A tribute to Sir Michael Bonallack: 1934-2023

Golf is mourning the death of Sir Michael Bonallack, who served as GCMA President from 1974 to 1984 Former GCMA President Sir Michael Bonallack has died at the age of 88. Widely regarded as Britain’s greatest post-war amateur golfer, Sir Michael was a five-time Amateur Champion, five-time English Amateur Champion and a four-time Brabazon Trophy winner. "Sir Michael made a remarkable contribution to golf in so many ways, both on and off the course," said GCMA Chief Executive Tom Brooke. "We were – and still are to this day – incredibly proud to count him as our President from 1974 to 1984. I know that all our members will join me in passing on our heartfelt condolences to the Bonallack family." Twice the Silver Medal winner at The Open, in 1968 and 1971, he was a member of nine consecutive Walker Cup teams – a spell spanning from 1957 until 1973. He captained the GB&I side on two occasions, most memorably to win at St Andrews in 1971. It was the first time they had lifted the trophy for 33 years and an achievement he felt could not be matched. "It does not get, cannot get, any better than that," he said. GB&I would not win again until 1989. But Sir Michael’s influence in golf extended far beyond the confines of the course. Chairman of the European Tour from 1976 to 1982, he was also president of the English Golf Union in 1982 and, the following year, became Secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews – a role he would hold for 16 years. He was R&A Captain in 2000 and received an Honorary Membership in 2013. "I'm extremely proud," he said. “I feel privileged to have been so closely involved with the club for so much of my life and both it and the town of St Andrews are incredibly dear to me. It has been an honour to serve the club." Sir Michael was President of the GCMA for a decade and was Chairman of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland from 1976 until 1981. The list goes on: President of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers' Association, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, and Chairman of the advisory committee for the Official World Golf Rankings. There doesn't seem to be a golf organisation he did not in some way touch. Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive and secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, said: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Sir Michael's passing. "He made a huge contribution to golf not only as one of the finest amateur golfers in the history of the sport but also as an extremely effective leader and administrator. "Sir Michael was the outstanding amateur golfer of his era and his achievements in The Amateur Championship and the Walker Cup will truly stand the test of time. He led The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at a time of change and did so with great courage,...
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