Chris Boughton’s golf column: Clubs look to boost social side

Craig Smart, Adam Trett and Steve Hall on the Terrace overlooking the Suffolk Golf Course
Craig Smart, Adam Trett and Steve Hall on the Terrace overlooking the Suffolk Golf Course

The new clubhouse at The Suffolk Golf Club opened late in the 2017 season and plans are in place to create a vibrant clubhouse encouraging the social side for which the club is renowned.

A social team has been set up, led by Chris Tate, with a view to raising member funds for specific projects. So far, the success from a Christmas raffle, casino night and a well-supported Burns Supper, together with donations from all three sections of the club, it has been possible to install a shoe-cleaner.

I met up with social team member Craig Smart at The Suffolk last week to hear what they are planning next, he said: “Next on the agenda is a St Patrick’s Night on March 17, and we have plans for wine tasting, quiz nights and the inaugural Fairwayfest on 
Sunday, July 8.

“Our regular Tuesday afternoon Stableford (end of March to end of August) continues, but a new Friday evening nine-hole roll-up and play followed by a bar supper and entertainment will start in May.

“Non-golfers are welcome for the meal and entertainment and maybe also have a walk round nine holes with their partner before enjoying refreshments on the clubhouse upper terrace.

“The clubhouse has been finished to a very high standard and, with excellent catering facilities, we are assured of a successful social year.”

Ivan Snelling returned to form to win the latest midweek competition with 36 Stableford points. Tony Hurst was runner-up with 34 and has a six-point lead in the Order of Merit table. Lee Reynolds took third spot on countback from John Dale.

Bury GC

New Tolly team captain Paul Glasswell (11hcp) won Division One of the club’s midweek Stableford with 38 points last week. Marcus Price (13hcp) took 2nd place with 36 on countback from Michael Gee (2hcp) who had the lowest gross score of the day.

In Division Two, Adrian Lewis made it two consecutive wins with his 37pts score off his 20 handicap. James Nutt was runner-up with 36.

Barry Hurren scored 39 Stableford points to win Division One of the club’s weekend competition followed by four golfers on 38. In countback order they were Mike Greener, Steven Gee, David Mackie and Michael Gee.

In Division Two David Marshall carded 41 points with Phillip Southgate second and Mark Knight third. Rob Hills’ 36 points was the best score in Division Three with Michael Williams runner-up with 33.

Open Golf Competitions

Entry forms have just been made available for Thetford’s Men’s Spring Open Better-Ball competition to be played on Thursday, April 5. This is the second Open event of the year at Thetford following their Winter Pro-Am in early January which was won by former European Tour Pro Andy 
Marshal.

His score of 69 was one ahead of Stowmarket’s rising Pro star Sam Forgan who was joint runner-up. As is the case for most of Thetford’s well-run Opens the event was a sell-out. Entries for April’s Open must be submitted by March 25.

Thetford have a further seven Opens scheduled for 2018. A Mixed Open on Tuesday, June 19, Greene King Pro-Am on Thursday, June21, Seniors’ Am-Am on Friday, June 22, Ladies’ Open on Thursday, August 16, Senior Captain’s Open on Thursday, September 13, Ladies’ Am-Am on Thursday, October 11 and Men’s Festive Pairs Open on Thursday, November 8.

Entry is also open for The Suffolk’s Major Mayhem Open series. Director of golf Steve Hall announced: “Our unique tournament is back for a fourth year. Four rounds of Stableford competitions coinciding with golf’s Majors with the best two scores to count.”

Entry forms are available from the clubhouse and all four events are open to members and non-members.

Dates: Saturday, April 7 (US Masters), Saturday, June 16 (US Open), Saturday, July 21 (The Open), Sunday, August 12 (USPGA). More information and entry forms from Steve Hall at The Suffolk.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club have announced a new Open competition for 2018: the Bury St Edmunds Open Cup. This will be a mixed Better Ball Stableford competition held on Friday, June 15, with a shotgun start at 1pm.

The club’s popular Seniors’ Open is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, when golfers will compete for the Open Perpetual Cup. The organisers are Graham Judge and Steve Flint. The annual Ladies’ Open at Bury is already sold out.

Stowmarket Golf Club have two Open events scheduled for 2018. The Mixed Open will be held on Friday, July 6, and is an 18-hole Team Progressive Stableford format.

Contact general manager Trevor Golton for more information.

The club also has its popular annual Ladies’ Open on Wednesday, August 1, but this has also sold out. Because of this the club is considering holding two events next year.

All our local clubs also hold annual charity days for the captain’s charity, which are effectively also Open events. Details of these will published here in a couple of weeks’ time.