De Vere has chosen to honour the legacy of the iconic course designer Dave Thomas by installing a number of unique commemorative plaques at each of the courses he designed across the group’s portfolio of UK golf resorts. Thomas has a legendary status within the game following a stand-out playing career, before becoming one of the world’s most renowned golf course designers, putting his name to some of the world’s leading layouts. De Vere unveiled the first in a number of dedicated plates at De Vere Slaley Hall during the recent PGA Cup matches. Other plaques recognising his masterpieces will appear at another three of the group’s flagship resorts: The Belfry, De Vere Mottram Hall, and De Vere Oulton Hall.
Thomas had an impressive résumé as a player, twice finishing as runner-up at The Open Championship and competing in no less than four Ryder Cup matches. This gave Thomas a natural affinity to The Belfry, as the world’s only four-time host of the prestigious matches, where he designed the famous Brabazon course in partnership with Peter Alliss, as well as the only PGA branded course in England – the PGA National, before teaming up with Alliss once more to create the Derby course. Elsewhere, Thomas also masterminded the Championship courses at Mottram Hall, which this year played host to the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship; the impressive 27-hole layout at Oulton Hall; and the stunning Hunting course at Slaley Hall which has held a grand total of 15 European and European Senior Tour tournaments, as well as the 26th PGA Cup matches.
Daniel Hodson, Director of Golf & Leisure, De Vere, paid tribute to the Thomas’ lasting legacy, “Throughout his life, Dave was incredibly dedicated to everything that he turned his hand to, and his course designs are no exception. His memory will last forever within the game, and De Vere is truly honoured to have a number of properties that mark his craftsmanship. Our thoughts go out to his family, who I’m sure will be incredibly proud of everything that he achieved during his lifetime and we wanted to mark our respects with a plaque at each of the De Vere courses that he designed. Each of the them presents an unforgettable experience for golfers of all ages and abilities, and we hope that Dave’s designs can assist our ambitions in growing the game at every level.”
The first of these commemorative plaques was unveiled on the Hunting course at Slaley Hall during the prestigious PGA Cup matches, where the PGA’s Chief Executive Sandy Jones was in attendance to further pay his respects to Thomas’ legacy. “Dave was a huge figure in the game of golf, firstly as a player and then as one of the leading course architects having been involved in nearly 150 designs across the world,” commented Jones. “He has left a lasting legacy on the game and his name will live on through a number of excellent golf courses that he lovingly created over more than five decades. Among his best is the Hunting Course at De Vere Slaley Hall which proved a fitting setting for the 26th PGA Cup – one of the most memorable in its 40 year history – and we are delighted that De Vere has decided to honour Dave’s memory with a commemorative plaque.”
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