A former secretary of The R&A in St Andrews and Britain’s most decorated post-War amateur golfer has died aged 88.
Sir Michael Bonallack OBE was secretary of The R&A for 16 years.
Born in Chigwell, Essex, Bonallack was a supremely talented player who won the Amateur Championship five times during a garlanded career in the non-paid ranks before contributing significantly for the R&A and as a course designer, bunkered reports.
Bonallack had been suffering from ill health before his passing on Tuesday but one of the sport’s great ambassadors was still present at the opening ceremony of the Walker Cup match at St Andrews earlier this month, where he was given a standing ovation by fans.
Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of Sir Michael’s passing.
“He made a huge contribution to golf, not only as one of the finest amateur golfers in the history of the sport, but also as an extremely effective leader and administrator.
“Sir Michael was the outstanding amateur golfer of his era and his achievements in The Amateur Championship and the Walker Cup will truly stand the test of time.
‘Huge loss’ to golf and The R&A in St Andrews
“He led The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at a time of change and did so with great courage, enterprise and foresight.
“In recent years he continued to serve the sport through his work on committees and I personally am extremely grateful for his gracious guidance and support.
“He will be a huge loss to all of us in golf but particularly here in St Andrews.
“On behalf of all at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and The R&A I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the Bonallack family.”
Peter Dawson, who succeeded Bonallack as R&A secretary, said: “Golf has lost one of its very finest.
“Respected all around the world, Michael was a wonderful player, administrator and ambassador for our sport and he will be sorely missed by so many. His contribution to the game he loved was simply unparalleled.
“Speaking personally, I will be forever grateful for his help and advice over so many years and my world seems a much lesser place without him.
“My thoughts are with Michael’s entire family who have given him such great support since he lost Angela last year.”