Stowaways Golf Society

About Us


The Stowaways started in 2008 with a small group of Senior Golfers from Stowmarket Golf Club occasionally playing at other courses. Over the next four years the numbers grew and the list was closed to new members in 2012. There is a waiting list which ensures that as members leave our numbers remain the same.

We have seven or eight fixtures each year and annually carry out a survey to decide on the venues for the next 12 months. Since 2012 members have travelled to France, Belgium and Ireland - details of their exploits can be seen on the Stayaways page.

Rules are kept to a minimum but the the number of members has been restricted to 65 and there is a maximum handicap of 24 on entry to the group. However, once you have joined the group you cannot be expelled if your handicap goes above 24. It is expected that every member will play ay least once each year otherwise, unless there are exceptional circumstances, they will lose their membership.

Fixtures

Date Venue Tee Time Cost Details
Tue 27th Mar John O'Gaunt GC 11:00 AM £40 Golf followed by lunch of Home Made Pie plus Dessert and coffee. No prize fund included in cost.
Thu 12th Apr Flempton GC 11:00 AM £40 Soup and sandwiches followed by cake and coffee. No prize fund included in cost.
Mon 14th May East Herts GC 1:00 PM £50 Lasagne Salad and Garlic Bread at 12 noon with golf to follow. No prize fund included in cost.
Thu 28th Jun Swaffham GC 10:30 AM £45 Coffee & Bacon Roll from 9.30 with Carvery Lunch and Coffee to follow the golf. Contribution to prize fund included in cost.
Wed 18th Jul Halesworth GC 10:30 AM £45 Coffee & Bacon Roll from 9.30 with Ham Egg & Chips and Coffee to follow the golf. Contribution to prize fund included in cost.
Thu 9th Aug Eaton GC 10:36 AM £40 Cost includes Cottage Pie for lunch and contribution to prize fund. Optional Coffee & Bacon Rolls for additional £5 from 9.30.
Fri 14th Sep Barnham Broom GC 10:36 AM £40 Hill Course. Coffee & Bacon Roll from 9.30 with Sausage and Mash to follow the golf. Contribution to prize fund included in cost.
Fri 12th Oct St Neots GC 10:30 AM £45 Coffee & Bacon Roll from 9.30 with Chicken Curry to follow the golf. Contribution to prize fund included in cost.
Thu 13th Dec Seckford GC 10:15AM £40 Coffee & Bacon Roll from 9.15 with 2 course Xmas Lunch to follow. 7 chances for Nearest Pin and everyone wins a prize.

Results

St Neots GC

1st Ivor Evans 35 pts on C/B
2nd Jim Deasy 35 pts on C/B
3rd Bill Darling 33 pts on C/B
Front 9 Paul Davis 18 pts
Back 9 Bill Morrison 18 pts
Nearest Pin Jim Deasy


After a couple of late additions and a similar number of cancellations 19 members arrived at St Neots. This was appreciated in view of the roadworks delays around Cambridge which added at least a half hour to the trip.

Our first visit a few years ago was in October and on that occasion a lot of time was spent hunting for balls in the leaves. Not only did we face the same conditions again but there was also a strong wind that gradually increased as the round progressed. It was ,however, quite warm for the time of year and we did miss the rain that threatened.

The scores tended to be lower than normal due to the wind although the winners did post a respectable number. Ivor Evans with 35 points won on countback from Jim Deasy who may well have won if he hadn't lost a ball on the last hole. In third place was Bill Darling with 33 points beating Mike Heywood on countback.

The chicken curry afterwards went down well although three members opted for an alternative.

Barnham Broom GC

1st Brian Lummis 37 pts on C/B
2nd Roger West 37 pts on C/B
3rd Norman Gibbs 36 pts
4th David Barnes 35 pts
Front 9 Chris Warner 18 pts
Back 9 Barry Dove 20 pts
Nearest Pin Brian Lummis


Following last month's soaking we returned to Norfolk on a much better day with not a spot of rain, although it was mainly overcast and breezy. This year we played the Hill course which has less water hazards but still remained a challenge for some.

There was a reasonable turnout with 25 players and only 2 points between the top four scores. Brian Lummis managed to secure first place with 21 points on the back nine holes and also came away with the Nearest the Pin prize with what he described as a terrible shot which didn't deserve to be on the green!

From a quick vote afterwards, those who played last year said they preferred the Valley course so that will be taken into account if we return next year.

Eaton GC

1st Ian Hay 37 pts
2nd Stan Turner 36 pts on C/B
3rd Ron Gilchrist 36 pts on C/B
4th Mike Helliwell 35 pts
Front 9 Paul Davis 19 pts
Back 9 Bill Morrison 19 pts
Nearest Pin Bill Morrison


I suppose that it had to happen as our day at Eaton was on one of the wettest days of the summer. Some who played could remember one of our visits to Eaton in the early days of the Stowaways, which was very similar weather, and the Club Manager did remark that if they have another period of drought we would be most welcome to make an appearance!!

Having said that, 24 players faced the elements and considering the conditions there were some good scores with Ian Hay leading the pack scoring 37 points, closely followed by Stan Turner who beat Ron Gilchrist on count back with 36 points.

The club did arrange for us to start 30 minutes early as the forecast was for heavier rain later, so at least the first 9 holes for most were in acceptable conditions but thereafter the rain got more persistent. It is not surprising that the cottage pie was much appreciated after we had all dried off!

Amazingly many had not played at Eaton before and, in spite of the weather, found it an interesting course to play and were very complimentary.

Halesworth GC

1st John Chappell 41 pts
2nd Chris Warner 36 pts
3rd Bill McKinley 35 pts on CB
Nearest Pin Gerald Prior


Numbers were rather reduced for our visit to Halesworth as the date clashed with another event which meant a few of our regular participants were elsewhere. However the 16 who did make it enjoyed yet another warm sunny day and the run on the ball again helping most people. In fact 75% of the scores were 30 or more which is most unusual.

In view of the lower attendance the prizes were more modest with the first prize being a bottle of Scotch and due to the generosity of Ian Wilkinson the 2nd and 3rd places received a bottle of wine each.

It was good to see a few new faces receiving the prizes. John Chappell could not do anything wrong, scoring 22 points on the front nine and 19 on the back nine, and that included a couple of non-scoring holes! Chris Warner was unsure whether he would be able to walk the course following treatment to his knee the previous day but he survived the day and came in second with a creditable 36 points. Bill McKinley beat Roger Arbin into third place with 35 points on count back and Roger also lost out to Gerald Prior for the nearest the pin prize.


Swaffham GC

1st Paul Kent 37 pts
2nd Michael Farrow 36 pts on C/B
3rd Ivor Evans 36 pts on C/B
4th Ken Cooper 36 pts on C/B
5th David Barnes 35 pts on C/B
6th Bill Campbell 35 pts on C/B
Front 9 Norman Gibbs 19 pts
Back 9 Stan Turner 20 pts
Nearest Pin Roger Arbin

It was a glorious day at Swaffham with a gentle breeze leading to some reasonable golf from the 32 participants. Unfortunately two members had an accident on the way to the course but thankfully they were not hurt, although the same cannot be said for the car!

With the lack of rain, the course took on the appearance of a links course with plenty of run on the ball, making it easier to reach greens in regulation for those that normally need an extra shot. This must have played into Paul Kent's hands who scored 22 points on the back 9 - or should that be 8, as he didn't score on the last hole - to be the outright winner with 37 points.

There was then a fight for the runners up with three players having 36 points but Michael Farrow with 21 points on the back 9 took second place from Ivor Evans and Ken Cooper whose back nine scores were 19 and 17 respectively. Behind them were 4 players with 35 points.

Due to a lack of thought from the organiser, the golf was followed by a carvery whereas the day was more suited to a cold buffet! However there could be no complaints about the quality and quantity of the food and we look forward to returning to this popular venue next year.

East Herts GC

1st Brian Lummis 31 pts on CB
2nd Brian Delve 31 pts on CB
3rd Paul Davis 30 pts
Front 9 David Hughes 15 pts
Back 9 Nick Foster 15 pts on CB
Best Par 3 Score Ian Hay

For some reason most of the 21 members who played at East Herts found it difficult to score many points, with the average score being only 24. Although there was a breeze the weather was pleasant and the course was in good condition with excellent greens.

Admittedly there were a number of dog leg holes that required a long drive to get you in a position to reach the green and there were also the occasional water hazards to deal with. A few of the greens were also not visible if you were more than 150 yards away and the lack of local knowledge by most players perhaps contributed to the low scores.

Another factor may have been that we had a meal before we played, a delicious lasagne, instead of the usual lighter bacon roll. Or perhaps it was the later tee time of 1pm that didn’t appeal.

Whatever it was, not only were the scores low but nobody hit the green for the nearest the pin prize, even though it was only 150 yards and stroke index 18! The prize went instead to Ian Hay who had the highest score on the par 3 holes.

To be in the top two you had to have 31 points and be called Brian! Unfortunately for Brian Delve, his score on the back nine was not good enough to win on countback.

Flempton GC

1st Bill Darling 37 pts
2nd David Barnes 36 pts
3rd David Daniels 34 pts
4th John Babraff 33 pts
5th Bill Morrison 32 pts
Front 9 Gordon Skinner 16 pts
Back 9 David Wilding 18 pts
Nearest Pin Roy Rogers


It was a dull and misty day for our first visit to Flempton, but at least it didn't rain. For those that hadn't played the course before, the 90+ bunkers proved challenging and that was reflected in the scores with only 7 of the 25 cards scoring in the thirties.

It seems as though those who had played here before took advantage of their course knowledge with Bill Darling beating David Barnes by one point. Being a 9 hole course everyone had two chances at nearest the pin but no one managed to get inside Roy Rogers first round effort.

We were able to start on three tees which got everyone round in reasonable time but as the usual steward and caterer were not available the food after the golf was different from the normal offering. However, after a cool day the soup went down well and there were ample sandwiches followed by cake and tea.

John O'Gaunt GC

1st Gerald Prior 32 pts on CB
2nd David Hughes 32 pts on CB
3rd John Clark 31 pts
4th Jim Deasy 30 pts on CB
Front 9 Ken Cooper 19 pts
Back 9 David Fletcher 16 pts on CB
Nearest Pin Gerald Prior

The weather forecast for our first outing of the year was not good but the rain managed to stop just before the first tee off time of 11am. For many, this was their first visit to John O'Gaunt and this was reflected in the scores, although with six of the par 4 holes being over 400 yards, the course was not easy. However, this did not detract from the playing experience and the general opinion was that it was somewhere that they would like to play again.

The greens were true, even if the slope on the par 3 10th managed to catch some out, and no one could complain about the rough which was quite benign. From what appeared to be a standard parkland course for the first few holes, the elevated tees that followed were a bit of a welcome surprise. However the water crossing the course was less welcome!

The food was also very good, especially the optional bacon rolls, and a dessert with the meal was a first for the Stowaways although that came as a part of the winter package.

Gerald Prior, who also won the nearest the pin prize, came out the winner beating David Hughes on countback

Seckford GC

Stayaways


Once again this year we have groups playing in France and in Ireland. In June the Irish contingent are going to Donegal, staying at Rosapenna for 2 nights and playing both courses attached to the hotel as well as a round at Portsalon. This time we are flying to Derry on a private jet - actually a 49- seat scheduled flight from Stansted with BMI.

The group going to France in August are once again staying at the Hermitage in Montreuil sur Mer and will be playing the two courses at Hardelot and then Wimereux on the way back.

Our previous exploits abroad have been:
O
2012

France - St Omer, Belle Dune, Wimereux
O
2013

Belgium - Chateaux de la Tournette American, Bercuit, Royal Waterloo
O
2014

Belgium - Chateauu de la Tournette English, Golf Club D'Hulencourt, Royal Waterloo
O
2015

France - St Omer, Nampont Les Cygnes, Hardelot Dunes
Ireland - Portmarnock, Howth, Portmarnock Links
O
2016

France - Le Touquet Foret, Hardelot Dunes and Pins
Ireland - County Louth, Headfort New, Seapoint
O
2017

France - St Omer, Hardelot Dunes and Pins
Ireland - Knightsbrook, Laytown and Bettystown, Killeen Castle

Annual Survey

The latest survey was carried out in January 2018 mainly to get member's views on courses to play, and there were 48 responses.

From the clubs that we visited in 2017, Swaffham was the most popular for a return visit with Halesworth, Barnham Broom and St Neots also well favoured.

Of the courses that we have visited in the past Braintree, Eaton and Southwold were the ones members would like to play again. From a list of 17 other clubs there were more than 20 votes for Royal Worlington, East Herts, Flempton, Thetford, John O'Gaunt and Thorpeness.

These views have been taken into account when arranging the fixtures for this year.