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Suffolk county golf competitions get under way



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April is traditionally the starting point for Suffolk Golf Union county competitions and there are several results to report that took place during the month.

Firstly, the prestigious Suffolk Amateur Foursomes Championship was held at Haverhill on April 17 with 76 golfers (38 pairs) taking part this year and all of our local clubs represented.

The Bury St Edmunds Golf Club pairing of Ben Coleman and Dan Smailes did superbly to finish as runners-up (gross) with a two-round total of 146 (winning the Watts Salvers), only one point shy of winners Reuben Harvey (Southwold GC) and Sid Neenan (Aldeburgh GC). Coleman and Smailes also recorded the best afternoon score of 72.

Dan Smailes and Ben Coleman with Suffolk County president Martin Youngs. Picture: Suffolk Golf Union
Dan Smailes and Ben Coleman with Suffolk County president Martin Youngs. Picture: Suffolk Golf Union

Smailes has also been selected for the Suffolk county second team along with fellow Bury member Russell Oakey for the first county match against Norfolk at Diss GC on Sunday.

On the same day the Suffolk first team are up against Norfolk at Bawburgh GC with a team that includes two Bury members (Teddy Hall and Max Weaver), plus Flempton’s Alfie Halil.

The popular Suffolk county team knock-out Hambro and Tolly competition first rounds were held on April 24, followed by the Stenson on April 30.

Stowmarket Golf Club's charity presentation. Picture: Carolyn Tanner
Stowmarket Golf Club's charity presentation. Picture: Carolyn Tanner

The Hambro is for single figure handicap golfers, the Tolly for 10-18 handicappers and the Stenson is played off scratch.

In the Hambro, last year’s winners Diss GC had an impressive start, beating Haverhill away from home by 10 and they will now visit Fynn Valley in round two.

The Suffolk GC lost at Southwold by 19 and Flempton, Stowmarket and Bury (champions in 2016 and 2017) all had byes into the second round.

In the Tolly, Bury were knocked out by Aldeburgh at their seaside course and Flempton had an impressive home win against Hintlesham. Flempton will visit The Suffolk, who had a first-round bye, in round two in what will be an intriguing local derby. Flempton famously has more than 80 bunkers on their course and The Suffolk have none. But The Suffolk does have water hazards to navigate on every hole instead!

Stowmarket beat Brett Vale by 19 in round one and will visit Fynn Valley (Tolly champions in 2021) in the next round. These will be contested on Sunday, May 22.

In the Stenson Shield, Bury St Edmunds GC – champions in 2018 – lost at Aldeburgh by 8-4 and Flempton also failed to progress, losing by the same score at Woodbridge.

Stowmarket took full advantage of their home draw in round one, beating Southwold 10.5-1.5 and will host Rushmere in round two.

The Suffolk had a first-round bye and will visit Fynn Valley in the second round.

Last year’s champions – Felixstowe – also had a bye in round one but will travel to Hintlesham in the next round. The round two matches will be held on Saturday, June 11.

Stowmarket Golf Club

Carolyn Tanner sent me a report from Stowmarket, in which she said: “After two years of fundraising, interrupted by many covid lockdowns, the captains of Stowmarket Golf Club were delighted to finally be able to present a cheque to representatives of their chosen charity – Guide Dogs.

“The members had very generously made donations totalling £10,000.

“The cheque was presented to the local Guide Dogs Association on April 20 (see above left picture)

“Mike Topper (Seniors captain 2020-22) was also part of the fundraising team but was unavailable for the presentation.”

The Suffolk Golf Club

There was a good turnout for The Suffolk Golf Club’s own version of the Masters.

The format was Stableford with the winner, Ivan Snelling, scoring 38 points from his handicap of 12.

Seven handicapper Danny Hawkins came second with 37 and Rhys Nightingale (1 handicap) carded 36 points in third spot.