Pros advice

Dave Thomas awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour.

Dave Thomas, a four-time Ryder Cup player and renowned course designer, has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour.

Thomas was presented with the silver Membership card by George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, during a special luncheon at Shepherd’s Restaurant in London.

During an illustrious playing career which began in 1949, Thomas was twice runner-up in The Open Championship - in 1958 and when losing in a 36-hole play-off to Jack Nicklaus in 1964 at Muirfield.

He played in four Ryder Cups in 1959, ‘63, ’65 and ’67, won many of Europe’s biggest tournaments and represented Wales 11 times in the World Cup of Golf, before arthritis ended his playing career and Thomas immersed himself golf course architecture.

Together with Peter Alliss, he designed The Belfry’s famous Brabazon Course and his CV includes Slaley Hall, the Roxburgh, St Leon-Rot, San Roque, the Almenara Hotel, La Baule and Cannes Mougins, and courses in Japan, China, Taiwan, Africa and South America.

In making the presentation, O’Grady said: “It has been remiss of us not to have presented this award a long time ago but today we are righting that wrong. We have recently honoured Tommy Horton, Brian Huggett and Peter Alliss, and Dave is in that league in helping build the game in Britain and all over the world.”

Thomas: “I have very fond memories of my playing career but by 1969 my back had gone and it was time to do something else, and what do you do? Someone suggested some design and architecture. Peter Alliss was involved and we became designers. Who would have thought all these years on I would be close to designing 150 courses."