Cooks continue to dominate at Rookery Park GC

PUBLISHED: 17:11 03 May 2012

L to R,  Harry Cook, Hayden Rogers, Ian Cook and Karl Bowler

L to R, Harry Cook, Hayden Rogers, Ian Cook and Karl Bowler


It is extraordinary how the Cooks continue to dominate the Rookery prize lists. On the members’ list we have Bakers, Butchers, Gardeners, Bishops and Chaplins but it is always the Cooks who triumph.

The prestigious John Emerson Greensomes has been won by Ian Cook with Karl Bowler. A recent County Junior Cup success was led by Juniors’ captain, Harry Cook, whose team, which beat Diss, consisted of Michael Sharp, Hayden Rogers, Macca Margetson, Lewis Hague and Connor Molloy.

In the John Emerson Greensomes, Cook and Bowler admitted to being preoccupied by a sidestake they had with their playing partners, Mick Dolan and Ray Flook. They were despondent after they faced a barrage of long putts, three birdies and found themselves three points behind with three holes left to play.

Suddenly, however, their opponents lost their touch. Although a Dolan hook on the 16th hole hit a tree and bounced onto the green, three putts saw the points deficit reduced. A violent hook by Flook on the 17th and flirtations with a tree, saw the gap narrowed further. Another Flook hook and two magnificent shots by Cook and Bowler on the last hole, turned a likely defeat into a superb one shot victory.

So pleased were they at winning the sidestake that it was only later that Cook and Bowler realised that they had won the actual John Emerson competition outright. A talking point after the game was how Ray Flook had played brilliant golf for 15 holes and suddenly turned into a hacker for the last three. The general conclusion was that the dramatic change came as result of a comment made by an opponent just before Flook played his first bad shot. He was reminded of an incident, a few days previously, when 76 year old Fred Williis, a former Tolly golfer, out drove him by “at least 20 yards”.

Flook was said to be mortified, but later determined to regain his composure before teaming up with Dolan for the John Emerson. Whether or not such a remark was the real reason, Willis was quick to point out that he did not at any time chide his friend for being out-driven. Joe O’Dwyer, however, was less charitable and regarded the incident as “hilarious”. There will not be a protest regarding possible “gamesmanship”. It is rumoured, however, that Flook has been spotted trying to improve his driving on the practice ground. He did finish second, with Mick Dolan, in the John Emerson, with Mike Woods and Pat Pawson in third place, with 39 points.

Three recent Stablefords all produced worthy winners. After taking a year off from playing golf to “do other things,” Kyle Cubitt returned with a vengeance.

Refreshed, he went out, played excellent golf and finished in first place. Mike Sharman is also a recent Stableford winner. He started playing golf at Southwold in 1972 but gave up due to workload. He started again, at Rookery, when 66 years old. He once spent 20 minutes trying to resuscitate a colleague, who had collapsed with heart failure on the last hole.

Eventually, help arrived and his friend survived. He puts his golf win down to improved bunker play following a golfing holiday in Tunisia. The third winner, Barry Branch, had won several minor prizes. By settling for such prizes, however, Branch realised that he was ‘barking up the wrong tree’.

He stepped his game up a gear, became a special Branch, and won the first prize.

David Batley

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