The late Peter Alliss has been remembered fondly during The Open at Royal St George’s this week. On day two of the championship, the legendary ‘Voice of Golf’ received a special tribute from The R&A on the first tee at Royal St George’s, which concluded with a moment of applause from many golf fans present to celebrate his life.
Picture: Peter Alliss and Golf Foundation CEO Brendon Pyle at an unveiling of a blue plaque for Sir Henry Cotton, London, 2017
The Golf Foundation team were also big fans of Peter Alliss. He was a friend to the Foundation over many years, mentioning in his BBC broadcasts our charity’s work that helps young people from all backgrounds to enjoy the game. Peter’s wife Jackie also made a significant annual donation to our charity.
Every year the Foundation presents its ‘Spirit of Golf Award’ to a golfer who does something remarkable to inspire a generation of young players (the list of recipients includes Tom Watson, Gary Player, Tony Jacklin and Laura Davies). Alliss’s formidable record as a professional player and his ability to inform and entertain audiences over decades as a commentator, earned him our Award during The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012. On receiving this with grace and humour in the Spectator Village at Lytham, Peter then delighted all with an impromptu piece of funny commentary as Golf Foundation children played golf games against the charity’s then-President Colin Montgomerie in front of assembled spectators.
The Golf Foundation was founded by Sir Henry Cotton and friends in 1952. Peter Alliss, a close friend of Cotton, was on hand in 2017 to help host a gathering of golf-lovers at 47 Crystal Palace Road, East Dulwich, London, to commemorate the boyhood home of Cotton. Peter made a short, warm speech about his friend before unveiling an English Heritage ‘blue plaque’ beside the front door of the house where the Cotton family lived in those days.
When this year’s Open winner is striding up to the 18th green at Royal St George’s there will be many of us pausing to think about just what Peter Alliss might have made of it all.