Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Thetford sees double in aced holes
Former assistant pro Josh Chamberlain celebrated his return to the amateur ranks, in Thetford’s midweek Stableford competition with a hole-in-one.
Josh, who is 21, holed his tee shot at the 16th with a nine iron. He then played another nine iron onto the green of the par-five 17th and holed the putt for an eagle. His run of odd scores concluded with a bogey five at the 18th!
Graham Kemp won the competition with 37pts off his handicap of 12, beating three-handicap Owen Mills, the current pro shop assistant,and 12-handicap Toby Edwards on countback.
For the second time in three years Phil Beer and Sharon Caws won the Carter Rose Bowls collecting 38pts in the mixed greensomes to finish two clear of Robert Faulkner and Sheila Spreadborough.
Other scores: 32 Roger & Vicki Smith, 31 Maurice Anderson & Sheena Setchell, 30 Margaret Hayward & Dave Smith.
Thetford’s mixed team lost 4-2 at Feltwell with Maurice Anderson & Sheena Setchell, with David Newstead & Gill Welham the winners for the visitors.
Thetford ladies’ second team lost 6-1 away to Wensum Valley in Division Six of the NLCGA League. Vera Squirrell was the visitors’ only winner.
Thetford hosted the prestigious English Schools Golf Association (ESGA) Under-15 Championship recently in the highly-organised manner the club is renowned for. Malcolm Grubb, Thetford GC manager, proudly reported: “We had a fabulous day at the club yesterday including a number of notable events – a course record, a hole-in-one and two national champions crowned.; can’t be bad.”
Rachel Gourley celebrated her 13th birthday in style when she broke the ladies’ course record during the championships. Her afternoon round was a five-under-par 69, including five birdies plus eagles at the 7th and 18th, to break the previous record of 73 set by Jodi Ewart in July 2004.
Jodi (now Ewart-Shadoff) is a successful professional on the LPGA tour in America. But Rachel, a member of Arcot Hall Golf Club in Northumberland, was not crowned national champion as her morning round was a disappointing 81.
Evie Cooke from Yorkshire won the title with 74-73-147 while Lottie Woad (Surrey) was runner-up with 74-74-148. Rachel was third with 150.
Norfolk’s Eve Neild (Thorpe St Andrew HS) won the morning handicap prize with 74-7-67 and ended on 159 while Chloe Gibbs (Broadland School) ended on 162.
Another highlight was a hole-in-one by Katie Symonds (Staffordshire) at the third. The boys’ champion was Sam West (Hampshire) with 75-69-144, one better than Jacob Tidswell (Dorset) 73-72-145 with Jack Whaley (Yorkshire) third with 148.
The Suffolk GC
After two rounds of the latest midweek order of merit, Ivan Snelling leads the league table with 16 points, but with still a long way to go (13 rounds in all).
In last Wednesday’s midweek medal Snelling scored an impressive nett 67 off his 12 handicap (now 11) for top spot followed by Dave King with 88-19=69. Ron Hazell was 3rd with nett 72 and lies 3rd in the league. John Dale is in second place on 13 points.
Last weekend The Suffolk held two new open pairs competitions, two for an adult playing alongside a junior, over 9 holes of Better Ball golf.
The Suffolk Shield, for juniors with an official handicap, was won by Craig Thomas and Emilie Thomas with a respectable 23 points. The Suffolk Salver, for juniors with no handicap, went to Jez and Sam Thomas with an impressive return of 27 points. Runners-up were Will Holton and Peter Thomas on 25 followed by Steve Crook and Joseph Carroll on 23.
Steve Hall, director of golf, proudly observed: “All the Children in the Salver have come through our schools’ programme. After the competition everyone enjoyed brunch and the kids played pool in the new clubhouse.”
These are the sort of new initiatives and events golf urgently needs to attract juniors back to the game.
A full field of ladies braved the heat to take part in Stow’s Summer Meeting – 18 holes of strokeplay in the morning and 11 of foursomes in the afternoon. Despite the driest summer since 1961, the course held up well.
Richard Dewar, the club president, was invited to present the prize he donated, which this year was won by Pat Partridge for the best nett score of 64 (7 under the competition scratch score).
The other main prizes were won by Liz Laflin for the best gross score of 85 in the handicap range 0-20 and by Gill Goulding for the best nett score of 65 (21-36). The day ended with £213 being raised for EACH from the raffle.
Barry Knight hosted his captain’s weekend where Bill Smith led the way on Saturday with 41 Stableford points. Runner-up was Tas Ormes on countback from Stefan Francis. Both scored 39 points.
On Sunday, P & K Davis scored 41 points to secure the Malcolm Lewis Salver. E & M Anderson and P & J Presland were 2nd and 3rd on 39.