hay day, although it
was reported that Dick used his brassie off the tee on a number of
occasions. At Ganton GB
only needed 3 ½ points from the singles but, following a tongue
lashing from their captain Ben Hogan – still on crutches from his
near fatal road accident – the Americans came out fighting. Dick was
one of six home players to feel the backlash and the Americans got
home by 7-5. In the team was Laurie Ayton Jr, of Worthing, previously at South
Shields - one of the famous St Andrews golfing family. He got in to
the side after performing well in the previous year’s News of the
World Matchplay Championship where he got through to the final,
which he lost to Fred Daly. He was left ‘on the bench’ by captain
Henry Cotton and became the sixth of the seven men who would never
get another chance.
Players had been limited to fourteen clubs since 1939, but George Duncan always felt that eleven was more than enough and he could easily manage with eight. Percy Alliss played George in the News of the World and, after the match ended, he issued a £500 challenge to anyone who would play them, each to have eight clubs. George was in his early sixties and their combined ages were then well over 100, but there were no takers! George was still ‘galloping’ of course and when the match ended on the 17th green, 2&1 to Percy, there were three clear holes behind them. The golf between the two great sportsmen was as good as any played all day and an object lesson to any young golfers watching
As I write in 2003 it is interesting to read that Seve Ballesteros is now advocating that pros should be limited to twelve clubs, although he is not in favour of a return to the pace of play required in my day and has been at odds with the authorities over penalties imposed upon him in that respect.