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Forewords

 

Page 2

Forewords

Bert Gadd outlived almost all his contemporaries but one who knew him for over sixty years was an Open Champion who kindly provided a foreword. It is supplemented by tributes from his long golfing life, including some from newspapers of the pre-war period.

The foreword is introduced with a quote from one of our greatest match players, the Ryder Cup player and captain, Dai Rees, who was one of Bertís opponents in his tournament days. When he visited the last club that Bert served as professional-Bishop Auckland, he told former Gadd pupil, Mike Cosgrove, that he had never seen a better iron player than Bert Gadd, a tribute endorsed by those who witnessed Bertís impressive ball striking including Mike himself, Bob Hindhaugh from another of Bertís clubs, Beamish Park and Dave Thomas, who was then a young assistant at the Northumberland Golf Club.

A member of Dai Reesís winning Ryder cup team in 1957, Max Faulkner, who passed away in 2005, was the last of the front line players who were Bertís pre-war rivals. He and Bert began their tournament careers in the halcyon golfing days of the thirties and both made their Open debut at Princeís in 1932 - Bert was 23 and Max, who was to win the championship in 1951, was a 16-year-old assistant at the Sonning club in Berkshire. Here are Maxís memories of Bert:
 
Max Faulkner and Bert Gadd, 2001I am not surprised that Dai Rees said that he never played with a better iron player than Bert. I remember him as a wonderful player with a swing equal to the best and I always felt that his ability should have brought him more success. My abiding memory goes back to the 1937 Irish Open at Royal Portrush, where I was to win my Open Championship fourteen years later. I was well placed to celebrate my 21st birthday by taking the Irish title until Bert played a succession of magnificent long irons, finishing with two eagles. Bertís 69 that day left me requiring an eagle myself at the final hole and, in attempting to get my three, I charged past the hole and ended up having to settle for par, which dropped me to third place. When I met Bert again over sixty years later at Nailcote Hall in Warwickshire, where we celebrated the 50th anniversary of my Open win, I reminded him that he had done me out of thirty quid Ė on my 21st! - but we were still pals. He was a lovely chap.

Max Faulkner,
West Chiltington Golf Club
2004

Bert Gaddís career on the professional tournament circuit began in 1932 and lasted for just eight years.  During that period he won two national open championships, one of which was clinched with two closing eagles, perhaps a unique accomplishment. (There are very few championship courses that afford the opportunity to do it). He became a formidable match-player, representing England six times and was in the top dozen professionals in Britain when the Second World War brought about a long suspension of competitive golf.

Tributes from that period are quoted from newspapers of the time: -

Bert spent his early years as a tournament player in the Midlands, where he was professional at Brand Hall and in 1933, after his great win in the French Open Championship, the Secretary of the Midland PGA and professional at the Moseley club, A.R.Wheildon, wrote in the Birmingham Gazette: -

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