By Geoff Garnett
NICK Ryan, one of the region’s most respected PGA professionals was given a terrific send-off by Ringway Golf Club members, guests and his friends as he retired from the club’s professional role after 35 years of service.
The occasion was marked with an afternoon tea party and a more formal evening dinner to recognise the great work done by Nick, who has played a significant part in the club’s development and high profile in the game.
Nick started his golf as an outstanding junior at Romiley and he began his professional career at Werneth Low as assistant to Tony Bacchus in 1974 before becoming the New Mills professional two years later with help from their then captain Brian Gould.
His next big move was to become the professional at Ringway in 1981.
Nick said: “I would like to thank those who worked with me for the longest periods including wife Suzanne and her mum Brenda in the earlier years and subsequently David Brunton, Danny Turner, George Drakonakis and Yvonne Lynch – I could not have done without them.
“The variety in the job means that it is continuously interesting, meeting many remarkable and engaging people. The sense of community at Ringway was always so evident and humour was never too far away.
“Above all perhaps the shared passion for golf is the strongest factor that binds us to our task as club professionals.
“The most memorable occasion for me at Ringway must be in 1995 when Jim Quick brought the World Transplant Games to Manchester and the golf to Ringway.
“We had three days of welcoming competitors from all over the world and what a carnival of colour and personalities it was.
“I would like to thank our lady captain Alison Grant for her kind words to Yvonne and Tom Williams who did the address for me at the dinner.
“Tom was on the original interview panel for me in 1981 and he made a very touching and humorous speech.
“Yvonne joined me in 1996 and she looked after and developed the ladies’ fashions, such an important part of my retail offering and she is also now retiring from her role at Ringway.
“Many members of her family have been members of Ringway including her father, brother, son and husband and she is now looking to have a little time to pursue the game too.
“After 42 very happy years as a professional I have retired my membership of the PGA and have now applied for reinstatement as an amateur.
“I love the game today as much as I ever did and playing as an amateur offers so many opportunities even as time marched on!”
Nick Ryan, centre, with David Brunton, left, Yvonne Lynch, Brian Gould and Tony Bacchus, right.