85. Dr. Frank Deighton Has Died Aged 90

5th March 2018

Dr. Frank W.G. Deighton died on 23rd February 2018 at the Clarence Court Care Home in Glasgow.

Having reached the age of 90 he had been one of the oldest living former Walker Cup players.

He was first selected for the match at Birkdale GC in 1951 when he was 23. However, Raymond Oppenheimer, GB&I’s first true non-playing captain, chose not to play him as the team lost 6-3. In Oppenheimer’s defense all Deighton had done nationally by this time was make his debut for Scotland in 1950 in the Home internationals at Royal St. David’s GC. He went on to represent Scotland throughout the 1950’s.

Dr. Frank Deighton (Photo: 1951 Walker Cup Programme)

1956 proved to be his best playing year and the prelude to his second and final Walker Cup selection, this time in 1957 at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.

In 1956 Dr. Deighton had won the Scottish Amateur Championship at Old Troon beating A. MacGregor 8&7 in the final. He also reached the quarter finals of the Amateur Championship where he lost 6&5 over 36 holes to the eventual winner John Beharrell.

In previewing the 1957 match for Sports Illustrated Bernard Darwin described Deighton as “formerly a moody player who did not seem to have sufficient belief in himself” but went on to say “at his best he can be very good.” Interestingly Darwin put Deighton’s upturn in fortunes down to a pep talk from Oppenheimer and a 6&5 singles win against Max Faulkner in the Amateurs v. Professionals match the previous summer.

Deighton played in both series in 1957, losing both his games. Paired with Joe Carr they lost their foursomes match 2&1 against Rex Baxter and Billy Joe Patton. The following day he lost his singles match to Bill Hyndman 7&6. GB&I lost the match 8-3.

His last major win came in 1959 when he won his second Scottish Amateur title. He beat R.M.K. Murray at St. Andrews 6&5.

In total he played in 10 Amateur Championships between 1950-63 and won 20 of his 30 matches during this period.

In 1965 a medical contact arranged for him to design Sconsor GC’s new 9 hole course. The club was renamed the Isle of Skye GC in 1987. In 1988 a new clubhouse was built and Dr. Deighton, as a sign of further gratitude, was invited back to the Isle to open it.

Deighton was born in Glasgow on 21st May 1927 and spent most of his life in the City. He trained with the Royal Army Medical Corps before becoming a General Practitioner. He married Marna and they had two daughters, Nicky and Ruth.

His home club was Hilton Park, where he became an honorary member. He also enjoyed memberships at Glasgow GC and Western Gailes GC. He was a long time member of The Royal & Ancient GC of St. Andrews and after amassing 60 years in 2013 was afforded the rare status of Life Member.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2018 Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Sources:
1. Colin Farquharson, Scottish Golf View (26/02/18) – reproduced The Herald death notice and provided family information.
2. Colin Callander, Global Golf Post (05/03/18) – R&A membership information.

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36. Geoff Marks OBE Has Died Aged 78

14th December 2016

I was saddened to read about the passing of Geoffrey Conway Marks yesterday. Born on 2nd November 1938 he had just turned 78.

A member of Trentham Golf Club in Staffordshire for more than 60 years Geoff played in two Walker Cups and captained the Team on a further two occasions.

Geoff Marks

He played for Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) at Milwaukee CC in 1969 (lost 10-8) and at the Old Course, St. Andrews in 1971 (won 13-11).

Paired with Rodney Foster he lost his opening foursomes game 2&1 in 1969 before winning both his singles, beating Lanny Wadkins (1 hole) and Dr. Edgar Updegraff (3&2).

In 1971 he lost all three of his games at St Andrews. He lost singles to Allen Miller III (1 hole) and Tom Kite (3&2). Having not played foursomes on Day 1 he lost by 1 hole the following day when paired with Charles Green.

After captaining England between 1980-83 Geoff took on the GB&I Walker Cup role; firstly at Sunningdale GC in 1987 and then at Peachtree GC two years later. His first game was far from successful – GB&I losing 7.5-16.5 at home. However the second would go down in history. The 12.5-11.5 victory in Atlanta was the first time GB&I had won a Walker Cup match on American soil. At the end of the 1989 season Geoff Marks and his Walker Cup team were awarded the Association of Golf Writers Trophy in recognition of their achievement.

Marks also represented GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy match against the Continent of Europe in 1968 and 1970 before captaining the team in 1988 and 1990.

In a distinguished amateur playing career he represented England 65 times between 1963-1975 with the team winning 45 of those matches.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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