JONATHAN PLAXTON, president of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs, has led the tributes to Russ Chilton, York Union's team captain, who has died at the age of 51.
The Pike Hill GC member leaves a wife, Viv, and 17-year-old son Tom.
The president tweeted: "Shocking news about @yorkuniongolf Captain Russ Chilton. Great leader of men. #gonetoosoon #RIP."
Chilton had played off a handicap of three or better for many years, and was well known having competed in local, regional and national events for many years.
York Union is the smallest of the eight in Yorkshire, but under Chilton's captaincy and management they won the Inter-District League in 2014.
Since then the team have established themselves as one of the leading forces in inter-district events.
Chilton was a player for the scratch team as well as being captain/manager for the last four years.
Fulford GC manager Gary Pearce said: "Russ had galvanised a team with great spirit, who all wanted to play for him. He was a great leader, a big character and he was so passionate about his team and players – he will be missed by all.
"The whole of the York Union are very sad to lose such a great personality."
Martin Greaves, York Union's president last year, said on Twitter: "Russ Chilton # top top man. You were a true inspiration."
Radio and TV presenter James Gregg added: "Very sad to hear the passing of Russ Chilton - a great bloke who I had the pleasure of spending lots of time with on the course #RIPChillo."
Cleveland GC said: "Sad news about a Cleveland Salver stalwart Russ Chilton RIP."
Flaxby Park GC player Ian Backhouse commented: "Sorry to hear about Russ Chilton. Played against him in the York Union. Great games, much fun, very competitive - passionate about his team!"
Steven Robinson, performance golf coach, said: "Russ Chilton always competitive always funny and forever missed #RIP."
Harrogate golfer David Keywood commented: "Just heard the sad news that York golfer Russ Chilton has passed away. A top bloke and sure he'll be missed by all who knew him."
Fraser Kelley, head professional at Scarborough North Cliff GC, said: "Just heard the sad news Russ Chilton has passed away, a great guy who will be missed by all #ripchillo."
Sheila Knutt, of The Oaks GC, said: "President's Day 2015, the weather was truly awful and I whinged about going out, but Russ made me laugh all the way round and I nattered him all the way round about having no waterproofs on... One of golf's true decent gentlemen."