Edward (Eddie) Goodwin (1927 -2021)

Edward (Eddie) Goodwin (1927 -2021)

17/01/2022

The PGA is saddened to report that one of its most senior Members, Eddie Goodwin, has passed away at the age of 94 after close on a lifetime’s involvement with golf.

Eddie’s association with the game began at the age of 11 when he and his brother John caddied at Wilmslow Golf Club, Cheshire.

John later became the professional at nearby Northenden and Stockport Golf Clubs; Eddie’s route to emulate him, meanwhile, began at the age of 14 when George Duncan, the 1920 Open Champion winner and captain of the 1929 Great Britain Ryder Cup team, employed him as his assistant at Mere Golf & Country Club, Cheshire.

The nation was embroiled in the Second World War at the time and Eddie was paid a shilling (5p) a day, each one ending with the task of counting the tees left on the pro shop counter.

More fulfilling were the hours he was afforded to practise, reduce his handicap to scratch, and lay the foundations for a successful playing career following three years in the army.

Demobbed in 1948, Eddie was persuaded by Duncan’s son, Ian, to play in tournaments in tandem with working as an assistant at Hazel Grove and then Bramhall Golf Clubs.

His first head professional role followed at Hale Golf Club, Cheshire, as did appearances in the Open Championship, his debut coming in 1952 at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s where he played alongside Frank Stranahan, the famous American amateur.

Stranahan, who finished tied-second behind Ben Hogan at Carnoustie the following year, made the cut, a shot ahead of Eddie who missed out.

Eddie played in two more Open Championships, at Royal Birkdale in 1954, the year he was appointed head professional at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, Kent, and again two years later at Royal Liverpool.

He remained at Royal Cinque Ports for a dozen years, charging visitors and members, including James Bond creator Ian Fleming, £1 a round, an amount that was doubled if Eddie was victorious.

However, the opportunity to return to Mere in 1966 proved irresistible and Eddie spent the next 26 years there before he retired in 1992.

Much of his time was spent coaching and his son Ross recalls: “I often get stopped in the street by people telling me dad gave them their first golf lesson.

“He would spend hours every day in all weathers on the practice ground. On one occasion, a wealthy member arrived in his Rolls Royce for a lesson, it was raining and cold and at the end of the lesson he told dad ‘You have the best job in the world.’  I think dad begged to differ at that time!

“Dad was very popular with the ladies section and would regularly wear his best golfing attire of matching colour slacks and sweater on a Friday when they met.

“He was also a great advocate of playing quickly, a discipline instilled in him by George Duncan, who never took more than two-and-a-half hours to complete a round.

“And as a player he was not a long hitter, but he rarely missed the fairway. The best part of his game was his putting.  Opponents used to give him anything inside six feet. 

“In fact, his old friend Peter Alliss said to me that if he could have putted like my father, he would have won majors.”

Eddie was made an Honorary PGA Member following his retirement and played his last round at the age of 90 after a career that saw him record 13 holes-in-one, including one at the eighth on the Old Course at St Andrews.

“Despite coming from the north, his favourite courses were Wentworth and Sunningdale where he played for many years in the annual foursomes tournament,” adds Ross Goodwin.

“His heroes included Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Henry Cotton and Ben Hogan, the source of a quote that typified my father’s attitude to life: ‘As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.’”

Eddie is survived by Ross, his daughter Julie, daughter-in-law Lauren, son-in-law John, and grandchildren Guy and Helena. The PGA extends heartfelt condolences to them on their loss.

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