East Anglian ‘Fab Four’ still enjoy their golf – three played in the Open!
Four leading East Anglian golfers of yesteryear, weather permitting, meet every week for a friendly but competitive round at various courses where they are made very welcome.
They compare themselves to Last of the Summer Wine. That does not stop them from racking up the birdies.
Frank Hill, John Hudson, Stuart Levermore and Mark Angel have been well known for many years with three of them having played in the Open Championship.
John Hudson had successive holes in one at the 1971 Martini International at Royal Norwich.
He sunk his four-iron at the 195-yard 11th hole. The 12th was a 311-yard downhill par four. He took a driver and once again the ball ended in the hole.
Hudson. born at Wokingham, turned professional in 1964 and played on the European Tour in 1971, 1974. He played in the Open Championship in 1970, 1973, 1975 and 1976.
He spent 25 years as professional at Hendon. He played in the European Senior Tour between 1995 and 2000. Until recently he was attached to Rivenhall Oaks.
Stuart Levermore, whose early years were spent at Thorpeness for whom he also played cricket, had 34 years as head professional at Clacton where he is now an honorary life member.
He finished tied in 44th place in the 1974 Open Championship at Royal Lytham with rounds of 77 77 76 and 75.
Frank Hill has played in four Open Championships and the European Seniors Tour.
He started his career as a trainee at Sherwood Forest. Then he worked at six different clubs in four different counties.
He won the Essex Open, the Essex Professional Championship and the East Anglian Open. In 2006 he won the PGA Super Seniors. He was held in such high esteem that he was appointed captain of the PGA in two different regions.
His final 20 years were spent as head professional at Thorpeness where he gave advice on the lengthening of the course and the placing of new bunkers. He, and fellow professionals, were the first owners of Lark Valley Golf Club (now The Suffolk).
Mark Angel was head professional at Colchester until recently when he retired from the position after a serious illness from which he has happily recovered. He entered hospital for what was thought to be a minor operation.
A year later he was still in hospital much of the time in intensive care. For a while he was blind. Now he has limited sight but is still hitting the golf ball well.
He played on Satellite tours in South Africa and the United States early in his career. He was head professional at Silvermere Golf Club before moving to Essex where became captain of Essex PGA in 1999 and chairman between 2001 and 2014. He served on the PGA East Region board between 2007 and 2014.
Meanwhile, Paul Samain of Ufford Park teamed up with Richard Walters of Diss to win the Suffolk Winter Alliance better ball prize at Flempton with 43 Stableford points.
They finished one ahead of Haverhill’s David Roope and Tim Daniels. Third place went to Haverhill’s Laurie Hastie and Malcolm Klingle with 40 points.
It was very windy at first but then conditions eased although it stayed chilly. No professionals were in the field.
The next meeting will be at Southwold on February 4.
38: J Williams and G Vandervord, A Fish and T Lyons, K McCredie and J Hastie.
37: B Castle and M Moore, G Morgan and S Carr.
36: B Paton and P Garnett, R Davies and D Yates.
35: M Verhelst and B Lever, K Rooney and Lyn Fish, B Aldous and K Rooney, R Benson and I Benson, R Bland and T Warren, J Partridge and C Clark, P Fairbrother and A Gipson, T Broomfield and M Firman.
34: B Cooper and G Courtney, J Paterson and R Brazier, L Gregory and A Goodwin, M Mansfield and C Briggs.
33: G Evans and J Seeley.
31: S Gray and A Goodwin.
30: L Turner and W Darling.