Scots golf great Bernard Gallacher invited to become PGA captain

Former PGA captain Nicky Lumb, left, with Bernard Gallacher, the new captain. Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Former PGA captain Nicky Lumb, left, with Bernard Gallacher, the new captain. Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images
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Former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has said he is “honoured and humbled” to have been invited to become captain of the Professional Golfers’ Association.

The 69-year-old, who played in eight Ryder Cup matches, captained the European team in 1991, 93 and 95, and won 22 professional tournaments, will succeed Peter Hanna as PGA captain in April 2021.

He was also the head PGA Professional at Wentworth for a quarter of a century and membership of the association has been a constant and important thread throughout his career.

“Despite my success in tournaments and involvement with the Ryder Cup as a player and captain, first and foremost I have always regarded myself as a club pro,” said Gallacher. “I am a proud PGA member and I am honoured and humbled to have been asked to captain the association.”

In doing so Gallacher will join the select band comprising JH Taylor, Ted Ray, George Duncan, Henry Cotton, Bernard Hunt, Dai Rees and Eric Brown, who have captained both the PGA and a Great Britain and Ireland or European Ryder Cup team.

The roster of PGA captains also includes Fred Daly and Max Faulkner, Open Championship winners in 1947 and 1951 respectively, Peter Alliss and Tommy Horton.

All, like Gallacher, were PGA professionals of a bygone age who combined their roles as traditional club pros with competing at an elite level.

Gallacher found time during his tenure as head PGA pro at Wentworth to win 10 European Tour events, 11 other professional tournaments, and a solitary success on the European Senior Tour. He also represented Scotland in the World Cup five times.

Gallacher took over at Wentworth from Tom Halliburton, his mentor, in 1972 and, reflecting on his dual role as club pro and tournament player, he said: “There’s no chance that could happen now. The demands on Tour players make that an impossibility. Similarly the role of Ryder Cup captain is a full time one –that wasn’t the case in my day. I was still head pro at Wentworth when I captained the team at Kiawah Island in 1991.”