ONE of the best-known golf professionals in the Lothians, described by fellow players as a “true gentleman”, has passed away.
Jimmy Hume, whose illustrious sporting career included nine Open Championship appearances, died suddenly at the age of 75 on January 30.
The admired sportsman had been head pro at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian for nearly 30 years.
He also helped coach Catriona Matthew, North Berwick’s former British Women’s Open champion, during the early stages of her career.
Jimmy notched his greatest achievement at the 1967 Open tournament at Royal Birkdale – he was just one shot off the lead at the halfway point of the championship and finished in a respectable tie for 29th place.
A mentor in the latter part of his career, Jimmy served his PGA apprenticeship at Gullane under the late Hugh Watt and completed stints at other courses such as Royal Jersey, Beaconsfield and Harewood Downs before returning to the East Lothian club as head professional in 1975.
His successful tenure in the position ended a decade ago when Jimmy was succeeded by Alasdair Good, but he continued his association with the club by being reinstated as an amateur and full member.
A testimonial pro-am – a rare staging of such an event in Scotland – was held at the time in honour of Jimmy’s retirement.
Gullane Golf Club secretary Stephen Anthony labelled the accomplished golfer as a “true gentleman”, adding: “I’d known Jimmy since I arrived here just over four years ago and he was part of the fabric of the club. He was a very happy, jovial character and always great company to have around.
“He was a very popular member and he continued to regularly take part in most medal matches at the club right up until last year.
“Jimmy was one of a lost breed who was a magnificent golfer, but also someone who could turn their hand to making his own clubs.
“He will be much missed about the place and his passing is a great loss of a good person, a friend and a real character.”
North Berwick golf professional David Huish said: “Jimmy was a true professional. He was a skilled club-maker, having learned that art from Hugh Watt, and a skilled teacher, too.
“He was also an extremely good player.”
Friend Archie Lourie said Jimmy had helped his assistants in reaching positions at top-class courses over the years. He said: “He was a guy who was always approachable and he had a great sense of humour.”
Jimmy is survived by his wife Susan, children Andrew and Liz, and grandchildren Emily and Sarah. His funeral was held at Mortonhall Crematorium on February 7.