England and Wales (South West) Region
15 May 18
Keith Hockey, a former PGA captain, West region chairman and renowned coach who played a major part in shaping the modern Association, has died a few days after his 89th birthday following a short illness.
Keith also became the only man to lead the Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team to victory in two successive matches against the USA.
That was at Muirfield in 1983, the year of his PGA captaincy, and then at Turnberry 12 months later.
He was keenly interested in the training and development of aspiring professionals and was a member of the PGA training and teaching staff.
He was responsible for the production of the PGA training manual and, in conjunction with the Bournemouth Management Centre, produced a correspondence course for the PGA Diploma in Golf Management.
In addition to his national training schedule Keith became the first chairman of the West Region of the PGA from 1977 until 1985.
He was brought up in a golf environment as his father A.F. (Fred) Hockey was the pro at Enfield and his uncle Albert a professional in Switzerland. Golf course architect Peter Harradine was a cousin.
So it was no surprise when he became assistant to Henry Cotton at Royal Mid-Surrey and then with Reg Knight at Wanstead.
He was even given his second name ‘Ryder’ because he was born on April 27, 1929, a month before the competition that year.
He really wanted to be a teacher and translated that desire into golf tuition which became his lifelong passion.
He was head professional at Muswell Hill in north London for 17 years from 1953 after joining the club from Wanstead.
Members of Muswell Hill raised £700 to send him on a seven-week tour of the Far East circuit where he was befriended by Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss.
He took over from Alliss as the head pro at Parkstone, Dorset, in 1970 and was joined by his assistant Bill Creamer who has recently retired as Chippenham professional.
Mike Rowett also moved with him and subsequently joined Bigbury and then Exeter. He remained at Parkstone until he retired in1988, continued to live at Sandbanks, was made a life member and regularly visited the club until shortly before his death.
His son Mark said: “He never forgot he was golf pro but his role as a teacher is what endured most strongly.
“I believe this, along with the friendship and close camaraderie he found, is why his association with The PGA remained so central all his life.”
PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield concurred with those sentiments and added: "There are no areas of The PGA that have not benefitted from Keith’s boundless enthusiasm and willingness to get involved and use his wide range of skills to make a difference.
“That he was a successful captain of both the Association and PGA Cup teams, a long-serving regional chairman, a key figure in the creation of The PGA training manual and a popular and respected traditional club pro at Muswell Hill and Parkstone are testament to his capacity for hard work and his talents.
“He is a great loss to the Association – even more so to Ann, his wife, family and friends to whom we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences.”
Keith was married to Ann for 63 years and the couple had three sons: Christopher (a business executive living in Singapore), Mark (a retired GP) and Andrew, (who died at 50 in 2014); and five grandchildren (one teacher, two doctors, one medical student, and an advertising executive).
* Keith's funeral will take place at 2pm on Monday June 11 at the Harbour View Woodland Burial Ground, Randall’s Hill, near Lytchett, Poole BH16 6AN, and afterwards at Parkstone Golf Club.
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