Home   Bury St Edmunds   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Simon Byford’s golf column: Bury St Edmunds and Thetford teams prepare for county cup campaigns





The game was a return leg following a first match held at the Bury St Edmunds course on March 9. It featured many of the best players at each club and was a good competitive test for both teams.

The clubs will play in their respective blue riband competitions this season, Thetford in the Norfolk County Myhill Trophy and Bury in the Suffolk County Stenson Shield.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's Hambro team, who also play in the Stenson Shield Picture: Simon Byford
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's Hambro team, who also play in the Stenson Shield Picture: Simon Byford

Team Captains Kevin Cooke (Thetford) and Dan Smailes (Bury) were keen to use the opportunity to assess form and experiment with team combinations ahead of the starting gun.

Both teams commented how good the Thetford course was, with dry fairways and tremendous putting surfaces for the time or year.

Cooke said: “The difference our new course manager, Matt Perks, and his team are making was evident. Both teams appreciated how well the course played, providing a good test for all.

Thetford Golf Club's Norfolk County Myhill Trophy team Picture: Peter Allott
Thetford Golf Club's Norfolk County Myhill Trophy team Picture: Peter Allott

“It’s one reason why we are seeing so many new members coming to Thetford to benefit from these playing conditions.”

The match result was a 15-up win for Thetford in a competitive contest.

Bury start the 2024 campaign with a match away at Diss on May 4 while Thetford are hoping to continue their recent run of success, winning the trophy in 2022 and losing in the semi-final in 2023. Their first match is away to Hunstanton on May 5.

The Bury St Edmunds Hambro team continued their weekend of matches by travelling to Swaffham the following day.

Again, the team commented on the quality of the course and were 4-3 winners on the day.

Good luck to both the squads for their upcoming matches.

Bury St Edmunds GC

The Bury St Edmunds Ladies held a Stableford in very tough conditions, which was reflected in the scoring.

Vanessa Couch topped the leaderboard with 30 points, Kim Walton was second on 28, by virtue of The Count, ahead of Caroline Emmett in third.

In The Mixed Stableford it was Stephen Lankester who was thankful to The Count as his 38 points was deemed greater than William Kirkham’s. Steve Finch finished third one shot back on 37 points.

There was also a Men’s Midweek Stableford that certainly produced the best round of the week. Russell Oakey’s 38 points may not seem a huge total, but when you find out he plays from a +1 handicap you realise he shot a gross 69. This will certainly set him up well for the gross and low handicap competitions to come.

Second in Division 1 was Kevin Froud on 36 points, again by virtue of The Count, from Ed Tonnar on the same score.

There was also a pre-curser in Division 2 as Shaun Frost-Pakmer scored a fantastic 41 points to win, leaving Dan Henning in second on 39 and Andrew McKee in third on 36.

That left one final tournament of the week, The O’Meara Trophy. Played for by male members over 55 years of age, this is obviously a large percentage of the playing membership at Bury.

Some 110 players took part, and once again it was Shaun Frost-Palmer whose name will be appearing on the honours board.

Despite a little handicap cut from the round earlier in the week, he still outscored his midweek total, this time returning 42 points.

One shot back was the ever-competitive Steve Beahan with 41 points. Third place was shared by three players, but after The Count had done his bidding, Andrew Thurlbourn was adjudged ahead of Bob Stevens and Mike Verhelst in turn.

The Suffolk GC

The Suffolk Senior Men held round two of The Dudley Potter Trophy. A multi-round competition, still in its early stages.

Once again that name, Haslett Schofield, sat atop the leaderboard after returning a great 38 points. Second was Roger McGann with 35 and Andrew Rudd third, with the help of The Count ahead of Peter Fairweather, on 34 points.

Dave King topped the chart of ‘long term Suffolk Members’ in the March Midweek Stableford. His 34 points beat John Dale on 31 and James ‘Chips’ Laflin on 30.

There was also time for a Seniors Stableford. Rob Kennedy emerged victorious on 39 points with Douglas Coe second on 37 and Eric Gray third on 34.

Stowmarket GC

The Stowmarket members continued their early season competitions with Stableford events for the Midweek, Saturday and Sunday players.

Always set across two divisions, it gives all handicap brackets the best opportunity to be in the prizes.

In the Midweek event, Division 1 was won by Martin Wilson with 35 points. Dave Smith was second on 34 points, once again utilising the calculations of The Count, ahead of Ray Nicholls.

Division 2 saw Daniel White atop the leaderboard after he scored 32 points. Again The Count was needed to determine second place, with Mark Wincer’s 30 points deemed superior to Allen Mayhew’s.

Onto the weekend Stableford events and on Saturday it was Mark Jones who outscored the field to win Division 1 with his 38 points.

The Count, who this week was glad he is on performance-related pay, popped in to decide that Matt King’s 37 points beat Colin Leathers’.

In Division 2 Nobby Clark was top with 37 points, Tony Gibbs second on 35 and Martin King third on 34.

The Sunday competition finally saw a break for The Count, with all the positions separated by actual scoring, not back nine performance.

Mark Turnbull was victorious in Division 1, after scoring a very credible 40 points. Second was Steve Ribbon on 36 and Eddie Butel third on 35.

Max Skinner won Division 2 with 39 points, ahead of Paul Deeves on 36 and Adrian Baker on 35.

This time next week we will be looking forward to The Masters, and the official start of the golfing season, until then have a great golfing week.