Vale Tom Ramsey
INFLUENTIAL golf writer Tom Ramsey, who died last month aged 75 following a long battle with cancer, was a powerful figure in Australian golf – especially during the late 1970s and 1980s.
Renowned for knowledge of the game, Ramsey covered 140 majors and was extremely well-known in t he UK and America where he crossed paths with superstars including Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan.
Born in Northern Ireland, Ramsey was News Limited’s chief golf writer for more than 40 years.
Bernie Pramberg, who followed Ramsey as News Limited group golf writer in 1998, said he was widely read and had a vast knowledge of the game.
“He knew the game, had connections and was not backward in taking on individuals or organisations he thought deserved challenging,” Pramberg said. “He was feisty and could divide opinion. “But he was also very generous and he certainly helped me when I started out covering golf.
“ Tom was among the last of an oldschool of newspaper men whose travel, accommodation and lifestyle was vastly different to what most of us are accustomed to. “For Tom, it was first-class all the way. “Unlike most of the blokes who write about golf, Tom was a very fine player who liked nothing more than wager on the course.”
Ramsey played off a one handicap and word has it he never lost when there was money on the line.
He won the Australian Golf Writers’ Association championship 12 times and is the only person to win the Australian, US and British golf writers’ titles.
My first contact with Ramsey was in the 1980s at a Skins tournament at Mirage, Port Douglas where he introduced me to some of the players including Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.
Our association continued in the 1990s when he wrote for a golf publication I was editing at the time.
Former colleague, Mick Court, knew him for 30 years and called him a friend.
“ Tom was a great friend,” he said. “ I remember playing golf with him on his 50th birthday at The Australian.
“ He was, quite simply, the doyen of Australian golf writers.
“He introduced me to the legendary Gene Sarazen on my first trip to Augusta in 1997.
“ I watched him play golf with Sean Connery … and write about it.
“ There’ll never be another golf writer like him.
“Golf professionals and clubs all around this country would fear Tom’s annual awards for fear of earning ‘the wrath of Rambo’ when he handed out his gongs.”
Ramsey is survived by his wife Carmel and son Andrew.
RIP mate, you played well.