MIKE Ridge was the PGA Professional at Burford Golf Club from 1999 to 2017.

He died on Saturday, June 13, aged 64, following a brave battle with cancer.

Club members say Mr Ridge was an unassuming, modest man who went about his job quietly, but was always available to support them with their golf.

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Throughout his career he helped a large number of junior players to develop their skills, some of whom progressed to the professional ranks themselves.

Mike Ridge was elected to Professional Golfers’ Association membership in 1976, and he worked at two clubs in Hertfordshire - Old Fold Manor (1974-81) and Arkley (1981-86), before spending 12 years at Shooters Hill, Kent.

In 1999 he was appointed Head Professional at Burford Golf Club where he remained until he retired.

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During his time in West Oxfordshire, Mr Ridge’s calm demeanour helped Burford Golf Club develop successfully, his experience and knowledge proving invaluable with course and club improvements. He was a fine player, reaching the final qualifying stage at Royal St Georges, Kent, in the 1981 Open Championship.

For his 50th birthday, his wife Debbie bought him a round of golf at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Naturally Mr Ridge was paired with other guests, whom he thoroughly impressed playing this notoriously tough course, particularly playing the 17th (with the island green) in a low score. Typical of his unassuming nature, he didn’t tell them he was a golf professional in England.

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Mr Ridge was a professional person in any walk of life, who happened to be a member of the PGA. He was also a dedicated club professional although his fitness restricted his playing during the latter stages of his career.

His pragmatic approach to all things golfing provided much benefit and support to all those he dealt with. Above all however, his sense of fun and humour were a pleasure to enjoy.

Mike Ridge’s legacy is that he left an indelible mark on hundreds of golfers, teaching skills and attitudes that are of benefit throughout life in a quiet and self-effacing way.

To quote him, ‘being a Golf Professional is not a job but a vocation’. With many long shifts, seven days per week his work ethic shone through. Mr Ridge leaves his devoted wife Debbie who supported him bravely, many members at Burford Golf Club and all those he came into contact with during his life with a deep sense of loss but a deep sense of pleasure for having known him. He will be sorely missed.