Yorkshire golf: White Rose mourns passing of Lindrick captain Tony Grayson

Lindrick captain Tony Grayson.
Lindrick captain Tony Grayson.
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YORKSHIRE is mourning the loss of one of its best known and highly respected golf administrators, Tony Grayson, captain of Lindrick during their 125th anniversary year.

He started playing golf more than 50 years ago having been introduced to the sport by his wife-to-be, Pauline, who came from a golfing family.

His in-laws were past captains at Tinsley Park and he spent his first six years as a golfer there, with Pauline following in her mother's footsteps by being made lady captain.

Two years into his membership, at the age of 21, he was invited to join the committee and so began the start of a long stint as a golf administrator.

On the course he reduced his handicap to 13 and among his championship successes was one of which he was particularly proud, having won the Bridgewater Mixed Foursomes with his mother-in- law.

In 1965, he was proposed for membership at Hillsborough where he would turn up at 8.30 on a Saturday morning and get fixed up in a fourball or play in competitions.

When he and Pauline married in 1968 they bought a house in Worrall and Hillsborough GC became a focal point of their social life.

In 1981, he became captain of Hillsborough, which led to him serving on the general committee. He later admitted that he had never seen himself getting involved in administration, but he embarked on a fast learning curve.

His friends at Hillsborough included Ted Stenton, Les Cook, the Mackenzie family, and Graham Walker.

After his captaincy he was asked to become Chairman of Green in 1982, a post which he held for three years.

In 1993, Tony joined Lindrick and enjoyed his golf there for a time without any involvement in administration, and four years later took up country membership at Ganton.

He was elected to Lindrick's general committee in 2002 with the specific task, along with John King, of bringing the golf course back to Championship standard.

He still found time to play the game and in 2003 was invited by his friend John McKiernan to join the Senior Golfers Society of Great Britain.

Tony enjoyed foursomes golf, which is the only format the Seniors play, although the fixture list is extensive in its variety and in the standard of golf courses played.

He had for some years been a member of the Chartered Surveyors Golfing Society, a huge society and believed to be one of the biggest and oldest in Britain having been founded in 1907.

The society is divided into regional areas and Tony was allocated to the North East Section and in 1986 was invited to become captain of that section.

In 1995 Tony served as the Nation Captain of the Chartered Surveyors Golfing Society and enjoyed his year, especially the annual dinner held at Claridge's.

In November 1990, Barry Seymour phoned Tony to ask if he would become president designate of the Sheffield Union the following year and president in 1992.

The Sheffield Union was very successful through the Nineties, for which Tony could take a lot of the credit.

In February 2001, Tony joined the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs. His passion was being involved with the players and so the natural progression was to get involved with the selection committee, for which he later became chairman.

He would often reminisce about the team captain, Iain Mackenzie, and the county coaches, Peter Cowen and Graham Walker, and of players such as Richard Finch, Jonathan Lupton and Graeme Clarke.

While involved with Yorkshire selection he, along with David Smith, would travel countless miles to watch and encourage Yorkshire players as they played in championships the length and breadth of the country, all at their own expense.

He was also involved in course assessment for the county, which again was a task involving a great deal of time and commitment.

Tony was elected a director of the EG Property Company Ltd in 2007 and eventually became chairman.

He passed away last weekend after a long illness.