NORFOLK v SUFFOLK - 5th September

Both teams suffer narrow loses in their final round of matches

2nd Team L-R: Mike Devlin (Vice President), Shaun Larkins (Captain), Kane Hindle, Neil Harrison, Josh Halliday, Thaine Hacon, Tom Rutherford, James Hazel, Scott Wright

Wensum Valley Golf Club hosted the County 2nd team in their final inter-county match of the Anglian League 2021 season.

Our opponents for the final match were our near neighbours from Suffolk, who always bring a team full of highly talented players. This year was no exception and some fine golfers were on display.

The course continues to be presented in, as is now becoming quite normal, great condition, with well-defined fairways offering an great playing surface, smooth quick greens and well-dressed bunkers. In short, the preparation was impressive.

The well-stocked professional shop, great catering and good bar facilities sated our every need leaving nothing to chance and this, coupled with exceptional hospitality made the day so much more enjoyable.

The weather, after a less than exceptional August, was fantastic very sunny and warm, with the gentlest of zephyr’s wafting across the course ensuring nothing would mar the day.

The morning rounds consisted of four foursomes games and Norfolk began in fine style eventually delivering a narrow lunchtime lead of 2.5 to 1.5. With quality golf being exhibited throughout with new players Kane Hindle and Neil Harrison making their County debuts posting a full point.
Following lunch, the afternoon singles got underway. Suffolk now had their second wind and got off to a fast start and although a defiant Norfolk team fought to the very end the afternoon points finally went to Suffolk by 5 to 3. This resulted in a win for Suffolk by 6.5 to 5.5.

The match was played in a fantastic spirit, reflecting the true values of this wonderful game.

Jockeying for end of year positions in this league is always strewn with highs and lows reflecting on the great victories and the disappointing losses but each accepted with pragmatism that is the very nature of this magnificent game.

The Norfolk County Golf Union is delighted to announce that Wensum Valley Hotel & Golf Club have generously agreed to continue to host all County 2nd Team home matches for the 2022 season, the relationship grows unrelentingly and we look forward to working with the Wensum Valley team In the years ahead.

Until then keep It on the fairway and may all your putts be holed…………..

EASTERN COUNTIES FOURSOMES - 14th & 15th August

Held at Seacroft Golf Club

Norfolk Team L to R (Mike Devlin - Vice President, Robert Barnard - President, Tom Rutherford, Scott Wright, Iain Yule, Tom Nudd, Josh Weeds, Pete Murphy, Simon Clark-Captain, Warren Bates, Ben Terry, Mason Bernstein, Carl Green).

The annual foursomes event involved 9 Counties (Bedfordshire, Berks, Bucks & Oxon, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Leicestershire & Rutland, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk).

Fresh from their commanding victory in the 6 man team event B, B & O were clear favourites to lift the trophy. They did not disappoint with Lincolnshire and Leicestershire & Rutland pushing them all the way.

We went with a depleted squad but many raised their game had a team ranking been done before play, based on handicaps and the amount of first team appearances, Norfolk would have sat at the bottom.

However, the team performed well to finish 7th which was a great achievement. Unfortunately, missing out on beating Leicestershire in what was re-arranged (due to Covid) as our first and second team Anglian League result.

Two “lip out” putts on the final hole would have reversed the 3-2 loss to a 3-2 win - how fine a margin some of these games can be.

Well done to Simon (County Captain) for persuading Carl to come out of retirement, he clearly still has it!

Top points scorers were Ben Terry and Nuddy with a very credible 5.5 points.

The County President wishes to thank Paul and Vicky Searles (County Sponsors) and to Peter (County Secretary), Mike (County Vice President) and Chris (Immediate Past President for their help and support over the weekend.

Thanks also to Seacroft Golf Club for looking after the Counties both on the course and in the Club House but especially the members for giving up their course for a whole weekend.

NORFOLK v NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 1st August

Another double for the County teams

Norfolk played their third set of Anglian League matches against Northamptonshire on 1st August, the First Team were at Overstone Golf club near Northampton and the Second Team played on the Wensum Course at Taverham.

Weather conditions were far from ideal at Overstone, with continuous rain during the morning Foursomes.

The ever-reliable pairing of Warren Bates and Simon Clark secured Norfolk’s first point with a convincing 5&4 win, closely followed by Mason Bernstein and Iain Yule with a 4&3 win. The fourth match with Liam Cossey and Jack Cullington was a very close affair throughout and finished all square on the 18th hole. Norfolk went into Lunch 2.5 points to 1.5 points.

The weathered improved in the afternoon and Norfolk got off to a flying start with wins from the front two Singles matches, from Kale Heath and Warren Bates. Mason Bernstein’s match went to the wire and a half point was secured on the 18th. This was closely followed by wins for Simon Clark and Jack Cullington, enough to give Norfolk the win they deserved. Ben Terry went down the last hole one up but Northamptonshire Captain Frazer Carnihan hit the shot of the day, a Driver from the semi rough, 270 yards to two feet from the pin! Ben’s birdie could not match Frazer’s eagle and the match was halved.

Coach Andrew Marshall was impressed by the teams’ composure and team spirit and their 7.5 to 4.5 victory puts them near the top of the League.

Next up is the East Counties Foursomes competition at Seacroft Golf Club on the 14th & 15th August.
Photo Left to Right: Thomas Nudd, Pete Murphy, Josh Weeds Shaun Larkins (Captain), Scott Wright, Ben Rawsthorne, Kevin Webb

Norfolk seconds got off to a great start in the morning Foursomes with some quality golf and went in to lunch with a well-fashioned lead of 3 to 1.

After a brief break for lunch and refreshments the singles began with Ben Rawsthorne as the lead match. Ben got off to a brilliant start, won the first hole and never looked. This set the tone for the Norfolk Team who were truly inspired on the day with all players, Thomas Nudd, Pete Murphy, Scott Wright, Kevin Webb, Josh Weeds, James Hazel and Captain Shaun Larkins, all contributing game points ensuring an unassailable winning match total.

The overall result was Norfolk 8 points to Northamptonshire’s 4 points.

The match was played in a wonderful spirit, reflecting the true values of this fantastic game with all players content in the knowledge of new friendships made, that will endure in the years ahead.

South East Group Qualifier

On Saturday 10th July Eaton Golf Club hosted the Men’s South East Group Qualifier. This prestigious event is contested by 11 counties who select their best 6 amateur golfers in a 36-hole medal format.The course was presented beautifully by Course Manager, Rob Ransome. All the players and Officials were extremely complimentary of the course, the hospitality in the club house and the friendliness of the staff.

With some of the leading amateurs in the country playing, including Walker Cup players, and the British Amateur runner up, the spectators were treated to some outstanding golf.

At lunch, the counties of Surrey and Essex were tied on 338 closely followed by Kent on 339 and Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire a further 3 shots back on 342.

The afternoon saw Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire come storming through the field to win with a hugely impressive 25 under total, finishing 7 shots clear of runners up Kent. (this was based on the combined total of the best 5 from 6 scores from both morning and afternoon).

Final Scores
Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire 342 + 333 = 675 (-25)
Kent 339 + 343 = 682 (-18)
Sussex 341 + 342 = 683 (-17)
Essex 338 + 348 = 686 (-14)
Hampshire 346 + 342 = 688 (-12)
Surrey 338 + 353 = 691 (-9)
Suffolk 348 + 349 = 697 (-3)
Middlesex 349 + 352 = 701 (+1)
Hertfordshire 351 + 353 = 704 (+4)
Norfolk 350 + 360 = 710 (+10)
Bedfordshire 369 + 360 = 729 (+29)

The leading individual was Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire’s Connor Gough with a 10 under total, which included a bogey free 61 (9 under) in the afternoon. If it were not for COVID rules in bunkers and relief from mud balls on the closely mown surfaces, this would have beaten the official Amateur course record of 64 by 4 shots.

Some notable performances from Norfolk & Suffolk were
Gregor Tait (Suffolk) 66 + 69 = 135 (-5)
Warren Bates (Norfolk) 70 + 68 = 138 (-2)
Habebul Islam (Suffolk) 70 + 68 = 138 (-2)
Max Weaver (Suffolk) 71 + 68 = 139 (-1)
Tom Clements (Norfolk) 69 + 71 = 140 (level)
George Fickler (Suffolk) 68 + 72 = 140 (level)

The Norfolk County Golf Union wishes to thank Eaton Golf Club and all its staff for hosting the event, the volunteers, the referees, and all involved in making the event so memorable. In particular, a big thank you to the members of Eaton Golf Club for giving up their course.

1st & 2nd TEAMS v CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Both teams successful in beating Cambridgeshire

It’s been a busy but successful time for Norfolk’s golf teams.

The men’s County First Team hosted Cambridgeshire at Royal Norwich in their second Anglian league fixture, on a finely manicured golf course.

The Norfolk team got off to a great start in the morning Foursomes, gaining 3.5 points out of a possible 4 points.

Kale Heath & Ben Willis won 7&5
Warren Bates & Simon Clark won 4&3
Liam Cossey & Ben Terry won 2&1
Tom Clements and George Morris halved their match

First out in the afternoon was Ben Willis who sealed a 4&3 victory to set the pace but this was quickly followed by defeats for Kale Heath, Warren Bates and George Morris. Ben Terry who was making his First Team debut, secured a fine 2 & 1 win, before Captain Simon Clark narrowly lost his match. That left the experienced Tom Clements and relative newcomer Liam Cossey to win their matches, which they secured 4&3 and 2&1 respectively giving Norfolk a comfortable 7.5 to 4.5 win in the end.

The Norfolk Second Team were playing away to Cambridgeshire on the Gog Magog Wandlebury course. Trailing 2.5 to 1.5 at lunchtime, they rallied in the afternoon for with Josh Halliday, Scott Wright and Tom Rutherford all winning their matches. Mason Bernstein and Kevin Webb both earnt half a point, which left their Captain, Shaun Larkins having to win the last match out to secure overall victory, which he did with sensible course management, securing the final point for a 6.5 to 5.5 win.

A great double for Norfolk’s teams.

Next fixture is the South East Group Qualifier to be held on Saturday 10th July at Eaton Golf Club, spectators welcome. This will see the top 6 amateurs from 11 Counties playing 36 holes with the winning County progressing to the National Finals.

Norfolk's team is
Kale Heath
Warren Bates
Ben Willis
Ben Terry
Tom Clements
George Morris

NORFOLK 1st’s v LINCOLNSHIRE 1st’s - 6th June 2021

Norfolk faced Lincolnshire in the opening rounds of the Anglian League matches. The First team were away at Market Rasen and the Second team played on the Wensum Course at Taverham, where all three of their home matches are being played.

The Norfolk First team were hit with a late injury but boosted by the late inclusion of Junior Ben Willis, making his First Team debut at just 16 years of age. Market Rasen was a beautiful golf course, most of the holes lined by tall fir trees.

The morning Foursomes commenced well but one by one the four pairings started to fall behind and Lincolnshire were convincing lunch time leaders by a 4-0 score line. Lessons could be learnt from club selections off the tee and the Norfolk team rallied well after Lunch laeding in several of the Singles matches.

After Ben Rawsthorne closed out his match early with a 6 & 4 victory, Warren Bates soon followed with a 7 & 5 win which included 6 birdies in 13 holes! Young Ben Willis had gone out first and had a very tight match which he clinched one up on the 18th green. A very assured start to his First team career.

At this point it looked possible that Norfolk could do the impossible and turn the match round, the Lincolnshire officials admitted they were a bit nervous at this stage of the match.

Other matches were very close but Liam Cossey and Kale Heath could not hold on to their opponents and both lost 3&2. Stalwart Captain Simon Clark was playing in his fourth decade of County golf and closed out his match with a 3&2 win. Unfortunately, the match drifted from Norfolk’s grasp as Thomas Nudd and Iain Yule lost their matches.

Norfolk had put up a very good showing in the afternoon with a 4 – 4 score line but the damage had been done in the morning Foursomes.

Next up are Cambridgeshire on the 4th July.

Left to Right:
Robert Barnard (President), Thomas Nudd, Kale Heath, Warren Bates, Simon Clark (Captain), Ben Willis, Liam Cossey, Iain Yule, Ben Rawsthorne, Andrew Marshall (County Coach)

NORFOLK 2nd’s v LINCOLNSHIRE 2nd’s - 6th June 2021

Wensum Valley Golf Club played host to the County 2nd team today in their first match of the season. It had been a long time coming with almost no golf being played since the advent of the health emergency back in the early spring of 2020. Our opponents, Lincolnshire, brought with them a well deserved reputation of fielding young, highly talented players who invariably feature at the top of the league each year. The course was in great condition and our host club looked after our every need. The weather smiled down for most of the day with just the lightest hint of a shower but nothing to dampen the spirit of the players.

Norfolk, captained by the knowledgeable Shaun Larkin’s, got off to a great start in the morning Foursomes with some excellent golf and went in to lunch with a well earned lead of 2 & 1/2 against 1 & 1/2. After a delicious lunch the singles began and we were up against it from the start. Up in some matches and down in others with the slim advantage of the morning being slowly eaten away. By the end of the afternoon singles, Lincolnshire had overcome the morning deficit and with a couple of the matches being won by just the odd hole they finally ran out deserved winners finishing overall 8 matches to 4.

Players in both camps enjoyed a spirited, highly competitive days golf with friendships made that no doubt will endure over the coming years.

Our next match is away at Gog Magog in Cambridgeshire in July where hopefully the outcome may prove to be more favourable.

Left to Right:
Scott Wright, Tom Rutherford, Josh Weeds, Mason Bernstein, Shaun Larkins (Captain), Kevin Webb, Pete Murphy, Ben Terry

ANGLIAN LEAGUE MATCHES - 6th June

Following several practice matches both teams head into the first round of fixtures with high hopes of a successful season.

The teams selected are;

1st Team v Lincolnshire at Market Rasen Golf Club
Simon Clark (Captain)
Warren Bates
Kale Heath
Iain Yule
Liam Cossey
Ben Rawsthorne
Dylan Green
Thomas Nudd
Travelling Reserve - Ben Willis

2nd Team v Lincolnshire at Wensum Valley Golf Club
Shaun Larkins
Kevin Webb
Pete Murphy
Scott Wright
Ben Terry
Mason Bernstein
Josh Weeds
Tom Rutherford
Travelling Reserve James Hazel

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