Sponsors give boost to Suffolk Golf
Suffolk Golf Union have two sponsors for the first time which will provide an additional £8,250.
Culford School, where there is a thriving golfing academy, will sponsor the juniors.
It was fitting that Tom Huggins and Dave Watkin from Culford School should win the President’s Day competition which preceded the annual meeting at Bungay and Waveney Valley with 46 Stableford points.
Martin Youngs and Alan Middle were runners-up with 43 points on countback from Andrew Johnson and George McLennan and Richard Barton and Gary Seaman.
It was Johnson who agreed a three-year deal for Woodward Markwell (chartered insurance brokers and independent financial advisers) to sponsor the Suffolk men’s first and second teams and the Suffolk senior team who will wear his company’s logo.
A member of Ipswich Golf Club, Johnson said that his Suffolk-based company was established 35 years ago and that he was “delighted to be able to support amateur sportsmen in the county.”
There was also £500 donated for Suffolk junior golf by the Suffolk Golf Captains’ Association.
Treasurer Peter Sledmere pointed out that there would be two items of exceptional expenditure.
A sum of £3,600 was to be spent on the legal costs involving the change from Suffolk Golf Union to Suffolk Golf Ltd. This change was approved unanimously by club representatives.
There was also £3,000 to be spent on a major upgrade to the SGU website.
There was a sombre start to the well-attended annual meeting with news of the passing of former SGU president Dick Berendt (2000 and 2001). The Berendt Trophy for the Suffolk order of merit winner was won by Suffolk amateur champion James Biggs, the presentation being made on Sunday.
Dick’s funeral will be at Waveney Crematorium in Beccles on Monday, April 9 at 11am.
David Barnes (SGU SSS assessor) has rated seven clubs in accordance with the USGA Course Rating System.
They were Brett Vale, Hintlesham, Royal Worlington, St Clements, Seckford and West Suffolk Golf Centre. They have all received the SSS and Slope ratings from England Golf.
The seven clubs to be rated this year are Beccles, Bungay, Diss, Gorleston, Halesworth, Rushmere and Stowmarket.
Another seven clubs will be rated in 2019 prior to the start of the Worldwide Handicapping System. Gender-free tees are being introduced at some clubs.
Jordan Dymond (Suffolk Club support) explained his role with England Golf and pointed out various ways clubs could be supported.
Before the business section of the meeting there were presentations. Keith Preston (Aldeburgh) won the Winstanley Trophy for 25 successful years as head coach to SGU.
Habebul Islam (Ipswich) won the Dave Houston Salver as winner of the junior order of merit. His fourth place in the McGregor Trophy and promising results in other national events were reward for his hard work.
Jim Harrison, Suffolk’s under-16 manager, received the Tom Finn Trophy for victory over Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire at Brampton Park.
Kevin Brooks was handed the East Anglian Daily Times Shield thanks to the Anglian Senior League title returning to Suffolk.
SGU officials for 2018 are: President: Colin Firmin. Vice-President: Bill Darling. Secretary: Charlie Wilderspin. Treasurer: Peter Sledmere. Junior chair: Trevor Mason. Re-elected to committee: Will Wright and Tony Rubin.
The main winners in 2017 were:
Amateur Foursomes: Chris Bartrum and James Biggs (Diss).
Amateur: James Biggs. Open: Alfie Halil (Flempton)
Seniors: Paul Whiting (Bungay).
Junior: Conal Downing (Rookery Park).
Men’s Match-play: Louis Martin Haverhill).
Junior Match-play: Harvey Watts (Newton Green).
Men’s Club Team: Diss.
Match-play competition winners: - Stenson Shield: Aldeburgh. Hambro Cup: Bury St Edmunds. Tolly Cobbold Cup: Ufford Park. Parks Trophy: Ipswich. Beaumont Cup: Bury St Edmunds. Junior Club Champions: Newton Green.