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Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Traditional winter pairs under way

As Autumn temperatures start to drop, it is time for local golf clubs and associations to embark on their traditional winter pairs competitions.

The Suffolk Winter Alliance (latest report below) started their 2019/20 series of events at various courses around Suffolk in October and, last Sunday, The Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds Golf Clubs held the first round of their Winter League (Greensomes) and Winter Goblets (Foursomes) respectively.

Points scoring is generally higher in Greensomes as both golfers tee off and then select the best tee shot to play alternatively from.

Winter League underway at the Suffolk GC on Sunday - photo Chris Boughton (21615061)
Winter League underway at the Suffolk GC on Sunday - photo Chris Boughton (21615061)

In Foursomes its alternate shots from just the one ball throughout.

In the Suffolk’s round 1 Winter League match on Sunday, Andrea and Mick Leigh finished in pole position with an impressive score of 44 points followed closely by Danny Hawkins & Lewis Gammon on 43.

At Bury the winners of the first Goblets event were G Knott & C MacDonald with 39 points.

M Brooks & C Debenham were runners-up with 38 on count-back from S Bridges & R Green.

Suffolk Winter Alliance

The long term forecast predicted rain, but it turned out to be a really nice day for the latest Suffolk Winter Alliance meeting, at Stowmarket Golf Club.

Alliance Secretary Doug Renyard reported: “The 68 golfers taking part enjoyed quite a lot of sunshine on a course with fine greens, the only problem was the occasional areas where leaves had fallen, but it is that time of year.”

The Professional’s prize was won by Sam Forgan with a fine round of 63 (six under par).

The Four Ball Better Ball Stableford competition winners were the Seckford pairing of Carl Adams & Gavin Evans with 43 points.

Sam & Ben Forgan (Stowmarket) were runners-up on count-back from Martin Mansfield & Kim Ward (Haverhill).

Both pairs scored 42 points. The next Alliance meeting is at Southwold.

The Suffolk Golf Club

On Monday in the Suffolk GC’s Seniors’ section latest Medal, Philip Braun carded a nett 67 to come out on top.

In second and third places there were nett 68s for Richard Grove & Norman Hartley followed by Peter Sharpe in 4th place with nett 69.

Ivan Snelling won the latest Midweek Stableford Qualifier, on a cold autumn day at The Suffolk last Wednesday with 37 points from his 9-handicap.

After a run of Stableford competitions at the club with impressively high points scoring, Peter Plumb (19hcp) only needed 36 points to secure second place.

Alf Jackson came third on count-back also with 36.

After three rounds of the latest order of merit series, Snelling leads the league table with 15 points followed by Dave King on 12.

Suffolk Schools Championships

Forty-two young golfers (33 boys & 9 girls) took part in the Suffolk Schools’ Golf Association (SSGA) Championships held recently at Woodbridge GC where they produced some fine scores.

The best came from Nellie Ong (Culford School) who returned a gross 77 nett 70 which won her both the Scratch and U16 Trophies.

Taylor Crisp (Suffolk New College hcp 1) won the Boys’ Scratch competition with a one over par gross score of 71.

The Boys’ U16 Champion was Josh Izod (Culford hcp 5) with a gross 74.

Culford also had success in the boys’ and girls’ Stableford competitions with Georgia Parker (36pts) and Tyler Weaver (35pts) winning their categories.

There was a total of 10 twos on the par threes together with two eagles (one each on a par 4 and 5).

Adrian Pitts, Secretary of Suffolk Schools Golf Association said: “The young golfers are to be congratulated for their scores despite the steady rain and wind for much of the day.

“As always at Woodbridge, finding the fairways was very important. Thanks go to Woodbridge GC for hosting the event and Ransomes/Jacobsen for their continued sponsorship of SSGA.”

More on the Results page.

Thetford Golf Club

The first of the Winter Medals at Thetford was played on Sunday and Ian Ramsay was a clear winner in Division One with an excellent round of 74-6-68.

He returned 14 pars with a birdie at the 9th, which is Stroke Index 1.

A bogey at the 18th left him two over par gross, having also dropped a shot at the 2nd and the 7th.

Andrew Horsburgh was second with 70 while Robert Setchell took third place with 72.

The Division Two winner was Pat Gould with 84-13-71 to finish one point ahead of Wayne Prigg, Paul Parsons and Robert Kingsley on 72pts.

On Monday, the Senior section held a Texas Scramble followed by their annual meeting.

Jim Neal was elected as Seniors’ Captain for 2020 with Mike McBride his vice-captain.

Andy Bloom, Bob Pearson, John Drinkhill & Bernard Vassallo won the Texas Scrabble competition with a score of 63.9.

Derek Barton, Ron McMullin, John Carpenter & Frank Knight were runners-up with 64.9.

On Tuesday at Thetford, the ladies held their Halloween Gruesomes – a difficult competition in which the opponents choose which drive should be used.

This means a perfect drive in the middle of the fairway may have to be picked up in order to play their partner’s ball from deep in the rough!

Kath Malvern & Sue Saunders were the winners with 34pts, followed by Janice Fossey & Margy Lingham on 29 points

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