England (South) Region
13 Feb 18
Tony Rees, the PGA Professional who served Oxford Golf Club for more than half a century, has passed away at the age of 77.
Tony began his professional golfing career at what was then the Oxford University Golf Club in March 1957. He trained under former PGA chairman Fred Taylor and succeeded him as head professional six years later, a role he held until his retirement in March 2015.
Tony’s early playing record was impressive: he held the Midland Professionals, Assistants and Match Play titles in the same year as competing in the Open Championship.
He had the opportunity to become one of Ernest Butten’s ‘Boys’ in the 1960s and join the likes of Tommy Horton and Brian Barnes. However, he opted to stay with the Oxford University Golf Club, forging an outstanding career as a PGA Professional.
Tony was not only one of the first PGA tutors but also a founder member of the Foremost group. In addition he was a very active member of both the South Region and BB&O PGA committees.
He was made a PGA Honorary member on reaching 50 years at his club, an achievement recognised by a special letter of congratulations from one of his early inspirations as a professional golfer, Gary Player.
Affectionately known as ‘The Pro’ throughout his career, Tony continued to help and support all those golfers who came into contact with him.
He was especially supportive to those of us who had the privilege to learn under his tutelage, and Tony was always happy to give his time and knowledge to help us develop.
As David Johnson, a fellow PGA Member so eloquently put it: “He was a human being of real quality. He not only cared about his fellow professionals, but about the good of the game.
“He should be remembered as a man who enhanced golf, and who really shone when he showed his ability as a PGA Professional. I’m proud and feel very privileged to have been able to call him a friend.”
* Tony Rees' funeral will take place at 2pm on Thursday March 1 at Oxford Crematorium, Bayswater Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 9RZ.
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