PGA Cup stalwart and Tartan Tour great Russell Weir passes away at 71

PGA Cup stalwart and Tartan Tour great Russell Weir passes away at 71


The PGA is greatly saddened to report that Russell Weir, an Honorary Member who was synonymous with the PGA Cup, has passed away at the age of 71.

Russell captained Great Britain and Ireland’s PGA Cup team in 2011 and 2013, the first match in CordeValle, California, ending in defeat, the second at the De Vere Slaley Hall resulting in a tie. Prior to that the Scot played in eight matches, a PGA record shared with his compatriot David Huish, and registered 15 victories.

Russell was elected to PGA Membership in 1975, made an Honorary Member in 2013 and served Cowal Golf Club for 42 years until his passing this week.

The long-serving PGA professional at Cowal Golf Club on the west coast of Scotland was a mighty figure on the domestic scene while his regular dashes back from events to catch the last ferry home to his beloved Dunoon burnished the Weir legend.

His wider successes, meanwhile, included victories in the British and European Club Professionals’ Championships as well as glory on the European Senior Tour in 2001 in just his sixth start on the over-50s circuit.

Having served notice of his talent back in 1968 when he landed the Scottish Boys’ Championship as a teenage amateur, Weir would go on plunder over 100 wins as a pro on the Tartan Tour. He topped the Order of Merit five times while his competitive longevity and consistency was underlined by eight successive playing appearances in The PGA Cup.

Weir revelled in the cut-and-thrust of the biennial battle and his appointment as GB&I captain for the 2011 and 2013 matches was richly deserved and warmly embraced.

“This is the highest point in my career,” he said when he took up the reins. In the 2013 match at Slaley Hall, Weir inspired his GB&I team in the singles and they won the session 7 ½ - 2 ½ to grab a valiant 13-13 draw.

Weir would make over 30 appearances on the European – now DP World Tour – with an eighth place finish in the 1988 Scottish Open being his best result at the top table. Three years later, his assault on the European Clubs Professionals’ title in Holland came to a painful end when his leg gave way. It transpired that he had broken his tibia and fibula and Weir required 10 months of recuperation.

A tremendous standard bearer for The PGA and its values, Weir was made an Honorary Member of the Association and his career of unwavering professionalism will be rightly cherished.

Alan Tait, another former Tartan Tour No 1, said of Weir: “One of the nicest chaps you’ll ever meet, and arguably the best golfer ever to have played on the PGA Tartan Tour. Total legend on and off the course.”

Craig Ronald, the former Scottish PGA champion, added: “Absolutely gutted to learn that a true legend of Scottish golf a PGA Scotland hero has passed away. Russell Weir was a true gentleman and a man I have lots to thank for.”

Alan White, Chairman of The PGA, said: “Russell was the epitome of the PGA Professional. He will be remembered as the best of the best as a player but he was also an excellent club professional, retailer and coach. An all round great PGA Professional and person.”

David Longmuir, the manager of the PGA in Scotland, added: “Russell was one of the most respected and liked professionals in Scotland and his name was synonymous with the Tartan Tour. I first saw Russell in the 1988 Scottish Open when I was working with tournament sponsors, Bells, and from that point I became aware of his talent and ability. He was a great contributor to the game in Scotland.”


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