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Simon Byford’s golf column: Think about changing your club’s grips

The start of February always brings hope of the new season. Better weather, the golf course getting into good condition and the prospect of playing some better golf.

Today, we're going to look at one simple way that you can improve your golf without changing your golf swing, plus all your usual round-up of results from around the area.

The grips on your clubs are the only point of contact between you and the golf club.

Simon Byford recommends changing grip at this time of year
Simon Byford recommends changing grip at this time of year

Therefore, it is so important that your grips will support all the forces that you put through the golf club from your body.

Having the correct grip on your club in the best condition that you can will give you the greatest opportunity to achieve this.

The recommendation is that you change your golf grips every 50 to 60 rounds, which generally for most people is once a year, with February and March being a really good time to do this, as it refreshes your golf clubs before the season starts.

Visiting your local professional is a great way to find out if you have the correct grip type, size and standard of grip to help you play your best golf.

During the season it is also important that you clean your grips. So many people overlook this really simple way to freshen up your clubs.

So with a simple soap, hot water and toothbrush, clean your grips regularly and give them a good towel dry to ensure maximum traction and tackiness for as long as possible.

With natural oils, sweat and dirt building up on your grips every time you use and store them, a regular clean really will make a huge difference.

Try cleaning your grips this week and I guarantee you will be amazed how they come up.

The Suffolk GC

The Suffolk members continued their busy competition calendar with a number of events.

First up, was a Midweek Stableford with Chris Tate casting favour with The Count to have his 39 points hold sway against that of Ivan Snelling.

James Laflin ‘chipped’ in to take third place on 34 points.

The Senior men held a Fourball Betterball tournament. It was perennial-podium placer Haslett Schofield who topped the leaderboard with his partner Andrew Rudd as the pair scored a fantastic 45 points.

Michael Downs and Rob Kennedy finished second with 41 points, leaving Howard Lee and Derek Bloomfield in third with 39 points. Some terrific scoring here well done.

There was a Social Stableford played at the weekend, and The Count had to be on hand to determine the winner. Stevie Hargreaves got the nod over Daniel Kaye on 37 points, with Andrew Sandford just pipped on 36 points.

Finally, the seniors held a singles Stableford event. Once again it was Haslett Schofield who was the clear winner on 41 points.

His credit in the Pro Shop must be enormous! Andrew Rudd, Haslett’s partner only days before, had to settle for second place with 38 points and Howard Lee third on 37.

Stowmarket GC

The Stowmarket GC Men held Stableford competitions across the weekend and, as usual, the competitors were split into two divisions based upon their handicap.

On Saturday, it was Ben Martin who returned 38 points to take top spot in Division One, followed by Matt King on 36 and Andy Goodwin with 35.

Division Two saw Nick Boyle card 37 points and The Count decided Ian Hurst-Cotton’s 36 points was superior to the 36 from Andy Sedgwick.

There was no rest for The Count on Sunday, when John Allen and Wayne French both scored 36 points in Division One, but he decided John was the winner, and Daniel Ruegg came third with 35 points.

Division Two had a clear victor in Alan Hull, he scored 37 points, but once again The Count swooped in to determine the lower placings, and it was Michael Appleyard ahead of Goeff Tarburn with both players scoring 35 points.

Bury St Edmunds GC

Shae Baldwin continued his steady rise within the junior golf world in Suffolk.

The 15-year-old has recently made the big jump from junior length to adult length golf clubs, which brings with it many challenges and perils.

But despite that, Shae has had a cracking winter topped off by his victory in the January Stableford.

Shae, having been selected for the Suffolk Under-16 squad for their winter training programme, has seen his game improve, and this showed with his 39 points that he scored last Sunday.

Shae will hope to represent the county at Under-16 level in the upcoming season, continue to get his handicap down and push for places within the men's teams at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club.

Good luck, Shae.

In second place on the day was fellow Suffolk Under-16’s squad member, and Bury St Edmunds Junior captain Johnathan Points with 37. Rafa Richardson was third with 35 points.

Let me know how you get on cleaning your grips, don’t forget to give them a good towel dry, and have a great golfing week.