County golf AGM told of good year

THE SUFFOLK Golf Union has shared out many of the duties of secretary Ron Kent who is planning to retire next year. These changes were ratified at the annual meeting held at Ufford Park on Friday.

By Tony Garnett

THE SUFFOLK Golf Union has shared out many of the duties of secretary Ron Kent who is planning to retire next year. These changes were ratified at the annual meeting held at Ufford Park on Friday.

President Graham Caughey of Stoke by Nayland said: “Ron has been the mainstay of Suffolk golf for the past 11 years. He has decided he would like to retire so we will have to look for a replacement in the coming year.

“With this in mind we have looked at Ron's activities and have allocated various tasks to members of the executive committee.”

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Geoff Henney of Woodbridge assumes the role of treasurer, another job Mr Kent has undertaken in recent years. Charlie Wilderspin of Rookery Park will be in charge of the inter-club events such as the Hambro Cup, Stenson Shield. Tolly Cobbold Cup and Parks Trophy.

Peter Barfield of Stoke by Nayland will run all the championship events such as the Amateur and the Open while David Barnes of Stowmarket has the task of obtaining courses for competitions and matches as well as organising accommodation for away matches.

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The meeting was told of a successful year in 2006 when Suffolk's county team under Martin Youngs ended as runners-up in the Anglian League and the second team, under Alan Middle, were joint runner-up in their section.

The seniors had some good results under Jon Marks and the progress of the county juniors was exceptional. David Houston, chairman of junior golf for the past 10 years, was awarded the Winstanley Trophy for services to Suffolk golf. He said that he felt this award also belonged to junior committee members, team managers and coaches.

Mike Rees, the county's official referee, and Charlie Wilderspin have both passed EGU refereeing exams which qualify them to officiate at national events. Mr Houston spoke of the successes of players like Jamie Moul, Jamie Abbott, Liam Brace, Rhodri Harston, Hugo Dobson, Michael Swan, Owen Pearl, Patrick Spraggs and Ben Farthing. He said: “We plan to hold a junior conference in the autumn when I hope all club junior organisers will be able to attend.

“We have a junior development fund which helps pay expenses for players with representative honours.

“This fund is running short so an open event is planned at Newton Green later in the year to boost the coffers. I hope this will be well supported.”

George Irvine (Ipswich) is the new junior secretary while another Ipswich member, Colin Firmin, has been elected to the committee.

His former clubs have included Stoke by Nayland, Newmarket, Saffron Walden and Mid Herts.

Mr Houston sounded out the club secretaries and captains present about the possibility of Suffolk joining the Golf Partnership.

This body, which works closely with Sport England, will have representatives from the Suffolk Golf Union, the Suffolk Ladies' Golf Association and the PGA.

The Golf Partnership is already established in Northamptonshire who have secured grants for golf-related projects as a result.

The main objective is to encourage more people to play golf to halt the general decline in club membership.

The President's Day Stableford competition was won by Colin Aldous (Ufford Park) and Jon Marks (Woodbridge) with 41 points.

Runners-up from Rushmere with 40 points were club captain Peter Robinson and secretary-manager Bob Tawell with 40 points.

Other leading scores

39: David Brown and Richard Nicholls (Halesworth).

38: Martin Youngs and Alan Middle, Michael Spencer and Neil Ellice (Ipswich).

37: David Morsley and Charlie Damonsing (Thorpeness), Tony Tyrrell and John Poole (Fynn Valley).

36: George Irvine and Trevor Mason.

35: David Ball and Graham Hurren (St Clements), David Houston and Phil Platten.

34: Vince Walsh and Peter Ayres (Bury St Edmunds), Paul Clegg and Jim Woodhouse (Gorleston).

32: Eric Kiddle and Chris Briggs (Haverhill), Terry Upton and Peter King (St Audrys), Paul Wright and Chris Wellstead (Diss), Richard Cross and Mike Verhelst (Stoke by Nayland).

31: Chris Bushell and David Duffell.

30: R Wilshaw and Peter Obern (Southwold), Adrian Gipson and Colin Harrison (Seckford), David Barnes and Mike Rees, Alan Eriera and Nigel Edwards (Beccles).

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