P lease make a New Year resolution to send us any interesting scraps of news and views that we can all share. Photographs welcome, too!
The Kesgrave Memorial Hall was pleasantly full and the atmosphere warm when County President, Ann Graves chaired the Association's Annual General Meeting (10th January) .
The business section of the meeting ran smoothly, reports from the chief protagonists delivered fluently by all concerned but the central point was the transfer of the County Captaincy from Laura Lowe to her Vice-Captain Sarah Saggers. This was accomplished with only a slight hitch in the untangling of the Captain’s badge from Laura’s jacket. Laura was a most cheerful captain who entertained everyone with her humour and unflappable good nature. She introduced Sarah as an experienced golfer who played for Hertfordshire before coming to Suffolk where she has added to the strength of our County team. She is a bouncy character, full of energy, new ideas and enthusiasm.
The Vice-Captain’s badge was handed on to Vanessa Bell who has been playing golf since 1993. Along the way she won the Abraham Trophy which is a national junior competition, became Suffolk Junior Captain, Suffolk Girls’ Champion, Norfolk Open Champion and Runner up in the Midlands Ladies Championship. She was awarded a golf scholarship to the University of Montevallo (Alabama) and there followed a successful amateur career in the US, before she turned professional in 2001. Over time, she ran small clinics and promotional events in the Algarve for her sponsors, meantime playing on several pro tours before, luckily for Suffolk’s golfing ambitions, she regained her amateur status and made an impact on the Ipswich club and county scenes. Her County Captaincy will begin in 2017 when Felixstowe Ferry will host the English County Finals, an exciting prospect.
Other presentations included the Joy Winn Salver to Sharon Luckman (pictured left) for achieving the lowest scratch scores over the year, the County Inter-club competition trophies and the Silver and Bronze Medals, awarded for the lowest net medal scores of the year. They were won by Emily Penfold (Newton Green) and Vonnie Thornton (Gorleston) with net scores of -7 and -10 respectively; Laura Lowe awarded the Nigel Birrell Trophy to Sarah Saggers who gave up her own chance of playing at County Match Week in 2014 to run the team in Laura’s absence as she recuperated after surgery. Blaize Esmond and Vanessa Bell won their County Colours. Eloise Aldous (Newton Green) was presented with her Junior Captain’s jersey, Charlotte Gregory (Rookery Park) became Junior 2 nd Team Captain, while Alice Irons (Haverhill), Charlie Woodage (Rushmere) and Molly Newson (Bungay) collected their Junior Colours. Molly added the Eva Harris Shield to her mantelpiece for outstanding achievement during the year. She reduced her handicap from 22 to 15, moved up from the girls’ second team to the first and won two of her matches during Junior County Match Week. Jessica Buck (Southwold) became the Junior Improver of the Year, gaining a handicap for the first time then reducing it to 26. This was a cheery send off for the new golfing year.
The first draw of the 100 Club year was also made. Results in the NEWS section.
The Junior Jamboree, the last fixture of the year, was held at Fynn Valley. It was an occasion blessed with bright and crisp weather, a welcome relief from the recent grey days.
The girls were split into 5 mixed ability groups of 3 to play 7 holes on the Par 3 course in a Texas scramble, so they had 2 drives each with 1 spare one, keeping everyone happily involved. Three of the girls, Abbie Symonds, Sarah-Jane Barker and this year’s Junior Captain, Melissa Schroeder, were leaving the Junior ranks and, in a fairy tale finish, Melissa hit her very last ball as a Junior right into the cup for her first Hole in One.
County President Ann Graves ran an informative rules session/quiz which was lots of fun, with plenty of treats flying around for correct answers.
Following the 'traditional' hot dog lunch, Certificates were presented to the girls who gained their first Congu handicap during 2014 and to those who reduced their handicaps by 30% and 20%..
Presentations and thanks were given to Judy Hamshere, Kay Hazell & Pam Ratford who have stepped down from the Junior committee. Kay Anderson & Sue Cook are also finishing but were unable to attend.
J unior Organiser Sarah Howe announced the New Junior Captains for 2015: 1st team - Eloise Aldous; 2nd team/ Developers - Charlotte Gregory.