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Rookery Park member Shillings win Lowestoft Challenge Cup

PUBLISHED: 16:14 17 May 2012

Graham Shillings in action by David Batley.

Graham Shillings in action by David Batley.

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The Lowestoft Challenge Cup turned out to be a case of the shillings taking the pounds.

New Rookery vice-captain, Graham Shillings, took first prize with a steady round of 67 net.

He was also pleased to out-drive his long driving friend, Richard Doddington, as well as relieving him of the £5 side stake. His only bad hole came when he topped his second shot on the second hole.

Birdies on the 15th abd 18th holes, however, helped him to retain the cup he won last year. Birdies on the Sunday, however, were not enough for the Challenge Cup winner. On the following day he took his partner, Vanessa, down to the Minsmere RSPB reserve to observe a wryneck, a much rarer birdie. The fact that Sam Jaggard finished a close second meant that two Stenson and Hambro stars have hit form at just the right time. The third place saw 16-year-old Michael Sharp take a prize at senior level.

He seems on track to emulate his father, Paul, who was once Rookery’s top golfer. Dad, however, had to spend so much time chasing real bandits that he had to give up the pursuit of golfing bandits. Michael’s only family rival now is grandfather, Mike, who is destined to play ‘second fiddle’ in the not too distant future.

Young Michael distinguished himself further when he helped Harry Cook and Connor Molloy to win a county junior cup match away to Haverhill, a win for which the Rookery boys deserve great credit.

It is believed that junior captain, Harry Cook, has had a favourite family pet named after him. Following his string of successes, Rookery secretary/manager, Robert Pettit, decided to call his lively pet hamster ‘Harry.’

Although stalwart member Dick Carter has given up grave digging, the strength the practice gave to his hands remains and it still enables him to play quality recovery shots, especially out of long grass.

Recently he gained so much height from such a shot that, as he walked after the ball, looking up at its flight, he walked straight into a tree.

Fortunately, a friend in the fourball was a qualified doctor who was summoned to inspect the bruised nose. Carter was unimpressed when his friend, after a brief inspection, simply mumbled “you’ll live”. Pressed for further comment the doctor simply added that his real sympathy was with the tree. The friendship between the two golfers can now be described as “a little strained”.

Members were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Rookery legend, Jean Thompson, who spent years helping to raise money for Mencap.

On the Tuesday she attended an occasion, which included a mini-competition, nibbles and a birthday cake, arranged by the ladies to celebrate her 90th birthday. After making a ‘thank you’ speech she returned home, pleased and grateful for the thoughtful celebration. The next day she was taken ill and passed away peacefully. Five times ladies captain, an organiser for girls’ golf at club and county level, she spent years helping with club open meetings and AGM’s. She also gave years of voluntary help in the club’s offices. She thoroughly earned her position as an honorary life member and she will be greatly missed. Condolences are sent to her family.

David Batley


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