Practice makes perfect for Rookery member

AS a child Mike Sharp caddied for his dad but thought it strange that grown men would 'knock a little ball around with a stick until it disappeared into a small hole'.

At 32 years of age, however, after watching golf on television, he decided to give it a try. After a series of lessons he gave up football to concentrate on his new sport.

He joined Rookery and recalls being unimpressed by the large areas of rough grass in which it was too easy to lose balls.

Later he was enthralled as the barren course was gradually transformed into a leafy world of trees and bushes.

Sharp went on to win the President's Cup and the Lads 'n' Dads with his son Paul, who went on to be one of the club's finest golfers.

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The strangest prize he ever won came when he was enjoying a streak of brilliant putting. He entered the Captain's Week putting competition and won easily, proving that he needed no help with this part of his game. The surprise came when he received his prize – a new putter.

Although his handicap had dropped to single figures he was quite content to be regularly beaten by his outstanding son.

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However, when grandson Michael arrived on the scene and won a competition, after playing for only a matter of months, Sharp senior was shaken.

This demanded action. Out came the instruction books, followed by putting practice on the carpet.

The preparation paid off. Grandfather has just won the Christmas 9 Hole Stableford, beating Stenson and Hambro golfer, Shane Buckingham, on a countback. Family pride has been restored.

Having just won the Bungay Alliance with Billy Groves, Des Dann believes he is set to become the club's new 'Top Waster'.

The Rookery pair both played well to accumulate a winning score of 41 points. Dann finished par-par birdie, the latter being just inches from being an eagle.

He started playing golf 25 years ago, joining Rookery Park after playing a round at Southwold and retiring from football.

His other great love was motorbike racing. Under sponsorship he won trophies racing on the Isle of Man, Brands Hatch and Snetterton.

On one occasion he was the passenger in a sidecar race and painfully learned the importance of timing.

As the motorbike revved up he had to run, give the sidecar a push and leap on board.

Unfortunately, the driver was too keen and Dann leapt a fraction too high.

When he came down the bike and sidecar had gone and he landed in an ungainly heap in the middle of the track – much to the amusement of the spectators.

It taught him the importance of timing, which, he claims, has actually helped his golf.

David Batley

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