Tributes have been paid to legendary golf broadcaster and journalist Renton Laidlaw, who has died aged 82.
Edinburgh-born Laidlaw, who lived at Drumoig in Fife, was admitted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on October 9, having tested positive for Covid-19, and passed away on October 12.
Martin Dempster, writing in today’s Scotsman, wrote: “Laidlaw started out as a copytaker on the Pink News in his beloved home city before becoming the golf reporter for the Edinburgh Evening News. After a spell in television, first with STV then Grampian TV and, finally, the BBC as its news anchor in Edinburgh, he returned to the golf beat with the London Evening Standard.
“He then started to combine television and radio assignments on weekends and for 15 years he was BBC Radio’s golf correspondent. A move to full-time broadcasting followed with British Satellite Broadcasting, which was taken over by Sky TV, and, latterly, he also worked for The Golf Channel.
“In 2013, Laidlaw became the first non-American golf writer to cover The Masters for 40 years, joining an exclusive club. Throughout his career, he covered 165 major championship, including 58 Opens and 42 Masters. He was the recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Award for golfing journalism and earned a lifetime achievement award from the PGA of America, the PGAs of Britain, Scotland and Europe.
Renton served as Secretary of the Association of Golf Writers from 1978-95, before holding the office of Chairman from 1995-98 and President from 2004-15.
Among his many other editorial commitments, Renton was also editor of the R&A’s Golfer’s Handbook, which ceased publication in 2014 following his retirement.
Tributes to Laidlaw were led by Sky Sports golf commentator Ewen Murray. He wrote on Twitter: “I met Renton Laidlaw when I was seven. He was 22 and came to my parents house every Friday for tea ahead of his column for the Edinburgh Evening News. He was my mentor at the start of my TV career. A gifted broadcaster, an exceptional man in every way. Many hearts are sore tonight.”
Dougie Donnelly, another fellow golf broadcaster, also paid tribute to someone he described as a “dear friend and colleague”. Writing on Twitter, he added: “Renton Laidlaw was an outstanding writer and broadcaster, held in genuine affection by everyone he worked with, and a great support to me and to so many others over the years. He will be very sadly missed.”
Iain Carter, the BBC’s golf correspondent, said Laidlaw had been the “voice of golf on BBC radio for so many years and a colossus of the golfing media”.