England and Wales (North) Region
23 Dec 15
Alec Backhurst, who has died from a heart attack aged 85 while playing at North Wales Golf Club, came from a renowned family of professionals.
He was introduced to the game by his grandfather, Scotland-born Sandy Herd who won the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in 1902 and whose own brother Fred was US Open winner four year earlier in Massachusetts.
Backhurst was 17 when he joined the paid ranks and was assistant to George Gadd at Roehampton then, following national service in the Royal Air Force, linked up with Syd Dennis at Essex club Thorndon Park.
His first fully-fledged job was as professional and secretary at Trondheim Golf Club in Sweden where he remained for four years, having also helped in planning and constructing a nine-hole course.
His next move was also in Sweden where he was instrumental in expanding Visby Golf Club, which today boasts more than 1,000 members.
Backhurst's hands-on experience stood him in good stead for his next venture in Sweden as professional at Upsala Golf Club where his teaching skills helped boost membership from 140 to 600.
Next stop, in 1968, was Ulriksdal in Stockholm where he founded Alec's Golf, developing his own golf school and overseeing the construction of 18 holes.
While in Sweden he met his wife Elsa.
On his return to the UK he bought a hotel in Weymouth but later decided to move to Llandudno. He also took up a position as club pro at Kinsale Golf Club, near Mostyn where he was mentor to his friend Roger Williams.
He said: "I had the great pleasure of accompanying Alec to that marvellous function which was held at Aston University to commemorate those PGA members who had completed 50 years as pros."
The funeral is on January 14 at the Crematorium in Mochdre which is situated close to the town of Colwyn Bay at 11.45am.
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