I’m teeing off for last time after 39 years

When you have been a member of a golf club for four decades, developing an attachment to it is par for the course.

But at the age of 95, Gullane Golf Club’s oldest player, Robert McKirdy, has played his last round on the course.

The Joppa golfer first signed up to the East Lothian club in 1973 and has been a faithful player ever since.

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A taxi driver with City Cabs for 50 years, Robert played with a syndicate from his work every Tuesday for almost four decades.

But having suffered from some health problems, yesterday saw Robert tee off for the last time and enjoy his final round of golf.

The retired taxi driver said: “My knees are going now and they wanted me to go for surgery if I was to keep playing.

“But I’m 95 years old now and there’s no way I’m going for surgery!

“So I decided I would resign, I wasn’t getting many games of golf in any more, and it’s a lot of money each year to spend on a membership.

“If I’d signed up for another year it would have been a record for having the longest membership. But I do know I’m the oldest player at Gullane at the moment.”

Robert lives with his wife, Lilias, 95, to whom he has been married for 73 years.

He admits he will be sad to leave the golf club.

“Over the years I met a lot of friends there,” said Robert.

“I will miss the club, but I can’t do anything about it now my legs are going.

“Gullane is a great club – I think it’s the best one in Scotland to be a member of because you have three courses at your disposal.

“In my lifetime I have had four hole-in-ones, and two of them were at the same hole at Gullane.

“That was quite memorable for me.”

But modest Robert, who took part in the Edinburgh Taxi Trade Children’s Outing for 35 years, said: “I’m not a good golfer – the best I ever was, for a short time, was a handicap of 12.”

Established in 1882, Gullane Golf Club offers three courses, simply called No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 to reflect their age.

A reception was held in the clubhouse yesterday, where members raised a toast to Robert.

Granddaughter Michelle Lowe, 50, said: “There was a really warm welcome at the clubhouse.

“These are people who have been staff and members here for years and years, they know what Robert has to drink, what he likes to eat.

“It was a very emotional farewell.”