Bill Bryce, who has spent over 40 years at the highest levels of golf administration, has received England Golf’s Gerald Micklem Award for his outstanding contribution to the game. He was presented with the award by England Golf’s outgoing President, Nigel Evans, at the organisation’s annual meeting yesterday.
“I feel honoured and delighted to receive this award and to join such a distinguished list of former recipients,” said Bill, of Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club. “Golf has been a huge part of my life and it has given me so much. A great deal of that is due to my involvement with the English Golf Union and England Golf, for which I am very grateful.”
Bill is a Scot who has been one of the most prominent figures in England golfing life, having been President of the former English Golf Union and, most recently, chairing the England Golf Partnership for ten years until his retirement last year.
But his contribution to the game extends far beyond England, for he has been a member of the R&A since 1974, chairing three of its committees, and has also represented England on the European Golf Association council and been a member of its championship committee.
As a referee he has officiated at 10 Open Championships, three US Masters, one Ryder Cup and two Walker Cups as well as the St Andrews and Jacques Leglise Trophies. He has also visited the United States and Japan on many occasions representing the R&A.
Bill began playing golf in Glasgow, where he was born. He was reserve for the Scottish Boys’ team v England Boys in 1951 and later captained the Glasgow University team, receiving a “Blue” and going on to play for Scottish Universities.
Bill qualified as a Scottish solicitor in 1957 and after two years in practice in Glasgow joined the Distillers Company in London as a legal adviser. When Distillers was taken over by Guinness in 1986 Bill continued with that company until his retirement in 1994.
Bill joined Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club in 1960 and was club champion in 1963 and 1974, the year in which he became the youngest-ever Captain, apart from H R H The Prince of Wales who was Captain in 1926. He still holds that distinction. He was President of the club from 2003 to 2013 and on his retirement was elected a Life Member
Bill played for Surrey during the 1970s and was county captain for three years, going on to be County President from 1986 to 1988. He represented Surrey on the EGU Council and was Chairman of the Championship and National Coaching committees.
Bill was elected a Vice-President of the Artisan Golfers’ Association in December 1992. He was elected President in November 2003 following the death of the previous incumbent Sir Anthony Hollis, a month or two earlier. He is still President of the AGA.
Bill no longer plays competitive golf but still enjoys a few holes with friends at Royal Mid-Surrey and Walton Heath, of which he is an Honorary Member. He tries to get to the other clubs of which he is a member at least once a year: Prestwick in Scotland, The R&A in St Andrews and Merion in the United States.
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