England and Wales (North) Region
08 Jan 15
Jeffrey Coleman, who was PGA professional at Pontefract Golf Club for 40 years, died today at the age of 86.
He was persuaded to take up the game by his father after meeting the legendary Bill Shankland, one of Australia's great all-round sportsmen and celebrated rugby player-turned-pro golfer, who was later to settle in Cheshire.
Shankland was a frequent visitor to Starbeck Baths in Harrogate which Coleman's father managed and the pair struck up a friendship.
He suggested to Coleman Snr that his lad should take up golf and mentored him when he appointed him assistant at Potter's Bar Golf Club in Hertfordshire, where another legend, Alex Hay, was a frequent visitor.
"He learned not only how to play golf but the art of club-making and the ways of life," recalled Coleman's son Andrew, the professional at Mill Brook Golf Club in Bedfordshire.
"My dad met the great and the good of the game and was Hay's best man at his wedding. Tony Jacklin came to see him one day and told him that Shankland said my dad knew everything he needed to know about the game!"
Leeds-born Coleman, who was also a champion swimmer during National Service in the Wiltshire Regiment, returned to Pontefract as head pro and remained there until his retirement in 1993, Andrew joining him as assistant.
He served as Yorkshire PGA president during the early 1980s
"Dad lived for the PGA," added Andrew.
Coleman's wife Noelene, a music teacher, died in 1989. Their other son, Edward, followed in her footsteps and is director of music at Loretta School in Musselburgh.
The funeral wil take place on Monday, February 2 at 11.30am at St Michael's Church, Carleton, Pontefract.
There will be a reception at Pontefract Golf Club, Park Lane, Pontefract at 1pm. All welcome.
No flowers, donations to Prince of Wales Hospice, Pontefract.
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