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GOLF: Rees is new Suffolk president

PUBLISHED: 11:31 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:57 06 July 2010

WHEN the Suffolk Golf Union AGM was held at Rookery recently it proved to be a day when honour and success was heaped on the Lowestoft club.

The preceding competition, involving county captains, secretaries, special guests and Suffolk Golf Union officers, was won by Rookery's new captain, Gerry Moore.

WHEN the Suffolk Golf Union AGM was held at Rookery recently it proved to be a day when honour and success was heaped on the Lowestoft club.

The preceding competition, involving county captains, secretaries, special guests and Suffolk Golf Union officers, was won by Rookery's new captain, Gerry Moore. He and his partner recorded a score of 40 points.

There followed a presentation to Rookery's Tom Pettifer for winning the inaugural Suffolk Junior Order of Merit. This was followed with an award to Rookery Park for having the county's greatest commitment to good environmental practice. Such awards are determined by a body consisting of The English Golf Union, STRI, Natural England and the English Golf Environment. The award was earned through the outstanding work and dedication of the Rookery greens staff.

The AGM went on to install former Rookery captain, Stenson, Hambro and Tolly golfer, Charlie Wilderspin, as the new Suffolk Golf Union secretary, who takes over from the legendary Ron Kent.

Finally came the greatest accolade of all when former Rookery captain, president and Stenson and Hambro captains, Mike Rees, was installed as the new Suffolk Golf Union president.

His unlikely introduction to golf, at the age of 21, actually started with a fresh air shot. Having previously spurned golf as a “game for old men,” he responded to a bet that he could not hit a golf ball more than 100 yards in two attempts. His first go saw him miss the ball completely, spin in a circle and almost rupture himself. Regaining his composure he hit the second shot 102yds.

The experience hooked him on golf and he took lessons from Tony Butcher. Rapid progress saw him form one of the most successful Tolly partnerships in the club's history, when playing with the late Derek Lockwood.

His many successes since then include the Lowestoft Challenge Cup, the President's Cup, the Spashett Knock Out, the Ted Swann Memorial, the Leighton Speake, twice, the RNLI , the Wally Stevens Mixed with daughter Hannah, one of Suffolk's top lady golfers, as well as a number of non-trophy competitions.

Rees is now on the panel of English Golf Union referees. At Rookery he is chairman of the Competitions' and Handicaps' sub- committees.

His notorious reputation as the “Handicap Assassin” slipped recently when Michael Ayers, the former Lowestoft Town cricketer, came second in one competition and then won the next.

Ayers had only been playing golf for three years but improved dramatically due to tuition from Mark Sumner. He waited in trepidation for his 28 handicap to be slashed. It was only cut by a single stroke.

Either high office has mellowed the new Suffolk President's ferocity or he must have been away on holiday at the time. Members wish him a highly successful and enjoyable time during his period of high office.

David Batley

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