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GOLF: Awesome foursome at Rookery

PUBLISHED: 11:42 19 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 06 July 2010

THE Texas Scramble saw four of Rookery's young guns form a formidable team and score an emphatic victory.

Chris Soanes, Ben Wallis, Luke Thompson and Callum Monk produced 14 birdies and an eagle to finish with a score of 55.

THE Texas Scramble saw four of Rookery's young guns form a formidable team and score an emphatic victory.

Chris Soanes, Ben Wallis, Luke Thompson and Callum Monk produced 14 birdies and an eagle to finish with a score of 55.3, well ahead of the rest of the field.

Soanes and Wallis went on to represent Suffolk in a friendly match against Kent. The eight singles clashes ended in a three hole victory for Suffolk. Playing against plus two opponents, Soanes scored a half whilst Wallis managed a three hole victory.

The youngsters admit that their regular victories are helped by the policy of playing winter competitions off the white tee markers. When the club moved from Pakefield to Rookery Park there was much debate as to who the architects of the new course should be. Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas GC Architects and Pennink, Cotton and Lawrie GC Architects emerged as the favourites. A vital difference between the two firms was that Alliss and Thomas believed in large, square teeboxes for regular club play with a smaller box further back for use in major competitions. This enabled the tee markers, both yellow and white, to be moved around in accordance with the weather and the seasons.

Much to the disappointment of many, however, the contract was awarded to their opponents, who favoured using long narrow stretches for the teeboxes. This meant that the narrow front of the teeboxes were heavily used and worn throughout the winter and the backs came into play during the summer competitions.

A large area in the middle was under used. This practice continued for many years. Eventually it was decided that all of the teeboxes had to be used. The new thinking was strengthened when the golfing administrators decided, unwisely in the opinion of many, that winter qualifying competitions had to be played off similar distances as in the summer.

The handicap system is intended to give all competitors an equal chance but the big hitters will always have an advantage on a longer course. The knowledge that they can hit the greens in regulation figures without the constant pressure of having to pitch and putt well, gives them a huge psychological advantage.

Some years ago a large sample of golfers, covering the whole handicap range, was asked which golf shot gave the greatest pleasure. It was believed that it had to be the long putt or the enormous drive. It turned out to be neither.

The greatest satisfaction came from the mid-iron shot, which left the ball awaiting a birdie putt. Unfortunately, this shot rarely occurs for the shorter hitters on a very long course. Their game becomes one of wood shots, chips, pitches and putts.

These are the golfers who wish that the ideas of Alliss and Thomas had prevailed.

David Batley

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