Monday, October 14, 2013

HARRY BANNERMAN RETIRES FROM WORK AT PAUL LAWRIE GOLF CENTRE



 
Banchory-based Harry Bannerman, one of the leading Scottish golf professionals of the second half of the last century, retired from his work at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, on Saturday.
Now in his 70s, Harry received a farewell gift from Robbie Stewart, PGA Director of Golf at the Centre on the South Deeside Road at the Haugh of Ardoe.
Said Robbie: 
"It goes without saying that Harry, a real North-east golfing legend,  will be missed.
‘’Harry made a tremendous contribution in recent times to the success of the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, much of which went unseen as he started work while most of us were still in bed, and we obviously wish Harry a long and very happy retirement. "Professional golfers don’t ever completely retire though, as long as they can play golf and talk about golf they continue to work, and we hope that this is the case for Harry for many years ahead.’’
Arguably the highlight of Bannerman's successful career was holding Arnold Palmer, then in his prime, to a square match in the 1971 Ryder Cup match at St Louis, Missouri.
Harry beat Gardner Dickinson in his other singles tie and partnered Bernard Gallacher to victory over Billy Casper and Miller Barber.
Bannerman, a short-game wizard at his peak, won the Scottish professional title at Montrose in 1967 and by a 10-shot runaway margin at Strathaven in 1972.
He won the Northern Open three times - 1967, 1969 and 1972.
A back problem which resurfaced in 1973 virtually spelled the end of Bannerman's career as a front-rank European Tour professional.
He did not join the paid ranks until late in 1965 when he was 23.
But in only eight seasons before the back injury lowered his golfing horizons prematurely, Harry made a bigger mark on golfing history than many who competed for twice as long.
Bannerman, even though he was ignored by the Scottish Golf Union international selectors of the day, had a very good amateur career, while playing out of Murcar and working full time at Aberdeen's Rowett Institute.
He was encouraged to turn professional, sponsored to the tune of £1,000 by three Aberdeen businessmen, Hugh McMcDermott, Jack Hall and Bobby Morrison.
The year of 1971 was Bannerman's annus mirabilis.
He achieved six top-10 finishes on the European Tour and finished 11th behind Lee Trevino in the Open at Royal Birkdale.

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