TWO MEN who have played a major part in the history and development of Dalhousie Golf Club, Carnoustie, and of golf in the town, have been awarded honorary life memberships of the club in recognition of the outstanding service they have given.
Gordon Ellis has been a member of the club for 61 years and played as a junior before that. He has filled the roles of captain, secretary and treasurer. He is the son of a former captain, and has family connections with the club go back as far as 1895.
John Philp, links superintendent at Carnoustie, has given 26 years of outstanding service to golf in the town.
The 64-year-old moved from St Andrews to Carnoustie in 1985 and subsequently has played a pivotal role in transforming the fortunes of the town’s three golf courses. He quickly restored the Championship course from the poor shape it was in when he arrived to its former glory and his expertise was rewarded in 1999 when it was named as the venue for The Open Championship for the first time for 24 years.
During John’s time in charge the course has also staged The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship since 2001, the 1991 and 2001 Scottish Ladies’ Close Amateur Championships, the 1992 Amateur Championship, the 1995 and 1996 Scottish Opens, the 1997 and 2008 Scottish Amateur, the 2002 Boys’ Championship, and the 2007 Open Championship.
More recently it staged The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard in 2010 and The Ricoh Women’s British Open last summer.
John has decided to retire at the end of June and his last week as links superintendent coincides with Carnoustie hosting the Ladies’ Open Amateur Championship from June 26 to 30.
In accepting the award, John paid tribute to the team he has led in his time at Carnoustie.
The two men were presented with commemorative salvers, ties and certificates by Dalhousie captain Gordon Wilson.
Local Independent councillor Brian Boyd was pleased to see the honours bestowed on the two gentlemen.
He commented: “Its great to see local organisations remembering to honour those who have played a major part in the history and development of golf in our own town.
“Mr Ellis and his family have had over 117 years association with the Dalhousie Golf Club and its great to see the club recognising this.
“The town also has deep gratitude to Mr Philp as we are all too aware of how he turned around our now, top class golf courses and put Carnoustie back on the map with the return of the Open Championship.
“His legacy will continue as, today, the council has just approved planning for two new holes at the 11th and 12th on the Buddon Course and the formation of a turf nursery.”