New captains tee off at Whittlebury Park club

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GOLF: Members of Whittlebury Park Golf Club have taken to the fairways to welcome in their new captains and wave goodbye to the old.

In true Whittlebury Park tradition, new captains Rob Watson (club captain) and Tracey Mann (ladies captain) hit balls off the first tee on the 1905 course to mark the start of their year, ably assisted by outgoing captains Chris Scott and Christine Pearce.

Rob and Tracey managed to get both their drives away and both breathed a sigh of relief that it was all over.

A record 110 members then made their way to their allotted tee to await the sound of the shotgun fired by Whittlebury’s owner, Jeff Sargeant, to signal the start of the ‘Drive-In’.

Unfortunately the sun decided to take a day off but everyone was in relaxed mood and some great scores came in. There were plenty of prizes on offer, with Nearest the Pin honours taken by Mick Harrison and Harriett Hancock. Harriett made a clean sweep, taking the Ladies Longest Drive, while Simon Orrey took the men’s prize.

In the main competition, a fun Texas Scramble format, third place went to Mark Pybus, Brian Dipple, Nick Carlier and Phil Heavey with nett 58.

The second slot was filled by John Colby, Jim Shields, Johnnie Illingworth and Mike Granville with 56.4 nett and top honours went to Bernard Aldous, Richard Pullen, Mike Lalley and Ron Self with a fantastic net 55.3.

Rob and Tracey also announced the charity of their choice as Arthritis Care, the UK charity with a mission to support all people with arthritis.

The charity got off to a wonderful start, with over £1,100 raised on the day, and both captains and members pledged to work tirelessly during the coming year to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause.

> Buckingham Golf Club’s midweek Stableford on Wednesday saw good scores with Jeff Wyatt coming in with 42 points beating club administrator Peter Frost on countback while youngster Edward Selby-Lowndes was third with 41.

On the following day, the juniors held the second of their Easter Holiday Stableford competitions, Dean March winning with an impressive score of 44 points.

Ben Oliver was second with 37, one ahead of third placed George Jackman.

On Friday, Peter Frost played at Tadmarton Heath in the qualifying round of the Golf Club Secretary’s Open Championship and continuing his good form from Wednesday, managed to qualify for the finals which will be held at Royal St. George’s in a few weeks time. On Saturday, club captain Chris Wilkes continued his winning ways by leading the team to another victory in their second match against a strong Harewood Downs team at Buckingham.

With the teams being reduced to 8-a--side Buckingham came up with a 4-0 win.

Also on Saturday was the seventh leg of the Dr Stableford competition. This was won by Paul Burnett with 42 points followed by Ray Godfrey with 39 and Andy Milne 37.

In chilly conditions on Sunday, 115 golfers took part in the April Monthly Medal with the following results:

Division 1: 1st Ben Oliver 68, 2nd Mark Rimell 69, 3rd Steve Clarke 69; Division 2: 1st Evan Bett 68, 2nd John Scarrott 68, 3rd Roger Shipway 70; Division 3: 1st Doug Lidell 70, 2nd Paul Ridgeway 72, 3rd Phillip Morris 73.

The ladies’ monthly medal Division 1 was won by past captain Margot Sharp with a net 71. Mo Dawson was second with 73, ahead of Kerry Sumner on countback.

Division 2 was won by Moira Williams (71) with Liz Harris second (71) and Gina Lloyd 3rd (75)