We are extremely honoured to hang one of John’s favourite paintings in our Oak Bar at Cawder GC that was gifted by Joan Wilson, John’s daughter.
Joan also provided us with a few words about her Dad and his long standing connection with the club.
Born in Glasgow and brought up in Ruchill, John began playing golf as a young lad on Ruchill golf course. He was evacuated to Arran during the war where he passed the time playing golf 2 or 3 times a day!
He joined Cawder golf club as a junior at age 17 which he joked was to avoid paying the senior joining fee. By all accounts the annual subscription was £2.50p !
He was sports champion at his school and a promising footballer – playing amateur football for Queens Park Strollers as well as Elgin City and Worcester during his national service.
However golf was his passion and he played many times in the Cawder club championship , being runner up in 1955, 1971 and 1982 and winning it in 1956 and 1979. People often commented that they thought it was father and son given the 23 years apart !
1979 was a particular good year for his golf as John also won the Glasgow Stroke Play Championship with a two round score of 140 over the Bishopbriggs course at age 50 years old !
He was a member of the Cawder Course reconstruction sub committee in 1980 and was made Club Captain in 1982. An active member of the Golden Jubilee Year Committee, he also researched, wrote and published the Cawder Story celebrating the clubs 50th anniversary in 1983. A treasured book for those lucky enough to have one of the 1000 in circulation!
As Past Captain he also won the Alex Bell Memorial trophy in 1987.
A regular player of club medals and the British Senior, Scottish Senior Open Golf Championships in the 1980s and 1990s, he was also a team member for Cawder when the society of Past Captains won the Andra Kirkcaldy cup in 1996.
His prowess as a golfer can be matched by his skill with a pen. Through his work as a civil engineer in the whisky industry, connections were made which resulted in him researching and writing the history of the Islay Golf Club & Machrie Links for their centenary in 1991.
There followed articles he wrote for the Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography, Dictionary of National Biographies and the Keepers of the Quaich magazine. His love of antique hickory golf clubs saw him collecting them and also writing articles for the Through The Green, the British Golf Collectors society.
His membership of Cawder Golf Club and the treasured friendships he formed through the club spanned over 72 years. His love for golf and the consistently good golf he played over the decades is evident. One of his last notable successes was winning the September medal in 2006, with a gross score of 74 ( nett 64) beating his age of 77 by 3 shots !
The Cawder painting was a particular favourite of John’s and so the family are delighted that it will be hung in the clubhouse for other members to enjoy.