An honorary member of Craigmillar Park, where he celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends a year past May, Brownlee was one of the best-known figures in local golf for a lengthy period of time.
"He was a great man and probably had the best memory of anyone I've ever known," said close friend Bruce Henry, who regularly took Brownlee out for lunch at golf clubs in the Lothians along with Graham Ewart and Bob Kilgour.
"We'd get 125 or so people turning up for an Alliance event yet Bob still knew every one of them by their first name. He lived a good and healthy life but will definitely be missed."
New Zealand-born Brownlee, a former Chief Inspector with Lothians & Borders Police, was a member at Craigmillar Park for 60 years and was club captain there, as well as Dunbar, where he served as Henry's vice captain.
One of his favourite golfing memories was watching his son, Campbell, win the Lothians Championship at Luffness New in 1961.
"Ron was loved by many - a very popular fellow," said Ewart, a former president of the Scottish Golf Union. "He was very human in all his dealings.
"He was very proud of the fact his son won the Lothians Championship and also played a big role in the Craigmillar Park Open for a number of years."
Kilgour, who, like Ewart, is an honorary vice president of the Lothians Golf Association, was a clubmate of Brownlee's for nearly 50 years.
"The fact Ron was able to celebrate his 100th birthday at the club meant a lot to him - he had been planning that for years," he said.
"We still took him out for lunch on a regular basis and he'll be sorely missed as he was well known throughout the area."
Details of his funerals have still to be confirmed.