19 Aug 2020 | Amateur golf |
Pennant Hills to honour Tony Gresham
by Martin Blake
Sydney club Pennant Hills is orchestrating a tribute to the club’s most famous player, the great Tony Gresham, as his 80th birthday approaches.
The function will be part of a mixed golf day at the club in north-west Sydney on Saturday, 5 September.
Gresham, whose record makes him widely regarded as the greatest amateur player Australia ever produced, turns 80 in December.
He still plays off a handicap of seven at Pennant Hills despite recent health issues.
“I think it is fair to say that no one will ever match his record,” said Pennant Hills member Ray Dearlove. “It’s quite extraordinary.’’
Gresham has won an astonishing 25 club championships and eight senior club championships at Pennant Hills among 50 individual victories, plus 28 mixed events with his wife Wendy.
He won the 1977 Australian Amateur, a New South Wales Open and South Australian Open, three Australian senior titles and represented Australia in the Eisenhower Trophy for the world teams championships a remarkable seven times between 1968 and 1980. In 1972 he had the lowest individual score at those titles.
He won six national team titles with New South Wales and triumphed in the state foursomes four times, and mixed foursomes twice. He also won the French Amateur and the Asia Pacific Senior Amateur.
Gresham’s son Scott said the family was very thankful to the club.
“PHGC has been a massive part of mum and dad’s lives, and I’m certain it will be a fitting tribute, and a night to remember,’’ he said.
“Dad, Pa, AY, old mate, whatever we call him, was undoubtedly one of Australia’s finest golfers, but above all that, he is one of the most warm, humble and loyal men you’ll ever get to meet.
“Forty-five years ago he made the selfless decision to not turn pro, when he would almost certainly have made a career out of it. Instead he made the choice to remain at home, work a full-time job, play as an amateur, and contribute to raising my sister Tori and me.
“Not once in my lifetime have I ever heard a regretful word come from him for making this decision and the great sacrifice he made. We also in turn have no regrets of the time he spent following his passion at an amateur level or the time spent giving back to the sport whilst contributing to the next generation of golfers.
“The way he has always managed himself whilst on and off the course is both inspiring and enviable. His good natured, calm and upbeat temperament can only be admired. We are all so very proud of his amazing achievements, and more so, of the man he is. Nowadays he literally lives to watch his grandkids play sport, dance, dive or whatever is their ‘thing’, whilst still managing to hold a single digit handicap.
“He is an incredibly dedicated husband and wonderful dad, father in law and grandfather who is greatly loved.”
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