‘Local lad’ Jerry Hayes is to retire from his role as professional at Sutton Coldfield on March 31 after 28 years at the club.
Hayes joined the club in 1962 aged 12 and said he remembers hanging around the professional’s workshop in his spare time with the assistant, Peter Hoe.
Returning to the club in 1987, Hayes’ time at Sutton Coldfield has taken him through Sutton Coldfields’ centenary and 125th anniversary celebrations.
Remembering the 100th anniversary, Hayes said: “It really was a fabulous year. We hunted out the location of the original nine holes near Town Gate and, dressed in period costume, played them.
“Then there was the centenary ball at Sutton Town Hall and the pro-am in which many leading professionals took part. The event was won by Vijay Singh, who was unknown at the time. It was wonderful to be a part of such an occasion.”
‘I’ve loved every minute and I’ll miss it like hell’ Throughout the summer of 1966, Hayes played 36 holes every day and it was during that period he learned Walmley’s professional was in need of an assistant. He applied and got the job, remaining there until 1973, when he transferred to Maesdu at Llandudno, North Wales, and gained his professional qualifications.
In 1978 he joined Dudley as professional and developed his club repair and manufacturing abilities, a skill for which he has been recognised by the PGA.
Hayes returned to Sutton Coldfield in 1987 and said: “The highlight of my time here has, quite simply, been coming to work. I’ve loved every minute and I’ll miss it like hell.”
Patrick Brady will replace Hayes as head professional, having worked as his assistant prior to gaining experience elsewhere in the UK, the Netherlands and Spain.