Bill Lockie '˜honoured' to win John Panton Award

Bill Lockie, the former Kilmarnock (Barassie) professional, is the latest recipient of the John Panton Award, the PGA in Scotland's award for outstanding service to golf.

Bill Lockie pictured with the prestigious John Panton Award. Picture: Kenny Smith
Bill Lockie pictured with the prestigious John Panton Award. Picture: Kenny Smith

Lockie, a well-kent face in Scottish golf, was presented with the prestigious accolade by PGA in Scotland chairman Alan Reid, who was a junior at Barassie during Lockie’s lengthy spell at the Ayrshire club.

“This is a great privilege and I am honoured,” said Lockie, a former Scottish national coach. “I played a number of times with John Panton, who was a wonderful golfer from a different age. He was a beautiful iron player and was lovely to watch.

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“He was known as ‘Gentleman John’, so I could not believe it when, playing in a Northern Open, he let out a stream of swear words after missing a five-foot putt.”

Lockie did his PGA training at Turnberry then worked for a short spell at Royal Troon before moving to Barassie in 1974 and spending more than 20 years there. He met his wife, Rhona, through giving her 
lessons.

One of his sons, Neil, is the director of golf at Jonathan’s Landing Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, and last year was voted Professional of the Year by the South Florida PGA Southeast Chapter.

“I have always enjoyed coaching and I have always enjoyed the investigation of coaching,” added Lockie, who won the 1964 Scottish Boys Championship before turning pro six years later. “Neil has shared that enthusiasm.”

These days Lockie enjoys using his vast knowledge of the golf swing to assess PGA trainees during their training.

“I work with Alan Martin, the PGA Coach Education Manager (Scotland), and he has taught me a huge amount,” said Lockie in confessing that, even in his seventies, he’s not too old to still be learning.