SOUTH AFRICAN GOLF WRITER DAN RETIEF sent me word that in Johannesburg, South Africa, this month, the Parkview Golf Club unveiled a bronze statue of Bobby Locke as the first step of their centenary celebrations in 2016. It stands outside the clubhouse, overlooking the practice putting green.
Dan wrote in South African Golf Digest that “Locke’s lengthy association with the Johannesburg club began when he won the South African Amateur and South African Open there in 1935 as a precocious 17-year-old. To this day he remains the youngest Open winner. Honorary membership was conferred on him after that. Parkview eventually became his spiritual home, and when his competitive playing days were over he spent many happy years playing golf and socializing at the club. He also has a bridge on the course named after him, on the par-5 13th.”
Bobby Locke was the first South African player to dominate the golf world. He won four British Opens and influenced later great South African players, Gary Player and Harold Henning.
In 1977 he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Locke died in 1987.
The unveiling was done by Denis Hutchinson, and friend of Locke’s, and the last amateur to win the South African Open, in 1959.
The statue itself was created by Johannesburg sculptor Heidi Hadaway. Working from photographs of Locke, and with suggestions from Parkview members who had known him, she created the figure in clay before casting it in bronze.
It is Locke standing and doffing his cap to the clubhouse.