John Philp has announced his decision to retire at the end of June after 26 years of outstanding service working as Links Superintendent at Carnoustie.
64-year old Philp moved from St Andrews to Carnoustie back in 1985 and subsequently has played a pivotal role in transforming the fortunes of the town’s three golf courses.
Carnoustie’s Championship course was in poor shape when Philp arrived in the Angus town back in the mid-1980s but he quickly restored it to its former glory and his expertise was rewarded in 1999 when it was named as the venue for the Open Championship for the first time for 24 years.
During Philp’s tenure the course also staged The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship since 2001, the 1991and 2001 Scottish Ladies’ Close Amateur Championships, the 1992 Amateur Championship, the 1995 and 1996 Scottish Opens, the 1997 and 2008 Scottish Amateur, the 2002 Boys’ Championship, and the 2007 Open Championship.
More recently it staged the Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard in 2010 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open last summer.
Philp’s last week as Links Superintendent coincides with Carnoustie hosting the Ladies’ Open Amateur Championship on June 26-30.
Philp announced his decision to retire in a letter to the Carnoustie Golf Links chairman in which he praised the CGL directors and his staff for their support during his years of service.
He wrote: “I consider it to have been a privilege to have been part of a great team effort whose original target was the resurgence of Carnoustie Links in world golf and for many years now has provided the highest standards possible.
“I must convey my sincere thanks to the present and previous Management Committees for their support and substantial investment in the Links without which the success we have enjoyed would not have been possible.
“Attention to detail has been the by-word and it has been most rewarding for me to have seen so many improvements on the courses achieved by a talented staff of whom I am most proud.”
He added: “I have cherished many moments experienced over the last 26 years and none more so than the return of The Open to Carnoustie. That was the major highlight of my greenkeeping career.”
Gordon Murray, immediate past Chairman of Carnoustie Golf Links paid tribute to the massive contribution Philp has made to the restoration of Carnoustie as one of the leading venues in world golf.
“John is without doubt one of the world’s finest greenkeepers and it is impossible to exaggerate the contribution he has made to Carnoustie’s development over the last 26 years. His outstanding work on restoring the Championship course is well documented but what must also be remembered is that he has played a similar role in improving both the Burnside and Buddon courses.”
Murrayadded: “He will be an exceedingly difficult act to follow which is why we will not be rushing to announce a replacement.”
Further details about the appointment process will be announced in due course.
Carnoustie Golf Links www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk