England Golf loses two Past Presidents

England Golf

England Golf lost two eminent Past Presidents during the autumn, 83-year-old Peter Dutton and John Hall, who would have turned 95 on Christmas Eve.

Cheshire-based Dutton was English Golf Union President in 1989 and lived a busy and colourful life inside and outside of golf. It is true to say his life centred on sport and music while he also had an avid interest in railways.

Peter became involved in golf early on and was captain at Prenton Golf Club at the age of 31 and a couple of years ago the club honoured him with a dinner to celebrate 50 years since his captaincy.

He was an accomplished golfer, getting down to a single figure handicap, and won the Cheshire Foursomes Championship at Prenton in 1967 with Jack Woodcock.

Over 600 people attended his funeral at St Stephens Church in Prenton, which was an indication of the remarkable number of lives touched by him in some way or another down the years.

He was chairman of his parish council at one stage and president of amateur football club Liverpool Ramblers, while he was also a season ticket holder at Liverpool FC.

His musical interests involved singing with the choir at St Stephens Church and with a local group.

Back in the 1980s, the EGU president also doubled as the union’s chairman but Peter felt this was too much so he bravely split the roles, nominating John Flanders as the EGU’s first chairman. It was a radical move at the time and he received a certain amount of opposition. However, he won the day.

Peter was also an avid supporter of junior golf and was a regular traveller with England for the European Boys Team Championship. His interest in junior golf saw him donate the trophy which is now played for in the English Junior Champion Club event.

Peter leaves a wife Ann and children Richard, Howard and Sally and six grand children.

John Hall’s life was also sport orientated. Born and bred in Morpeth, Northumberland, it is told he joined Morpeth Golf Club as an eight year old.

Educated at King Edward Grammar School in the town, he studied dentistry at Durham University before becoming a dentist at Bedlington.

In World War II he joined the Medical Corps reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, serving in India and Burma.

In peace time, John was always involved in sport. He loved cricket and golf and played rugby at university. He represented the army and said he played at all the major grounds such as Twickenham, Murrayfield and Cardiff Arms Park but missed Lansdowne Road in Dublin.

A founder member of Morpeth Rugby Club, however he devoted much of his time to golf, both playing and administering. He joined the Northumberland Executive and was county president in 1969 and ’70.

His association with the EGU began in the early 1970s when he represented Northumberland on the Council. He also joined the R&A and served on its Amateur Status Committee and became EGU president in 1979.

He formed great friendships with many but especially Neil Hodgkin, another former EGU president and the architect of the EGU’s move to Woodhall Spa.

He was also a passionate follower of all the English amateur tournaments, the Home Internationals as well as the Walker and Curtis Cups and could be seen attending events at home and abroad until quite recently, usually with his great friend George Logan.

His wife Gladys predeceased him but he leaves a daughter, Diane.