MAN WHO WON FIVE
TITLES IN A ROW
By COLIN FARQUHARSON
After our recent article about Frank Stranahan, the wealthy American who was one of the best golfers in the world during his years as an amateur golfer, it is difficult to think of anyone in Britain on a par with Stranahan.
Perhaps (Sir) Michael Bonallack, possibly Ronnie Shade. We’ll tackle the Bonallack Life Story soon.
In the meantime, join me in having a look at the career of Ronnie David Bell Mitchell Shade (courtesy of The Shell International Encyclopaedia of Golf with some additional details from Duddingston Golf Club).
FATHER WAS HIS SWING MENTOR
Intensively coached by his father, John Shade, the Duddingston club professional, Ronnie Shade developed a swing of mechanical appearance and repetitiveness.
Its principal characteristic was the unusual length of time he kept his head down after the ball had been struck.
Ronnie – it was said his initials, “R D B M,” stood for Right Down the Bloody Middle – was a very straight driver of the ball. He very rarely missed a fairway and few amateurs of his generation were putting for birdies as often as he was.
Shade’s outstanding achievement as an amateur was to capture the Scottish title in five successive years, twice more than Jack McLean did in the 1930s.
Shade actually played in SIX Scottish amateur championship 36-hole finals in a row.
He lost to Stuart Murray by 2 and 1 in the 1962 final at Muirfield.
CHAMPION FROM 1963 to 1967
Then came his five winning finals in a row.
1963 – Shade bt Newton Henderson 4 & 3 (Royal Troon).
1964 – Shade bt Jim McBeath 8 & 7 (Nairn).
1965 – Shade bt Gordon Cosh 4 & 2 (St Andrews).
1966 – Shade bt Colin Strachan 9 & 8 (Western Gailes).
1967 – Shade bt Alan Murphy 5 & 4 (Carnoustie).
In the process, Shade won 40 matches, 35 of them over 18 holes.
His game travelled well too. In world amateur team championship for the Eisenhower Trophy he broke a course record in Japan and in Mexico he had the lowest individual aggregate.
Shade prepared meticulously, almost professionally, for an important event and so when he actually turned pro at the age of 30 in 1968 – “belatedly” as he readily admitted afterwards, - he quickly found his feet and won a big tournament in each of his first two seasons
As an amateur he was awarded the MBE./
Born in Edinburgh, Shade died tragically young. He was only 47 when he passed away in 1986 after a long illness that made him only a shadow of the man he had been.
THE CAREER OF R.D.B.M. SHADE M.B.E. 1938 - 1986
(details supplied by Duddingston Golf Club)
SCOTTISH BOYS’ CHAMPION 1956
ENGLISH OPEN AMATEUR STROKE PLAY CHAMPION 1961-63-67
SCOTTISH AMATEUR CHAMPION 1963-64-65-66-67
BEATEN FINALIST 1962
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 1966 - LEADING AMATEUR
CARLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 1966 – LEADING AMATEUR
EISENHOWER TROPHY 1966 – LEADING INDIVIDUAL TOTAL
SCOTTISH AMATEUR STROKE PLAY CHAMPION 1968
BRITISH AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP BEATEN FINALIST 1966
CARROLS IRISH OPEN CHAMPION 1969
SCOTTISH PROFESSIONAL CHAMPION 1970
MUFULIRA OPEN (ZAMBIA) 1975
SCOTLAND (HOME INTERNATIONALS) 1957-60-61-62-63-64-65-66-67-68
WALKER CUP 1961-63-65-67
GREAT BRITAIN v EUROPE 1962-64-66-68
WORLD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP 1962-64-66-68
WORLD CUP (PROFESSIONAL) 1970-71-72
SCOTLAND – DOUBLE DIAMOND INTERNATIONALS – 1971-72-73-74-75
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