Work is child's play for Alan

GOLF: Discipline is something that Alan Reeve believes in strongly. After six-and-a-half years in the lifeguards of the Household Cavalry, Alan is not a person to be crossed as several young golfers have found to their cost over the years.

DISCIPLINE is something that Alan Reeve believes in strongly.

After six-and-a-half years in the lifeguards of the Household Cavalry, Alan is not a person to be crossed as several young golfers have found to their cost over the years.

"I am strong on discipline, something that's lacking in youngsters today. It all goes back to my army days when a lot of growing up was done.

"Discipline has got me where I am today without having the golfing knowledge."

But Alan has been involved in junior golf for more than ten years.

"I used to travel with my son Simon (now the assistant to Keith Preston at Aldeburgh) to Halesworth to play. Then we moved to Fynn Valley just after it had opened before becoming junior organiser.

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"I haven't played for the last eight years, simply because I haven't had the time."

After putting all his efforts into Fynn Valley, where players like Danny Barton and Paul Bate came under his wing, Alan moved on to the Suffolk juniors as assistant to the under-14s.

"I took over from Stan Turner," said Alan. "And we had three very successful seasons, winning eight out of the nine county matches that were played. In that team were the likes of Jamie Moul, Lawrence Dodd, Tim Dainty and Andrew Tokley.

"A big moment for me was when Jamie Moul was chosen to be assessed by top quality judges and the prize was to go to the USA for the Ryder Cup. The reason he won was because of his consistent set-up.

"I believe fully in basics, the set-up, commonly known as Alan's five-yard rule, and visualisation."

The next step for Alan was becoming the assistant manager to Peter Barton of the under-18s. "We had a tremendous run," he said. "But I felt personally that I didn't have a lot to give because the players were way above me.

"At a Suffolk Golf Union meeting I suggested I would like to take on the under-14B squad that is now the under-12s and in its second year.

"I take a great delight in running this section with the help of Ian MacPherson (the professional at Felixstowe Ferry). He is one of the best coaches for that age group for his understanding and he believes, like I do, that basics are the most important factor of junior golf."

Alan pays tribute to the part of Bill Symons who was the originator of junior golf in the county. "Bill is 'Mr Junior Golf' who started the under-16s and under-18s," said Alan. "Without him we would not be in the strong position we are today.

"Suffolk junior golf has been absolutely excellent over the last ten years and this could not have been done without the funding from the Suffolk Golf Union and the help of club members."

Alan and other age-group organisers Peter Barton and Terry Broome were recognised for their contribution to junior golf when they were presented with the Suffolk Golf Union's Winstanley Trophy in 2000 – a tremendous honour indeed.

Alan's dedication to golf is that he has not had a family holiday for the past eight years. "It's been difficult to fit one in, but you only get out what you put in," he said.

At Fynn Valley Alan continues to have success. Helped by John Buckingham, over the past three years the club have had 14 youngsters in the Suffolk set-up from the under-12s through to the under-16s.

"Basics, discipline and fun and most of all a good team to work with are the ingredients for success," said Alan.

"Tony Tyrrell (the Fynn Valley owner) has given us the freedom to help us achieve that."

For the past 24 years Alan has been a company chauffeur with BOCM Pauls in Key Street, Ipswich, following his time in the Household Cavalry where he served in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong and then three years in Germany.

Every weekend Alan is at Fynn Valley, apart from once at month when he is at Felixstowe with the Suffolk Under-12s.

"I really enjoy it," he said. "To see people like Jamie Moul and Tim Dainty represent England at least means that I have had some contribution along the way."

Alan's son Simon, 21, turned professional last August while daughter Joanna, 24, works in London for the TV company Channel 20-20 and is currently undertaking a golf programme for Sky.

If any parent feels that their son, between the ages of eight and ten, is good enough for county training and would like them assessed, call Alan Reeve on 01473 720395.

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