Billy Hawkins (12hcp) and James Laflin (12hcp) also returned scores of nett 72 but they too missed out on countback finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.
The third round of the club’s Winter League was held last Sunday.
Playing a greensomes format, the experienced pairing of Dave King & Ron Hazell led the way with 36 points and are now in third place overall with 107pts.
Countback separated the next three places with Lee Reynolds & Luke Hayden taking 2nd place.
Michael Callinan & Brian Wiltorn came 3rd and Billy & Danny Hawkins 4th. All three pairs had 35 points.
The father and son Hawkins pairing now have 111 points overall to lead at the half way stage, three ahead of Perry Garrod & Alf Sandford in 2nd place (they finished 5th on the day).
There are three rounds to go with the best four out of six deciding the overall placings.
The Suffolk’s seniors’ captain Mike Downs battled through after the atrocious weather conditions to win the section’s first qualifier of 2018.
Not surprisingly there was a depleted turnout especially as the format was a medal, and none of those taking part beat their handicaps.
Played off the white tees, the standard scratch came out at 74 with Downs winning on countback from Brian Clarke. Both players returned nett 77.
Kevin Dutton finished third with nett 79.