Willie Milne (1951 – 2023)

Willie Milne (1951 – 2023)


The PGA is saddened to report that Willie Milne, a former Walker Cup player who represented Great Britain and Ireland in two PGA Cup matches, has passed away at the age of 71. Willie, who had been based in Germany since 2004, was in Thailand and due to return home when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Born in Scotland in 1951, Willie’s accomplishments as an amateur earned him a place in the Great Britain and Ireland team that contested the Walker Cup at the Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts in 1973.

The 10-strong line-up, that also included Sir Michael Bonallack, Howard Clark and Rodney Foster, lost the match 10-14 and, in doing so, failed to win any of the foursomes. Willie, however, prevailed in both his singles encounters, defeating Mark Pfeil 4&3 and Mark Killian 2&1.

He turned professional shortly afterwards and, elected to PGA Membership in the same year, competed on what was to become the European Tour rather than take on the role of a club pro.

He played in five Open Championships, but his best result came in the French equivalent in 1979 when he finished second. Willie’s first appearance in the PGA Cup followed three years later and he earned selection again in 1986, by which time he was attached to Tayside Golf.

A brief spell at the Machrie Hotel on the island of Islay in the Hebrides followed in 1987 and he went on to spend three years at Sand Martins Golf Club, Berkshire, before returning to his homeland.

Willie’s first port of was the Carnegie Club, Skibo Castle, Dornoch, where he spent three years, followed by five at Carnoustie.

Willie was at Carnoustie when it hosted the 128th Open Championship in 1999 and bizarrely, he earned more public recognition and attention from playing one round as a marker than he had during his entire time as a Tour player.

Accompanying fellow PGA Professional and last-placed qualifier Martyn Thompson on day three, Willie posted a four-over par round of 76.

It was a score that matched that of the eventual champion Paul Lawrie and eclipsed those of defending champion Mark O’Meara, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson and Justin Rose, all of whom struggled in the windy conditions and missed the cut.

Willie moved to Germany in 2004, initially working at Olching Golf Club near Munich for five years before representing Golfglobal Ltd until the time of his sudden and unexpected passing.


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