Des Lochrie, Weymouth Golf Club’s professional retired on 31st October after 31 years with the Club.
Born in Muirhead, Glasgow 58 years ago the 4th of 7 children, with a Scottish father and a still living Irish mother. The young Lochrie started his golfing career early being the Lanarkshire Youth Club’s under 17’s and 21’s Champion in 1978
Fellow professional John Challis recently remembered that:- Des started his career at Crow Wood Golf Club near Glasgow where he played as a Junior. I was a professional there and in 1978 he joined me as my Assistant. When I moved to Stirling Golf Club in 1979 Des came to.
At both clubs, unassuming, modest Des was extremely popular with members and visitors alike, always going that extra mile to meet their respective needs. A model golf professional, an excellent teacher, a hard worker and more importantly just a nice likable individual.
Throughout his apprenticeship Des was always a tremendous ambassador for the Club and his boss! I always knew he would go on to make successful career in Golf. It is professionals like Des who ensure that the traditions of the game are upheld but more importantly make golf fun
My wife Tricia (who was very fond of him!) and I wish Des a long, happy and well-deserved retirement.
Having qualified in 1981 Des had a spell as an Assistant at Denmark’s Rungsted Golf Club where he was known as ‘The Professor’ due to his expertise with club repairs and refurbishment. It was whilst in Demark that Des met his wife Sue.
He next moved to the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club with the PGA Championship winner David Talbot in 1984 before his appointment as the club Professional at Llantrisant & Pontclun Golf Club in South Wales
When in South Wales Advanced PGA Professional Des remembers the time he nearly broke the course record at Llanishen Golf Club during a Pro/Am where the local headline proclaimed ‘LOCHRIE FAILS’. The club’s current professional, Adrian Jones has been in post for 32 years and recalls that the event was to celebrate the retirement of his predecessor Jack Taylor. The Club confirms that Des won the competition with a score of 66 and would have had the course record of 63 had he shot a birdie on the last. Alas, he in fact shot a double bogey!
Octogenarian David Talbot writes:-
It is with pleasure that I pen these few words about Des. I came to know Des when he joined my staff at Royal Mid-Surrey in 1984 when, along with Gary Strafford another member of the staff at the time, he helped me make a strong reliable team. I remember Des as being the quiet and solid partner of this team, a good golfer and an expert club maker. In those days woods were made of wood and not metal. Consequently, damage and wear were constant and the art of club making was very much more in demand than toady.
I have been delighted to learn that Des is now on the point of retirement after 31 years of service as the Professional to the Weymouth Golf Club. To have worked for this length of time at the same Club, is in itself a testimony to the character of a person and to the esteem in which the Club have held him.
Wishing Des a long and happy retirement and many more rounds of golf.
Des remembers his interview for the position of Weymouth’s Professional. “When I was asked about my playing ability I said, with a smile, that I was a pretty good 15 handicap” Since the course was waterlogged and closed his golfing prowess was not tested and the committee assumed he was joking. He had signed his contract before, thankfully for the decades of players who have benefited from his professional help and support, the committee witnessed his chipping!
Little has happened golf wise in Weymouth during the past three decades that Des has not been involved in. His professional caring nature ensured his involvement with junior golfers at club and county level by way of the Dorset County Academy and the Young Tigers which he set up and ran at Lodmoor.
For most of his time in post he ran the Club’s Charity Week and no less than 28 Pro/Am competitions. His vital support of the Club’s competitions and activities extended to all sections of the and will be very much missed. Out of hours Des ran Quiz and Race Nights.
Des’s coaching style was always encouraging, low key and very well informed with thousands of Weymouth Club members and the wider golfing community benefiting over the years from his involvement and expertise.
Table tennis has been a long standing pastime for Des who, amongst other triumphs, was a 1998/99 Weymouth & District Table Tennis League singles winner.
The private life of Des and his remarkable wife Sue is as worthy of comment as his successful professional life. Since the 1990’s, with four children of their own the caring couple have fostered some 50 youngsters under the age of 18, all with learning or physical disabilities. Three of these needy children aged 17, 13 and 3 are fortunate to now be permanently fostered by Sue and Des. Not forgetting the part played by their own children who have shared their upbringing with so many youngsters, one may only imagine the compassion, understanding and strength of character which Des and Sue have displayed over the decades to the benefit of so very many in need.
Not content with such a commitment, Des has most recently set up the Weymouth branch of Cycling Without Age, being volunteer piloted trishaw rides for the old and infirm young. The first of what is hoped to be several trishaws based in the town arrived at Weymouth Golf Club in October.
With both a daughter and daughter-in-law currently pregnant, the most recent icing on the Lochrie cake is the imminent birth of two grandchildren.
More than 110 members competed in Weymouth Golf Club Captains Day. A breezy day coupled with some very fast greens and tricky pin positions made for a very hard fought competition. The format was a pairs better ball 18 hole Stableford and the scores reflected the high level of competition with 27 pairs scoring 40 or more points.
In third place with 43 points losing on countback was Alan Smith & Lee Burrows, second place went to Jim Dive & Howard Bell. The winners with an impressive score of 44 points were Paul Dagger & Matthew Mason.
Paul is on the left and Matthew is on the right. The Club Captain Frank Martin is presenting the winners with the trophy.