England and Wales (South West) Region
06 Feb 18
Many leading golfers attended the funeral of the Gordon Miller Brand, the professional at Knowle Golf Club, Bristol, for almost 32 years, who has died aged 81.
Gordon, the Scottish-born father of Ryder Cup player Gordon Brand Junior, who won eight European Tour events and now plays on the Seniors’ Tour, passed away in the Bristol Royal Infirmary after a short illness.
Roger Chapman, Carl Mason, John E Morgan, Jamie Spence, and Andrew Coltart were among those in the 250-strong congregation who paid their respects at Bath’s Haycombe Crematorium. They were joined by dozens of past and present Gloucestershire, Somerset and South West players and officials.
However, former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, whom Gordon coached for a while and became a close family friend, was bitterly disappointed not to be able to attend.
They met often and Gordon was also instrumental in shaping the amateur and professional careers of McGinley’s wife, Alison Shapcott, and her sister, Susan.
The siblings lived a stone’s throw from the club and Alison played on the Ladies European Tour before she married McGinley.
Susan was a member of the 1988 Curtis Cup team before she joined the Ladies’ European Tour for three years and then became a PGA Professional. She has forged a successful coaching career in the United States since 2000.
He also coached PGA Professional Mark Sanders who joined Knowle at the age of 13 and won the English Amateur Championship in 1998.
Gordon, had arrived in Bristol from Kirkcaldy, Fife, 32 years before his protégé’s triumph at Woodhall Spa. He had trials with Bristol City Football Club and forged a successful amateur golf career winning the Gloucestershire County Championship in 1965 and 1969.
His uncle Tom McNaughton was Knowle professional until he emigrated to Australia in 1969 and Gordon succeeded him until he retired in 2001. He was an honorary member of both the club and the Professional Golfers’ Association.
Club manager Ryan Coles said: “Gordon will be fondly remembered as one of the great characters in our club’s history and we will miss him.”
He is survived by his wife Agnes, only known as “Nanny”, sons Michael and Gordon and grandson Alex. Nanny was a driving force in the partnership and was almost as well known as her husband as she looked after the shop on many occasions. [
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