Tributes have been paid to Phil Weaver, the former PGA Chairman, who has passed away at the age of 73 following a long battle with cancer.
Weaver, who was awarded the OBE for services to golf in 2012, was PGA Chairman for 25 years, serving from 1989 to 2014. He was also the head PGA Professional at Coventry Golf Club for 35 years.
Phil began his career aged just 15 at at Beau Desert Golf Club in Staffordshire where he served as an assistant. He then moved to Great Barr Golf Club and then Coventry where, after 13 years as Senior Assistant Professional, he was appointed Head PGA Professional in 1979. He was later charged with combining that role with that of Course Manager. Under his watch, the club became the first in England to achieve the Golf Environment Organisation award in 2012.
As a player, he competed on the European Tour for five years and represented Great Britain & Ireland in the PGA Cup in 1982 and 1983, winning five of his seven matches. Closer to home, he won the Warwickshire Open seven times, was the Warwickshire Professional champion on four occasions, Midland Assistants champion in 1972, Midland Matchplay champion in 1975, and Warwickshire Matchplay champion in 1981.
He was elected Chairman of the PGA in 1989 and soon after to the Association’s board of directors. It was in that capacity that he was required to deliver the opening speech at the Ryder Cup, a duty he undertook 13 times during his time as PGA Chairman, which his last speech taking place at Gleneagles in 2014.
In addition to the ceremonial aspect of his involvement with the Ryder Cup, Weaver was appointed joint-chairman of the European Ryder Cup Committee, a role that ended in 2005 when Ryder Cup Europe LLP was formed. Thereafter he sat on the Players and Stakeholders’ Board until he relinquished his position as PGA Chairman.
“Phil was a true gentleman, who cared deeply for both the Association and the Ryder Cup,” reflected Richard Hills, the former managing director, Ryder Cup Europe. “He oversaw many changes in both and did so with a fair and open mind. He will be sadly missed.”
Having retired as head pro and course manager at Coventry, he was appointed the Curator of PGA Heritage, a role that complemented his affection and insatiable interest in the Association’s history.
“That was typical of Phil’s service for and love of the Association,” said Robert Maxfield, PGA chief executive. Moreover, his contribution to golf and The PGA was immeasurable. As PGA Chairman for 25 years he provided a steady hand and sharp mind as the Association negotiated a period of significant change. And despite occupying a seat at the game’s top table, he never forgot his calling as a PGA Professional. We have lost a valued colleague and loyal friend. It’s a massive loss and a very sad day.”
Alan White, the current PGA Chairman, added: “Phil’s longevity in the role and his success in executing it made him a hard if not impossible act to follow. However, that has created a template and legacy for me and his other successors to refer to and I, for one, am indebted to his contribution as Chairman and, on a personal level, having him as a friend and colleague.”
Phil is survived by his wife Lynette, son Miles, daughter Sally and son-in-law Clive and their children, Erin and Harry, brother Chris and sisters Joan and Sheila.