Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Royal Dornoch Golf Club has lost one of its longest-serving members and driving forces with the passing of club president Dennis Bethune.
Dennis, 80, had an association with the world-famous club for more than six decades. He became a member in 1951 and was club captain from 1987 to 1989.
He became president in 2009 and played an active role in the club’s celebrations last year to mark 400 years of golf being played in Dornoch. He is survived by his wife Rena, whom he married in 1962, and their three children.

His funeral will be held tomorrow (Thursday, 22 June) at Dornoch Cathedral, followed by an event at the club. Donations in his memory will be given to the patients fund at Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie, where Dennis was cared for recently.
Neil Hampton, Royal Dornoch’s general manager, said: “Dennis’s death has come as a shock to us all. He was a friend to everyone, whether he had met them before or not.
“Our thoughts and feelings are with his wife, Rena, and children Gary, Morven, Fiona, all of the family and his many, many friends all over the world.”
A former golf professional, who also spent some time at Elgin Golf Club
and Haggs Castle Golf Club (from 1961 - 1965, taking over from Gordon Kinnoch when Gordon moved to Blairgowrie), Dennis played in the 1962 Open Championship at Royal Troon.

During his time at Royal Dornoch, he hosted many famous golfers, including Jack Nicklaus, Sandy Lyle and Greg Norman, as well as Ben Crenshaw and HRH Prince Andrew, who both became honorary members of the club.

In 1981, he also acted as caddie to another honorary member, Tom Watson, when the legendary American played the famous Championship Course and said it was "the most fun I ever had playing golf”.
The visit took place a year after Watson won his third Open Championship, at Muirfield, in 1980.
Dennis was also heavily involved in the year-long series of events to mark the milestone of 400 years of golf being played in Dornoch, which included concerts, exhibitions, a gala dinner, a street party, the biggest gathering of Royal clubs ever assembled, as well as a new Royal Dornoch 400 tartan and a special whisky.
His son, Gary, followed in his footsteps as a champion golfer and has twice won the club’s prestigious Carnegie Shield.



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