Suffolk Golf Cup clashes offer interesting ties for the year ahead. Full draws here
The Hambro Cup, which has been going strong since 1931, is the Suffolk Golf Union inter-club knock-out for players with handicaps of nine or better, writes Tony Garnett.
Holders Bury St Edmunds, who also won in 2016, are drawn at home to near-neighbours Flempton in the first round on April 29. The winners are then at home to Seckford in the second round on June 17.
The first round has thrown up some potentially interesting clashes. Aldeburgh are at home to Rookery Park, while Stowmarket entertain Diss.
The balance of the Hambro Cup was ideal until full handicap difference was introduced a few years ago. Since then some team captains have included players with handicaps of eight or nine for tactical reasons to avoid having to concede so many shots.
Whether or not SGU approve of full handicap difference they cannot ignore the decisions of England Golf.
The silver Hambro Cup is a magnificent trophy. It is too valuable and costly to insure to be displayed in the club house of the winners.
First round (April 29): Felixstowe Ferry v Newton Green, Gorleston v Southwold, Ufford Park v Haverhill, Aldeburgh v Rookery Park, Bury St Edmunds (holders) v Flempton, Stowmarket v Diss.
Second round: (June 17): 1, Thorpeness v Bungay; 2, The Suffolk v Ipswich; 3, Stowmarket or Diss v Hintlesham; 4, Felixstowe Ferry or Newton Green v Woodbrdge; 5, Aldeburgh or Rookery Park v Ufford Park or Haverhill; 6, Bury St Edmunds or Flempton v Seckford; 7, Fynn Valley v Rushmere; 8, Brett Vale or Halesworth v Gorleston or Southwold.
Quarter-finals: (July 15): 7 v 6, 8 v 1, 3 v 4, 5 v 2.
Semi-finals: (August 26): 2 v 4, 1 v 3 (neutral venues).
Final: September 9: At Bury St Edmunds unless they are involved.
Tolly Cobbold Cup
The Tolly Cobbold Cup, for players with handicaps between 10 and 18, has been going since 1969.
Holders Ufford Park start their defence with a short trip to Seckford in the first round on April 29. Ufford beat Bury St Edmunds in the final at Rookery Park having been handed a walkover against Ipswich in the semi-final after the Purdis Heath team had won the match but were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player. Ufford Park also won in 2014.
SGU make regular random checks on players taking part in their events.
West Suffolk have the longest possible trip from Mildenhall to Gorleston.
St Audrys, who had their best-ever results with victories at home to Gorleston and then Fynn Valley, face a tricky away tie at Bungay.
In last year’s final Ufford Park beat Bury St Edmunds at Rookery Park by nine holes. The match, which followed the Hambro final, finished in fading light so that the presentation took place in the club house. Ufford fought back from a three-hole lunch time deficit.
First round (April 29): 4, Seckford v Ufford Park; 5, Felixstowe Ferry v Flempton; 6, Southwold v Beccles; 7: Bungay v St Audrys; 8, Woodbridge v St Clements; 9, Stowmarket v Brett Vale; 10, Thorpeness v Ipswich; 11, Diss v Hintlesham; 12, Fynn Valley v Halesworth; 13, Rookery Park v Newton Green; 14, Haverhill v Bramford; 15, Bury St Edmunds v Aldeburgh Artisans; 16, Gorleston v West Suffolk.
Second round (June 17): (1) 5 v 9, (2) 6 v 8, (3) 7 v Rushmere, (4) 12 v 15, (5) 13 v The Suffolk, (6) 14 v 16, (7) 10 v Aldeburgh, (8) 4 v 11.
Quarter-finals (July 15): (1) 6 v 2; (2) 4 v 5; (3) 7 v 8; (4) 3 v 1.
Semi-finals: (August 26): 1 v 4, 2 v 3 (neutral venues).
Final (September 9): At Ufford Park unless they are involved.
The Parks Trophy, donated by the late Maurice Parks who was Suffolk Golf Union president in 2002 and 2003 is an inter-club knock out for senior players with handicaps of 12 or better.
Players must be 55 years old on the day of a match and two members of teams must be aged 65 or over.
Holders Ipswich beat Woodbridge by two holes in last year’s final at Diss. The semi-finals were also cliff-hangers. Woodbridge beat Felixstowe Ferry by one hole at Rushmere. Ipswich beat Bury St Edmunds by two holes at Newton Green.
First round: (to be played week starting May 21): Stowmarket v Halesworth; Brett Vale v Felixstowe Ferry; Fynn Valley v Diss; Bury St Edmunds v Bungay; Haverhill v Ufford Park.
Second round: (week starting June 25): (1) Gorleston v Hintlesham. (2) Southwold v Ipswich. (3) Woodbridge v Newton Green. (4) Rushmere v Brett Vale or Felixstowe Ferry. (5) Haverhill or Ufford Park v Flempton. (6) Fynn Valley or Diss v Stowmarket or Halesworth. (7): Bury St Edmunds or Bungay v Seckford. (8): Thorpeness v Rookery Park.
Quarter-finals (week starting July 23): 8 v 1, 2 v 3, 4 v5, 7 v 6.
Semi-finals (week starting August 29): 4 v 1, 2 v 3 (neutral venues).
Final: (September 26) at Ipswich unless they are involved.
The Beaumont Trophy, one of the best-supported SGU events, is inter-club match play for senior players with handicaps between 13 and 20 with rules the same as for the Parks.
Cretingham, whose new owners have kept the club alive, have entered. They have done well in the last two years. In 2016 they lost by four holes in the final against Stowmarket. Last year they went down by 13 holes to eventual winners Bury St Edmunds in the semi-final. Bury went on to beat Brett Vale in the final. They meet again in this year’s first round.
Cretingham face a trip to Flempton.
Since 2010 holders Bury St Edmunds have won twice as have Stowmarket. Brett Vale, Ipswich, Seckford and Ufford Park have all won once.
First round (to be played week starting May 14): (5) St Audrys v Rookery Park. (6) Felixstowe Ferry v Gorleston. (7) The Suffolk v Halesworth. (8) Newton Green v Rushmere. (9) West Suffolk v Woodbridge. (10) Bury St Edmunds v Brett Vale. (11) Stowmarket v Southwold. (12) Ufford Park v Diss. (13) Thorpeness v Beccles. (14) Flempton v Cretingham. (15): Bungay v Bramford. (16): St Clements v Seckford.
Second round: (week starting June 11): (1) 16 v 15, (2) 9 v Ipswich, (3) 5 v Hintlesham, (4) 8 v 11. (5) 10 v 12, (6) Haverhill v 14. (7) 6 v 13. (8) Fynn Valley v 7.
Quarter-finals: (week starting July 16): (1) 6 v 3, (2) 8 v 4. (3) 5 v 1. (4) 2 v 7.
Semi-finals (week starting August 22): 3 v 4, 1 v 2 on neutral venues.
Final (September 19). At Bury St Edmunds unless they are involved.
The Suffolk Junior Team Championship, which has been dominated by Newton Green in recent times, has seven first round ties to be completed by April 6.
Newton Green entertain Flempton, dark horses perhaps now with the emergence of the Culford Academy and the influence of coach Lawrence Dodd. Ufford Park, the only team with a bye, await the winners of Bungay and Halesworth.
First round: 2 Thorpeness v Rookery Park, 3 Diss v Gorleston, 4 Ipswich v Fynn Valley, 5 Southwold v Bury St Edmunds, 6 Bungay v Halesworth, 7 Newton Green v Flempton, 8 Haverhill v Felixstowe Ferry.
Second round (by May 7): 3 v 5, 2 v 4, Ufford Park v 6, 7 v 8.
Semi-finals (by June 4): 1 v 2, 4 v 3.