Golf world pay tribute to much loved commentator Renton Laidlaw

The golf world is in mourning for one of its most loved figures with the Scottish golf commentator passing away yesterday at the age of 82.

Few golf fans will be unfamiliar with the warm, comforting tones of Renton Laidlaw.

Laidlaw was one of defining voices in international golf commentary of the past 40 years, predominantly on the European Tour, but he was also a regular visitor to Australian shores and was part of the team covering Australian golf tournaments on TV for many years.

Tributes have flowed for the Laidlaw which I’ve included below, but John Huggan’s tribute to his good friend is a wonderful, touching, must-read.

Renton had great affection for two of the four major championships: the Open and the Masters. He first covered the former at Muirfield in 1959 when Gary Player won and he was the first European journalist to make it to Augusta National more than 40 times. As such, he has a parking space at the Masters, as well as a cherished spot on the “wall of fame” in the plush new media center he sadly never had a chance to visit. He was not an outwardly boastful or proud man (far from it), but I know those tributes gave him as much pleasure as the many awards he collected over the years.

John Huggan’s chat to Laidlaw on The Thing About Golf podcast is also a wonderful listen.

Golf Australia’s Brendan James also penned a lovely piece on Laidlaw highlighting the remarkable breadth of golf tournaments he covered:

Renton had been in poor health for some time and was admitted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee two days ago when he tested positive to Covid-19. 

Born in Edinburgh in 1939, started his journalistic career as a copytaker compiling sports results before moving to the Edinburgh Evening News where, after five years as a junior reporter, he was promoted to golf writer in 1962. Over the next 60 years, he moved into television and radio, while also continuing his love of writing, and rose to become one of the most recogisable voices and names in golf.

Throughout his career, Renton covered 165 majors including 58 Opens and 42 Masters for which he earned a life-time achievement award.


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