The golf industry has been paying tribute to former Ryder Cup player and renowned course designer Dave Thomas, who passed away on 27 August aged 79 years.
Thomas, who started playing professionally in 1949, competed in four Ryder Cup tournaments, won more than 20 European titles and narrowly missed out on two Open Championships. After arthritis brought a premature end to his playing career, he immersed himself in course design, going on to design more than 100 courses, including The Belfry’s famous Brabazon Course in partnership with Peter Alliss.
European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, who presented Thomas with honorary life membership of the European Tour earlier this year, led the tributes to Thomas. “Dave became a household name in the 1950s and 1960s when he helped to build the game in Britain and all over the world,” he said. “He was a larger than life character, a truly great guy, and our condolences are with his partner Carol and Dave’s sons Michael and Paul.
“Wherever the Tour has travelled from Britain to the continent to the rest of the world, we have played on courses designed by Dave and both as a player and an architect he leaves a lasting legacy to the game he truly loved.”