Roger has dedicated his entire life to golf with his 60 year plus career beginning in 1950 when he joined the Professional Golfers Association. Prior to his call up for National Service in November 1953, he held the position of Assistant to Hector Padgham at the Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club. It was in 1953 that he became the Sussex Assistants Champion marking him out as a future golfer of some contention. Two years on then after his RAF interlude, Roger moved his career apace onwards and upwards. Three years as a Full Professional with the Dorking Golf Club then on to a further three years as the Duke of Norfolk’s Professional at the Dukes Littlehampton Golf Club. 1962/1963 saw Roger take the award as The Sussex Professional Matchplay Champion. Three years as a Professional at the Barton-On Sea Golf Club followed by a seven year spell at East Berks Golf Club, his longest appointment to date.
From 1973 until November 1981, Roger was Club Professional and Director of Golf at the Downshire Golf Club. In 1974 and 1976 He was BB&O Professional Champion. Then followed a fifteen year spell as Club Professional and Proprietor of Shillinglee Park Golf Club until December 1996. During this period between 1982 and 1984 Roger, along with John Stirling, Bernard Gallagher and Tommy Horton were coaching the best 50 Juniors in the UK at the Commercial Union School of Excellence. Since 1998 to the present day, Roger remains very active as Professional and Director of Golf of the Monxton and Grately Golf Centre near Andover in Hampshire.
In the year 2008, Roger along with close friend John Stirling were honoured by OGRO ( Organisation of Golf and Range Operators ) for the organisations inaugral ” Lifetime Achievement Award ” The high esteem of this prestigeous award is reflected in the subsequent award in 2009 to Peter Allis ” The Voice of Golf ” and 2010 to Peter Thompson, 5 times The Open Championship Winner along with John Jacobs, a key member of the PGA.
Rogers further claim to fame lies in being an accomplished After Dinner Speaker and has a unique wealth of knowledge and experience and funny anecdotes from a lengthy golf career to share and make sure your evening is enjoyable and remembered for all the right reasons. Roger can also perform an Instruction and Trick Shot Show for Corporate Companies and Golf Clubs.
It would appear that Roger was initially moved into 109MU at Abyad, further down the Treaty Road past Fayid, but was soon transferred to Kasfareet.
His trade was signals and he worked in the Wireless & Signals Section in the block building situated to the rear of the Station HQ complex.
He initially lived in a billet but because of his status as a Professional Golfer, he soon arranged to have his own bed space accommodation in the golf clubhouse. The other Pro, Bill Bingham, seen here much taller than Roger, was already at Kasfareet when Roger arrived and also had similar accommodation. Not a bad set up as this kept them off weekly kit inspections and guard duties.
The Pro`s gave golf lessons, but paid or unpaid I am not sure. Roger is seen here straightening the grip of the Derbyshire cricketer, Roger Deville.
Along with Bill Bingham, Roger shared the task of maintaining the course particularly brushing smooth the ” brown ” greens !
I think I recall reading elsewhere that local Kasfareet villagers were also employed in some manual work on the golf course at some time or other.
The club steward at that time was Pete Pullin who served the cool, refreshing drinks, mainly orange cordial.Flt/Sgt Taff Pricket was the club drunk and another member was a professional boxer who fought under the name of Billy Mack. Years later Roger met up with Flt/Sgt Jimmy Spall who was steward of Henley Golf Club then
Two of Rogers caddies were CPL Don Walter and Dave Napier who can be seen on some of his photos. Roger said that it was the camp photographer Dutch Holland who took his photo`s.
An interesting tale by Roger involved a round of golf he played late one afternoon with others. When they reached the holes close to the perimeter fence, someone in the village fired shots at them. They took cover on the golf course but had to wait for the sun to set before they could make a dash to safety. Roger says that he and his playing partners agreed not to report the incident for fear of the golf club having to be shut down.
Following his two year spell in the Royal Air Force, Roger returned to his interrupted chosen career in the UK
Flt/Lt Dolbear, Roger Mace (front),Flt/Lt Bater (rear), Bill Bingham, Paddy Dunne (rear), Paddy Duncan, Capt Cassidy, Unknown (rear), Topper Brown, Mick Saunders (rear), N. Brown, Paddy McCluskey (rear), Taff Nedin (rear), Jeff Bradshaw, Flt/Lt Moulder (rear), Jaffray AMWD
Two superb shots by Colin Harrington….Roger ( left ) and Bill Bingham demonstrate driving off No 1 Tee
Colin Harrington(Left) Roger Mace (Right)
Driving off from the No 1 tee alongside the club. Obviously golf trolleys had yet to be invented.
Driving off the 2nd/14th tee. Before the course was extended from 12 to 18 holes, the scorecard showed No 2 as 210 yards.
Walt Hilsden played in a 12 hole Flag on Sept 6th 1953 and carded 49. He changed No 2 to read 235
This picture from 1955 shows 2/14 distance now extended to 249 yards
Putting on the 2nd green
Driving off from the 4/16th tee on an almost straight line towards the CO`s residence.
The top end of Kasfareet village is among the trees beyond the perimeter wire across the Sweetwater Canal.
Again, minor changes to the course have lengthened this hole by 7 yards.
Chipping on to the 4th green. Looks like the clubhouse beyond the caddie with the CO`s residence on the extreme right.
This actual action shot taken during the Middle East Golf Championship held at Kasfareet.
The caddie on the green is Cpl Don Walter. Roger is out of shot.
Roger chipping on to the 7th green
Roger teeing off on 18th Tee.His caddie was Dave Napier and one of the other fellows was ” Timms “
Republished by Kind Permission of Roger Mace