Simon Byford’s golf column: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club hosts ceremonial Drive-In
The new captains’ ceremonial Drive-In at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club took on a special twist this time around with it marking the official start of the centenary celebrations ahead of 2024.
Men’s captain Paul Glasswell and Ladies’ captain Sandra Reed wore traditional clothing from the 1920s, and were driven to the tee in a beautiful White 1924 Crossley Tourer.
There was music from the era and mulled wine to keep the crowd in good spirits ahead of the competition on a frosty morning.
The pair also used hickory clubs to complete the look, with Paul driving 154 yards and Sandra 84.
The Drive-In Texas Scramble event in itself is possibly the most anticipated competition of the year.
There are 25 teams of five competing in the shotgun start, and this year 45 teams applied, meaning a ballot had to be held.
The scoring was incredibly low, as was expected with teams of five.
First place went to the team of Carl Brinkley, Ross Brinkley, Connor Whitehouse, Jamie Canham and Sylvia Jarvis with a remarkable nett 57.
In second on nett 58.7 was Steve Chadwick, Shaun Talbot, Robbie Burt, Finley Curr and Steve Titcombe.
Third place on nett 58.8 was Martin Byford, Julie Byford, David Foster, Matt Simpson and Sam Holland.
Thetford held their Festive Pairs Open to a field of 60 pairs.
Scoring was high as is often the case in these events, and Count Back was needed to determine all the top placings.
Two pairs scored 42 points, with Lee Byford (Thorpeness) and Dean Newson (Ufford Park) coming out ahead of Tim Sims and Phil Rank (both Bawburgh).
Again The Count was needed to separate the pairings on 41 points, with Terry Hodgson (Feltwell) and Chris Turton (Arkley) claiming third spot.
The Ladies held their AGM, which was well attended. The AGM signals the completion of one captaincy term and the beginning of the new Ladies’ captain.
Vicki Smith has handed over the badge of office to the incoming Ladies’ captain, Janet Dickson. In her acceptance speech Janet announced that her charity for the year would be the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Vicki was presented with a gift voucher from the Ladies’ section as a thank you for her services over the year.
Stowmarket Ladies took part in a Greensomes competition. With both players teeing off, choosing the best drive and playing alternate shots from there, it’s a perfect winter format.
First place went to Yvette Youngs and Sue Yeates with 37 points, but The Count was needed to separate second and third, with two pairs returning 36 points. Dawn Flood and Ann Basey-Fisher emerged victorious from the calculations, with Irene Overman and Val Rogerson settling for third.
There was also a Men’s Midweek Stableford across two Divisions. In Division One The Count was again required to determine the winner, and it was social media star Matt Holbrook (I don’t think his status influenced the result) who came out on top ahead of Kevin Button after both players scored 36 points.
Third was Bill Smith on 35 points. Division Two was a more clear-cut affair, with Steve Brown’s 33 points enough for victory. Peter Kerridge was second with 29 and Neil Bell third on 28.
Bury St Edmunds GC
In the Mixed Mid-Week Stableford it was Garry Clark that prevailed on 37 points, four shots clear of two players who needed The Count’s equation after returning a pair of 33s. It was Colin Aves who emerged in second place, just a hair ahead of Rob Wisker.
The Men also held a standalone Stableford, and Ben Aves continued his good form with a one-over-par 73, good enough for 34 points and the top spot in Division One. Second was Sean Studd and third was Colin Aves. Division Two was won by Mark Graham on 30 points, with Julian Cooksley in second with 29.
On the same day the Ladies’ held their Stableford. In Division One Lynne Wright took first place with 30 points, just ahead of Julie Byford on 28. In Division Two Joan Hogarth was victorious on 28 points, with Sue Brinkley in second on 24.
The Suffolk GC
The Suffolk members remembered Barbara Wells by playing for a trophy named after this remarkable lady. She achieved many accolades in her long life, but one of my fondest memories is seeing her win the Suffolk ladies Division Four title in 2015 at 90-years-old.
A remarkable achievement no doubt, especially as she was over five times the age of some of her fellow competitors that day.
A Texas Scramble was played, with the team of Edward Moore Simon Hodson, Tim Nickerson and John Dale winning on a nett 58. Second place, and only one shot behind, were Rhys Nightingale, Steve Cable, Perry Garrod and Bob Moye on nett 59.
The Senior men had a Stableford which was hotly contested, with four players all within one shot at the top of the scoreboard. The Count stepped in to do his work and decided Richard Graves’ 38 points was first, with Roger McGann also on 38 to be second.
The pair of 37s meant that more calculations were needed, but Haslett Schofield was awarded third and Rob Kennedy fourth.
To round things off at The Suffolk there was a Men’s midweek Stableford. Chris Tate was first on 37 points, Gordan Markham second on 33 and Brian Hay third on 32.
Good luck to the new centenary captain’s at Bury St Edmunds, and the new ladies’ captain at Thetford, and to everyone else have a great golfing week.