The 64-year-old recently scored a new club record and beat his age by one stroke in the process
By Craig Dennett
William Blackie has been celebrating recently after breaking the course record at his Borders club with a score one less than his current age.
Playing in the June Medal, 64-year-old Blackie carded a six-under-par round of 63 to break the old course record in just his second year of membership at Lilliardsedge Park Golf Club.
Blackie, who previously played his golf in Northumberland and represented the county on 45 occasions, is a retired financial advisor who now commits most of his time to improving the quality of his golf.
Speaking exclusively to Scottish Club Golfer, he said: “I don’t like giving my secrets away but I spend at least an hour every day on my fitness and then around two-and-a-half to three hours on the range or the golf course.
“I work with a physio and sports coach in Edinburgh and all of the gym work I do surrounds improving my core and flexibility.”
There’s no doubting Blackie takes his golf seriously, and with an exact handicap of 0.9, the good round didn’t come out of the blue. The final score, however, was still a surprise.
Playing with two fellow members, Blackie started his round with four straight birdies.
“I knew I had it going,” he continued. “I had six birdies and 12 pars in total, but I had a little bit of luck along the way, in particular at the par-3 17th.
“It measures 167 yards from the medal tees and I actually pushed my 7-iron slightly. I missed the green and didn’t know whether to chip or putt it. I ended up going with the putter and holed out for a birdie.
“I was standing on the 18th tee with a score of six-under-par. As we say in Scotland, it was a case of squeaky bum time. I was feeling a wee bit nervous and there’s a burn that runs across the fairway 220 yards up. I probably could have knocked it over it with a driver, but I made the smart decision and played a 4-iron short.”
After his round, Blackie handed in his card as normal and it wasn’t long until news of his score had spread around the club. In fact, by the time he had changed his shoes, news had already made its way to the members in the clubhouse.
“I’m not the kind of guy to go around shouting about it, but I didn’t need to be,” he added. “It was nice of my fellow members to congratulate me and the owner ended up arranging for the scorecard to be encased in a glass frame.
“The frame now sits in the room where everyone collects their scorecards ahead of competition rounds. It makes me proud when I see it.”
With such a big focus on golf, Blackie has unsurprisingly been playing regularly ever since. However, he hasn’t been able to get close to his score.
He concluded: “I’ve been trying and I’ve been playing well, but the closest I’ve gotten to the score since is 67. I’m going to keep working hard on my game and hopefully get my handicap back down to scratch.”