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Flempton Golf Club is trying to evolve in its 125th year




Two years ago, Flempton Golf Club engaged Mackenzie and Ebert (renowned world-class golf course architects) to initially carry out a historic review of the golf course.

Martin Ebert was then instructed to create a golf course ‘Master Plan’ that would be sympathetic to the original layout of the course which was designed in 1906 by the five-times Open winner, JH Taylor.

Crucially, the Master Plan needed to reflect upon the needs of the modern game, while also focusing on the enjoyment of golf for all its participants, regardless of age, gender and ability.

Flempton Golf Club's clubhousePicture: Chris Boughton (37932208)
Flempton Golf Club's clubhousePicture: Chris Boughton (37932208)

Club chairman Mike Moran said: “The masterplan is a blueprint for the evolution of the golf course and should provide continuity in the medium to long term.”

The implementation got under way in early 2019 and was progressing well until Covid-19.

All UK golf courses were closed for seven weeks and the implementation had to be placed on hold. Also, Ebert was not able to present the plans to the membership as intended, which was a great disappointment to the club.

Course improvements are under way at Flempton GCPicture: Paul Severn (Severn Images) (37932202)
Course improvements are under way at Flempton GCPicture: Paul Severn (Severn Images) (37932202)

However, sufficient improvements were already visible on some areas of the course to justify a positive response from the members.

Course manager Dave Cargill said: “Our members have been amazing and the club is very grateful to those who have helped with the improvements, offering extensive professional services at no cost to the club. Also, a big thank you to members who have contributed in excess £15,000.”

Flempton was already a well presented and attractive course (described quite reasonably on their website as Suffolk’s hidden 9-hole gem), but the club felt it could and should do better still.

It is regarded as one of the best 9-hole courses in Suffolk but the club want to do much more.

Flempton the 9-hole gemPicture: Paul Severn (Severn Images) (37932149)
Flempton the 9-hole gemPicture: Paul Severn (Severn Images) (37932149)

Moran said: “The Master Plan will, whilst attracting prospective and future generations, ensure that the club thrives as a unique members 9-hole golf club, with an aspiration to reach a top 10 ranking for 9-hole golf clubs in Britain & Ireland over the forthcoming years.”

He added: “As well as the on-course improvements the club needs to extend its reach and attract a wider mix of members across all age profiles and player abilities and to acknowledge that the social interaction within the club is as important as the game of golf itself.

“The club must promote a family and inter-generational environment for all to enjoy.”

The club is also looking to appoint a general manager whose duties will include overseeing the implementation of the plan.

Flempton Golf Club, situated next to the Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve, was established in 1895 and, as previously documented in this column, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.

The Suffolk Golf Club

Despite four shots coming off Steve Cable’s handicap in the past month, he has been in the frame in every match he has entered since competitions recommenced at the Suffolk GC in early June.

His latest result was another first place, this time in the Union Bowl with a one-shot win over Dan Kelly. Simon Hodson took third spot on count-back from Martin Levens.

Last Sunday Hodson joined up with Paul Dufosee in the much-delayed Spring Pairs. They have an impressive record in pairs competition and notched up another win, carding a score of 46.

Despite the wind, the scoring was better than expected with the strong pairing of low handicappers Len Hopkinson and Chris Tate in second spot on 45 points.

In another big competition entry, the top 18 pairs all returned 40 points or more. Scoring was also impressive in the club’s midweek Stableford competition last Wednesday with three players returning 40 points.

On countback, George Pedro took first place, James Edgar came second and Val O’neill was third.

PGAlife365

This week locally-based YouTubers Simon Byford and Adam Trett will be reviewing the first of two consecutive weeks of tournaments on the PGA tour at Muirfield Village in Ohio in their weekly golf show PGAlife365.

Simon is going for Brooks Koepka to win as he emerges from quarantine after his caddie tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago.

Adam has picked Korean star Sungjae Im who was rookie of the year for 2018-19 and won the Honda Classic in March this year just before the Virus closed golf down.

He may divide opinion but there is no doubt Bryson DeChambeau knows how to win Golf tournaments.

As the only player to place in the top 10 in all the PGA Tour events since the restart he was certainly trending towards victory.

Simon said: “DeChambeau’s win last week came at the expense of Matthew Wolff, one of the game’s great bright hopes, a player with prestigious length and a style of his own, Wolff will be a name to remember for the future.”

Simon admits to being smug this week as he picked Bryson for victory!

With competitions now under way again at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, Simon is hoping to find time in his busy golf tutoring schedule to enter again as a left-hander (he normally plays golf right handed) as part of his Project Left endeavour.So far, his lefthanded handicap is down to 12.

PGAlife365 broadcasts at 7pm on Wednesday evenings on YouTube.


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