Greenkeeping colleagues and members from Eaton and other Norfolk clubs attended a presentation ceremony at the club to hear a warm tribute from club manager Peter Johns.
Mick Lathrope (front centre) alongside Eaton's new head greenkeeper Rob Ransome (front left) with Lathrope's recent team at the club
He said Lathrope's career had begun as an apprentice at Maylands Golf Club, in Havering, Essex before moving to Eaton in 1972.
His lengthy spell with the club saw him go on to work with 46 club captains, 46 ladies' captains, 24 club presidents and 23 lady presidents.
Johns told well-wishers: "Mick has overseen many changes to the golf course.
"He has been an extremely conscientious worker, balancing the needs of the golfer with the natural beauty of our wonderful 106 acres of land - so much so that in 2005 Eaton was awarded the prestigious Golf Environment Award."
The ceremony was also attended by several members of Mick's family, including his daughter Jane who said in her own tribute that there would be an enormous gap in the family's life without their association with Eaton.
However, there would be other things ahead for her father: fishing, playing golf and in particular enjoying long rides into the country on his 1961 BSA Super Rocket motorbike, which will all keep him busy in the years ahead.
His successor at Eaton is Rob Ransome, 41, who lives in Pulham, with his wife and two children. He began as an assistant greenkeeper at Marriott Sprowston Manor and was promoted to head greenkeeper while at Diss.
"As a 16 handicap golfer myself, I appreciate the need to present the course really well and make sure it is always improving," he said.
"I'm delighted to be at Eaton, a course that I always enjoyed playing."
You can read the original article from the Eastern Daily Press HERE