Weston Trophy, Plate & Bowl

2023 Weston Trophy Winner

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club

2023 Weston Plate Winner

Brett Vale Golf Club

2023 Weston Bowl Winner

Fynn Valley Golf Club

General Information

The Weston Team consists of 5 players, playing singles matchplay off scratch.  All matches are played over 18 holes.  Matches are played on a Home or Away basis (determined by a Draw) on dates agreed by the participating Clubs in each Division.  All matches must be played by the end of August.

All Divisions to go out in handicap order. Division one will play in one of two leagues, (A & B), on a home and away game against the other three teams. A final will then be arranged between A and B to decide the winner. The winner of Division one will go forward to play in the England Golf Club competition the following year.

The Weston follows a league format and, at the end of the season, two Clubs may be promoted or relegated – dependent upon the number of points they score in relation to the other Clubs in their Division.

Trophy History

The Weston Trophy, presented in 1980 by the retiring President, Mrs Toddles Weston, has undergone more changes of playing format than any other county interclub competition. The only constant has been that a Weston team comprises five golfers playing off scratch.

The competition was instigated originally with the fell intention of improving the competitive element of the county’s best club golfers who might be able to go through to play at inter-county level. At the same time, the hope was that the clubs would play within their teams an ‘improving golfer’ who would benefit particularly from playing against golfers of a better standard than her own. This was an idealist’s point of view and perhaps naïve because, from the moment that the Weston Trophy became available, the desire to win it overcame any idealism that might have prevailed without it.

Through the following years, changes to the format came and went. To begin with the players could be put out in any order, which followed the idea of giving the improving golfer experience. But, oddly enough, the ‘lambs to the slaughter’ did not mind this as much as the best golfers who complained when they found themselves playing one of the ‘improvers’ that they did not get such a good game as they might have done in other circumstances. It all depended, of course, on one’s point of view, but the competition rules reverted to putting the players out in handicap order and, in consequence, the clubs put out the five lowest handicap players they could muster. It’s not certain whether an appeal was ever made to the best golfers in Suffolk to lend a helping hand to their less experienced sisters but, in any event, idealism became a ‘dead duck’!

Over the years, there have been four leagues, semi-finals and finals, top two of each league going here, bottom two going there. Now there are three divisions and the two up and two down prevails. It seems the idealistic viewpoint does have a chance to succeed if anyone is brave enough to give it a try, but still the arguments about the best way forward are not really settled. There have been requests recently for clubs to be allowed to field more than one team but, with a trophy at stake, this has been deemed unfair.

Perhaps it is fortunate that Toddles Weston, a delightful and humorous lady, is not here to see how many divisions of opinion have followed her generous gift of a beautiful trophy which goes to the winners of Division One and we now have also the Weston Plate and the Weston Bowl for the winners of Divisions Two and Three respectively.

Looking at the list of Weston Trophy winners, only eight clubs have featured since 1980. Perhaps that is a situation that speaks for itself and perhaps, like Fagin in Oliver the musical, we ‘need to think it out again’ so that the improving golfers really do get a chance to play the best golfers in Suffolk, even if it’s only once!

Julie Latimer-Jones

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