171. Peter Oosterhuis Has Died Aged 75

7th May 2024

Peter Arthur Oosterhuis has died at the age of 75, a day before his 76th birthday, in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Oosterhuis was born on 3rd May 1948 in London to Josie and Hans. Dutchman Hans had emigrated to Britain after escaping German occupation of his home country during Workd War II.

Peter was educated at Dulwich College. His mother introduced him to golf when he was 10 and he became a member of Dulwich & Sydenham Hill Golf Club, taking lessons with the pro Len Rowe.

His progress in the game was rapid and he represented England Boys’ in 1964 and went on to captain the team in 1965.

In 1966 he won the Berkshire Trophy and the R&A British Youths Open Amateur Championship at Dalmahoy. He also finished 3rd in this latter competition in both 1967 and 1968.

Interstingly he only chose to play in the Amateur Championship on one occassion. He lost in the third round at Troon in 1968 to Matt Lygate, a Scottish International who was a member at neighbouring Troon Portland.

He played in the 1967 Walker Cup match at Royal St. George’s G.C. having just turned 19. He was the first player still at school to play in the match. Paired with Scotland’s Ronnie Shade they halved one and won one of their two foursomes. He lost both of his singles; to Bob Dickson by 6&4 on Day 1 and James Grant III by 1 Hole on Day 2.

He was a member of the GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team that was victorious 20-10 against Continent of Europe in 1968, winning 3 out of 4 points at Portmarnock.

Peter Oosterhuis

The 6ft. 5” Oosterhuis turned professional in November 1968 and by the mid-1970s had replaced Tony Jacklin as Britain’s leading golfer.

In March 1969 he won the Sunningdale Foursomes with his partner Peter Benka. They beat Catherine Lacoste and Jean-Michel Lerretche in the Final 3&2.

He won the Harry Vardon Award in his rookie year, 1969, and went on to top the European Tour’s Order of Merit four times between 1971 to 1974. In 1975 he moved to the USA to compete full time on the PGA Tour, one of the first international players to do so.

The Englishman was twice a runner-up at The Open, in 1974 and 1982. He also had a good run at the 1973 Masters where he entered the final round, played on a monday after rain delays, with a 3-shot lead before closing with a 74 and having to settle for tied 3rd.

He won 20 times worldwide, with seven official victories in Europe, including the national opens of France and Spain, and one on the PGA Tour, overcoming Jack Nicklaus down the stretch in the 1981 Canadian Open.

Oosterhuis played in six consecutive Ryder Cups from 1971 to 1981 (only the last two including European players), all of which ended in team defeat, but individual success. He compiled a W14-L11-H3 overall record, including a joint European best six singles wins (out of nine games) taking the scalps of Arnold Palmer (2), Johnny Miller, JC Snead and Gene Littler. It is something of a surprise that he was never afforded the European team captaincy in the 1980’s but living full time in America obviously didn’t help his case.

His performances were built on a surprisingly sharp short game for a big man and sound strategy which he put down to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; an ability to remember nearly every shot he ever played and staying focussed on the next task at hand.

Once his playing career ended in 1986 he took on a number of Director of Golf roles, most notably at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. He then became a highly respected TV commentator working firstly for Sky Sports and then the Golf Channel and CBS in USA for 18 years.

He was sadly diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and retired from the public eye.

In 2016 he became the 49th honorary life member of the European Tour.

Without a major win to his name Oosterhuis could never be considered a golfing great but he was certainly a player of some ability and unquestionably a hugely popular gentleman both on and off the course.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

169. The Walker Cup 1922-2023 Centenary Edition Book Published

15th December 2023

‘The Walker Cup 1922-2023 ~ Golf’s Finest Contest’ by Gordon G. Simmonds has been published for The R&A by Grant Books Ltd.

‘The Walker Cup 1922-2023 ~ Golf’s Finest Contest’ Centenary Edition

This 3rd edition of the popular book, limited to 3,600 copies, represents a significant departure in format from the previous issues published in 2000 and 2004. Running to 384 pages it has been fully revised and an enlarged size has been adopted.

To celebrate the centenary match which took place at St. Andrews last September Simmonds has fully refreshed his history, including hundreds of extra photographs, new forwards from Peter McEvoy and Fred Ridley, up to date statistics and additional reports for the matches played between 2005 and 2023.

Whilst a large number of the books have already been subscribed for some copies are available for sale from Grant Books for £70.00.

Gordon G Simmonds 


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

168. Sir Michael Bonallack Has Died Aged 88

26th September 2023

Sir Michael Francis Bonallack, Kt, OBE, a past Walker Cup player, captain and administrator has died aged 88.

He was born in Chigwell, Essex, England on 31st December 1934 and died on 26th September 2023 in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.

He represented Thorpe Hall G.C., near Southend-on-Sea in Essex, throughout his amateur career.

His list of playing achievements is unlikely to ever be matched again and he is in my opinion the best GB&I amateur golfer of all time.

He first came to prominence when he won the British Boys Championship in 1952, beating Alec Shepperson on the 37th hole of the final at Formby GC.

He went on to win the Amateur Championship five times; the last three being in successive years: –
1961 v. Jimmy Walker 6&4 at Turnberry
1965 v. Clive Clark 2&1 at Porthcawl
1968 v. Joe Carr 7&6 at Troon
1969 v. Bill Hyndman (USA) 3&2 at Hoylake
1970 v. Bill Hyndman (USA) 8&7 at Newcastle, County Down

He also won the English Amateur Championship five times (1962, ’63, ’65, ’67 and ’68) and the English Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy) four times (1964, ’68, ’69 (tied with Rodney Foster) and ’71).

Other notable victories came in the Lytham Trophy (1965T and ’72), Berkshire Trophy (1957, ’61, ’65, ’68, ’70, ’71T), St. George’s Grand Challenge Cup (1965, ’68, and ’81), H.R.H. Prince of Wales Challenge Cup (1967), Hampshire Hog (1957 and 1979) and the no longer contested Golf Illustrated Gold Vase (1961T, ’67T, ’68, ’69T, ’71 and ’75).

He represented GB&I in nine Walker Cup teams, two as playing Captain (in 1957, ’59, ’61, ’63, ’65, ’67, ’69,  ’71 and ’73). He played 25 individual games, more than any other GB&I player in the history of the match and is only beaten by Jay Sigel’s 33 on the USA side. His record reads won 8, lost 14 and halved 3. The highlight for Bonallack was contributing to the victorious side in 1971 where GB&I won the cup for the first time in 33 years. “I was playing captain that year when we won over the Old Course at St. Andrews, and it does not get, cannot get, any better than that,” he later recalled.

Bonallack also represented GB&I in six World Amateur Team Golf Championships, for the Eisenhower Trophy, the last three as playing Captain (1960, ’62, ’64, ’66, ’68, ’70 and ’72). In 1968 he tied for the Individual title with Vinny Giles from the USA. He also represented GB&I in biennial matches against The Rest of Europe between 1958-72.

Sir Michael represented England in the Home International Matches on 17 occasions (1957-72, ’74). He captained the team between 1962-1967. His record was played 131; won 79, halved 15 and lost 37.  He also played in the British Commonwealth Team in 1959, 1963, 1967 and 1971, captaining the team in 1971 and 1975 (non-playing).

He played in 13 Open Championships. His best finish coming in his first when he tied 11th at Muirfield. He didn’t win the Silver Medal that year but secured it in 1968 (Carnoustie – T21) and again in 1971 (Royal Birkdale – T22). He considered these results his main golfing disappointment, reflecting in later years: “I wish I had done better in The Open”.

Good friend Donald Steel, writing for Country Life in July 1983, upon Bonallack’s competitive retirement, described him as a “fierce competitor” before adding “I have never seen anyone hole more critical putts than he did or impose the same magical touch on a whole variety of wedge and bunker play.”

He married Angela Ward in 1958.  A celebrity couple of the day the announcement of their earlier engagement made the front page news of almost every daily newspaper. Angela played in six Curtis Cup teams during her own golfing career (1956, ’58, ’60, ’62, ’64 and ’66).

Michael’s younger sister Sally (Barber) was also a very accomplished player, representing GB&I in the Curtis Cup in 1962.

Michael Bonallack joined The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1960. Over these years he was Chairman of the Amateur Status Committee (1975-79) and of the Selection Committee (1975-79) and a Member of the Rules of Golf Committee (1979-83), the General Committee (1975-1978 and 1999-2000) and the Heritage Committee (2006-10).

At the Club’s Autumn Meeting in September 2013 he become the 16th Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient. He had previously been made a Life Member in 1999. As such his portrait is displayed in the Big Room of The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse.

Sir Michael Bonallack’s R&A Portrait (Photo: British Golf Museum) 

After his stellar playing career Sir Michael moved smoothly into golf administration. He was appointed Secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1983, succeeding Keith Mackenzie.

As Secretary of the R&A, Bonallack helped to guide the game into the 21st Century. “He has bridged the gap between the history and heritage and tradition of The Open Championship and golf in general as it moved into the commercial age globally and internationally and he’s done it with great taste and tact and really stands almost alone as someone who has handled that crossing.” said the late Mark McCormack, chairman of International Management Group.

He retired as Secretary in 1999 after 16 years and was immediately nominated for the captaincy of the club for the millennium 1999-2000 year. There were two themes that he sought to bring to the role during his term of office: “…maintaining behavioural standards and ensuring that amateur golf is not destroyed by over-commercialism and ridiculously large prizes”.

The Bonallack Trophy, a biennial amateur competition played between teams from Europe and Asia-Pacific, was first played in 1998. The competition named in honour of Sir Michael continues to grow in importance and has helped to raise the profile of the game, particularly in the Far East, Indian and Australasia areas.

Sir Michael held many important positions in the golfing world and over the years received numerous honours and awards. Most notably he was knighted in 1998 becoming the third ‘golfing knight’ after Sir Henry Cotton and Sir Bob Charles. Sir Nick Faldo subsequently joined this select group in 2009.

Lady Bonallack died on Friday 1st July 2022 at the age of 85. She had been in poor health for a few years and finally succumbed to the COVID-19 virus.

Clearly in poor health Sir Michael was a very welcome guest at the opening ceremony of the 49th Walker Cup match played earlier this month at St. Andrews.

Sir Michael’s was a life well lived and he leaves a legacy to the game that can only be matched by a handful of others.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

149. Willie Milne Has Died Aged 71

24th February 2023

William Torbet Gray Milne passed away on 31st January 2023 aged 71.

Born in Scotland on 13th July 1951 Willie, who had been based in Germany since 2004, suffered a cardiac arrest whilst on holiday in Thailand.

He was a ‘larger than life’ character who stood 6 ft. 4” tall and weighed in at over 16 stones.

In 1972 Milne was selected for a GB&I U21 Youths team in a match against Europe at Glasgow Gailes G.C. and for Scotland in the Men’s Home Internationals.

In 1973 he represented Scotland in the European Amateur Team Championship in Portugal. Scotland, who lost to England in the Final, and Milne – who tied for the leading score in the qualifying with a 71 before winning five of the six games he was involved in in the match play stages – both made a favourable impression.  

His performance earned him a place in the GB&I 1973 Walker Cup team that travelled in August to The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The team lost the match 14-10 mainly because they failed to win any of the eight Foursomes games that were played, losing six and halving two. Milne playing with Charlie Green on Day 1 lost to Danny Edwards and James Ellis by 2&1. On Day 2 he was paired with Hugh Stuart and in a tight match lost by 1 Hole to Bill Rogers and Michael Killian.

On a positive note Milne won both of his Singles games, defeating Mark Pfeil 4&3 on Friday and Mark Killian 2&1 on Saturday. Unusually GB&I won the two Singles sessions 9-7 that year.

Willie Milne Signs a Contract with his manager Derek Pillage in February 1974 

Milne turned professional shortly after playing in the Home Internationals in September 1973, competing on the European Tour with little success between 1973 and 1980.

His reputation was damaged in 1975 after he was fined £500 by the PGA for scoring irregularities in the Nigerian Open which led to his disqualification. He signed for a 5 on the 12th hole in the 3rd round when he had in fact taken 6. Despite subsequently realising his error he failed to report it and played out the 4th Round. 

He played in five Open Championships in the 1970s, the first as an amateur in 1973, but failed to make the cut in any of them.

Milne’s best result as a professional came in the 1979 French Open when he finished second to fellow Scot Bernard Gallacher at Golf Club de Lyon earning around €5,500. 

He represented GB&I in two PGA Cup matches in 1982 and 1986. 

During his playing career and from 1981 as a club pro. he was attached to a number of clubs, namely Tayside Golf, the Machrie Hotel on Islay, Sand Martins G.C. in Berkshire, the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, Royal Dornoch and Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel & Resort.

Willie was at Carnoustie when it hosted the Open Championship in 1999. Ironically he earned more attention from playing as a 3rd Round marker, where he recorded a 76, than he had during his entire time as a Tour player. His time at Carnoustie came to a sad end when he was sacked in January 2001 for drunken behaviour at a Christmas party the previous month, albeit he successfully claimed for unfair dismissal at an industrial tribunal in Dundee in September 2002. 

Willie Milne’s Current LinkedIn Profile Photo

Willie moved to Germany in 2004, initially working at Olching G.C. near Munich for five years before representing Golfglobal Ltd as a consultant until the time of his sudden death.

Addition Sources: The PGA Obituary


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

148. Stuart Murray Has Died Aged 89

24th February 2023

Stuart William Thomas Murray died on 23rd January 2023 at the age of 89 following a short illness.

Murray was born in Paisley, Scotland on 10th November 1933, the middle of three brothers, and learned to play golf at the nearby Elderslie Golf Club. By the time he was 18 he had already won the club championship and played county golf.

He earned the nickname ‘The Sheriff’ from his peers due to a distinctive “cowboy-like” rolling gait, the result of a broken leg playing football during National Service, and his consistently strong play in the amateur game in the 1950s and early ‘60s.

Murray was very much a part-time golfer working for John Letters, the golf club manufacturer, after he finished school.

He represented Scotland in the Home Internationals five years running (1959-63) and picked up the prestigious West of Scotland Championship, Tennant Cup and the Edward Trophy titles in his amateur career.

Stuart successfully represented GB&I in the St. Andrews Trophy, contributing to wins in against Europe in France in 1958 and Sweden in 1962.

Having lost in the Final the year before he won the Scottish Amateur Championship in 1962 defeating Ronnie Shade 2&1 in the final at Muirfield. Shade would go onto win this Championship in each of the next five years.

Stuart Murray is carried off Muirfield after winning the Scottish Amateur 

The victory helped earn Stuart selection for the 1963 GB&I Walker Cup team. 

USA won the match at Turnberry by 12-8 but Stuart made a positive contribution, particularly on the opening day when it rained heavily. Paired with Michael Bonallack in the Foursomes they beat Billy Joe Patton and Richard Sikes by 4&3. Murray then beat Deane Beman 3&1 in the opening game of the afternoon Singles. On a drier Day 2 the same foursomes pairings played again and this time the Americans prevailed by 1 Hole. Murray then lost to Patton in the Day 2 Singles by 3&2.  

Approaching 30 years old Stuart turned professional a few months after the Walker Cup pushed to a degree by changes in the amateur status rules. For 37 years he was attached to the Northamptonshire (1963-72) and Hendon (1972-2000) Golf Clubs in England. During this time he became a highly sought after teacher.

In early 1964 he received an invitation from Bobby Jones to  play in that year’s Masters. “It was a huge surprise at the time,” Stuart reflected later. “Bobby Jones was a hero. Everybody of my era was brought up with the great Jones. I never thought I’d get a letter from him inviting me to the Masters. I knew right away I wouldn’t go. I’d just a bought a house and it was a hell of a long trip in those days. Goodness knows how much the flight would have cost.….and I may have had to go by boat anyway. It’s the biggest regret I have in golf that I never got to go.”

Murray combined his club duties with attempts to qualify for elite level tournaments and, from 1972 onwards despite entering his 40’s, events on the newly created European Tour. He also played regularly in the Senior PGA Professional Championship and for a few years the PGA Super 60s which started in the early 1990’s. 

Stuart was predeceased by his wife Phyllis, who he married in 1957, and is survived by his sons, Iain and Alastair.

Additional Sources: The PGA Obituary, Jack Davidson’s Obituary in The Scotsman and Nick Rodger’s Obituary in The Herald 


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

147. Dr. Ed Updegraff Has Died Aged 100

26th December 2022

Dr. Edgar (Ed) Rice Updegraff, the former USA Walker Cup captain and player, sadly passed away at the age of 100 on Friday 23rd December 2022.

Dr. Ed Updegraff Receives The Bob Jones Award in 1999 (Photo: USGA)

Of German descent Updegraff was born on 1st March 1922 in Boone, Iowa. The family lived near to Boone G.&C.C. so it was natural that he would start to take an interest in the game, first caddying for his grandfather and then playing as a junior.

He showed early promise winning the 1938 Iowa state high school championship and three Northwest Amateurs (1940-’41-’47).

Updegraff earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University and a medical degree from the University of Iowa in the 1940s. He then enlisted in the Navy, becoming a urologist at the Naval Hospital in Florida.

Attracted by the all year round golf in Arizona he moved to Tucson in 1951 to set up his medical practice and remained in the area for the rest of his life.

Updegraff won the Western Amateur in 1957 and 1959, the Sunnehanna Amateur in 1962 and the inaugural Pacific Coast Amateur in 1967, where he held off Hale Irwin and Johnny Miller. Since 2010 The Dr. Ed Updegraff Trophy has been presented to the winner of the Pacific Coast Amateur.

As one of their leading amateurs in the 1950s and ’60s he was selected to represent USA in three Walker Cup matches; at Turnberry G.C. in 1963 (won 8-12), at Baltimore C.C. 1965 (tied 11-11) and finally at Milwaukee C.C. in 1969 (won 13-11).

He won three, lost three and tied one of his seven games. The highlight being his 4&3 win against Joe Carr in the Day 2 Singles at Turnberry.

Ed captained the 1975 USA Walker Cup side to a 8.5-15.5 victory on the Old Course at St. Andrews. He was fortunate in that the USA team was exceptionally strong that year with Vinny Giles, Jay Haas, Gary Koch, Jerry Pate, Craig Stadler and Curtis Strange amongst his line-up.

Updegraff also participated in the short-lived America’s Cup golf team match contested by Canada, Mexico and USA between 1952 and 1967. He played in 1963 and captained in 1967 with USA winning both.

He played in 17 U.S. Amateur Championships during his career. His best finish came in 1969 at Oakmont C.C. when he ended up 7th during the short period when it was played as a 72-hole stroke-play competition.

Updegraff played in one Amateur Championship, the one held the week after the 1963 Walker Cup match. He lost by 1 Hole in the semi-finals at St. Andrews to the eventual champion Michael Lunt.

He also competed in six Masters Tournaments, with his best finish a tie for 44th in 1966.

Dr. Ed Updegraff Tees Off In January 1962 (Photo: Tucson Citizen)

Updegraff remained a lifelong amateur and continued to play to a high level well into his early 80’s. It is said that he shot his age over 2,500 times.

Aged 59 he won the 1981 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship defeating Dale Morey 2&1 in the 18-hole final at Seattle G.C. Updegraff also reached the final the following year at his home club, Tucson C.C., but this time lost out by 2 Holes to Alton Duhon.

He won 27 club championships at Tucson C.C., 12 Tucson City Amateurs and 5 Arizona Amateur titles.

Updegraff was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame in 1969. The Arizona Golf Association, of whom he was President in 1981-82, also honoured him by establishing The Ed Updegraff Award in 1990. It is given annually in recognition of those who, by their actions and accomplishments, exemplify the spirit of the game.

He was the recipient of the USGA’s highest honour, The Bob Jones Award, in 1991. This is awarded for distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Bill Campbell said in his nomination speech that “Whether winning or losing, he was the same unassuming, modest and courteous person, which is why his circle of good and lasting friends grew wider wherever he played. His dry wit adds to the fun of being with him, on and off the course.”

Dr. Ed Updegraff Bob Jones Award Video (Photo: Oregon Golf Association)

The Iowa Golf Association inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2006.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

143. Dr. David Marsh Has Died Aged 88

20th August 2022

Dr. David Max Marsh MBE, the former Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain and player, has sadly passed away at the age of 88.

David was first selected for the GB&I Walker Cup team in 1959. However, captain Gerald Micklem chose not to select him in either of the then two 36-hole series of games. Marsh, who was in the middle of University exams at the time and had played little golf prior to the contest, was not overly displeased by the decision.

His second Walker Cup appearance in 1971 proved to be far more memorable. GB&I defeated the USA at St Andrews 13-11 for only their second win in the history of the match and first since 1938. Marsh played in three of the four series, winning one foursomes (with George Macgregor) but losing the second (with captain Michael Bonallack) before delivering a famous singles win on the final afternoon. Playing in the penultimate game against Bill Hyndman, and the final one out on the course, he found himself 1Up on the 17th tee. He then played what Donald Steel described as “one of the finest single strokes in the history of the Walker Cup”, a 3-iron onto the Road Hole green. A par there and another on the 18th saw him maintain his lead and secure a full point for the team.

David Marsh Competing In The 1971 Walker Cup Match (Photo: Cowpar/Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

David captained the GB&I Walker Cup team in 1973 and 1975. In 1973 a determined USA team won back the trophy 14-10 at The Country Club in Brookline. Marsh’s luck didn’t improve next time out either with the American’s fielding one of their strongest teams ever at St.Andrew’s in 1975 and running out easy 15.5-8.5 victors.

Marsh first represented GB&I in 1958 in the St Andrews Trophy match against the Continent of Europe, helping his side to a 10-5 away success at Golf de Saint-Cloud in France.

His greatest individual performances came in the English Amateur Championship which he won in 1964 at Hollinwell, beating Rodney Foster by 1 Hole in the Final, and in 1970 at Royal Birkdale, where he overcame S. Geoff Birtwell 6&4.

He represented England on 75 occasions, including being a member of the victorious European Amateur Team Championship side in 1971. He was also a member of nine winning English Men’s Home International Teams (1957-58-59-60-64-65-66-68-69).

He played in 13 Amateur Championships between 1957-73 winning 24 of his 37 matches. No doubt he will have been disappointed not to have got beyond the Last 16 which he did twice; in 1957 at Formby and also in 1971 at Carnoustie.

In addition to his numerous playing achievements Marsh also made a significant contribution to the administration of the game. He was a Past Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (1990-91), a former President of England Golf (1988), a former President of Lancashire Golf Union (1985-86) and Past Captain at his home club Southport & Ainsdale (1967). He was Chairman of the R&A Selection Committee between 1979-83.

David Marsh – Past Captain of The R&A G.C. of St. Andrews.

He was awarded the Gerald Micklem Award by England Golf in 1998 and an MBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List, both for outstanding service to amateur golf.

Marsh was born in Southport on 29th April 1934 and educated at King George V Grammar School and Cambridge University, where he captained the golf team. He went on to be Captain of the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society in 1998 before becoming its President in 2003.

David also made a number of notable contributions to life away from the golf course. He was keen rugby union player for Southport R.F.C. in the 1950s, a popular and successful GP in Kirkby in his working life, a staunch supporter of Claire House Hospice on the Wirral and perhaps most interestingly a Director (1988-97) and Chairman of Everton Football Club (1991-94). 

He leaves a second wife, Katy, and three children, Simon, Nigel and Fiona. His first wife Jennifer died in 2001.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

131. Bob Lewis Jr Has Died Aged 76

28th March 2021

Bob Lewis Jr., who represented USA in the 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987 Walker Cup matches before captaining the team in 2003 and 2005, died on 23rd March aged 76.

Lewis was born in Warren, Ohio in 1944, and was introduced to the game by his mother, a keen low handicap player.

He went to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and played on their golf team between 1963-67.

In 1970 Lewis turned professional and made 26 cuts from the 47 events he played on the PGA Tour between 1971-74. Realising his putting simply wasn’t good enough to compete at the highest level he returned home to work in the family’s still tube manufacturing business.

After a three-year process of reinstatement he returned to the amateur game in 1978. He was well into his 30’s by the time he came to national prominence.

He played in a total of 31 USGA Championships during his career without sadly ever winning one. He recorded three runner-up finishes. He lost 9&8 to Hal Sutton in the 1980 U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club of North Carolina, by 2 Holes to Jim Holtgrieve in the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in 1981 at Bellerive C.C. near St. Louis and finally 5&4 to Michael Podolak in the 1984 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia. 

USA won all four of the Walker Cups that Lewis played in with the man himself contributing 10 wins in his 14 games at Cypress Point Club, Royal Liverpool G.C., Pine Valley G.C. and Sunningdale G.C. As Captain he had a won 1 – lost 1 record, losing 12.5-11.5 at Ganton G.C. in his first match before winning two years later at Chicago G.C. by the same scoreline.

Lewis also represented USA in two World Amateur Team Championships. Alongside Jim Holtgrieve, Nathaniel Crosby and Jay Sigel USA won in 1982 at Lausanne G.C. with his team finishing second in 1986 at Lagunita C.C. in Venezuela.

Bob Lewis Playing In The Masters (Photo: Augusta National G.C.)

He earned seven invitations to the Masters Tournament, where he finished as low amateur in 1987, and qualified for three U.S. Opens in 1978, 1983 and 1986. 

In his later years he volunteered as the head golf coach at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio.

Lewis was inducted into the Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Northern Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honour, in February 2021.

After losing his long battle with lung cancer Lewis leaves a wife, Patricia, and two children, Tiffany and Tristan.

Bob Lewis managed to combine being a fierce competitor with a friendly demeanour and a high level of sportsmanship. He leaves a legacy as one of the most well liked and respected people in the history of amateur golf and the Walker Cup.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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.

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.


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