GOLF: Flower power at Rookery Park

GIVEN the variety of wildlife at Rookery Park it is most appropriate for the new lady captain, Christine Stafford, to be a zoologist. She trained at Sheffield University where she met her husband, John, a former Rookery captain.

GIVEN the variety of wildlife at Rookery Park it is most appropriate for the new lady captain, Christine Stafford, to be a zoologist. She trained at Sheffield University where she met her husband, John, a former Rookery captain. Not surprisingly, besides golf, her great love is attending a large garden and this provided the theme for her Drive-In.

Dressed convincingly as a sunflower she arrived at the traditional arch of clubs in a flower decked buggy. Once on the teebox the expected banter and anecdotes preceded a very respectable drive down the fairway.

The new captain has a diverse array of interests ranging from painting in pastel, with Oulton Broad Art Circle, to skiing, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing and visiting more unspoiled parts of the world. She even once stunned her car racing elder son by taking the wheel in a trial run and leaving a number of startled male drivers struggling in her wake. The son, like his brother, never reciprocated by taking up golf but the interest could skip a generation with a grandchild on the way.

It was 15years ago that the new captain decided to take up golf and join Kenwick Park at Louth in Lincolnshire. Her husband, who played as a teenager at Gorleston until work took him to various parts of the country, had retired and the couple decided to play golf together.


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A golfing trip to Florida provided a remarkable incident when they marched onto a teebox only to be confronted by a metre long iguana lizard. It was clearly one of a breeding colony of escapee reptiles known as bearded dragons. Husband John decided to assume the role of St, George and confront the dragon. The creature, however, not having read the historical script, was unimpressed and decided to remain awhile before ambling off and leaving two frustrated golfers anxious to resume their game.

At Rookery, where she once won the Fishing News Cup, the lady captain's chosen charity will be the Quidenham Children's Hospice. She hopes to arrange a few light-hearted games which might attract some par-three lady members and further their interest in the club. Another aim is to encourage more girls to join the junior section.

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THE club has been stunned by the recent deaths of four stalwart and respected members. Brian Johnson was a well known Norfolk footballer and husband of Shelagh, a former lady captain, Len Turner played Tolly golf at Pakefield, Howard Brice, friend and mentor of Tom Pettifer, played in the Rookery Tolly team. Frank Marjoram was a great character and will always be remembered for his unlikely appearance on the practice ground clad in a cloth cap, long overcoat and Wellington boots. All were much loved and great company on the golf course. They will be sorely missed and condolences are sent their families.

David Batley

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