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Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds get their popular golf competition back under way after Covid-19 postponements

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Supporters of the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Golf Day came back with a bang after two years and three postponements due to Covid-19.

As one of the most popular charity golf days in the eastern region, the event raises thousands of pounds for the Theatre Royal, which is a registered charity.

Event organiser Ian Duncan said: “More than 200 people, players and supporters turned out at Thetford Golf Club recently, which was a new venue for the event and the beautiful tree-lined course was in excellent condition with slick greens that challenged the very best.

Theatre Royal Charity Golf Day winners with organiser Ian Duncan and panto favourite Chris Clarkson. Picture: Ian Duncan
Theatre Royal Charity Golf Day winners with organiser Ian Duncan and panto favourite Chris Clarkson. Picture: Ian Duncan

“Despite the testing weather moving from sunny to showery to hail and back to sunny – all the time supported by strong winds – it was a day that provided some remarkable scores. The first group went out at 7.30am and the last team went out at nearly 3pm.”

Teams came from every corner of the region and further afield with celebrities from the Stage Golf Society in Richmond and the Theatre Royal’s own Panto Dame Chris Clarkson regular attendees.

Mad Dogs, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes TV star Philip Glenister made his debut while Jonathan Whaley and the vicar out of Keeping Up Appearances, Jeremy Gittins, have been regulars from the very start of the event back in 2011.

John Dale lines up a shot at The Suffolk Golf Club. Picture: Chris Boughton
John Dale lines up a shot at The Suffolk Golf Club. Picture: Chris Boughton

The golf was preceded by coffee and bacon rolls on arrival and then following 18 holes of golf a sumptuous fish and chips lunch/supper was served up.

Duncan added: “The prize table was a great mixture of tickets for the Theatre, sparkly wine and golf equipment, with beer supplied by Greene King.

“We would also like to thank people who donated prizes for the raffle. The atmosphere in the clubhouse was electric and the feedback on the day plus the new venue was excellent.

“It’s good that we have provisionally booked Thetford again on Thursday, April 20, 2023 – details and entry forms will be available later in the year.”

Team Prizes (best three scores from four on each hole total Stableford points) as follows:

1st 128 points: David Porter, Mark Saunders, Adrian Wicks & Brian Bidwell from Rookery Park

2nd 122 points: Steve Yates, Lee Bettis, Perry Bettis & Ao Wye from Clacton

3rd 121 points: Malcolm Appleyard, David Smith, John Piper & Geoff Honour from Stowmarket & Diss.

Best Front Nine 64 points: Bill Darling, Martin Darling, Tom Darling & Charlie Wilderspin

Best back nine 61 points: Nathan Bird, Melvyn Bird, Malcolm Bird & Nigel Bond

Longest Drive: Men – Sam Renville, Longest Drive: Ladies – Patsy Grimsey, Nearest The Pin (3rd): Dave Springate, Nearest The Pin (16th): Gary Flewitt, Beat The Pro 11th hole: David Porter, Putting Competition – 17 putts: Colin Bean

Suffolk Golf Union

Local golfers appeared in the Suffolk county second team, who faced up to Norfolk seconds at Diss Golf Club last Sunday.

Three of the eight-man Suffolk team (Ben Aves, Dan Smailes & Russell Oakey) are members at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club and all made a contribution to the county’s fine win.

The team had a dream start, winning all four pairs matches in the morning 18 holes and despite going down by 5 to 3 in the afternoon singles, they still held on to win the day by 7 to 5.

The Suffolk Golf Club

The Suffolk GC course always holds up better than most in periods of dry weather and it has certainly performed well in the recent dry spell.

Scores of 40+ Stableford points were needed to win any of the competitions in recent weeks.

The most consistent performer during the last month was John Dale (left), who won the mid-week qualifier on April 27, just pipping Graham Chapman by one shot.

He then followed that up with a 41 point second place on the May 4 mid-week competition, just missing out on top spot to Brian Hay on countback. Dave King came third with 40 points.