Felixstowe Ferry duo Robinson and Sheldrake win February fourball
Felixstowe Ferry professional Andrew Robinson and club champion Adam Sheldrake won the club’s February winter fourball with 43 Stableford points, writes Tony Garnett
Four other pairs were snapping at their heels with 42.
Among them were former Suffolk PGA member Kevin Earp, now an amateur at Stowmarket, and Andrew Witter.
European Tour player Paul Maddy of Gog Magog and Andy Shakespear of The Warren both had rounds of 69. Maddy has considerable experience at the top level and was playing in the Australian PGA in Queensland in December.
At one stage the course was enveloped in fog but it soon cleared. It became windy later in the day.
Leading scores: 43pts: Andrew Robinson and Adam Sheldrake.
42: Jon Goodwin and Sean Kelly, Joe Tatam and Reece Cosson, Kevin Earp and Andrew Witter, Dave Turner and Darren Wells.
41: Andy Shakespear and Stephen McKoy, Miles and Gerald Collins, Will Farley and Thomas Hatton, David Crown and Paul Birrell, Paul and Alan Maddy, Alan Sharrocks and Keith Newnham.
Other scores: 39: Bill Eke and Kevin Prince, Jason Levermore and Andy Fish. 38: Sam Kinnane and Simon Dainty.
Professional scores: 69: Paul Maddy (Gog Magog), Andy Shakespear (The Warren). 71: Miles Collins (Stoke by Nayland). 72: Neil Mitchell (Ipswich Golf Centre). 73: Jason Levermore (Little Channels), Will Farley (Rushmere). 75: Lewis Atkinson (Stock Brook). 76: Scott Hudson (The Warren), Simon Dainty (Stoke by Nayland), Andrew Robinson (Felixstowe Ferry). 81: Mark Sturgess (Bourn). No return: Paul Eady Brentwood).
TWO ladies, Saffron Walden professional Sarah Smith and Wendy Cook from Colne Valley, won the February Thetford pro-am with a better ball score of 67.
They finished two shots ahead of three pairs. Chris Soanes (tournament professional from Rookery Park) and James Nolloth, Paul Maddy and Christian Weisner, Miles Collins and Roger Toone all had 69.
Collins (Stoke by Nayland) was top professional with a round of 70. Maddy had 71. Other leading scores: 72: Adam Pike. 74: Andy Marshall.
Conditions were difficult in a strong cold wind. The greens had recovered well from a covering of snow.
The Am-Am prizes went to Tom Hatton and Dean Brace of Stoke by Nayland. Other leading scores: 69: Trevor Cave and James Ong. 70: Steve Harvey and David Bell. 71: Peter Robinson and Graham Horsfield.
ANDREW Collison, manager of Bungay and Waveney Valley Golf Club, reached the final stage of the Staysure PGA European Tour Senior qualifying school on the Portuguese Algarve.
Three-times a winner on the Challenge Tour earlier in his career, Collison survived stage one after two rounds of 73 and 70 at Silves.
Only five players from a field of 72 earned full cards at Pinta. Collison missed the cut after three rounds of 74 78 and 79. Jon Bevan, a former Suffolk professional, missed the cut at Silves.
RAPID strides have been made at Cretingham Kingfishers Golf Club.
The club looked sure to fold until Matthew and Claire Thacker became the new owners.
Now membership is around 350. Thirty new members have joined since the turn of the year. Many former members have returned and will be amazed the improvements both to the course and the club house.
It is a club for the family that offers nature walks (organised by Ordnance Survey) and Sky TV for the sports fans.
The club is still short of low handicap players so have not entered the Stenson Shield, Hambro Cup or Haskell Cup, but they will take part in the Tolly Cobbold, Beaumont, Stearn and Cranworth events.
New captains take office next month. Dave Garbett, who plays off 12, will succeed Paul Baker as men’s captain.
Maureen Minter will succeed Margaret Upton as ladies’ captain.
Director of Golf Rob Pritchard has a junior section of around 30 and is advertising nationally to appoint an assistant professional.
Ideally someone from Suffolk would be keen to start PGA training in October under Pritchard’s guidance. An appointment would be a boost to developing the junior section which the Kingfishers Golf Club believe is the future of the game.
Applicants should email firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the month.
THERE has not been much news from the Suffolk PGA in recent months so here is a brief update.
Terry Broome has retired as secretary. Rushmere head professional Kelvin Vince has taken the reins. Now Suffolk have taken the same route as the Beds and Cambs PGA who have been run by their professionals for some years.
This is what I envisaged for Suffolk when I asked to be relieved of secretarial duties five years ago. I needed a short break to recharge my batteries. Now I am pleased to return to the fold to help Kelvin.
Much has changed in five years. It seems that the enthusiasm from some professionals to play competitive golf has waned. Only 12 took part in last year’s Suffolk PGA Championship, the flagship event.
A Winter League was formed for order of merit points to be played in February and March. The first meeting is at Aldeburgh on February 27.
The next event at Felixstowe Ferry may be for the Joe Proudfoot Memorial which could not be played in November because of stormy weather.
Other meetings are set for Southwold and Royal Worlington.
This mini-league tended to clash with the Winter Knock Out Cup sponsored by Steve Gray of Chauffeur Services Group at Hadleigh. His generous financial assistance has come to end.
To bring this event back to life I will be the new sponsor.
I hope this will boost the entry. It is a match-play knockout played either on a home and away basis or over a single round on a neutral course.
Calling it the Winter Cup is misleading because the final is likely to be in the autumn.
Looking at my last list of Suffolk PGA professionals I find many changes.
Paul Connell of Hintlesham is now in Oxfordshire, Kevin Earp has regained his amateur status, Ed Garrard is making cricket bats, Ben Kerr is now at Saffron Walden, Chris Oldrey is manager at Diss Golf Club, Tim Johnson is into catering, Ryan Wingate is head professional at Royston, Ian Scott has moved from Bungay to Ipswich, Danny Barton is at Cannington Golf Centre in Somerset and Sam Foster has moved on from Bramford Golf Centre. Much can happen in five years.