Mike Plumbridge (1932 -2024)

Mike Plumbridge (1932 -2024)


Mike Plumbridge, a PGA Member for three quarters of a century who was party to Elizabeth II learning she had become Queen, has passed away at the age of 91.

Given his family’s involvement in golf, it was perhaps inevitable that Mike would not only love the game but also forge a career in it.

His father, Reg T Plumbridge, was the professional at Thorndon Park, Essex, when Mike was born, his grandparents were employed by the club as steward and stewardess, and his brother, Reg, and nephew Stephen Whymark also became golf pros.

He began his golfing life as a caddy at Thorndon Park and, encouraged by a member, started to play the game. Then, on leaving school at the age of 14, he worked for his father there and when he moved to Goring and Streatley Golf Club, Berkshire.

Mike was elected to PGA Membership two years later, but his fledging career was interrupted by National Service in 1951 and he joined the Royal Corps of Signals as a wireless operator. A year later, and fully conversant in Morse Code, he was in Kenya where he relayed the telegram informing Princess Elizabeth her father, George VI, had died and she was now Queen.

Mike extended his National Service and stayed for an extra year before returning to Goring and Streatley to work for his father. The pair then returned to Essex in 1955 and served Maylands Golf Club where Mike, as well as working as an assistant to his father, began coaching and running the shop.

He was also a keen competitor throughout his career and always looking to improve, so much so that, naturally left-handed, he switched from playing right-handed. Prior to that, he had won the Essex Professional Championship in 1963 and played in the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1968.

He had married his childhood sweetheart, Doreen, eight years earlier - some 19 years after they had first met at primary school – and begun his first club pro’s job at Old Fold Manor, Barnet, in 1964.

Mike was there for 10 years before spending eight at West Essex, Chingford, and a dozen back in Hertfordshire at Brookmans Park. In addition to his head professional’s role there, Mike started manufacturing golf accessories and had a patent granted for a scorecard holder.

Following his retirement as a club pro in 1994, Mike played in senior events, coached at Trent Park in north London and on Mediterranean cruises, and helped in the shop at Potters Bar Golf Club.

He was made an Honorary PGA Member in 2013 and received a plaque recognising his 50-plus years of Membership in 2023.

By then, however, a bad back had taken its toll and Mike, who did not understand the concept of retirement, had been forced to stop playing.

Mike, who was pre-deceased by Doreen, is survived by their daughters Stella and Janet. The PGA expresses heartfelt condolences to them and Mike’s other family members on their loss.


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