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Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Simon Byford sees left-hand handicap drop




Bury St Edmunds based PGA Golf Professional Simon Byford has been busy continuing his development both within his own golf game and his coaching.

He is nearly half-way through Project Left, where he has taken up playing golf only left-handed (he is naturally right-handed) for three years.

Now sporting a very respectable 13 handicap, left-handed, he is looking next towards that single figures mark.

Simon Byford playing left-handed at Bury St Edmunds Golf ClubPicture: Chris Boughton (23803353)
Simon Byford playing left-handed at Bury St Edmunds Golf ClubPicture: Chris Boughton (23803353)

Snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan famously plays some of his snooker shots left-handed to avoid using the rest and makes it look easy.

Golfer Phil Mickleson also plays golf left-handed despite being naturally right-handed.

But O’Sullivan and Mickleson are at the top of their respective sports and, for most of us swapping hands and playing golf or snooker well, it is very difficult.

You can follow Simon’s journey by typing Project Left into your browser or heading to PGALife365 on YouTube to see over 500 golf related videos.

Simon runs this highly successful YouTube channel with fellow PGA Pro Adam Trett who is based at the Suffolk Golf Club.

If that challenge wasn’t hard enough (and according to Simon; “it does look very hard in some episodes”) he also runs an active coaching programme from Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, teaching players of all abilities.

And he is heavily involved in Suffolk County Junior Golf, coaching the Boys Under 12 & 14 Squads, and the Junior Girls Development Squad.

On top of all that he has recently qualified as the only certified Aimpoint Golf instructor in Suffolk, the world’s number one putting-focused brand and is coaching player’s green reading, speed and & technical elements for this vital skill within the game.

For more information or to get in contact with Simon Byford, visit www.simonbyfordgolf.com

Thetford Golf Club

Rob Mill was formally elected as Thetford Club Captain for 2020 at the club’s annual general meeting on December 4.

His vice-captain is Jon Congdon, while Les Deweysucceeds Richard Goodenough as president.

Sue Pitcher was elected as Ladies Captain at the Ladies’ agm on Saturday, November 30 and her place on the board of directors confirmed alongside new treasurer David Buller and board member Andrew Bloom.

The third annual meeting of Thetford Golf Club Ltd, following 104 agms for Thetford Golf Club, proved to be one of the shortest on record and was concluded in a mere 32 minutes.

Thetford Golf Club’s three new captains drove into office on Saturday.

This was a change to the usual routine of holding the Captains’ Drive-In on New Year’s Day.

Club captain Mill, Ladies’ captain Pitcher and Seniors’ captain Jim Neal together faced the daunting prospect of making a drive-in in front of a big crowd – 120 players took part in a club competition in the morning prior to the officialafternoon drives-in.

The Suffolk Golf Club

Martin Levens carded a very respectable 41 points in the latest Midweek Stableford at the Suffolk, one point better than runner-up Russell Green.

Jim Chapman took third spot with 39 points on count-back from James Edgar.

With Order of Merit leader Ivan Snelling only scoring 28 points on the day his lead has been cut from 22 to 14 points by Martin Lever.

Snelling now has 41 points and Levens 27. James Edgar also made ground on Snelling and is now in third place with 25 points.

With six rounds completed the competition is now half-way through and with six qualifiers to go there will no doubt be more changes.

It was bitterly cold when the Seniors section at the Suffolk teed off on Thursday in their latest Stableford competition, although one member, mole catcher Alan Horne, is used to being out in all weathers.

The hardy golfer’s 38 points gave him top spot, but no handicap cut.

Brian Clarke scored 36 in second place and Richard Gove came third with 35.

There was a surprisingly good turnout considering how cold it was when the Seniors teed off.

John Dale was the star performer in the Saturday Qualifier at the Suffolk Golf Club last weekend with a fine score of nett 67 off his 19-handicap.

Jim Chapman pipped Bob Moy for the runner-up spot on count-back. Both scored nett 68.

Despite having a difficult day Christopher Smith still leads the Saturday Order of Merit with 15 points.

It was a wet and windy start for those that teed off early in last weekend’s Sunday Medal at the Club, but the rain did eventually ease, and the sun even made an appearance.

Chris Tate made a dodgy start to his round with double bogeys on the 1st and 3rd holes but he rallied with a birdie on the 5th and ended up winning with nett 71 from his handicap of 5.

Second on count-back was the ever improving, long hitting, Mark Rothon and third placed went to Len Hopkinson.

Mark Stratton and Rhys Nightingale share the Sunday Order of Merit lead with 15 points apiece.


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