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.

2020 Fixtures

Date Venue Tee Time Cost Coffee & Bacon Roll Food Includes Prizes
Wed 15th Jul Barnham Broom GC 10:36 £43 Yes TBA No
Mon 17th Aug Thetford GC 13:00 £55 No Ham Egg & Chips Yes
Wed 9th Sep Thorpeness GC 12:04 £50 Yes Beef & Ale Pie Yes
Fri 16th Oct Eaton GC 10:30 £50 Yes TBA Yes
Dec TBA Seckford GC          

2019 Results

Seckford GC

35 hardy members assembled at Seckford for the final event of the year. The forecast was dire and in spite of some optimism that we might get away with light rain, it was not to be, and the game had to be abandoned as the greens started to fill with water. The first group, which was a 3 ball did get round and the group behind made it to the 16th. The 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th group decided to play the short par 3  11th close to the clubhouse and then sought shelter. The other groups only made it as far as the 9th or 10th although one or two of their members decided to play the 11th as well.

As everyone had played at least 9 holes the prizes were awarded on the total score on those holes. In spite of the conditions Gordon Skinner beat Roy Rogers on count back with 20 points followed by Dave Kemp, Rip Kirby and Ivor Evans with 19 points.

The club managed to serve our Christmas lunch as a group at around 2.30pm by which time the rain had stopped although it remained overcast and started to fall as we left.

As the scores over 9 holes had no effect upon the result of the Player of the Year award, it was claimed by Stuart Law who received a bottle of his favourite tipple of Black Bush Irish Whiskey, and the Ken Cup, given by Ken Sangster.

John O'Gaunt GC

1st Alan Crouch 31 pts
2nd Mark Swallow 30 pts
3rd Russell Morley 29 pts on CB
4th Mike Helliwell 29 pts on CB
Front 9 Mike Heywood 16 pts
Back 9 Ken Cooper 17 pts
Nearest Pin Alan Crouch HOLE IN ONE!

Our visit to John O’Gaunt saw a first for the Stowaways as Alan Crouch had a hole in one on the
16th , which was also the hole for the nearest the pin prize. No one saw the ball go in as the pin was behind a bunker and it later transpired that the ball was one that Alan had found! To mark the feat, he was presented with a box of balls and a golf towel and the Club gave him a tie. The 21 players found wine on the table from Alan to help the celebrations.

The points gained from the hole in one also assisted Alan in taking the first prize with 31 points which he said rounded off a good day! Mark Swallow came 2nd with 30 points with Russell Morley getting third place with 29 points on count back from Mike Helliwell. The unluckiest player was Nick Foster who also had 29 points, losing on countback for both the fourth prize and the front 9 prize.

It was not a high scoring day for anyone on what the members of John O’Gaunt call the Green Monster. The course was in reasonable condition earlier in the year after the dry of last year but the fairways had suffered again this year after the July rain with little in the way of water being seen until very recently. So on what is usually an excellent course to play we found many bare patches and one fairway completely cordoned off to trolleys in an effort to help the course recover. There were also a lot of areas where reseeding had taken place and the overall condition with no run on the ball may have contributed to the low scores.

Swaffham GC

1st Brian Lummis 43 pts
2nd Brian Delve 38 pts
3rd Paul Davis 37 pts
4th Barry Lloyd 36 pts on CB
Front 9 Bill Darling 21 pts
Back 9 Roger Arbin 21 pts
Nearest Pin Barry Lloyd

On a very warm September day 26 members enjoyed the sunshine at Swaffham. There was quite a lot of run on the ball as the fairways were very dry whilst the greens were running reasonably quick and true. The conditions assisted the scoring with the winner stating that he was rather embarrassed by the number of points, particularly as he failed to score on one hole! It was obviously a good day if your name was Brian as they occupied the top two places.

As usual we were well looked after by the Club and even though the meal of steak and ale pie was more suited to a cooler day, it went down very well.


1st Bill McKinley 38 pts on CB
2nd Stuart Law 38 pts on CB
3rd Rip Kirby 38 pts on CB
4th David Barnes 35 pts on CB
  5th Brian Delve 34 pts on CB
Front 9 Paul Davis 19 pts on CB
Back 9 Roger Arbin 21 pts
Nearest Pin Jim Deasy

On a good day for golf, with Southwold providing an onshore wind to keep the temperature reasonable, 23 players had an enjoyable day. The gorse did manage to swallow up a few balls but otherwise the course was in good condition. Since our last visit there have been a few changes both to the clubhouse and the course, which now has much improved signage and a few tees that have been made bigger.

Three players battled for first place, scoring 38 points, but on count back based on the last 9 holes Bill McKinley claimed the top spot leaving Stuart Law and Rip Kirby in 2nd and 3rd position. Once again Jim Deasy claimed the prize for nearest the pin, repeating his win at Eaton last month.

The fish and chip lunch after play was excellent, as is expected at Southwold, and set up everyone for the trip home trying to avoid diversions, which had caused many people problems getting there in the morning.

Eaton GC

1st Barry Lloyd 35 pts
2nd Lawrie Reekie 34 pts
3rd Alan Crouch 33 pts on CB
4th David Daniels 33 pts on CB
  5th Mike Heywood 32 pts on CB
Front 9 Gordon Skinner 17 pts on CB
Back 9 Stuart Law 17 pts on CB
Nearest Pin Jim Deasy

On a very warm day 28 members participated at Eaton, which remains a popular venue. The heat may have played a part in the scores with no one playing better than their handicap and some having a very disappointing round of golf.

With the temperature in the high twenties by the time we finished, some coped better than others with the winner, Barry Lloyd, getting 22 points on the back 9 giving him a total of 35 points. Lawrie Reekie was a point behind in second place whilst Alan Crouch and David Daniels came in 3rd and 4th with 33 points.

As usual the hospitality and food at Eaton was excellent and the jugs of cold water made available at the halfway stage were very much appreciated as were the cold showers afterwards!

Halesworth GC

1st Ron Gilchrist 36 pts
2nd Bill Morrison 34 pts
3rd Norman Gibbs 33 pts
Front 9 Gordon Skinner 19 pts
Back 9 Michael Farrow 16 pts
Nearest Pin Mark Swallow

In spite of it being a dull day with light rain showers, the 21 members who played at Halesworth had an enjoyable day.

The greens were very good and would have been quicker if they had not been so damp. The course maintenance was immaculate and the thick rough did not come into play, unless you were very wayward, and there was a wide area each side of the fairways of managed rough which reduced the time searching for lost balls.

A new feature this year was the enlargement of the water penalty are to the left of the 18th fairway which is now a lake with a fountain! This made the approach to the green much more difficult and quite a few balls were swallowed up.

There were a lot of scores in the mid-twenties and the front nine seemed easier for most people than the back nine holes.

The meal was an excellent Steak Pie to round off the day.


1st Mike Helliwell 37 pts on CB
2nd Andy Lillistone 37 pts on CB
3rd Michael Farrow 34 pts
4th Stuart Law 33 pts
Front 9 Brian Lummis 19 pts
Back 9 Barry Dove 19 pts
Nearest Pin Roy Rogers

The weather was cool when we started out but gradually warmed up during the day. This was not a course for hot weather as there were quite a few undulations, the killer being a steep climb to the tee on the 17th and after you had driven off another climb up the hill on the other side of the valley!

For most people this was their first visit to Bawburgh and the majority view was that it was a course that they would like to play again. With a number of blind drives it would certainly pay to have some prior knowledge of the course and the eventual winner, Mike Helliwell, was one who had been round a few years ago, but said he couldn't recollect any of the holes! The overall scoring reflected the lack of knowledge with only 8 of the 27 players recording a score of over 30. A special mention should go to Andy Lillistone, who lost on countback having scored 23 points on the front nine which included 5 pars - not bad for someone with a handicap of 18!

The catering was excellent and the Hunters Chicken and Chips was large enough to defeat a few people.


The only trip arranged for 2020 is the one to Ireland and this time the usual 8 members are going to Ulster. Arrangements have been made to stay at the Clandeboye Lodge near Bangor and tees have been booked at Clandeboye, Kirkistown Castle and the Royal Belfast. Unfortunately, the likelihood of traditional Irish music is quite low but we should be able to drown our sorrows in the traditional Pernod and Guinness and/or Irish Coffee!

Our previous exploits abroad have been:

France - St Omer, Belle Dune, Wimereux

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

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

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

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

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

France - Hardelot Dunes and Pins, Wimereux
Ireland - Old Tom Morris and Sandy Hills, Rosapenna and Portsalon


Ireland - Woodenbridge, Wicklow and Arklow

Annual Survey

The latest survey was carried out in January 2020 to get member's views on courses to play, and there was a record 52 responses.

From the clubs that we visited in 2019, Swaffham was once more the most popular for a return visit, with Eaton coming second again. Also well favoured were Bawburgh and Aldeburgh and we will be returning this year.

Of the courses that we have visited in the past, Barnham Broom was the one members would most like to play again. From a list of other clubs that we had not played before, Thetford, Thorpeness and Ufford Park all got more than 20 votes so they are also included in this year's programme.

The figures do show that there is an appetite to visit new places with a number of other clubs suggested for future years