Hides hopes for home draw

GIVEN the size and status of Rookery Park Golf Club it is surprising the difficulty the club has had in winning either the Hambro Cup or the Tolly Cobbold.

GIVEN the size and status of Rookery Park Golf Club it is surprising the difficulty the club has had in winning either the Hambro Cup or the Tolly Cobbold.

The latter trophy was presented some years ago by the brewery with the intention of fostering friendly rivalry between Suffolk's top golf clubs whilst catering first for the 12+ handicappers and, more recently, for the 10+ golfers.

Every year there has been endless trials and much preparation yet success has usually proved to be elusive.

One theory, subscribed to by some of our top golfers, was that the vast openness of the original course, plus its length, encouraged golfers to concentrate on how far they could hit the ball rather than on how well, to put length ahead of finesse.

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Although the theory could not be proven it was one of several factors, which led to replacing acres of rough grass with trees and copses.

Another theory is that the experienced and knowledgeable Mike Rees keeps a tighter rein on Rookery handicaps than is the case in some other clubs.

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Tolly non-playing captain, Andy Hides, has just started his third year in charge.

A 16 handicapper, he took up golf in 1992, at the age of 21, after injury curtailed his football career.

He was attracted to golf due to conversations with his brother, Rodney, who helps with the catering for the British Open Golf Championships.

Although having never had a lesson he went on to win the Leighton Speake and a number of Turkeys, as well as taking several prizes in AmAm's.

His strangest experience came when he watched two golfers drive out-of-bounds off the 15th teebox.

On the second occasion Rob Cook's ball struck a marker and rebounded backwards, high over his head, before landing on the clubhouse roof and startling many people sitting and standing in the surrounding area.

Having yet to get a home draw Hides is hoping for better luck this year.

He defends his decisions not to involve too many juniors on the grounds that trials have indicated that the youngsters react too strongly to bad shots and not having putts conceded, often including putts of little more two feet.

Given the gamesmanship, which can occur at adult level, and the increasing intensity of the competition, he feels that some of the youngsters, whilst very promising golfers, are not quite mature enough yet to gain a place in his teams.

Despite this he hopes to include two juniors in his final team this year.

Carl Skelton won the recent Sunday Stableford on a countback from Mike Woods and Paul Lowman. All scored 40pts.

The Seniors' Stableford saw the continued rehabilitation of former star cricketer, Glyn Bishop.

His 42pts was one better than the scores of Graham Smith and Barry Homes.

David Batley

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