'Golf was his life': Tributes paid to club's long-standing professional
- Credit: David Craske
Tributes have been paid to a north Norfolk golfer who left a “legacy of generosity and friendship”.
The death of Terry Symmons, aged 78, marked the end of a family dynasty at Mundesley Golf Club which began nearly 90 years ago.
His grandfather, George Watts, was a professional and greenkeeper from 1919 to 1940 and again from 1952 to 1966, while Terry’s mother, Dulcie, was a stewardess for a decade from 1962.
In his time at the club, Mr Symmons, from North Walsham, taught countless golfers, helped out through tough times and equally celebrated its highs, including the launch of a new club house in the 1970s and the club centenary in 2001.
Mr Symmons’ wife, Sue Symmons, said: “Golf was his life. He enjoyed teaching the most, and seeing people progress particularly the juniors.
“He was always very generous – helping people who had forgotten equipment with loaned kit and, outside of official lessons, giving quick tips to help people improve their game after watching them on the course.”
She met Mr Symmons in 1991 when having golf lessons with him to find a new interest after being widowed, and they married the following year.
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Having played at the Mundesley club as a schoolboy, he became club pro on July 1, 1966, at the age of 22, following the death of his grandfather George from a stroke at the age of 81.
Mr Symmons had been working as a motor mechanic but was a successful junior golfer at the club where his family was “part of the fabric”.
Mrs Symmons added: “Things were tough and he would help his mother behind the bar, and use his own car to pull the mowers up the fairway. He was very conscientious and always went the extra mile to help people.”
Club commitments meant Mr Symmons did not play a lot of competitive golf but he won the Norfolk pro championship in 1970.
Chairman Andrew Keates said: “Terry Symmons and his family enjoyed a unique place in the history of Mundesley Golf Club.
“He joined the club over 70 years ago as a junior and, for many years, a much loved and respected club professional.
“He will be sadly missed but leaves a legacy of generosity and friendship which has been at the heart of Mundesley’s welcoming and friendly tradition.”
Long-standing golfing friend, David Craske, a past captain of the club, said: "Terry was a man who throughout his lifetime was totally committed to serving Mundesley Golf Club; a man who was so knowledgeable about all aspects of golf and a man always ready to share his knowledge with anyone who required his help.
“He was quiet, unassuming in his manner but got on with his job in the background never shouting about what he had done.”
Professional golf association heritage and member support executive David Wright added: “Terry displayed an abiding passion for the game he played such a part in developing.”
After his retirement in 2008, Mr Symmons was made an honorary member and enjoyed social rounds at the club and with his wife.
They also enjoyed caravan holidays together and walking their dogs.
His affection for the club was shown in a paragraph in his memoir.
He wrote: “Mundesley is a great place to play golf with wonderful views over the country side including many ancient churches most unchanged for over 600 years.
“It can be magical to play in May when the sky larks are singing, the May Blossom is out and the gorse is in bloom. One visitor remarking on the sense of peace on the course said it is like playing golf in church.”
Mr Symmons' funeral will take place at Cromer crematorium on Wednesday, November 24, at 2pm followed by refreshments at the golf club.
Donations in lieu of flowers should be made to the Cromer dialysis patient fund or the Big C charity via Murrell Cork funeral directors in North Walsham.