Sam's deserved honour

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Sam's deserved honour
Who else in golf deserves to follow Sam Torrance in receiving the Queen's commendation for services to the game? Peter Alliss and Gary Wolstenholme would be my choices. What's yours?

Faldo?

Please pay attention Lionel - are you operating on Donk's Oz time and have started on the sherry already? - Faldo and Monty have already received MBEs (see my story). I'm looking for suggestions for gongs for those not yet recognised by Her Majesty or her Government. Architects Donald Steel and Dave Thomas might be appropriate, too, together with the EGU's chief, Paul Baxter.

Ohhh! ...........................................thinking.......................
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..........................................................................................................................................................................................no, you got me Bob - I dunno.

Did Mark James get a gong?

Hmmm Peter Alliss - on what basis?

He wasn't a particularly great golfer.

His commentary is fairly entertaining in a Woganish sort of way but tends toward the tedious (how many times is he going to re-tell the 'sell-by date on mineral water' and the 'Terry Wogan 100ft putt' stories?)

Several of his golf course design projects have gone belly up with many people losing much money (although certain 'consultants' got their fees paid alright).

His totally unwarranted criticism of Faldo was ill-thought and unseemly.

'A Round with Alliss' was reasonably diverting TV, certainly a cut above the incredibly poor 'Golf Clubs' with Tim Brooke-Taylor, but scarcely grounds for honours.

***light blue touch paper & retire to a safe distance***

Just threw in Alliss as the English speaking language's 'voice of golf' who deserves recognition. Like him or loathe him, he has done much to popularise the game outside those who don't actually play but like to watch - like Ted Lowe (snooker), Eddie Waring (rugby league), Bill McLaren (rugby union) and Murray Walker (motor-racing). Hugely irritating at times to participants, but who captured the sport for the non-participant viewers. As the editor (of FORE!) who first pubicised his outspoken views on Faldo (and we gained great national publicity as a result) I was always grateful to him for the interview. He later tried to retract his quotes but we had it on tape!

I don't loathe Peter Alliss (although the fact he tried to retract his Faldo comments is, perhaps, a mark of the man) and certainly can't fault his longevity as a broadcaster or his appeal to the non-golfing viewer (although I'm mightily please you didn't bracket him with the much missed Brian Johnston). But I do wonder how many people have actually taken up the game because of his commentary?
My love of the game was cemented by the passion shown by my local PGA pro. He not only coached me in the basics but was keen to instill into me the etiquette and history of the sport. Surely it is people such as he who are promoting the sport at the 'grass roots' level who deserve the plaudits and honours?

All I'm saying is he has helped to popularise the game on TV - not necessarily to promote it at grass roots level, though indirectly his commentaries have helped the game to be more understandable to a wider audience. Not convinced are you? Well how about Ainsley Harriot, for services to domestic science?
Incidentally, who was your pro and what was his secret?

Bob, I guess we'll agree to differ!
As someone old enough to remember the Galloping Gourmet it seems that cookery programmes haven't changed that much!

The pro in question is Paul Ashwell at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire. Paul's secret is his passion for the game, his superb people skills and his delight at seeing his students develop and improve. He was the coach of the 2002 GB Palmer Cup team and coaches various EGU squads. He has written a very good instruction book which I recommend to golfers of all abilities. Sadly I'm not on commission!

I know Wyboston Lakes, though never played there (perhaps you should submit a review of it). As for his book, what's it called (+price and publisher)? Perhaps he'd send me a copy to review
c/o Martindale, Casterton Road, Stamford PE9 2YL.

It's called "Golf (Skills of the Game)" published by The Crowood Press at

I can agree with what Tim is saying here, a quality local pro is a huge asset to any club.

As for Peter Aliss!

What award would be appropriate for an individual who has done more to destroy live golf than anyone bar THOR? As for his inane drivel attracting people and popularising the sport, what planet are you on???

You lost me Alastair -- what has Odin's son done to destroy live golf?

"Mjolnir" might be a good name for a driver though.

.... there's supposed to be two of those funny little dots above the "o"

(Norse) God knows how you pronounce it.

Sorry Lionel, Thor God of Thunder, his heavenly act usually leads to suspension of play at tournaments.

Nope I don't know how to pronounce it either but Aliss probably does. He seems to know, and share, plenty of useless information.