Tributes to leading Fylde golfer

Noon - prolific at Royal Lytham
Noon - prolific at Royal Lytham
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The Fylde golfing world is mourning the death of Michael Noon, one of the best amateur players this area produced in the post-war era.

Winner of a host of competitions at the Royal Lytham and St Annes and Fairhaven clubs, perhaps his greatest achievement came at the 1992 British Seniors Open Championship.

In a field at Royal Lytham that included the best over-50 golfers in the world, Noon shocked everyone with his exploits.

Noon led the elite field by two strokes at the end of the second round.

He was still only two shots off the lead after three rounds.

In the final round Noon was paired with the great American golfer Arnold Palmer - he slipped down the standings at that point, just missing out on the medal awarded to the leading amateur.

There could have been a very good reason behind his uncharacteristic slide down the leader-board in that concluding round.

Royal Lytham folklore has it that Noon left his trusted putter behind him at home and had to borrow one from the professional's shop.

But it should have come as no surprise that Noon should perform so well at Royal Lytham, where he enjoyed a formidable record.

The history section on Royal Lytham's website gives Noon's achievements pride of place.

He won the Clifton gold medal on 11 occasions and the Manchester gold medal 14 times.

Noon was also an habitual winner of the Royal Lytham and St Annes Silver Iron, the club's premier scratch stroke-play prize.

He won it 12 times in the years spanning 1964 to 1987.

His total haul of gold medals was 43 between 1965 and 1998.

Noon's death at the age of 80 brought in several tributes, among them from Charles Grimley, secretary of Royal Lytham, who described him as a 'gentleman of golf'.

Grimsley said: "His achievements are remarkable and a testament to his ability and consistency over the years.

"It is safe to say that his record in scratch competitions at Royal Lytham will never be overtaken.

"I was never lucky enough to play with him on the course, but I was on the range with him a lot in his latter years.

"When he had a dentist's practice in St Annes, he would come down at lunch-time to play a few holes at Royal Lytham.

"He was a gentleman of golf and from what I am told whenever he beat someone, he would almost apologise for doing so.

"He wasn't particularly long off the tee, but he was proficient in every single aspect of the game - he was just very accurate and dedicated to golf. The term practice makes perfect does not apply to us all, but it did to Michael."

Noon's prowess at golf was known county wide.

He won the Lancashire Seniors Championship in 1991, '92, '95, '96 and '97, as well as being runner-up in the county amateur championship in 1968.For a time Noon was also a member at Fairhaven, where he won the club championship six times.