Sprightly Frank shoots down opposition

TOP GUN: Frank Boutcher
TOP GUN: Frank Boutcher

A 90-YEAR-OLD golfer has walked away with first prize – at a tournament he organised himself to celebrate his birthday.

The former Second World War Battle of Britain Spitfire ground crew fitter gunned down the opposition on a cold and frosty morning at Newton Green Golf Club.

Frank Boutcher thought it would entertain his fellow golfers in the Old and Bold section to play for a trophy and celebrate his birthday.

But Boutcher, who was the oldest competitor in the field of the nine-hole event, had not banked on having to present the trophy to himself.

He said: “I think I just got lucky. It was a cold, frosty morning and the golf balls were bouncing about all over the place.

“I won a total of 12 balls, which should be enough to see me through till I am 100,” joked the pensioner from Hadleigh.

He continued: “I don’t hit the ball very far these days and probably lose only a few a year. It would be nice to keep going to bring up my century. But nowadays I have to get a lift in a friend’s buggy to complete nine holes.”

Although Boutcher is the senior citizen among male players at his club, he is still some way behind Pearl Schomer, who continues to tackle 18 holes at Newton at the age of 94.

n Stoke-by-Nayland’s first stableford competition of the year was played on a shortened Constable course.

A crisp frost meant that the first 14 holes of the course were played on temporary greens, shortening the course by a considerable amount.

Will Love, playing off 28, won with a very high score of 50 points.

It was a high-scoring day overall, with the average score being 39 and the median score 41.

Love only recently took up playing golf, and only joined the club following his retirement in April 2010.

The day did not start well for Love as he had an eight on the first hole and did not score any points.

However, from the fifth hole he only dropped seven shots to par and scored 27 points on the back nine.

This was helped by an eagle on the par five 15th being played on the normal green.

Love beat Paul Cassap, playing off 19, into second place.

Cassap scored 47 points and also had a very good back nine, scoring 27 points and dropping only one shot to par.

n Thirty-two ladies of the Stoke- by-Nayland veterans section, with their male drawn partners, took part in a mixed greensomes competition.

The winners, with 30 points, were Lesley Garnett and Roger Doherty and they were presented with the Roy and Edna Martin Trophy.

The runners-up, with 29 points, were Penny Allen and Graham Head.

A raffle raised £250 for the lady vets captain’s charity, Children with Cancer UK, and a game of heads and tails raised £78 for the two captains’ charities.