Aldeburgh and Ipswich short-listed for environment award
Aldeburgh and Ipswich are among five clubs short-listed for the Golf Environment Award of the year, writes Tony Garnett.
The others are Minchinhampton, Warrington, Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) and St Andrews Links.
There is also an award for the Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year. The four finalists are Mark Broughton (Aldeburgh), Neil Sherman (Ipswich), Phil Stain (Notts Golf Club) and Les Rae (Montrose).
The list was decided after visits from the STRI (formerly Sport Turf Research Institute) ecology consultants Bob Taylor and Rowan Rumball.
Their reports from Suffolk included:-
Aldeburgh: The rain did not stop the beautiful purple of this heather coming through. This has been achieved through continuous removal of nutrients from the soil via cutting and collecting. See how the grass is not dominating the heather but is rather wispy and thin. This will lead to a beautiful area of out of play rough that does not require much maintenance and is fantastic for wildlife throughout the year.
Ipswich: The new polytunnel at Ipswich has been employed to great effect helping spread both Ling and Bell heather, species that are in severe decline in the UK. Different methods of propagation has been attempted with the results being recorded. We are looking forward to learning about the most successful methods which can be used to spread heather even further.
The winners will be announced at the Golf Environment Awards ceremony at the Crown Hotel in Harrogate on January 23.
Patrons and sponsors who support these awards include R & A and Ransomes Jacobsen.
The nine-hole River Course lived up to its name last week when a very high tide saw the River Alde burst its banks and flood the third green and fourth tee!
Aldeburgh is the only Suffolk club featured in Golf World’s top 100 courses in Britain and Ireland.
Norfolk have two, Royal West Norfolk (Brancaster) and Hunstanton.
The top club is The Trump Turnberry (Ailsa) course which has been given a very costly facelift.
MEANWHILE, James Holland and Rob Shurety of Woodbridge Golf Club, who play off five and nine respectively, won the first Felixstowe Ferry Winter Fourball of the year with 43 points.
Three pairs finished with 42. They were Jason Levermore and Miles Hooton, Andrew Robinson and Adam Sheldrake and David Milne and Brett Patmore.
Sam Forgan of Stowmarket was the leading professional with a round of two under par 70. He beat European Tour player Daniel Brooks of Mill Hill into second place by one shot.
Professionals: 70: Sam Forgan (Stowmarket). 71: Daniel Brooks (Mill Hill). 73: Simon Dainty (Lee Westwood School), Jon Robson (Orsett). 74: Jason Levermore (Little Channels), Andrew Robinson (Felixstowe Ferry), 75: Scott Hudson (The Warren). 75: Louis Atkinson.76: Simon Harrison (Gog Magog). 77: Chris Cutchie (Colchester). 79: Mike Moore (Pinner Hill). 81: Andrew Pestell (Chelmsford). 89: Paul Wilby (Haverhill). No return: Cai James (Colchester).
Other leading four ball scores: 41: Cutchie and Andrew Franklin; Forgan and Alex Bligh. 40: Harrison and Kevin Earp. 39: John Blackmore and Keith Newman; J Robson and Harry Robson; Dainty and Simon Kinnane; Brooks and Jason Renton. 38: James and Alan Sharrocks; Atkinson and Charlie Luxford; Stephen McKoy and Andrew Reynolds; Bill Eke and Kevin Prince; Rob Price and Ian Lacey. 37: Ian Carter and Paul Lankester; Moore and Henri Henriques; Matthew Eaves and Michael McLachan; Paul Birrell and Tony Rosen. 36: Hudson and Alex Milne.
Other scores included: 35: Pestell and David Hone; Cameron Brown and Harvey Allen; Roger Cordy and Chris Ginn. 33: Wilby and Roger Toone. 31: Rod Powney and David Hyde. 28: Will Farrow and Graham Crimmins.
JAMIE Abbott (Ipswich) is looking forward to a season on the PGA Challenge Tour, a status he earned at the PGA European Tour School in Spain in November.
He may well play in a couple of events in Australia before the Challenge Tour programme starts.
Hugo Dobson (Woodbridge) is currently playing in the Portugal Pro Golf Tour.
He finished ninth in last week’s event, the Onyria Palmares Classic with two rounds of 71. Dale Whitnell (Forrester Park) took sixth place with 73 and 68. This week they will be playing at Penina.
Jamie Moul (Stoke by Nayland) will be playing on the Jamega Tour as well as pro-ams.
Sam Forgan (Stowmarket) has a date in Hawaii in March, his wedding.
On the Suffolk amateur front Sam Byford (Ipswich) missed the county training at Aldeburgh because he is out of the county working on his aviation qualifications. He will, however, be available for selection for the Anglian League programme.
The next Suffolk men’s training day, a foursomes match between the first and second teams, will be at Hintlesham on February 3.
THERE will be four PGA East Region order of merit events this year.
The first will be the London Open at West Essex Golf Club between June 11 and 13.
This will be a co-sanctioned event with the South Region with a maximum of 72 players from each region. The players of both regions will compete for order of merit points using their normal points breakdown.
It will be an interesting test to see which region, on current form, is the strongest.
The Ingrebourne Links order of merit will be played on a single day on August 6.
The East Region Championship will be hosted by Bishop’s Stortford on September 4 and 5. The final event will be the Millbrook Masters at Millbrook on September 18 and 19.