Suffolk PGA annual meeting 2014

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Felixstowe Ferry GC on Tuesday 25th November 2014

Present were:- Paul Wilby (Chairman); Frank Hill (Captain); Richard Beadles; Andy Goodridge; Neil Mitchell; Kevin Carpenter; Ollie Rush; Kelvin Vince; Tony Dobson; Joe Cardy; Phil Westley; Simon Reeve; Andrew Collison; James Markham; Ian Scott; Keith Preston; Peter Latimer; John Smith (Secretary PGA East Region); Terry Broome (Secretary PGA in Suffolk).

  1. The Chairman opened the meeting at 5.30pm with a warm welcome to all those present and in particular to John Smith, Secretary of the PGA (East Region). Apologies for absence were received from:- Dell Bower (President); Tony Garnett (Vice President); Andrew Sleath (Vice President); Alastair Spink; Ben Kerr; Stuart Robertson; Andrew Robinson; Henry Roblin; Tim Cooper; Andy Cotton; Adam Trett; Lawrence Dodd; Sarah Wilson; Rob Pritchard; Richard Davies; Jon Markham; Simon Jay; Matt Ransome; Matt Alderton; Chris Smith; James Peasey; Patrick Spraggs; Robert Joyce; Alex Lucas; Brad Wilkins.

  2. The minutes of the AGM held on 19th November 2013 at Felixstowe Ferry GC, having previously been circulated, were agreed as a true record of the meeting – Proposed by Kelvin Vince and Seconded by Ollie Rush – carried Nem Con. The Secretary reported on one matter arising, that being , following a presentation from Liam Greasley to members of the Committee, we were now ‘signed up’ to the PGA Trademark Agreement.

  3. The Captain gave a warm appreciation of the work Dell Bower does as President and proposed that he be re-elected, this was seconded by Keith Preston and carried Nem Con.

  4. The Chairman likewise thanked the Vice Presidents for their support and commitment proposing that Andrew Sleath and Tony Garnett be re-elected, this was seconded by Joe Cardy and carried Nem Con.

  5. The Chairman thanked Andrew Sleath for his work as Treasurer over the past year. Simon Reeve proposed that AS be re-elected, this was seconded by Keith Preston and carried Nem Con.

  6. The Secretary reported that no other nominations had been received for Committee Members and that all present incumbents offered themselves for re-election – those being:- Paul Wilby; Keith Preston; Alastair Spink; Frank Hill; Kelvin Vince; Tony Dobson; Ollie Rush. Simon Reeve proposed that all be re-elected, this was seconded by Kevin Carpenter and carried Nem Con.

  7. The Chairman began his report by thanking the Secretary for his hard work and enthusiasm over the past year and that done to put in place new calendar of events for the future. He also thanked the Committee for their work, all done on a voluntary basis and at own expense. Thanks were also expressed to Keith Preston and his fellow Professional Coaches for the ongoing work with the County Coaching Programme and to Alastair Spink for his continued efforts in being a vital cog in getting funding for projects involving PGA Pros in Suffolk. Thanks were also due to John Smith and his team, Jackie Raven, Ray Watkinson, Gordon Campbell, Steve Rist, Mick Charles and other starters. He reported that John and the team work tirelessly to put on a great playing schedule and much more. John is always on hand to help with any work related issue and is only a call away. Congratulations were given to the winners of our 2014 County events with special thanks to Keith Preston and Steve Gray of Chauffeur Services Ltd for their sponsorship of the Trainees Championship and Winter KO Cup respectively. Congratulations were also given to Kevin Carpenter who had been presented at The Open Championship, with the prestigious Toby Sunderland Award in recognition of his work to charitable services. The meeting greeted the moment with warm applause to Kevin. Finally the Chairman expressed his appreciation of the ongoing work, commitment and support of the President, Mr Dell Bower with the hope that he would continue in the same way for many years to come.

  8. Secretary’s Report –

    This has been my first year as your Secretary, one which I have regarded as a ‘settling in’ period – me getting used to you and vice versa. I hope the smooth running of the Association hasn’t suffered too badly as a result.

    I must express my gratitude to Tony Garnett for pointing me in the right direction and his support with events. Also to Dell Bower and Paul Wilby for their words of wisdom and encouragement. Not forgetting Chris Nall and Graham Cook for their assistance with events.

    Events during 2014 followed the pattern of previous years with Pro-only events held during February and March which were won by Tim Cooper and Chris Smith. Matches were played against the County Mens & Ladies teams with honours even in both – thanks to those who gave their time to play.

    In May we played the biennial Millennium Trophy at Weston Park with our colleagues from Norfolk PGA. Peter Latimer was the overall winner with a fine score of 140. Suffolk won the team event with 6 of our players finishing in the top 8, 9 in the top 12.

    In July we held a new event – the Dell Bower Invitational. This was for invited Amateur golfers, mostly all under 24 years old, who were likely to be perhaps considering a career in golf as Professionals. The field was augmented by some of our Trainees and gave the opportunity to show and talk about what the PGA stood for. It was a successful day with a strong field of 27 players three of whom have now turned Professional, one trying his luck as a Tour player, the other two are registered PGA Trainees within the County. Particular thanks go to Dell & Tony Garnett for their generosity in supplying very acceptable and convivial lunches!

    This year’s Championship was played in October and combined with the Trainee’s Championship. It worked well although the field was a little reduced because some had committed themselves to attend the Golf Show in Harrogate – yet another event which encroaches into the playable weeks we have available to hold our Competitions within the County. The Mallinson Trophy was won by Rob Pritchard with Lawrence Dodd in second place, Chris Smith in third. Lawrence was the winner of the Dell Bower Trainee’s Championship. The top 16 qualified for the Match-play event which saw the top 8 and then top 4 win through to the later stages. Dodd had his revenge over Pritchard in the final with a 4&2 win.

    The Town & Country Cars Winter KO Cup was a closely contested affair from the outset. After some very tense battles the final four were Neil Mitchell, Phil Westley, Andrew Robinson and Ben Kerr. Mitchell and Westley prevailed in their respective semi-finals and in the final Mitchell came out on top 4&2 in a high quality game to retain the trophy he won last year.

    Our Pro-Am in October at Hintlesham was a milestone event – the first year it hadn’t rained for many a while!! Joe Cardy returned the best Professional’s score of the day whilst Stuart Robertson bought home the winning team.

    And to today, the Joe Proudfoot Memorial Trophy – better-ball pairs – won by James Peasey & Patrick Spraggs.

    This year’s OOM was a hotly contested matter with two players finishing tied on 130 points – Neil Mitchell & Lawrence Dodd – with Rob Pritchard close on their heels with 110. Mitchell has already qualified for East Region events next year; however, by virtue of his higher placed finish in the Championship, Lawrence Dodd will again be our ‘exempt’ player for the Region in 2015.

    If they are available when the time for registration comes round, Dodd, Mitchell & Pritchard will be invited to represent us in the Sky Caddie Inter County Championship in 2015.

    We must also express our thanks to the Clubs – Staff & Members – who have allowed us use of their facilities during the year. Letters of thanks will be sent.

    Looking to the year ahead a programme has already been planned. A new form of Winter League stroke-play events to be played during February & March at Aldeburgh, Southwold, Felixstowe & Royal Worlington with prize money at individual events as well as an overall situation. Best two scores (from a potential four) per individual to count. Overall scores/positions to count as an OOM event.

    Pro-Ams have been arranged for Bungay in March, Hintlesham in October, Halesworth in October and, hopefully, Ufford Park in November. Again all will be OOM events.

    SPGA & Trainees Championships are arranged for Thursday 14th May at Stowmarket with the subsequent Match-play competition to be played in October at Thorpeness. Decisions will have to be made about levels of prize monies available for these events in the absence of sponsorship being available, additionally as to how many players qualify for the match-play format.

    The Town & Country KO, now to be called the Chauffeur Services Winter KO Cup will again run from Jan/Feb onwards on arrangements as in previous years. The draw will be made at the Committee meeting in mid-January. Registration for our events during 2015 will be available through the ‘Blue Golf’ system via our County link on East Region website – that is once I’ve got to grips with using it!

    We wait to see if matches will be arranged against the County Men & Ladies teams, whilst we will be again running the Dell Bower Invitation event for Amateurs during the summer at Hintlesham.

    This programme represents more opportunities for Members to ‘get out and play’ in County events than in recent years but it is also a bit of a watershed too in the sense that should these events not be well supported it will be difficult to add more competitions or even to sustain the same level in subsequent years. In other words I urge you to ‘use it or lose it’!

    Finally I’d like to bid a warm welcome to the new Trainees who have embarked upon their PGA training this October. They are:- Max Hemson at Newton Green; Danny Thurston & Rob Vine at Ufford Park; Patrick Spraggs at Woodbridge and Blaize Esmond at Bramfield Golf Centre. We wish them all long and successful careers in their chosen profession. I must also mention loss of Kevin Earp through resignation. Kevin had a great playing record as a Professional both in the County and in the Region and we wish him well with his future endeavours.

    Additionally the Secretary expressed his thanks to all the Golf Clubs in the County that had been kind enough to allow us the use of their facilities during the year – letters of thanks will be sent.

  9. Treasurer’s Report –     

    Firstly my apologies for not being with you this afternoon. This is the first annual meeting I have missed in 20 years but unfortunately I have to be somewhere else today. The accounts for 2013 have been circulated by e-mail to the members.

    The finances of the Association at the end of 2013 were in good order, with a closing balance in the bank of £ 5204-59.Turning to income, subs were slightly up on 2012, but entry fees were down as 2013 was a year when the Millennium Trophy was not held.Coaching income from Suffolk Junior Golf show an increase from 2012 due to enhanced fees.The Lottery for the Seve Ballesteros print raised a nett total of £ 968.Expenditure was reduced by just over £ 1000 , mainly due to reduced prize funds.The value of the Lloyds Bank shares has remained virtually unchanged since 2009 and remains more or less at this level currently.However, the financial assets of the Association have reduced quite considerably this year almost entirely due to the prize funds which have been paid out for the Championship, Matchplay and Trainees’ Championship events. We will be looking at an end of year balance in the bank of under £ 2000.I do not have a problem with members playing for their own money, but we have to be prudent, and it will not be possible to pay such prize funds in 2015 unless some level of sponsorship is achieved. Raising the membership subs is not an option in my opinion. Subs in 2014 are down by almost £ 700 which means that a considerable number of you do not wish to be members of the Association, and raising the subs may result in a further reduction in the SPGA membership.

    I leave it to you to consider what needs to be done!

    Additionally the Secretary reported that the end of the year balance was likely to be around £1500 once outstanding bills had been paid including Competition cheques and Secretary’s account.

  10. The Chairman closed the formal part of the meeting at 6pm.

The Chairman invited Members to raise matters of general interest for discussion. In the absence of the County Development Officer – Alastair Spink – the Chairman read out a prepared report received from him – SEE ATTACHED   2014 saw the introduction of the England Golf Strategic Plan (2014-17) to tackle golf’s challenges
and help to create a bright future for our sport. As I am sure you are all aware, golf continues to face serious challenges; the number of golf club members has been declining since 2004 and overall participation (the nomad golfer) has also been steadily declining since 2007.
In response to these worrying statistics the strategy is built around seven key themes:-
I. To increase the number of players who play golf regularly.
II. To increase the number of club members.
III. To support clubs to attract and retain more members.
IV. To identify and develop talented golfers.
V. To provide excellent championships for golfers of all levels.
VI. To change the perception of golf
VII.To improve the governance and strengthen partnership.
As PGA Professionals I believe we should and need to be involved in the application and delivery of all of these priorities and I hope that you have already had the opportunity to read this important document. It will form the blueprint for the future of golf at every level so if you are unfamiliar with its contents you can download a copy at England Golf’s website -
On a local level, the Suffolk Golf Partnership continues to work with all of the clubs in the County to continue to “grow the game” and now, inline with the new Strategy. Our Get into Golf centres offer an opportunity for new golfers to learn in a relaxed and enjoyable environment and provide followon opportunities that we hope we will ultimately lead to membership. Although this clearly is a long term strategy we have been pleased with the initial retention levels from these centres and will look forward to developing this initiative further in 2015.
2014 has also seen the relaunching and rebranding of GolfMark. Initially this was a relatively simple process primarily focussing on junior development but this has now become a much more comprehensive and business focussed procedure. It will require more work and commitment but once again, inline with the national strategy, hopes to provide additional support and a framework for golf clubs to review their policies and procedures.
During 2014 we have been very pleased to successfully link every higher or further education establishment with their local club resulting in all students over the age of 16 having the opportunity to play golf. We have also seen some fantastic results working with students with disabilities. Many thanks to Kelvin Vince and Rushmere Golf Club for once again hosting the Discovery Club Golf Celebration Day and to Elatus Sports for delivering up to 18hrs of coaching per week at Disability Hubs around the county.
In conclusion, I hope that this report and the examples given help to illustrate that there is still plenty of work happening and will continue to happen in Suffolk to halt the declining trend in participation and membership. As always, I would encourage you to make sure that you continue to be at the centre of these activities, especially at your own clubs. If you would like any further information or would like me to pop in and discuss in more detail please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Keith Preston gave a report of the continuing success of the County Coaching programme working with the elite juniors in the County under the auspices of the SGU. Nine PGA Professionals were involved with the coaching and across the age groups there are currently 2 boys invited to take part in the England Regional training squads. Generally the playing ability of those juniors involved with the County is not as high as has been the case in previous years, this being reflected by the slightly higher handicaps of teams in comparison to some.

Richard Beadles raised an issue regarding the Match-Play event with a proposal that there should be an entry fee for it and that 1st round losers should not receive prize monies. General discussion took place as to how the management of this event could be staged to minimise losses – it was reported that by maintaining prize funds that had been enjoyed in previous years for the Championship & subsequent Match-Play events had resulted in a loss of around £2500 (£1000 on Championship & £1500 on Match-Play) – clearly this position could not be sustained unless there was an increased support for Pro-Ams where funds could be raised. Other suggestions were made as to how funds could be augmented – all of which would be considered by a Sub-Committee of Paul Wilby, Kelvin Vince, Andrew Sleath & Terry Broome. The wish of the meeting following RB’s proposal was that an entry fee should be introduced for the Match-Play with a reduced number of prizes being allocated as well.

John Smith urged members to consider carefully the events that they chose to support in the sense that as Professionals they should not be ‘under-selling’ themselves with the type of event they chose to play in. Discussion closed at 6.45pm.

Suffolk PGA annual meeting 2013

The annual meeting of Suffolk PGA was held at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 5.30pm.

Apologies for absence were received from: Mark Jillings, Kevin Lovelock, Andrew Collison, Andrew Robinson, Danny Barton, Richard Davies, Rob Pritchard, Matt Alderton, Andy Cotton, Paul Thurston, James Peasey, Kevin Earp, Jon Markham, James Markham, Tim Cooper, Gary Kitley, Ed Garrard, Daniel Skriabin, Neil Mitchell, Shane Warren, Sarah Wilson, Ryan Wingate, Sam Foster, Chris Oldrey, Lawrence Dodd, Stuart Robertson, Simon Jay, Matt Ransome, John Smith (PGA East Region), Martin Elsworthy, Adam Trett, Tim Johnson, Paul Bate, Frank Hill, Simon Byford, Stephen Hall, Simon Reeve, Alex Lucas and Paul Connell, Ian Scott, Richard Beadles, Andy Goodridge, Josh King, Henry Roblin.
Those attending were: Dell Bower (president), Paul Wilby (chairman), Andrew Sleath (vice-president and auditor), Tony Garnett (hon secretary), Alastair Spink, Keith Preston, Tony Dobson, Joe Cardy, Chris Smith, Bradley Wilkins, Ollie Rush, Phil Westley, Kelvin Vince, Tony Moore, Andy Kirk, Robert Joyce, Peter Latimer, Kevin Carpenter, Ben Kerr, Terry Broome (hon secretary-elect), Graham Cook (SPGA website).
Minutes of annual meeting held on November 20th 2012, already circulated, were passed as a true record. There were no matters arising.
Chairman’s report: Paul Wilby spoke of the hard work of the PGA East Region staff at Bishop’s Stortford. He said they were always looking for support for pro-ams and order of merit events.
He then congratulated the three Suffolk professionals, Lawrence Dodd, Kevin Earp and Peter Latimer who had won the inaugural PGA of England and Wales inter-county championship.
He also congratulated Kevin Carpenter of Hintlesham Golf Club on his national recognition for all the charity work he does with his internationally acclaimed trick-shot routine that has taken him all over the world in the past two years.
He applauded Alastair Spink for his work with the Suffolk Golf Partnership which leads the way amongst counties, not only in the East, but all over England.
He mentioned the excellent work of the Suffolk PGA professionals who have coached the senior county squad and junior boys at under-18, under-16, under-14 and under-12 levels for the Suffolk Golf Union. Keith Preston heads this operation which has improved the standard of amateur golf in the county dramatically over recent years.
Mr Wilby thanked the committee members of the SPGA for their work over the past year and to president Dell Bower for his continued encouragement and support.
He thanked Town and Country Cars for their sponsorship of what used to be the Winter Cup and said he was delighted that they had agreed to sponsor again in 2014.
He spoke of the Trademark Agreement with the PGA and said that this would be a committee decision after all members were fully in the picture. He said it would be helpful if Mr Liam Greasley could meet the full committee to answer questions.
Mr Wilby expressed his gratitude to those club professionals who had supported the Suffolk PGA/Seve Ballesteros lottery over the course of 2013.
Finally he thanked Tony Garnett for his years as hon secretary and welcomed Terry Broome who had agreed to take over the mantle.
Mr Bower said that he felt strongly that Suffolk PGA should not become involved with the Trademark agreement unless it was clearly going to be an advantage to the county. Mr Preston expressed the view that much more needed to be known about its implications.
Secretary and treasurer’s report from Tony Garnett
This is my final secretary’s report after 10 years or so with the Suffolk PGA. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learned a lot about golf professionals, but now feel the time is right for a change.
Happily Terry Broome is lined up to be my successor and I am sure he will bring new ideas and fresh enthusiasm to the job. I will do my best to help him settle in.
In may ways this has been a year of glory for Suffolk PGA who are the first to have their inscribed on the Dave Thomas Memorial Trophy at The Belfry after Lawrence Dodd, Kevin Earp and Peter Latimer who the inaugural England and Wales PGA Inter County Championship.
Lawrence is our PGA Champion this year after a play-off with Richard Beadles. He also won the order of merit with Chris Smith runner-up and Andrew Robinson third. Peter Latimer won the Assistants’ title at Hintlesham and Neil Mitchell won the Town and Country Cars Cup and the Suffolk match play title.
There are several decisions that will need to be made over the next few months. The main one is perhaps whether or not to sign the new Trademark Agreement with the PGA,
This has come about as a result of their costly rebranding project. Good things such as insurance, stationery and even uniforms for county officials are offered free of charge. The sticking points concern the website and the use of Blue Golf on the internet.
At present only Middlesex, the smallest of the counties in the East Region, has gone ahead with the agreement. Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk do not appear keen. I have my own views but as I will not be involved in the decision-making I will keep them to myself. I will introduce Terry to Liam Greasley, in charge of Regions at The Belfry. I hope some sort of compromise can be reached so that we can defend the Dave Thomas Memorial Trophy which may only be open to counties with have signed the Trademark Agreement.
I should like to thank committee members for their support and feel sure that you will give Terry all the help and encouragement that he will need especially with persuading players to support pro-ams. To make our pro-ams financially viable we need to have help from professionals from Essex and Norfolk so it is important to arrange dates that do not clash with theirs. At present Essex have not finalised their 2014 programme.
Next year’s biennial Millennium Trophy with Norfolk PGA is at Weston Park on Thursday, May 15. I will introduce Terry to Norfolk secretary John Paling so they can sort out all the details. Both counties put £1000 into the prize fund. That is why I was so keen that the SPGA/Seve lottery was a successful. Some club professionals pulled their weight and many thanks to them. Others never seemed to appreciate the importance of the venture which was a pity.
Our stroke play championship will be at Ipswich Golf Club on October 9th next year with the match play at Thorpeness the following Monday and Tuesday. Other dates I will leave to Terry to arrange. I still have some jobs to complete such as taking our Mallinson Cup for valuation.
It will be being done by the lady who valued the silverware at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness Golf Clubs.
There have been changes in personnel. Barrie Trainor, a former Irish PGA champion, arrived at Old Joe’s Golf Range in January and went back to Ireland in September. Andy Kirk leaves Ufford Park for the Lee Westwood Academy at Stoke by Nayland later this week and Andrew Robinson starts as head professional at Southwold in January. Andrew is on holiday at present but he may be interested that Martin Elsworthy has stock and shop fittings for sale at a good price. He will put them on general sale in the New Year if no one in Suffolk contacts him.
New trainees include Bradley Wilkins of Fynn Valley, Josh King and Paul Thurston at Waldringfield and Phil Westley at Hintlesham. Two new trainees at Newton Green moved within a few weeks. Scott Edwards is now with PlayGolf Colchester and Ben Mellon is in Guernsey. I wish all these people a successful career.
Kevin Carpenter, who has been all over the world with his amazing trick shot show for the past few years, has very kindly offered to do a show for Suffolk PGA when the suitable occasion arises. For that we are grateful.
You may be surprised not to see Frank Hill here tonight. I am probably giving away secrets, but this evening he is with the vicar together with Charlie Damonsing to whom he will be married in the next couple of weeks. Congratulations are in order.
Also congratulations to Alastair Spink who has been short-listed for the Gillette Community Coach of the Year award after the successful introduction of the ‘Here Come the Girls’ initiative at Fynn Valley.
The awards take place at the Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch, London, on December 3.
His coaching style is underpinned by learning theories that Spink is studying at the University of Birmingham. As part of a small cohort of coaches he has recently gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Coaching and is now in his third year of a Masters degree, with a coaching focus on gender culture and women’s participation within sport.
I took over from Andrew Sleath as treasurer this year to make it easier for me to deal with the payments for those who undertake coaching for the Suffolk Golf Union and to be able to pay prize money at events.
Andrew remained as auditor and between us we prepared the balance sheet so I hope we can answer any questions that you may have. I now hand that mantle back to Andrew and I hope to take a break from golf for a while to recharge run down batteries and get some memoirs recorded.
It can be tough being a golf professional. Gain every qualification you possibly can. I believe one way forward is for top level coaching or directors of golf to run clubs. It will be good for the clubs and good for the professional but you must be qualified to attain that appointment. Being indispensible to your club goes without saying.
I once again thank the committee members for all their help and, of course, to our President Dell Bower for all that he has done for the Association over many years. I know he will give Terry all the help he has given me. He thanked the President for inviting committee members to breakfast on the morning of every annual meeting. This has become a much appreciated and welcome tradition.
There were no questions but auditor Andrew Sleath pointed out that the SPGA held 550 shares in Lloyds TSB valued at 36p each in December 2011 and are currently worth 76p.
Election of President. Proposed by Kelvin Vince and seconded by Tony Dobson that Mr Dell Bower be re-elected as SPGA president. This was carried unanimously.
Election of vice-presidents. Proposed by Alastair Spink and seconded by Joe Cardy that Andrew Sleath and Tony Garnett be re-elected as vice-presidents. Carried unanimously.
Election of secretary. Proposed by Keith Preston, seconded by Tony Dobson that Terry Broome be elected as secretary. Carried unanimously.
Election of hon treasurer: Proposed by Tony Garnett and seconded by Alastair Spink that Andrew Sleath be elected as hon. treasurer. Carried unanimously.
Re-election of SPGA serving committee members Paul Wilby, Frank Hill, Keith Preston, Alastair Spink, Ollie Rush, Kelvin Vince, Joe Cardy (representing Suffolk Golf Partnership) and Tony Dobson. Proposed by Robert Joyce and seconded by Chris Smith and carried unanimously.
Presentation to retiring secretary: Mr Wilby spoke of the work on behalf of the Association undertaken by the retiring hon secretary Tony Garnett on the past 10 years. He then presented Mr Garnett with a silver salver inscribed: “With thanks for all your hard work from members of the Suffolk PGA presented to Mr Tony Garnett 2013.”
Mr Garnett was somewhat lost for words but thanked the members for this kind show of appreciation.
Joe Proudfoot Memorial: The Presentation of the trophy and prize money was made to winners of the Joe Proudfoot Memorial Cup, Keith Preston and Simon Reeve of Aldeburgh, who were the first pair to retain the trophy. They had a five under par round of 67 beating Robert Joyce and Peter Latimer (Felixstowe Ferry) by one shot.
The annual meeting was declared closed at 6.05pm.
Following the meeting Mr Spink gave a report on the Suffolk Golf Partnership and also included a report on Suffolk girls’ coaching in the absence of Sarah Wilson. On the downside money was very tight and there was no junior organiser. Three coaching sessions this year might be reduced to two next year.
Suffolk girls finished fourth in the junior county week but halved with Essex and beat Bedfordshire. The 2014 Junior County Week will be at Bury St Edmunds. Juniors Eloise Aldous and Alice Barlow of Newton Green won the Haskell Trophy. Sarah Wilson, Alastair Spink Andrew Collison and Ollie Rush had been involved in girls’ coaching in 2013.
On the subject of the Partnership Mr Spink said there were 17 clubs who had attained GolfMark twelve of which were high achievers. He said there would be eight Get Into Golf centres and the latest four year plan would concentrate on those aged between 14 and 25.
Mr Spink said there was still £625 in a bursary to help professionals improve their qualifications. He emphasised that all professionals should work together rather than be competing against one another as in some other counties. He said there were a million golfers who were not club members.
Mr Preston said his aim was that golfers in Suffolk should have potential and reach that potential. The SGU coaching involves under-18, under-16, under-14 and under-12 squads. He said the under 18s were exceptional but there was plenty of work to with the under 16s. He said the average age of the men’s county squad was 20. He thanked Tony Dobson for his work at Stonham Barns with the six to 12 year olds and giving them a start in the game.
Mr Preston said that any PGA professional in Suffolk who wanted to become involved in the SGU coaching programme was welcome to contact him.
There was an opportunity for unminuted discussion after these reports but no questions were asked.
Following the meeting the draw for the Seve Ballesteros/Suffolk PGA Lottery took place.
First: Framed, autographed print of Seve Ballesteros and letter of authentication donated by Mr Detmar Hackman. Winner: Peter Morton (Stowmarket Golf Club) Ticket: 482.
Second:  Snooper SRL 500 shot saver donated by Bob Wood of Snooper Winner: Bob Curry, 27 Hedingham Road, Halstead. Ticket 825.
Third: Lunch or dinner for four (with a bottle of house wine) at George and Dragon, Kelvedon (valid Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and Tuesday to Friday for dinner) donated by Dell Bower.  Winner: Peter Rudd, Framlingham. Ticket 546
Fourth: Bottle of Gould Campbell 1977 Vintage Port 75cl. Gary Kitley, Rookery Park GC. Ticket 41.
Fifth: Bottle of Glen Garioch 1990 Signatory malt whisky. 70cl. Cask 2748. Bottle number 146 of 293. Winner: Jon Marks, Woodridge. Ticket: 734.
Sixth: Jamesons Select Reserve whiskey. Winner: Lawrence Dodd, Bury Golf Range. Ticket: 661
Seventh: Bottle of Oban Single Malt whisky.  70cl. Winner: Dan Walker, Haverhill Golf Club. Ticket: 374.
Eighth: Dow’s 1998 Quinta do Bomfim Bicentenary Vintage Port. Winner: Detmar Hackman, Saxmundham. Ticket: 514.
(All bottles donated by Tony Garnett).

Suffolk PGA annual meeting 2012

The annual general meeting of Suffolk PGA was held at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club on Tuesday,

November 20th 2012 at 5.15pm (after the Joe Proudfoot Memorial Trophy). 

Apologies were received from John Smith (PGA East Region secretary), Kevin Lovelock, Andrew Collison, Ian Scott, Alex Lucas, Paul Wilby, Richard Davies, Adam Trett, James Markham, Shane Warren, Tony Moore, Andy Cotton, Kevin Earp, Neil Mitchell, Mark Jillings, Simon Jay, Gary Kitley, Martin Elsworthy, Stephen Hall, Matt Ransome, Danny Barton, Simon Byford, Andrew Robinson, Andy Kirk, James Peasey, Tim Johnson, Ryan Wingate, Daniel Skriabin, Henry Roblin, Richard Beadles. Robin Mann, Matt Alderton.

Those present were: Dell Bower (president), Andrew Sleath (vice-president), Frank Hill, Alastair Spink, Sarah Wilson, Keith Preston, Ollie Rush, Robert Joyce, Paul Bate, Paul Connell, Peter Latimer, Tim Cooper, Lawrence Dodd, Andy Goodridge, Jon Markham, Kevin Carpenter, Stuart Robertson, Chris Oldrey, Chris Smith, Tony Dobson, Kelvin Vince, Joe Cardy, Simon Reeve and Tony Garnett (secretary).

The minutes of the annual meeting held at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club on November 23, 2011 were already circulated. It was proposed by Kelvin Vince and seconded by Tony Dobson that they be passed as a true record and carried unanimously. There were no matters arising.

Frank Hill, acting chairman, read the report from chairman Paul Wilby who was in Tenerife.

He expressed thanks for the support of president Dell Bower over so many years mentioned the work of the secretary, the county coaches and Alastair Spink with the Suffolk Golf Partnership.

He referred to the hard work of John Smith and his team at PGA East Region headquarters and stressed that they should be supported whenever possible.

He congratulated Suffolk winners Lawrecne Dodd (Open), Kevin Earp (Envirocars match play and Suffolk strokeplay) and Keith Preston (Suffolk matchplay).

It was proposed by Tim Cooper and seconded by Simon Reeve that the 2011 accounts of Suffolk PGA should be accepted. This was carried unanimously.

Tony Garnett said that he had taken over from Andrew Seath as signatory for SPGA and would be presenting the balance sheet for 2012. The appointment of treasurer is a matter for the committee.

It was proposed by Kevin Carpenter and seconded by Keith Preston that Dell Bower should be re-elected as president. This was carried unanimously.

It was proposed by Ollie Rush and seconded by Chris Oldrey that Andrew Sleath be re-elected a vice-president. This was carried unanimously.

Mr Bower then proposed that Tony Garnett should become a vice-president of SPGA. This was also carried unanimously.

It was proposed by Kevin Carpenter and seconded by Simon Reeve that the the committee be re-elected en bloc with the additions of Ollie Rush and Paul Bate. This was carried unanimously.

Robin Mann was unable to present his captain’s report because his car had broken down and he was stranded in Southwold. He would have reported on successful matches against Suffolk Golf Union men’s county team and Suffolk Ladies’ county team. Both fixtures are being repeated in 2013.

In his annual report secretary Tony Garnett spoke of the problems of falling club membership and the pressure this would put on club finances to the point that they may be looking to make drastic cuts in expenditure.

He emphasised that club professionals should not only make themselves indispensable to their clubs, but they also would be wise to secure extra qualifications in club management with full knowledge of health and safety, child protection and dealing with VAT. Club managers could not be club professionals, but qualified professionals could become club managers under the title of Director of Golf. PGA Foundation Degree courses are moving in this direction but professionals may need to go a stride further.

There are more golf professionals in England than there are jobs. In the old days they could move to Germany or Sweden, but such countries are now training their own professionals.

The secretary spoke of pro-ams and the problem of finding amateurs to play on anything like a regular basis in the present economic climate. He said that he noticed small fields in recent pro-ams in Essex and Norfolk.

He said he has arranged pro-ams at Rushmere on January 28 and the Dell Bower Pro-Am at Hintlesham on March 13. He said that committee members would share the load in securing a good field for these events. He said the County week in May presented a problem because neighbouring counties were staging their own events. An agreement with Norfolk to stage a joint pro-am at Halesworth in May had been abandoned because Norfolk opted to stage their own event at Royal Cromer on that day. The committee would consider what support could be mustered for the Halesworth event.

The secretary said that Mr Detmar Hackman of Sabone Rheumatic Relief Co had given SPGA a signed and autographed print of Seve Ballesteros. The committee planned to run a lottery (licence needed) at £5 a ticket to raise funds for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and SPGA. Other prizes would be required to stage a lottery that would reach outside the county boundary. He said that club professionals would be asked to help sell tickets in Suffolk.

The secretary ended by reminding members to make full use of the SPGA website saying that he was still getting inquires from professionals about matters that appeared on the website.

The annual meeting was declared closed at 5.37pm. 

There then followed a general meeting at which there were three reports submitted.

Sarah Wilson, coach to Suffolk Girls, spoke of the progress that has been made in the county despite limited grants of £1600. She said that Suffolk were runners-up to Hertfordshire in the inaugural Junior East County week and that he girls had done “incredibly well.” Teenagers also featured in the Suffolk ladies’county team that were runners-up to national champions Essex in East County Week held at Ipswich Golf Club. She said that the Suffolk girls’ second team had their fixtures affected by the wet Summer but that they had won one, drawn one and lost one. She spoke of the Academy run by the Suffolk Golf Partnership and said that her coaching was in three sections, beginners, improvers and

Elite. Sarah said that she would welcome any girls being passed on for coaching. “Sometimes there are just one or two girls at a club and this would give them a new outlet and hopefully keep them interested in the game when meeting up with other girls,” she said.

Keith Preston, coach to the Suffolk Golf Union men’s and boys’ teams, first echoed the thoughts of Sarah Wilson in encouraging girls to get together. He then spoke of the successes of 2012 with Suffolk men reaching the England County Finals for the first time in their history and finishing in third place. He said that winter coaching for boys had started in three groups. Group A (not elite because he did not consider them to be good enough at present) had seven players, Group B had 12 and Group C had 15. He said that anyone interested in being considered for coaching for SGU should contact him.

Alastair Spink reported on the progress of the Suffolk Golf Partnership who said that England Golf sport plan that ran from 2009 to March 2013 was nearing its end. He said that England Golf was waiting to hear from Sport England what funding they could expect for the next stage from 2013 to 2017.

He said that Suffolk achieved their target of 20 clubs with Golf Mark when Stonham Barns were awarded RangeMark. Fourteen of the 20 in Suffolk were high achievers. One change was that Sport England Golf were no longer funding coaching for those under the age of 14. This applies to all sports. It was felt that this should be driven forward locally rather than nationally.

Mr Spink said that grants were available for professionals undertaking studies to enhance their personal development. Claims must be submitted by February 28, 2013 with help available for 50% of the total cost.

The draw for the Town and Country Cars Cup (formerly Winter Cup and Envirocars Cup) was postponed in the hopes of increasing the field from the 28 already entered to 32. Robin Mann was delegated to organise the event.

There was a chance for members to have unminuted discussion but no questions were asked and the meeting was declared closed at 6.16pm.

The Suffolk PGA annual meeting for 2013 will be held at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club on Tuesday, November 19th preceded by the Joe Proudfoot Trophy.


The annual general meeting of the Suffolk PGA was held at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club on

Apologies for absence were received from John Smith (PGA East Region secretary), Mark Jillings, Matt Alderton, Andy Cotton, Paul Wilby, Ian MacPherson, Ryan Wingate, Ian Scott, Richard Davies, Rob Pritchard, Jon Markham, Andrew Collison, Harry Mills, Paul Connell, James Peasey, Richard Beadles, Joe Cardy, Kevin Earp, Martin Elsworthy, Neil Mitchell, Simon Reeve, Andy Goodridge, Kelvin Vince, Kevin Lovelock, Tim Johnson, Simon Byford, Joe Maskall, Adam Trett, Lawrence Dodd.

The minutes of the annual general meeting held at Felixstowe Ferry on November 24, 2010, which had been circulated to members, was passed as a true record.

Vice-chairman Frank Hill deputised for chairman Paul Wilby who was on holiday in Tenerife. Mr Wilby left a report which Mr Hill read to the meeting.

Chairman’s report
Ladies and gentlemen, may I take this opportunity to apologise for my absence and thank Mr Hill for chairing the AGM. You may or may not be aware that our Secretary, Mr Tony Garnett, is gently letting go of the reins of his position as he still has a lot to fulfil in his life and with the current workload created in this role, it would make this impossible!

Not only must we respect Tony’s decision, but also thank him for his help over the years, as he has always given 100% as our Secretary and has taken his responsibilities very seriously.

Tony is the man behind the fantastic golf coverage in the local media and he has promoted golf to raised the profile of the sport that we, as Pros, benefit from by making such an enjoyable living!

We thank you Tony for all your hard work and support and wish you the very best for the future!

Tony is continuing to help until we appoint a new Secretary and in the meantime the Committee will assist until this vacancy has been filled. We are seeking a successor to Tony and if anyone knows of any individual that may have some spare time and has a keen interest in Suffolk Golf, please let us know.

It is also worth mentioning that Tony has never claimed the allowance associated with the role of Secretary, which has saved us literally thousands as SPGA members. He has also sponsored many events over the years, often without the knowledge of our members, and has never asked for any appreciation.

Your Committee also works hard attending planning meetings. They volunteer many hours of their time and pay their own travelling expenses! Could you please show your appreciation for their support of the Suffolk PGA.

I would like to thank Mr Preston and his team of county coaches for the fantastic job they all do, ensuring the future success of Suffolk, as well as making the game more enjoyable for so many.

Thanks also to Mr Spink, who works tirelessly to promote golf in Suffolk and for assisting the Suffolk professionals with coaching opportunities, funded by grants, which are a great benefit to us.

Alastair has achieved so much for us as a County and, when you compare his stats to other counties, his results are incredible.

I would like to wish Ian MacPherson the very best on his retirement and on behalf of the Suffolk PGA I hope you have a long and happy time ahead of you.

Also welcome to the incoming Felixstowe professional, Robert Joyce, who will be fantastic addition to our Association and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Suffolk.

With regard to East Region matters, those of us who play in or have played in PGA events must be aware of the hard work of Mr John Smith and his team at Regional HQ. In a time where sponsors are like gold dust, their achievements during the past year have been fabulous.

Unfortunately I have to report there have been a few instances over the last year where players have aired their views to the PGA Staff of their discontent. This may have been a player’s view of the course or some other trivial issue. However please can I remind all SPGA members that these guys are not to be used to ‘sound off’ any issues when you walk off a golf course. Please treat the PGA Staff with respect and remember that they work extremely long hours to run the large schedule of tournaments for PGA Pros throughout the year. For the record none of these players were Suffolk based. However if you do have any problems in future, please direct your comments to HQ where they will receive attention.

Treasurer’s report

Mr Sleath presented a balance sheet up to the end of 2010 showing a closing balance of £4840.41. He said that the income from pro-ams was down because the annual Dell Bower pro-am had not gone ahead in October 2009 or 2010.

Mr Sleath said that the Association holds 550 shares in Lloyds TSB valued on December 31, 2010 at approx 69p each totalling £379.50.

The annual accounts were passed unanimously.

A proposal that the entry fee for annual membership be increased to £50 with trainees remaining at £20 was withdrawn after the secretary pointed out that this was proposed at the last committee meeting at which the treasurer was not present. On his advice that the finances were in a satisfactory state the subscription rates were left at £45 for members and £20 for trainees. The matter of a donation to the Suffolk Golf Union for their junior fund was to be decided at committee.


Captain’s report

Tony Dobson, Suffolk PGA captain, congratulated the 2011 Suffolk champions. Rob Pritchard of Cretingham won the SPGA stroke play at Aldeburgh in May, Chris Smith (Fynn Valley) won the SPGA match play at Thorpeness in October and Richard Davies (Halesworth) won the SPGA Winter Cup for the second time in three years. The annual match against Suffolk county men’s first team was played at Rushmere in April. The match against Suffolk county ladies was called off because they felt they could not raise a competitive team.

Officers elected

It was proposed by Keith Preston and seconded by Robin Mann that Mr Dell Bower re re-elected as SPGA president. This was carried unanimously.

It was proposed by Tony Dobson and seconded by Frank Hill that Andrew Sleath be re-elected as Vice-President.

As there were no new members proposed to serve on the committee within the rules of the constitution the current committee were re-elected en bloc (Messrs: Wilby, Hill, Preston, Mann, Vince, Dobson, Spink).

Secretary’s report


Mr Garnett said that SPGA captain Tony Dobson had congratulated our championship winners but pointed out that Chris Smith of Fynn Valley had won the 2011 order of merit and will gain exemption from qualifying for the PGA East Region order of merit events in 2012.

For the second successive year Mr Garnett emphasised how club professionals must make themselves “indispensible” to their clubs in these difficult times.

Mr Garnett said that a successful pro-am at Rushmere had raised about £500 and had been supported by 25 teams. Two more pro-ams are planned at Rushmere on January 23 and the Dell Bower pro-am at Hintlesham on March 7.

The format of £150 a team, a one-course meal at £8, a pro prize fund of £1350 and amateur prizes for five teams at just over £500 seemed to work although the date chosen was lucky to escape the fog which would have caused problems both on the previous day and the following day.

In Suffolk we cannot run a viable pro-am using just our own players. We need help from Essex and Norfolk and perhaps even Hertfordshire.

Dell Bower has been disappointed that his pro-am has not gone ahead at Hintlesham for the last two years. The problem was that the figures did not add up. I have spoken to Henry Roblin who is prepared to try the same formula as proved successful at Rushmere. The champagne breakfast and three course meal of yesteryear, with inevitably increased entry fees, no longer works in the present economic climate.

Dates for 2012

Dates already arranged for 2012 are as follows:

May 14: Millennium Trophy (with Norfolk PGA) at Hintlesham.

Sunday, April 15: Match v Suffolk county men (four foursomes) at venue to be arranged at 2pm. He said the new Suffolk men’s captain was former president Mike Rees of Rookery Park.

October 8: SPGA stroke play championship at Southwold.

October 15 and 16: SPGA match play at Thorpeness.

The Dell Bower SPGA Assistants’ Championship, with a competition for category one amateurs who work in the golf industry, will be at Hintlesham in June or July on a date to be arranged.

As you have heard I want to stand down as secretary so that I have time to attend to other things. It will be the duty of your committee to find a successor.

I will be happy to continue a close involvement with SPGA but no longer intend to chase people for annual subscriptions, entry fees or to confirm one way or the other of they wish to play in events.

Some Suffolk professionals (compared with those in Essex for example) are slow to respond to emails. This entails many phone calls that take time when a quick response could make everything run smoothly.

I will be handing over the task of chasing people to a committee member although, in the foreseeable future, I will be able to run tournaments as in the past.

I would wish to see Suffolk professionals given first option for pro-ams (at least 10 days before players from other counties are invited). This means making an early commitment and sticking to in. Late withdrawals, for whatever reason, cost your Association money if the prize fund and catering costs for an event have already been agreed. I will be quite happy to continue to run the Dell Bower Trainees’ Championship and, in this event only, organise the entries.

I have helped Brett Vale and Royal Worlington by running their club pro-ams in exchange for £100 for SPGA funds. They inform me of the teams and I take over from the previous day preparing cards, boards and stationery as well as collecting entry fees on the day and arranging the prizes for winners.

I used to keep the metal scoreboard in my garden shed which has now been taken down as it was falling apart. I need a home for the boards other than in my house.

This morning Dell Bower invited some of us to breakfast here at Felixstowe Ferry which was the perfect opportunity to make Ian MacPherson, who retires at the end of this month, an honorary life member of SPGA. Furthermore we made a presentation to him to make his 30 years here at Felixstowe Ferry. (There will be a picture of the website).


SPGA website


Since last year we have installed a Suffolk PGA website. I was amazed some of our players have never used it. This must change.

Graham Cook has been working hard keeping the website up to date. He was unable to attend the annual meeting but left a report which is summarised as follows:

“Our website, which can found under Suffolk PGA on search engines has been up and running for a year. It has Suffolk PGA news as well as links to other golf-related websites.

There is a list of members who have paid their subscriptions to Suffolk PGA for the year. There is scope for professionals to advertise. Clearly the website needs to be used by all members if advertising is to be effective.”


Suffolk PGA Winter Cup

Robin Mann has been working hard gaining entries for the Winter Cup and collecting entry fees.

More importantly he has secured the sponsorship of Envirocars, a new taxi service, (Tel: 03331 21 31 41).

The draw for the Winter Cup and more information on Envirocars is on this website. All I ask is that you support this service, recommend it to your club members, and always remember that it is cheaper for an airport trip than with other taxi companies. If sponsorship of the Winter Cup proves beneficial, then more substantial sponsorship could be forthcoming.

If SPGA is to thrive I appeal to our professionals (and I know how busy you are) to make a little bit more effort to reply promptly to emails and to try to find sponsorship. Sharing the workload is the answer.

Following the secretary’s report the matter of Suffolk professionals who do not subscribe to SPGA was raised. There were about 10 of them who, admittedly, do not play in competitions. In other counties payment is for playing rights. In Suffolk more support is offered to professionals if they have problems or to keep them informed about all matters from coaching, available grants and so on. The professionals concerned will be asked why they do not wish to be involved.


Coaching reports


Sarah Wilson (Bramford Golf Centre) spoke of the progress made by the girls in Suffolk the past year with Blaize Esmond and Sarah Howe already established county first team players and others like Lily Kent knocking on the door. Sarah spoke of the progress made by the Suffolk Golf Partnership junior academy. Seventy girls were being coached, 55 of them from the Partnership Academy. Sarah Howe won the Young Volunteer award for helping with coaching girls.

Keith Preston (Aldeburgh) said that the Suffolk Golf Union had two boys’ squads, under 18 and under 16. This year there was no elite squad because the standard of players did not justify it. The “golden” period of Jamie Moul, Lawrence Dodd, Jamie Abbott, Hugo Dobson and Patrick Spraggs was over. These things tend to run in cycles. Mr Preston felt that there was more promise at under-16 level than with the older group.

Mr Preston expanded on the problem of a dip in the standard of young golfers saying that it was a national trend, not just in Suffolk.

Alastair Spink provided an update on the Suffolk Golf Partnership. He said funds were in place to support coaches who started Sixteen Plus projects. He said a 16Plus co-ordinator was to be appointed. He reminded members of the availability of an inflatable net with an electric pump.

He said that 17 centres had GolfMark in Suffolk with 11 of them High Achievers. He said that five of the seven or eight clubs who could achieve GolfMark were now working on it.

Mr Spink said that the talent assessments for places on the Academy coaching took into consideration “potential.” He added that some had not previously been members of golf clubs but most of them are now.

The meeting was declared closed at 6.02pm with the draw for the Envirocars Winter Cup draw to follow which can know be found in the Matchplay section of the website.