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Rookery Park member set for county role

PUBLISHED: 16:35 06 December 2012

Mike Rees

Mike Rees

Archant

Former Suffolk and Rookery president, Mike Rees, is about to add a further dimension to his growing reputation as one of the country's top golf experts.

In the New Year he takes over as chairman of the SE Group of Counties, which covers 11 counties, ranging from Norfolk to the Channel Islands. He will be in charge of the group’s tournaments, course set-ups and referees, as well as overseeing and helping to formulate local rules.

Rees is already on the England Golf Tournament Panel and is eligible to referee in the world’s top championships, including the Open, the Augusta Masters and the US Open.

He is on the country’s top 59 referees panel, a group which also includes Rookery’s Charlie Wilderspin. The latter is also the Suffolk GU secretary whilst Rookery’s Mike Stevenson is chairman of Suffolk Junior Golf.

As captain of the Suffolk first team, Rees has just led it to its most successful season. He travels widely to conduct rules quizzes at various clubs, his latest effort being at Hadley Wood GC, Herts.

Both he and Charlie Wilderspin were once refereeing in the same tournament. At the end they exchanged notes and concluded that it had been a very quiet day. The only item of interest, Rees concluded, was a competitor who persisted in insisting that his ball was in a rabbit scrape. In dismissing the claim Rees suggested that if the “scrape” had been made by animal it must have been an escaped hamster. A surprised Wilderspin said he had also had a similar request. It turned out to be the same golfer and that he actually came from Suffolk.

Besides having been Rookery president, captain and captain of both the Stenson and Hambro teams, Rees is currently chairman of the handicaps’ and competitions’ committees.

He has also been chairman of both the house and greens committees. His first foray into team golf came when he was selected for the Tolly team at Pakefield. Making an immediate impact he won his matches easily and filled the changing room with his confidence and encouragement. On one occasion he was at the top of his form and ready to inspire the team in a Tolly semi-final. Unfortunately, the date clashed with his wedding day and his replacement finished six down – the same score by which the team lost. He has won many competitions and practices avidly. Once told that a member had dreamt that he beat Charlie Wilderspin by 10 and 8 his immediate comment was “did I play that badly?”

As one of Rookery’s three Honorary Life Members he believes that such an honour comes from tireless voluntary work outside of his elected posts as club officers.

For a man who’s golfing career started with the wildest of fresh air shots, Mike Rees has come a very long way in the world of golf.

David Batley

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