Dave Laird

13 07 2014
Dave Laird (1946-2014)

Dave Laird (1946-2014)

In all honesty I have to say that Dave Laird, who passed away earlier this week, was a pretty awful golfer. In all fairness, however, I should add that he was also awfully good fun to play with. Dave’s handicap, which hovered around the 30 mark throughout the decade that I played with him, was a pretty accurate reflection of his inability to “get the little round white thing into the slightly larger round holey thing”, as he once described the purpose of his twice weekly outings at Glacier Greens. (Dave only did Mondays and Wednesdays; the rest of the week was dedicated either to the gym or to being Poppy and devoting himself to grandchild sitting). It also gave him a sense of perspective which the rest of us Sandbaggers sometimes lacked: while Joe and Bud would be bemoaning their ill luck in narrowly failing to break 90, Glen and Robin would be dissecting their 85’s, Richard and I would be cursing an outbreak of three putts and Ringer was railing at the injustice of the putt he missed for a 72, Lairdo would sit reflectively at the patio table over a post-round coffee. “106 today, was it?” he’d enquire. “A bit better than Monday then…” Talking of John Ringstead, Ringer partnered Lairdo once in the annual Glacier Greens Shoot Out. After the third round – the dreaded alternate shot format – John tried to describe his experience: “Dave put me in places on the course that I’d honestly never even seen before. I have to say I have a whole new respect for Lairdo and what he has to deal with just to complete 18 holes of golf.”

Twice I saw Dave hole out from the middle of the fairway, both times from 80 yards or so, once on #13 and once on #16. Both times it was for par. More often, however, Dave’s progress on the Par 4’s and 5’s was measured by a half decent drive followed by a series of chunks until he finally reached the green. Occasionally he would hit an approach shot way over – I mean WAY over – the back of the green. Lairdo would always be pretty pleased with himself. “Right club, but I hit it well” was his explanation. He actually birdied #17 twice in the space of a couple of weeks. The second time he had a picture taken of himself on his i-phone for posterity. I suggested that we rename #17 ‘The Dave Laird Memorial Hole’. It seemed quite funny at the time. It doesn’t now.

The Sandbaggers are going to play our round of golf in Dave’s honour tomorrow. At Rod’s suggestion we’ll play Stableford points “because the highest score wins” and Joe has suggested we use ‘experienced’ Top Flites because, well, that’s what Dave always used. We’ll try to be a bit more organised than usual as we sort out our groups on the practise green before the round, but I guarantee that someone (probably Robin) will do their best Lairdo impression and mutter: “Come on, you guys – it’s like herding cats out here!”

There’s one other impression that the rest of the Sandbaggers already do on a regular basis. Dave probably hit more provisional balls off the first tee at Glacier Greens than anyone but on one occasion, just as his provisional was disappearing into the same tree as his first one, he announced to the rest of the group “The first ball was a Top Flite 3 and er, the second ball was a Top Flite 3 as well.”

All da best, Poppy. Awful golfer, really good man. You’ll be missed.

Dave B.

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16 responses

13 07 2014
glenniethe sandbaggr

Well done, Dave. A fine tribute.
I have known Dave for almost 40 years and I can assure one and all, a harder working more helpful person you will probably never meet. He will be long remembered as a truly great guy.

13 07 2014
Bagger Dave

Exactly right, Glen. We’re lucky to have known him.

13 07 2014
hitsitleft

Awesome bit of writing.  Actually brought tears to my eyes.  Of course I will deny everything if u bring it up. I didn’t know him long but really appreciated his sense of humor.  

Sent from Samsung Mobile

13 07 2014
Bagger Dave

With Dave’s golf game, he had to have a sense of humour, didn’t he?

13 07 2014
BHD

Great post, Dave. Well written.

13 07 2014
Bagger Dave

Thanks, Ben. Dave was one of life’s true gentlemen.

13 07 2014
Robinski

I am still having trouble with the finality of it all. It still feels like he will be here tomorrow slamming us for being so disorganized. In all the years that I knew Dave, I never heard anyone say anything bad about him. I know I have a top flite somewhere and I think I will shoot 106 tomorrow.

13 07 2014
Bagger Dave

I’m bringing enough Top Flites for everyone, Robin – and even Lairdo would reject most of them!

14 07 2014
Mike Brooker

Nice one. Don’t think I met Dave, but I’d like to have done.

14 07 2014
Bagger Dave

I think you’d have known, Mike. You’d have been ducking for cover most of the round.

14 07 2014
Martin

Wonderful tribute Dave. Well deserved by Dave. He was a great friend, a wonderful coach and loved by all who knew him. Thanks for saying what all of us wanted to say.

14 07 2014
Bagger Dave

Thanks Martin. As the Scots say, “there’s none like him”.

14 07 2014
Peter

Wow, that’s a real shock to learn that David passed on. I have been out of commission for the last little bit and it’s like having someone kick you right between the balls to hear about him passing on. For all you guys ‘admiring’ Davids golf game it’s a real pity you didn’t play rugby with him, a guy you always wanted on your side. A great guy.
Farewell David, only the good die young, it was not your turn.

14 07 2014
Bagger Dave

Very well put, Peter – “A guy you always wanted on your side”. Couldn’t ask for a better tribute.

16 07 2014
John Ringstead

Dave was a gentleman. In life, he appeared to me to be in the centre of the fairway. I am richer for having known him.

16 07 2014
Bagger Dave

Nicely put, John. And don’t forget he had an entire collection of pre owned Ringstead clubs in his bag. What could possibly go wrong?

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