Renton Laidlaw, the legendary golfing journalist and commentator, has spoken of his delight at completing a hat-trick of PGA awards for his services to the sport.
Laidlaw, who started his career on the Edinburgh Evening News before going on to become one of the most recognisable voices in the game, has picked up the 2018 PGAs of Europe Special Recognition Award. The accolade is recognition for the Edinburgh man covering golf for over 60 years, during which time he worked at 15 Ryder Cups and more than 150 majors.
“Getting this PGAs of Europe award, which pleases me greatly, completes the set,” said Laidlaw, who now lives at Drumoig, near St Andrews. “I’ve been awarded achievement status from the PGA of America, I’ve had one from the PGA in Britain and now this one from the PGAs of Europe. I’ve done the hat-trick.”
After his spell on the Edinburgh Evening News, Laidlaw worked as freelace for Reuters covering golf worldwide before moving into television, first with Scottish Television then Grampian TV before being recruited by the BBC. He eventually became BBC Radio’s golf correspondent before starting with British Satellite Broadcasting, which was later taken over by Sky, and then moving to the Golf Channel. “To be able to work in all these medium is quite something,” he admitted. “I’ve been able to somehow scratch my way through in papers, writing books, in radio and in television, which makes me a wee bit unusual.
“I’m particularly happy about this award as I’ve spent so much time covering the European Tour. I’ve always enjoyed Europe from the point of view of the different cultures, food, etc, but, more importantly, the people we’ve met in Europe over the years. I think that was one of the great things about being in Europe – we were all different but we were all alike. It was, as Seve [Ballesteros] used to say, a real family.”