Simon Byford’s golf column: Autumn leaves throw up interesting question for players
You are playing and your ball comes to rest in an area of rough covered in leaves. In searching for the ball you accidentally kick your ball while sweeping away the leaves. You know that you shouldn’t be penalised for this, but how should you proceed?
Option 1: The ball was accidentally moved while searching, so no penalty, the ball can now be played as it lies.
Option 2: The ball was accidentally moved while searching, so no penalty, the player should drop the ball within a one club length relief area from where it originally lay.
Option 3: The ball was accidentally moved while searching, so no penalty, the player should replace the ball on the estimated spot where it originally lay.
Now back to out regular programming.
Thetford Golf Club held the Annual Prize Giving on Saturday when the winners of the club’s cup competitions over the past year are presented with the winning trophies. Official photographs are also taken of the individual winners with the club captain/ladies’ captain and an engraved glass also presented as a memento for each winner to keep following the prizegiving.
Club captain Jason Huggins and Ladies’ captain Vicki Smith carried out the presentation and the trophy table looked magnificent with all the silverware on display.
A Poppy Day shotgun start Stableford competition was held on Sunday which was extremely well supported and open to all members. The format was teams of four with three scores per hole required. The top three teams all scored 121 points, which meant Count Back was called upon to decide the podium.
The lucky group of Jacky Chiu, John Tapp, Dan Kelly and Gary Robinson bagged first place, with Chris Evans, David Goddard, Terry Pettitt and Bryan Reeve in second and Stephen Forbed, Martin Lash, Neil Elers and Ashbley Forbes taking third spot.
The Suffolk GC
The Suffolk’s Winter League got under way. A greensomes event played over six rounds with the best four scores to count. Getting themselves off to a cracking start was Gavin Hogg & Stephen Haygreen with 43 points from their combined 24 handicap. Danny Hawkins and Lewis Gammon (11) were second with 41. Paul Dufosee and Simon Hodson rounded out the top three with their 41 points.
The Suffolk Seniors held a charity Stableford in aid of Suffolk SSFA, a charity who assist all service personnel and their families. The Stableford needed the assistance of The Count to decide the winner, with two players scoring level handicap 36 points. Rob Kennedy just missed out as Richard Graves had a better back nine score. In third place was Andrew Rudd.
Bury St Edmunds GC
The Bury St Edmunds men held the first round of The Winter Goblets. A foursomes competition, with the best three rounds from four to count, there is one event per month through the winter. The alternate shot format requires a steady partnership who know how to use their handicap allocation well. At Bury this is epitomised no more than by Nick Bonney and Colin Gray, who shot into first place with an incredible 43 points. Is it too early to be suggesting that everyone else is now playing for second? Time will tell.
Hoping to prove me wrong are Alex Duhig and Gareth Douglas who came in second with 39 points in round 1, with Chris Eyre and Jarrod Barton third on 36. There were 27 pairs who scored 34 points or better in round 1, so in reality it is game on should Nick and Colin slip up.
There was also a men’s mid-week Stableford. Graham Judge topped Division 1 with 37 points, with The Count judging that Steve Flint’s 33 points was ahead of Ken Graham on the same score.
Division 2 saw another Graham, Crouch this time, score 37 points to take the victory. Once again The Count came along to decide Denis O’Connell’s 35 points outscored Mark Graham’s 35.
The ladies mid-week Stableford was held on the same day, with similar outcomes. Heather Chandler was victorious in Division 1 with 35 points, Lynne Wright getting the nod from The Count ahead of Clare Sykes with their 33 points.
In Division 2 Kirstene Bailey was top with her 35 points, and three players were initially tied for second on 29 points, but after the calculations Nicky Elstone, Pam Madams and then Kim Walton was the running order.
To round out the week the Senior men held the second round of The Glasswell Cup. Once again this is a ‘best three rounds’ from four competition. Also it was another outing for The Count, who seems to have no sign of hibernation just yet.
On the day it was Harold Block who plastered the opposition with his 38 points adjudicated to be ahead of Peter Mallinson, who furnished second place with his 38. Four players scored 36 points, with Nick Bonney emerging third and Chris Welsh, Richard Mortlock and Graham Staff below.
In the overall standings it is Graham Staff a clean cut above the rest. He has 77 points, with Chris Welsh and Graham Sykes currently second on 71.
That rounds up the golfing endeavours, but what about the rules question?
The answer is option 3. In an effort to ensure speed of play, this rule is as simple as it sounds. If you accidentally move your ball (when not taking a stroke) simply call over your playing partner, agree where the original spot was, place your ball there and carry on.
Hopefully this will help you look confidentially for your and your playing partners’ balls within the three minute window, safe in the knowledge that if you accidentally move the ball there is no penalty and you can get back to playing.
Have a great golfing week.