Garnett on Golf: Suffolk Ladies win friendly with Ipswich Men, Neil Ellice retires

Suffolk Ladies, from left: Anne Gallagher, Lils James, Lottie Whyman, Amanda Norman, Alice Barlow, S

Suffolk Ladies, from left: Anne Gallagher, Lils James, Lottie Whyman, Amanda Norman, Alice Barlow, Sam Annis, Sharon Luckman and county captain Vanessa Bell. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Ladies, the reigning East champions, won a warm-up friendly with Sunningdale scoring against Ipswich Men at Purdis Heath.

Neill Ellice has retired after 18 years at Ipswich Golf Club. Picture: MOIRA ELLICE

Neill Ellice has retired after 18 years at Ipswich Golf Club. Picture: MOIRA ELLICE - Credit: Archant

Alice Barlow and Lottie Whyman lost the first two holes to birdies against Mark Lewis and Ian Brown. The ladies made a great come-back to win on the last.

Amanda Norman and Lils James had one eagle and three birdies to keep their game at all Square.

Vanessa Bell and Sharon Luckman eagled the 18th to put them two up.

Kevin Lovelock, county coach, holed a bunker shot from the greenside bunker on the 18th to pick up a point for the men against Sam Annis and Anne Gallagher.

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Annis, a member at Stowmarket, joined the Suffolk squad for training after Suffolk Ladies’ invited new players to become involved. She had previously played for Cambs and Hunts.

The squad will train at Woodbridge Golf Club on April 15. This is the venue for East county week.

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Suffolk Ladies’ names first:

Alice Barlow and Lottie Whyman beat Mark Lewis and Ian Brown one up.

Amanda Norman and Lils James halved with Sam Byford and Dan Hedges.

Vanessa Bell and Sharon Luckman beat Graham Napier and Andy Shepherd two up.

Sam Annis and Anne Gallagher lost to Mike Penman and Kevin Lovelock one down.

- Ipswich Golf Club general manager Neill Ellice has retired from his position after 18 years at the club.

The 67-year-old’s timing is perfect as his last major project is now completed following a full bunker refurbishment of the Purdis Heath course which is ranked among the top 100 in England.

Having embarked on the renovations in 2014, the multi-phase project to restore the course’s famed bunkers to their original state was signed off just in time for Ellice to close his office door for the final time.

“It has been a wonderful 18 years in the hot seat. It was an emotional day when I finally left the office for the last time,” said Ellice, who joined the club initially as club secretary having taken early retirement from Barclays Bank after 31 years of service.

Ellice’s retirement has prompted a management restructure which will see Kevin Lovelock, the club’s PGA professional for the last decade, become the club’s first Director of Golf. The administration and financial tasks will be taken care of by a yet to be appointed finance and administration manager.

Mark Jillings, assistant professional Ian Scott and Jasper Johnson are likely to be seen in the pro shop.

There has been a buzz of activity with the greenkeeping staff working on a plan involving extensive tree management.

Ellice said: “The tree management is being completed under the supervision of Natural England through its environmental stewardship scheme, aimed at restoration of lowland heath, fen and reedbeds. In addition to the environmental enhancements to the site, away from the playing areas, the benefits to the golf course from this work has seen the club rise to number 49 in the National Club Golfer rankings of England’s top 100 courses.”

The club is also repairing paths around the course which will be completed by early next month.

- Framlingham College will represent Suffolk Schools in the national championship at Woodhall Spa on July 11.

Net scores of any two from a team of three counted. Framlingham entered two teams Their second team won the main prize.

George Jackson (89-22-70) and Theo Wild (91-17-74) scored 70 Stableford points. Their third team member was 16-handicap Fraser Johnson. It was the first time that the College had taken part in this annual event.

Runners-up with 69 points were St Felix (Southwold) whose Ben Newman (78-6-72), 17-handicap Jessica Buck and 26-handicap Reuben Harvey made up the team.

Third place went to Ipswich School represented by Angus Edmond (89-10-79), Jake Davey (91-22-69) and 22-handicap Andrew Whitehead.

Culford Academy’s second team was fourth. Thomas Mills was fifth. Sixth place was shared by the first teams of Culford Academy and Framlingham College.

The boys’ best gross score came from one-handicap George Fricker of Farlingaye School (74-1-75). Luke Tyler (Felixstowe Academy) was runner-up with76-2-74.

Other leading boys’ scores included: Max Weaver (Culford) 79-5-74, Reegan Marshall (Northgate) 79-6-73, Archie Winter (Framlingham College) 80-4-76, Harry Fricker (Kesgrave HS) 81-plus one-82, Will Garland (Northgate) 83-9-74, Luke Green (Culford) 84-9-75, George Austin (Thomas Mills (84-11-73) who won the boys’ Stableford prize with 39 points, Taylor Crisp (Farlingaye) 86-5-81, Ben Hembling (Copleston) 87-9-78,

There were many no-returns with players finding that wintry weather had left them short of practice.

The girl with the best gross score was ten-handicap Georgia Parker of Culford with a round of 86. Other girls’ scores were Natasha Gregory (Northgate) 99-24-75 and Mary Cuthbert (Thomas Mills) 105-13-92. Cleo Parfett (Finborough) had the best girls’ Stableford score with 32 points. Lily Waters (County Upper) had 30.

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